This Stunning West Coast Beach Is A Must-Visit For Outdoor Adventures

America's coastline is dotted with iconic beaches, each one with its unique charm and allure. While Florida's best beaches might call out to the sunbathers and the beach towns of California combine sun and surf into one neat package, there are plenty of other coastal treasures waiting to be discovered.

That said, for travelers looking to do more than kick back and relax, some destinations — particularly the rugged shores of the Pacific Northwest — cater to the wanderlust-driven who are eager for adventure and discovery. Promising untouched landscapes, fresh ocean breezes, and memorable sunsets, the region is truly unlike anything else.

Enter Harris Beach. Known for its towering rock formations dotted along the shore and nestled in Oregon's scenic southern coast, Harris Beach State Park is brimming with sandy trails, viewpoints, and natural wonders that make it the perfect destination for travelers who are less into laying down a towel and more into lacing up their boots.

Best things to do at Harris Beach

Put simply, Harris Beach is a nature lover's dream. With plenty of easy and intermediate trails to choose from, hikers can choose from popular treks like the Rockaway Beach Trail (0.4 miles), the Harris Beach Trail to Harris Butte (0.6 miles) and the Sunset Point Trail (0.3 miles). If you want to take things a little further, the trails within Harris Beach State Park are connected to one another, which means you can walk them all in one long swoop. Off-land, visitors can also sign up for a kayaking or paddling tour that'll take you along the coast to the Chetco River.

In terms of wildlife spotting and bird watching, nature enthusiasts are also in for a treat. Depending on when you visit the park, you can expect to see everything from migrating gray whales to California sea lions, and harbor seals. Meanwhile, a trip out to Goat Island — also called Bird Island due to the number of seabirds that call that place home — means you'll be surrounded by more than 100,000 birds and 11 species, including less-common species like the tufted puffin or Leach's storm petrel.

Lastly, tide pooling is another popular activity among park visitors — especially at low tide. One of Oregon's designated Marine Gardens, Harris Beach State Park is teeming with sea creatures: from sea stars to anemones and hermit crabs.

Embracing the Harris Beach experience

Considering a longer stay at Harris Beach? The park has got you covered. Open year round, the park offers plenty of amenities to make your stay as comfortable as can be. Some of these include 65 RV-hookup sites, 59 tent sites, toilets and hot showers, a playground for the little ones, an RV dump station, and even firewood for sale. Additionally, there are also six yurts available for rent — three of which are actually pet-friendly!

When it comes to choosing the best time to visit Harris Beach, the truth is that the park is a great destination no matter the season. However, if your goal is to enjoy hikes and other outdoor activities, planning a trip during the fall is your best bet. The weather is typically clearer and warmer — but not too hot — and it also makes for some pretty awe-inspiring sunsets. Coincidentally, this is also the best time of the year to spot some of the local wildlife.