Are you thinking about eloping on the Oregon Coast? It’s one of my favorite places to shoot because no matter the weather, tides, or circumstances it’s always stunning. In this post I’m going to outline my personal top 4 places to elope on the Oregon Coast. This list is certainly not all-inclusive as really anywhere on the coastline you cannot go wrong! Whether you live locally, or are traveling from elsewhere to see the Oregon Coast it’s an epic place to say I do and I hope this can help inspire you!
There a few general things to note if you are thinking about eloping on the Oregon Coast:
– the weather! I always joke that the weather is more unpredictable on the coast than anywhere else. Literally the forecast changes nonstop, up to the hour prior. It can say it’ll downpour rain and end up being sunny and vice versa. So, be prepared for anything, especially in October-April. My favorite time of year to bring couples out to the coast is the late spring and early summer. The sun is more likely (yet certainly not guaranteed) to be out and give you that glowy golden hour and it’s still not super crowded.
– crowds! Speaking of crowds, if you are able to elope during the week DO IT. The coast can become a total zoo on the weekends, especially if its a rare nice day in the winter or fall. That being said if the weekend is a must, consider choosing somewhere more remote or even a hike-in location (not Cannon Beach or somewhere really popular).
– tides! It’s not always a game changer but being aware of the tides can be important and can also influence your photographs. Low tide is the best time to go hands down, if its an option. It creates that glassy mirror effect on the sand that is hard to beat. In addition some beaches, like Hug Point, are much less accessible at high tide.
Okay so without further ado here are MY picks for the most beautiful places to elope on the Oregon Coast:
1. Cannon Beach. The most iconic spot on the Oregon Coast. Haystack Rock, plenty of restaurants and resorts to choose from, and a big wide open beach has tourists come from all over the world to see it. At low tide, with the reflection of the massive rock, it’s tough to beat. It is *very* popular so coming on a sunny weekend is something I’d advise against! Ecola State Park is a few minutes drive up the road and has some incredible views and forested area as well.
2. Pacific City. Also known as Cape Kiwanda. You can access some beautiful spots from both the north and south side of the Cape. The south side is more popular – parking near Pelican Brewing Co and walking up the beach towards the giant sand dune. There’s a really distinct orange-hued cliff side that offers a dramatic and stunning backdrop. If you are able to, climb the giant sand dune and see some incredible views from up high! Note: in the last year a fence line has been installed all the way up the cape. This is certainly hindering for photos but is for the safety of everyone and should not be climbed.
3. Hug Point. This is a state park about 10 minutes south of Cannon Beach tucked in-between some large rock/mountain walls and just north of Arch Cape. Hug Point is beautiful and offers a variety of landscapes from a waterfall (only a trickle in the summer), unique rock formations and colors, caves and a beautiful sand beach. This beach is imperative to visit not at peak high tide.
4. Brookings/Southern OR. You’ll notice for these photos I actually didn’t have a couple with me because I haven’t shot an elopement down there yet (will it be you??!?). I did however take a little personal trip down south with my dogs last year and was completely blown away. I visited the Natural Bridges, Whaleshead Beach, Indian Sands, and probably 5-6 other beautiful beaches. I slowly made my way north towards Coos Bay and explored some unbelievable sand dunes there too! It feels as though you’ve been transported to the desert and would be so unreal for an adventure elopement!
That’s all for now! I hope that you are feeling inspired to elope on the Oregon Coast or to just explore for fun some of these breathtaking spaces we are lucky enough to have access to. If you are thinking about eloping please reach out by filling out my contact form and we can start dreaming up the perfect day for you and your partner!
Kelsey Straus is a PNW Elopement +
Intimate Wedding Photographer
based in Portland, Oregon