The Oregon Coast is a region of the U.S. state of Oregon. It runs generally north–south along the Pacific Ocean, forming the western border of the state; the region is bounded to the east by the Oregon Coast Range. The Oregon Coast stretches approximately 363 miles (584 km) from the Columbia River in the north to the California state border in the south. The Oregon Coast is not a specific geological, environmental, or political entity, but instead includes the entire coastline of Oregon, including the Columbia River Estuary.
The Oregon Beach Bill of 1967 allows free beach access to everyone. This bill allows private beach landowners to retain certain beach land rights, but it removes the property tax obligation of the beach landowner. In exchange, the beach landowner grants an easement passage to pedestrians. The Beach Bill grants a public access easement on the beach that cannot be taken away by the landowner; nor can the landowner build on the beach.
Traditionally, the Oregon Coast is regarded as three distinct sub-regions, each with its own local features and regional history. While there are no legal or objective boundaries, most Oregonians consider the three regions to be:
The North Coast, which stretches from the Columbia River to Neskowin.
The Central Coast, which stretches from Lincoln City to Florence.
The South Coast, which stretches from Reedsport to the Oregon–California border.
The largest city along the Oregon Coast is Coos Bay—population 16,000—in Coos County on the South Coast. U.S. Route 101 is the primary highway from Astoria to Brookings, and is known for its scenic overlooks of the Pacific Ocean. There are over 80 state parks and recreation areas along the Oregon Coast. However, there are only a few highways that cross the Coast Range from the interior to the coast. This has led to highways US-20, US-30, US-26, SR-18 and SR-22, which all connect the northern Willamette Valley to the coast and are considered some of the worst in terms of traffic, a conclusion disputed by the Oregon Department of Transportation. Highways SR-18 and US-20 are considered two of the most dangerous roads in the state.
The Oregon Coast includes Clatsop County, Tillamook County, Lincoln County, western Lane County, western Douglas County, Coos County, and Curry County.