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South Beach State Park is located on the Pacific Coast in the state of Oregon, and close to the city of Newport. When you book an RV in Lincoln County, the city of Portland is within easy reach as are several national forests such as the Siuslaw National Forest and the beautiful Pacific Coastline.
The terrain surrounding the park is rolling hills and woodland, with the Cascade Mountain range forming a spectacular inland backdrop. As you’d expect, fishing and water sports such as kayaking are popular in the park, along with hiking and environmental education programs.
The park's main attraction is its location right next to the Pacific Ocean, with easy access to long sandy beaches.
You’ll find three short trails in the park. The Cooper Ridge Trail is almost two miles long and takes you through an area of natural vegetation and wildlife. Keep your eyes and ears open for the wide variety of birds and other animals in the area. The Old Jetty Trail is just a mile long but passes through a small pine forest inhabited with various species of birds. Last, the South Jetty Trail has been approved as an ADA-accessible path and links the parks day use area with South Jetty Road.
There is a hospitality center where park visitors can collect maps, brochures, and guides to the park and also hire mountain bikes, discs for the nine-hole disc golf course and horseshoes for the horseshoe pits. Guided hikes, interpretive programs, and ranger activities all start at the hospitality center.
Camping at South Beach State Park
The campground is perfect for camping with an RV. Offering 227 electrical hook-up sites, all with water and paved parking, RV camping at South Beach State Park is easy and comfortable. Each site has a fire-ring and picnic table, plus there are hot showers in the rest-rooms and flushing toilets for your convenience.
Booking in advance is highly recommended as not all sites are open year-round. If you want to bring your pets along, you are welcome to bring up to two cats or dogs with you in your RV rental. Being located right on the sand dunes of the Pacific Coast, this campground is ideal for anyone into watersports such as windsurfing and kite-surfing, but it’s also great for swimming and snorkeling. Whale watching is a popular pastime along this coast, and the long sandy beaches are great for beach combing.
Just outside the park is the small community of South Beach, also known as South Newport, which offers all the basic amenities you need. You’ll find a gas station, shopping, and restaurants offering all your essential needs. Just over the Yaquina Bay Bridge is the main town of Newport, with everything you need to make camping with an RV just perfect.
Across the bay from the park is the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, that was built in 1871 but was only in service for three years as the larger Yaquina Bay Head lighthouse was built and made it obsolete. Since then, it has had a busy history and became the center of the Yaquina Bay State Recreation Area in 1934. It was actually scheduled for demolition in 1946, but was saved by the formation of the Lincoln County Historical Society and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970. The lighthouse is open daily for tours and visits but is actually an operational light for the U. S. Coast Guard.
Motorhome camping with an RV in this area naturally brings you close to marine life and Newport is no exception. Next to Newport Marina is the Hatfield Marine Science Center, which opened in 1965. The center is connected with Oregon State University and offers both educational programs and a visitor center for the public. The various displays focus on marine species, research, and coastal environment, and visitors can see live marine animals, including a Giant Pacific Octopus. It’s an interesting visit for the whole family as well as educational.
For a more theme park type marine attraction, then try the Oregon Coast Aquarium, also in Newport. The aquarium does have an educational program, but less aimed at academics than the Marine Science Center. Here, you’ll be able to see sea otters, harbor seals, sea lions, and a octopus, along with a wide variety of other marine life. The cutest inhabitant of the seabird aviary has got to be the puffins, but you can also see guillemots, oystercatchers, and others. Two particularly interesting attractions are the opportunity to swim in the aquarium and also stay overnight. Diving in the aquarium allows you to get up close to many of the inhabitants and touch them while sleeping in the underwater tunnels gives you a fascinating insight into the lives and routines of the underwater world.