South Beach State Park is a splendid place for an RV vacation with easy access to the Pacific Ocean, Yaquina Bay, and a superb campground that features 322 campsites. Located south of Newport, Oregon, the 498-acre park is nestled between the Pacific Ocean on the west and Yaquina Bay to the north. South Beach State Park was created in 1930 through 1970 by a series of land grants and gifts from private individuals to the state of Oregon. The park was expanded over the years to ensure there was public access to the beach area as well as stopping the encroachment of building near the south end of Yaquina Bay Bridge.
South Beach State Park boasts plenty of activities such as hiking, biking, fishing, and horseback riding. There are other exciting activities within the state park like horseshoe pits, a nine-hole disc golf course, and the visitor’s center, which concentrates on the natural and cultural history of the area.
Weather around South Beach State Park is wet with the park receiving up to 10 inches of rain per month during the winter. The driest time to visit is between the months of June through September. Temperatures during the spring, fall, and winter average in the mid to low 50s with summer temperatures averaging in the mid-60s. Yet no matter what time of year you take an RV visit to South Beach State Park you'll be greeted by fun, sand, and sun.
RV Rentals in South Beach State Park
Transportation in South Beach State Park
South Beach State Park can be accessed from U.S. Highway 101, also known as the Oregon Coast Highway. Visitors traveling south from Newport, Oregon will have to manage the Yaquina Bay Bridge. The bridge has two lanes and is more than 3,200 feet in length rising above the Yaquina Bay. The historical bridge features pedestrian walkways and numerous aesthetic arches. Drivers can expect congestion at various times throughout the day. Drivers heading north to the park from Holiday Beach along the Oregon Coast Highway will find easy driving conditions.
Once inside the park, driving is limited. There is only one road that leads to a day use parking lot before the seven loop campground area. The day use and overflow parking areas can be congested during the peak season. The one-way road through the seven loop campground area is not difficult to drive. The road is wide and the loops do not have tight turns which allow RVs and trailers to navigate the one-way road to their campsite without problems. While driving within the campground drivers must be aware of hikers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. The posted speed limit of 15 miles per hour is enforced at all times.
Campgrounds and parking in South Beach State Park
Campsites in South Beach State Park
The Campground at South Beach State Park
The campground at South Beach State Park consists of 322 campsites within nine interconnected loops along one road. The campground features 227 campsites with electric and water hookups, as well as 60 tent campsites and 27 yurts. RVs and trailers are limited in length to 50 feet. There are no drive-thru campsites.
Although there are no sewer hookups you'll have access to an RV and trailer dump station at the entrance. Each campsite is furnished with a picnic table and fire ring. Campsites have paved parking pads but leveling devices may be necessary. There are showers and flush toilets within several of the loops. Additional amenities within the campground include horseshoe pits and a playground.
Quiet hours must be observed at night and generator use is allowed during the day at most sites. Pets are welcome but must be restrained by a six-foot leash. Campsites are available to reserve all year round, although some loops close during the off-season.
A limited number of campsites are open on a first-come, first-served basis during the off-season. This is a great way to stay in Oregon and explore the park when it's less noisy and crowded. During the peak season reservations are required.
Seasonal activities in South Beach State Park
Playing Disc Golf
South Beach State Park offers a popular nine-hole disc golf course. The disc golf course is ideal for beginners and families looking to share quality time together. The layout of the course winds through a mostly flat coastal wooded area. There are two sets of tees which offer longer distances at each hole for more advanced players. Players can check out discs at the Hospitality Center. So if you're ready to play a friendly round of disc golf head out of the RV and onto the course.
If you packed your bike in your rig you're in luck since biking is quite popular at South Beach State Park. The park offers a mixed trail system that is open to bikers and hikers. In addition to the main road, bikers can take advantage of the South Jetty Trail. The trail follows the coastline of the Pacific Ocean from the southern to the northern portion of the park. Other trails that are great for biking include three nature trails that start from the campground area and end at the Pacific Ocean. Bikes are available to rent within the Hospitality Center.
Surfing and Windsurfing
Surfing and windsurfing are popular things to do in South Beach State Park. Surfing is perfect towards the southern portion of the beach where the Pacific Ocean offers ideal breaker waves for surfers of all levels. Windsurfers take advantage of easy access to the ocean coastline and constant winds that are great for honing your acrobatic windsurfing skills. A particularly good spot for windsurfers is just south of the mouth of Yaquina Bay.
Hiking is a perfect thing to do during your RV vacation at South Beach State Park. There are three specific trails to hike within the park. The one-mile South Jetty Trail connects the day-use area of the park and South Jetty Road. The nearly two-mile Cooper Ridge Nature Loop Trail circles the campground and offers amazing views of wildlife that roam in the area. The Old Jetty Trail follows the contours of the coastline and furnishes hikers with great views of the Pacific Ocean. There are three other short nature trails that lead from the campground to the beach areas of the park which offer interpretive signs and exhibits about the park’s ecosystem.
South Beach State Park has over a mile stretch of sand along the Pacific Ocean. There is plenty of room for a picnic while you play beach games like soccer, volleyball, or just hang out watching the sunset. Access to the beach area is an easy walk on one of the three short nature trails. Beachcombing is excellent along the beach with abundant sea shells in the morning and after high tide. Swimmers should be aware of rip currents and ocean conditions before deciding to take a dip in the ocean.
During the off-season, whale watching is a great thing to do in South Beach State Park. Gray whales migrating from the northern waters of Pacific Ocean to the coast of Baja California are visible from December through March. Viewing from the beach area is ideal where you can have a picnic while watching these majestic animals. Don’t leave your binoculars in the camper if you want to gain a better view of the whales as they swim in the Pacific Ocean.