Camping along the Oregon coast is beautiful. There are beaches, wildlife, wonderful hiking trails and much more to discover. Whether your preference is an easy bike ride along a country road, or hitting the dunes in your buggy, there truly is something for everyone here.
But there are a few things to know before you head to the coast, before you pitch that tent or park that RV.
First, keep the weather in mind. Even in the summer, you should assume you will get rained on. The area is green, lush and beautiful. It didn't get that way through sunny and dry summers, so it's safe to assume that you will get a little of that wetness. Always pack a poncho and waterproof shoes when camping along the Oregon coast. It's always good to have more socks than you think you'll need as well.
Many of the Oregon coast campgrounds are fairly rustic, so don't assume you'll be able to get what you need (like socks) at the camp store. It's best to pack what you need and then get any extras before you get off the highway and head west.
Be warned that the beaches here aren't of the Jersey Shore or San Diego kind. They aren't made for lounging and you likely won't find an ice cream vendor or even a lifeguard tower on most beaches. You can sit and enjoy the beach, but sunbathing is not the order of the day here, and the water is too cold to enjoy. Many of the campgrounds are right near the water, and you can walk to the beaches or to the shore. In some areas, there's no beach at all, but rather lovely coastline that begs for a walk and a picture.
Many of the campgrounds in this area are run by the U.S. Forest Service and they are rustic. There will likely be someone who lives at the campground and oversee its operation, but the restrooms are often quite minimal and frills are few and far between.
There are some campgrounds that are run privately however, and these are much plusher than the standard tent campground. The state parks are generally well cared for and some of these are fully featured (and allow reservations up to a year in advance). Some of the Oregon coast campgrounds feature heated yurts and scenic views (along with campground activities.) Do some research before you head out and make sure you're finding the right campground for you.
That is, be prepared for anything-The weather, wildlife, and the activities. You can't plan, down to the tiniest detail what you will be doing and how you will do it. You might wake up one day and find that your hike is ruined by a day full of rain. Or you might throw on that poncho and take the hike in the rain anyway. You might plan to spend the day on the beach, but find instead that the birds visiting your campsite are much more interesting.
So when camping along the Oregon coast, "be prepared" means you should be willing to change your plans, go with the flow, and enjoy what nature has to offer.