Cool West Coast Towns

16 Coolest West Coast Towns

These West Coast towns are seriously cool, adventurous, and, yes, beautiful, too!

From cute surf beach towns to charming mountain villages—not only are these some darn awesome towns, but there’s SO much to do nearby. You’ll want to pack more than a day bag if you’re coming to visit…

1. Astoria, OR

Astoria is a quirky, historic town at the mouth of the Columbia River. Climb the Astoria Column for panoramic views, visit the maritime museum, or walk the scenic riverfront.

Aerial view of Astoria with the Column to the right, the town to the left, and the water in the distance.

Film buffs will love spotting locations from “The Goonies”! The town’s Victorian architecture, unique shops, and delicious seafood make it a standout destination on the Oregon coast.

27 BEST Things To Do in Astoria, Oregon
11 Best Hotels in Astoria, Oregon

2. Port Angeles, WA

Port Angeles is the gateway to Olympic National Park, offering a mix of coastal charm and mountain adventure. Whether you’re hiking Hurricane Ridge or spotting whales at the Strait of Juan de Fuca, there’s never a dull moment here.

Nighttime shot of Port Angeles from above from steps.

The vibrant downtown is filled with quirky shops, local eats, and friendly faces. Don’t miss out on exploring the nearby lavender farms or taking a scenic drive to the picturesque Lake Crescent.

21 BEST Things To Do in Port Angeles
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3. Westport, WA

Surf’s up in Westport, one of Washington’s prime spots for catching waves. If surfing isn’t your thing, try your hand at clam digging or take a leisurely stroll along the marina.

Lookout tower in Westport overlooking the ocean.

Fishing charters, seafood restaurants, and a charming lighthouse add to the coastal allure. And hey, nothing beats the fresh seafood here – make sure to grab some fish and chips or clam chowder!

9 Adventurous Things To Do in Westport, Washington
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4. Incline Village, CA

Incline Village, set on the north shore of Lake Tahoe, offers year-round fun. Ski the slopes in winter, hit the beach in summer, or enjoy the scenic hiking trails.

Gondola overlooking blue water of Lake Tahoe.

With its stunning lake views and upscale vibe, it’s a top pick for a getaway. The local dining scene is impressive too, with plenty of options to satisfy any foodie.

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5. Winthrop, WA

Step back in time in Winthrop, a Wild West-themed town in the Methow Valley. The wooden boardwalks and saloons make you feel like you’ve wandered into an old Western movie.

Our old VW Bus, Lucy, outside a old-timey building in Winthrop.

Outdoor activities are endless – from hiking and biking in the summer to cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. Don’t forget to check out the local arts scene and the unique shops downtown.

6. Newport, OR

Newport boasts a blend of rugged coastlines and charming seaside vibes. Visit the Oregon Coast Aquarium, explore the historic bayfront, or catch a sunset at Yaquina Head Lighthouse.

Huge bridge in Newport, Oregon with a beach below.

It’s a dreamy spot for beachcombers and marine life fans. The town’s unique blend of attractions, from Ripley’s Believe It or Not! to local seafood restaurants, ensures there’s something for everyone.

11 Best Hotels in Newport, Oregon
21 Adventurous Things to Do in Newport, Oregon

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7. Seaside, OR

Seaside offers classic coastal fun with its historic promenade and family-friendly attractions. Ride the carousel, indulge in saltwater taffy, or try your luck at the arcade.

Colorful buildings of Seaside, Oregon.

It’s a lively town with a nostalgic charm that’s hard to resist. The beach is perfect for kite flying, or if you need a bit of a challenge, head left for some surf action.

20 TOP Things to Do in Seaside, Oregon

8. Anacortes, WA

Anacortes is the perfect launchpad for island hopping in the San Juan Islands. Kayak through serene waters, hop on a ferry for some epic whale watching, or hike the trails at Deception Pass State Park.

Wooden bench at a viewpoint overlooking Anacortes.

The town itself is cozy and inviting, with a fantastic farmers market, art galleries, and plenty of local cafes to relax in. Plus, the sunsets over the marina are absolutely stunning!

