Nature Enthusiasts Will Love This West Coast Beach Destination

The Otter Rock area along the Pacific Northwest coast of Oregon is a haven for those who enjoy wildlife as well as outdoor adventures. This may be why TV travel expert Dayvee Sutton listed Otter Rock as one of the best beach vacations on It's especially incredible for those who love the ocean. While Otter Rock Marine Reserve is one of the smallest in the state at only 1.2 square miles, the animals love the stone formations (including Otter Rock itself) that rise out of the sea here.

While the sea otters for which this place was named are no longer here, Californian sea lions and harbor seals can still be seen in the water here as well as other marine creatures. During your visit, keep your binoculars and camera ready to capture the moment in case of a rare wildlife sighting. The big draw of Otter Rock is its magnificent ocean views and quiet beaches, so make sure to choose your accommodation here with that in mind. It's also a great place to stop on a scenic Oregon road trip.

Things to do at Otter Rock

One of the most beloved experiences at Otter Rock is surfing in the picturesque bays. At one point it was referred to as the "Waikiki of Oregon" for its excellent breaks. The Pura Vida surf shop near Otter Rock Beach offers board rentals as well as surfing lessons for those who want to improve their skills. Sightseers will enjoy the famous Devil's Punchbowl which is an interesting geological formation on the beach where the tide fills it like a bowl. There are picnic benches here so you can enjoy your meal while watching the waves swirl around it.

If you go for a hike along the coast, there are several scenic viewpoints to take in close to Otter Rock. Aside from seals and sea lions, different species of porpoises, whales, and dolphins all traverse this part of the Oregon coast. Orcas, minke whales, humpback whales, blue whales, and gray whales can all be seen here. There are resident whales in the area, but the best time to see the migration is from June to mid-November. There are even hotels where you can see them passing from your window.

Where to stay at Otter Rock

As Otter Rock is fairly small, there aren't many hotels in the town itself. The top-ranked accommodation in the town according to Tripadvisor is Inn at Otter Crest, which travelers like because of its panoramic views of the area. Further up the coast at the Rocky Creek State Scenic Viewpoint is the 4-star Whale Cove Inn which has picture-perfect views of the cove as well as whales when they migrate along the coast.

One option for camping nearby is the Beverly Beach State Park to the South of Otter Rock, which is currently being upgraded so check with the Oregon State Park website for the start of the season. Slightly further South of Beverly Beach in Newport is the highly-reviewed Moolack Shores Inn, which also looks onto the lovely Moolack Beach. The small number of hotels means that this area doesn't get too busy with tourists and the coastal locations mean that if any marine life is passing by, you may just catch a glimpse!