The Oregon Coast's Top Wildlife Watching Spots
Published: 07/06/2015 Updated: 08/16/2019
Sea Lions at Sea Lion Caves near Florence, Oregon
Photo by Gary Hayes
Year-round, you'll find all manner of wildlife watching on the Oregon Coast and we've gathered a variety of locations that make wild encounters easy.
Along 363 miles of an unforgettable coastline, you'll find puffins nesting and eagles resting. Elk quietly graze in places near Reedsport and Cannon Beach, as if nearby human observers don't even exist. Huge whales swim offshore, making their way along the Oregon Coast and headlining the wildlife show in and around towns like Depoe Bay, Florence and Bandon. Birds by the thousands both live in and migrate through coastal areas like the ones around Astoria, where they take advantage of the lush wetlands where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean. With animals aplenty, visitors often wonder where the best places are to get that heart-stopping bird photo or come face to face with frolicking sea lions. Here are our top choices for great natural areas in which you can get up close and occasionally personal with the very best wildlife of Oregon.