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9. Bend, OR

Bend is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream by the Deschutes River and surrounded by mountains. Go hiking, mountain biking, or paddleboarding, and then unwind with a local craft beer (there are *only* about 30 breweries to choose from).

Floating the Deschutes with views of Old Mill in Bend Oregon.

The town’s lively downtown and cool vibe make it a year-round hotspot. In winter, hit the slopes at Mount Bachelor, and in summer, float down the river in a tube – pure bliss!

This might be the coolest West Coast town of them all, but we’re also biased as this is our base!

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10. Santa Cruz, CA

Santa Cruz is the ultimate beach town with a laid-back vibe and famous boardwalk. Surf the waves, ride the Giant Dipper roller coaster, or explore the quirky downtown shops.

Aerial view of of a scenic road leading to Santa Cruz.

The Santa Cruz Wharf offers great seafood and sea lion sightings. It’s the perfect mix of sun, fun, and California cool, with nearby redwood forests adding an extra layer of adventure.

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11. Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

Carmel-by-the-Sea is a fairytale village with charming cottages and stunning beaches. Wander through the art galleries, enjoy a wine tasting, or relax at the white sand Carmel Beach.

Town of Carmel-by-the-Sea which has a European flair to it.

The town’s unique architecture and dog-friendly attitude make it a delightful place to explore. Plus, the scenic 17-mile Drive offers breathtaking views of the Pacific coastline.

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12. Lake Chelan, WA

Lake Chelan is a summer paradise with its crystal-clear waters and endless sunshine. Whether you’re boating, jet-skiing, or just chilling by the shore, it’s the ultimate spot for a fun getaway.

The Silver Beach in Lake Chelan with cute buildings across the street.

Wine lovers, rejoice – the vineyards around the lake offer some of the best tastings in the state. Plus, the nearby town of Chelan has plenty of dining options, boutique shops, and lakeside parks to enjoy.

12 Awesome Things To Do in Lake Chelan, Washington

13. Mendocino, CA

Mendocino is a coastal gem with its Victorian architecture and dramatic ocean views. Hike through the redwoods, explore the tide pools, or simply enjoy the peaceful, artistic vibe of the town.

Wooden bench perched above beach in Mendocino.

It’s an ideal spot for a tranquil escape, with charming B&Bs and local eateries adding to its appeal. Don’t miss the Mendocino Headlands for some truly spectacular scenery.

13 Awesome Things To Do in Mendocino, California

14. Cannon Beach, OR

Famous for its iconic Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach is a must-see on the Oregon coast. Stroll along the sandy shores, explore tide pools, or browse the art galleries and boutiques in town.

Nina walking down a little pathway with cute buildings surrounding her in Cannon Beach.

It’s picturesque, laid-back, and perfect for a romantic getaway. Don’t miss Ecola State Park for some stunning views and excellent hiking trails.

23 Adventurous Things to Do in Cannon Beach
11 Best Hotels in Cannon Beach, Oregon

15. Mount Shasta, CA

Mount Shasta is a mystical town surrounded by natural beauty and outdoor adventure. Hike the mountain trails, explore the hidden waterfalls, or bask in the spiritual energy the area is famous for.

Cute town of Mount Shasta with brown building and black mountain to the left.

The town itself is quaint, with unique shops and cozy cafes. Whether you’re seeking adventure or serenity, Mount Shasta has something magical to offer.

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16. Leavenworth, WA

Leavenworth is a Bavarian-style village in the Cascade Mountains, offering a unique European flair in the heart of Washington. Enjoy a stroll through the charming downtown area filled with specialty shops,

Cute town for Leavenworth with buildings and a mountain backdrop.

German cuisine and festive beer gardens. Outdoor enthusiasts will love the nearby hiking trails, river rafting opportunities, and the picturesque waterfront park. During the winter, the town transforms into a magical wonderland with Christmas lights!

23 BEST Things To Do in Leavenworth, WA
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We hope this helped you find some cool West Coast towns to visit!

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