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Driftwood Beach State Park
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Driftwood Beach, Oregon CoastWhat’s to Love:   Just take a look at some of the pictures I posted in this article – this beach speaks for itself.  Of course, many amazing beaches can be found throughout the area from Newport to Yachats.  However, Driftwood Beach State Park lies close to a beach rental we’ve frequented over the past few years, and it holds sentimental value along with stunning natural beauty.

Picnic area with grillCertainly many other beaches get more press than Driftwood.  However, part of Driftwood’s appeal lies in the fact it won’t win a popularity contest or “best beach” prize.  Most likely, even on busy weekends, you’ll find rather sparse crowds and plenty of room to wander.

Driftwood Beach State Park, Oregon CoastYour kids will enjoy the small dunes with driftwood surprises around every dip and corner.  When we last stayed nearby, we constructed a fort out of this wood, and it defiantly stands in the exact same location with few changes.

Driftwood Beach State Park, Oregon CoastThere are no fees to use this beautiful little park!  Head south down the beach a few hundred yards, and you’ll run into a spring-fed stream.  This “stream” is more like a small river at times.  I don’t know about your kids, but these little streams that run to the ocean provide hours and hours of fun for my kids.  We love building dams with the driftwood, looking for aquatic life, cooling off, splashing, boat sailing, etc.  Here is a short clip:

Caveats:  Almost the perfect beach, but don’t plan on camping – no campground!  No tidal pools in the immediate area.  This beach is a bit farther than some of the usual suspects – a good 3 hour drive from Portland.

WebsiteDriftwood Beach State Park

Distance from Portland:  155 miles according to Google Maps.

Recommended Ages:  All ages!  Great beach for toddlers and small children due to the easy access.

Parental Stress Factor:  Low!  Very low stress beach as far as parking, access, crowds – it’s all very convenient.  When children start to venture near or into the water, the stress level can change dramatically.

Physical Difficulty:  The easy access provides a pretty quick hike in the sand.  Certainly not wheelchair accessible.

Family Fun Factor:  High!  We love the beach, and it has something to offer the whole family.  If you think kids might get bored staring at the water, bring some games or beach toys.

Pet Friendly:  This beach was practically built specifically for dogs to run wild!

Weather Considerations:  Hope for a beautiful sunny day!  Even if it’s sunny, plan on cooler temperatures and always bring extra warm clothes.  

Driftwood Beach State Park, Oregon CoastInsider Info: If you’re visiting the area, consider a “Farm Stay” with Leaping Lamb Farm in Alsea, Oregon.  This family-run farm offers a modern 2-bedroom cabin with plenty of opportunities to help with the farm chores, including feeding the animals!  This is the type of place will keep your family wanting to come back year after year.  The Jones’ family will make you feel right at home, and their farm can serve as a “home base” for all the amazing activities around the central Oregon coast and coastal mountain range.

Driftwood Beach State Park, Oregon CoastYachats, Oregon is a cute town with some cool tidal pools right outside town.  Definitely worth a visit, if you’ve never been there.  Driftwood Beach is within 10 miles of the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Check-out my article on the aquarium and definitely stop in for a visit.  It’s pretty expensive for the whole family, but well worth it.  Make sure you time your visit so your kids can see the handlers feeding the sea lions.

Driftwood Beach State Park, Oregon CoastFamily Tips:  The picnic areas have grills, which is hard to find these days.  Bring some food and charcoal for an “ol’ school” BBQ.  If it’s a nice day, head to this beach around dinner time and stay to watch the sunset.

If it’s sunny, you’ll need the usual gear (hats, sunscreen, and water).  Because this beach is a bit slower, you might consider bringing a large umbrella, canopy, or tent for the kids.  The beach sand is firm enough to bring a Bob-type jogging stroller.  We always like to bring our Bob, because they are excellent for hauling gear and coolers.

Driftwood Beach State Park, Oregon CoastWatch out for “sneaker waves!”  You’ll see in my video clip that we were actually caught in one.  It didn’t pull us out to sea or even knock us over; however, one moment we were in ankle-deep water, and the next my shorts were totally soaked!  The whole thing happened rather slowly, and I was quite shocked how it just kept creeping up on us.

[myebay]family camping[/myebay]

Technorati Tags: Driftwood, beach, state, park, statepark, oregon, pretty, quiet, picnic, area, grill, no fee, parking, small, dunes, drift, wood, Waldport, Newport, Leaping Lamb, Farm, coast

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