Best beaches in the PNW!

11 BEST Beaches in The PNW

The beaches in the Pacific Northwest are some of the country’s most breathtaking places you’ll lay your eyes on!

If you’re into surfing, coastal trails, tidepooling, or simply relaxing by the shore, there’s a beach for everyone.

1. Short Sands Beach, Oregon

Short Sands Beach in Oswald West State Park is a stunning spot popular for its surfing and scenic beauty.

A surfing heading out to the ocean on Short Sands Beach, Oregon.

Surrounded by lush forest, it’s perfect for a day trip or a relaxing beach walk. The serene atmosphere and trails make it a favorite. We love the Cape Falcon hike here too!

READ MORE: Short Sand Beach

2. Rialto Beach, Washington

Rialto Beach features dramatic sea stacks and driftwood-strewn shores. It’s part of Olympic National Park and perfect for hiking and exploring tide pools.

Garrett walking on Rialto Beach with rocks in the distance and the ocean to the left.

The beach’s wild, untouched beauty provides a true Pacific Northwest experience. Walk to your right to find the Hole-in-the-Wall!

READ MORE: Hiking Rialto Beach to Hole in the Wall

3. Cannon Beach, Oregon

Home to the iconic Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach is ideal for long walks and stunning sunsets.

A Pink sunset at Cannon Beach with Haystack Rock in the middle and a flying bird in the left corner.

The wide, sandy beach is perfect for picnics, kite flying, and even bonfires, while the quaint town nearby offers charming shops and eateries, making it a popular destination.

READ MORE: Cannon Beach

4. Glass Beach, California

Glass Beach in Fort Bragg is famous for its colorful sea glass, remnants of discarded glass bottles smoothed by the ocean over decades.

A low camera angle shot at Glass Beach with glass pebbles below and the rocky ocean in the distance.

While this beach seems like a treasure trove, you can’t collect the glass. It’s a unique spot, but we love to come here for the epic coastal trail that brings you to other nearby beaches and coves!

RELATED: Check Out Mendocino

5. La Push, Washington

La Push, located in the Quileute Indian Reservation, boasts a rugged coastline and breathtaking views.

Garrett looking out while standing on Second Beach at La Push.

It’s an excellent spot for whale watching and offers rich cultural history, with the nearby village providing insights into the Quileute tribe’s heritage.

Here, you’ll get not one, not two, but THREE beautiful beaches! You can grab a permit and spend the night on the coast, too.

READ MORE: La Push Beach

6. Cape Kiwanda, Oregon

Cape Kiwanda offers stunning ocean views, sand dunes, and an epic sea stack just offshore. This beach is fantastic for hiking, surfing, beach activities, and exploring tide pools.

Garrett with camera in at hand looking out Kiwanda/Pacific Beach with a big rock in the distance.

The nearby town of Pacific City provides a charming backdrop to this stunning beach in the PNW!

READ MORE: Cape Kiwanda | Pacific City

7. Pfeiffer Beach, California

Known for its purplish sand and picturesque arch rock formations, Pfeiffer Beach is a hidden gem in Big Sur—mostly because it’s off the highway, so people often skip it.

Seagulls on Pfeiffer Beach at sunset.

The beach’s dramatic landscape and secluded feel make it a must-visit for those exploring California’s central coast.

RELATED: McWay Falls | Partington Cove | Big Sur


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8. Ruby Beach, Washington

Located in Olympic National Park, Ruby Beach is famous for its dramatic sea stacks and unique tide pools.

Ruby Beach at sunset with reflection of rocks in the water.

The beach offers striking views, especially at sunset, and is a must-visit for photography, tidepooling, and beachcombing enthusiasts. The driftwood-strewn shores add to its rugged charm.

RELATED: Beaches in Olympic National Park

9. Secret Beach, Oregon

Tucked within the Samuel H. Boardman Scenic Corridor, Secret Beach is a secluded paradise with scenic rock formations and clear waters.

Secret beach at sunset, Oregon.

The hidden paths will take you to yet another beautiful beach in the PNW. There are tons of trails in the area, bringing you to several beaches and coves, so don’t run off too quickly!

READ MORE: Samuel H Boardman

10. Kalaloch Beach, Washington

Kalalochs Beaches are known for their stunning driftwood-covered shorelines and tide pools teeming with marine life.

Nina sitting on driftwood on Kalaloch Beach Washington

You’ll have to work a bit to get to these beaches as they all require a bit of a short walk through the forest, but you’ll get four beaches to check out and miss out on spotting the Tree of Life!

READ MORE: Kalaloch Beach

11. Point Reyes Beaches, California

Point Reyes offers a variety of stunning beaches, including Limantour Beach, Drakes Beach, and Wildcat Beach featuring Alamere Falls.

Point Reyes Beach view in California

Each beach provides unique experiences, from bird watching and tide pooling to simply enjoying the serene coastline. Some require a hike, and some are easily accessible. You’ll need at least one day to check out all the beaches in this area!

READ MORE: Beaches in Point Reyes

Check out more of our favorite beaches:

Have fun exploring all the best beaches in the PNW!

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