Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Neskowin, OR

  • Published 2022/08/04

Neskowin, Oregon, is a charming coastal community in Tillamook County, Oregon.

It sits on the coast of the Pacific Ocean between Nestucca Bay and Cascade Head.

It has a pretty beach almost three miles long, stretching from the Nestucca River’s mouth to its southern tip.

Neskowin is a low-key, wonderful place to relax with lots of fantastic scenery.

It is an old-fashioned place with a general store, ocean cottages, restaurants, sea stacks, and the beach in the background.

Many special summer events take place in Neskowin, such as croquet matches, Friday night movies, horseback riding, Proposal Rock climbs, and 4th of July celebrations.

You can also grab a bite at the Bistro in Neskowin Trading Company and the Café on Hawk Creek.

If you want to have fun on the Oregon Coast, head to Neskowin today!

Below are the best things to do in Neskowin, Oregon.

Enjoy a Romantic Date at Proposal Rock

Proposal Rock in Neskowin

Michael Warwick /

Proposal Rock is a sea stack rising just off the beach where the Pacific Ocean meets Neskowin Creek.

It holds the romantic tale of Charley Gage, a 19th-century high seas sailor, and Della Page, the daughter of a homesteading family.

According to legend, these star-crossed lovers in the 1800s headed out to the sea stack.

When they reach the area, Charley makes Della a heart-melting proposal.

The proposal thrills Della’s mother so much that she helped name the landmark Proposal Rock from then on.

Anyone can’t help but fall in love with Proposal Rock’s romantic allure.

Closer view of the Proposal Rock at Neskowin

Hills Outdoors /

A scrubby Sitka spruce forest sits on top of the rock, with bald eagles often perching on the branches.

Beside it are the stumps of an ancient ghost forest that seem to radiate mystery and magic.

It is a gorgeous spot for beach walking and sunbathing.

You can even wade in Neskowin Creek, which flows out to the ocean.

Buy Fresh Goods at the Neskowin Farmer’s Market

The Neskowin Farmer’s Market is a must-visit from May to October.

It always offers an incredible selection of regional goodies for sale.

Buy vegetables, plants, and flowers at Corvus Landing Farm.

Choose jam, pickles, and canned goods at Gingifer’s Kitchen.

Then, score wild foraged mushrooms at Jose Colomo Mushrooms.

Spot small-batch beer at Beachcrest Brewing or taste the wood-fired pizza at Hearth and Table.

You can also sample cheese at Nestucca Bay Creameryand buy eggs, chicken, goat, and pork at Mama Tee’s Farm.

There are many other products at the Neskowin Farmers Market, so feel free to stay there all day.

Admire Stunning Artwork at Hawk Creek Gallery

Hawk Creek Gallery is the studio gallery of Michael Schlicting.

Michael’s artwork reflects his travels and influences.

He has portrayed many places, such as the Timbuktu desert, Patagonian passageways, Italian landscapes, and the beloved Oregon coast.

With his art, Michael steps away from the world of reality, staying in touch with the visceral emotion a scene triggers.

He portrays feelings, mood, and universal longing rather than tangible physical realism.

He roots his work in the abstract forms of nature, such as rock shapes, sand patterns, and harmonious skies and clouds.

Schlicting believes it is not what you see that counts but what you sense.

This probing and insightful exploration give Schlicting’s art multiple levels of meaning.

Check out Michael’s work at the Hawk Creek Gallery!

Take a Hike at the Neskowin Beach State Recreation Site

An eagle flying over the beach at Neskowin Beach State Recreation Site

M. Leonard Photography /

Neskowin Beach State Recreation Site is a day-use park containing a sandy beach stretching north to Nestucca Bay’s mouth.

Its long beach and nearby Cascade Head remain beautifully pristine.

You can also canoe and kayak on Nestucca Bay’s estuary northward.

On Cascade Head, there are three excellent trails.

You can easily access the Nature Conservancy Trail at Knight’s Park year-round and even catch a peek at some elk.

Hart’s Cove trail is about 900 feet in elevation, with a Sitka Spruce-Western hemlock rainforest, two rushing creeks, and a prairie headland above the Pacific Ocean.

Chitwood Falls tumbles off a Hart’s Cove cliff, and a southward cove is filled with sea lions.

You can also find Cascade Head Trail spanning north to south in the Cascade Head Scenic Area.

Spend the day at the Neskowin Beach State Recreation Site!

Have Tee Time at Neskowin Beach Golf Course

Ercel Kay designed the Neskowin Beach Golf Course, which opened in 1932.

It’s one of the oldest golf courses on the Oregon Coast.

In the early days, golf was a popular pastime, and the course made Neskowin a prime destination.

Today, many locals and residents drop by this course when they find themselves raring for a round of golf.

Since its opening, this nine-hole, 35-par course has become a favorite for many generations of golfers.

Countless families have 80 years’ worth of memories of playing at Neskowin Beach Golf Course.

The view from the 7th tee is particularly magnificent.

It also has an attractive clubhouse where guests can gather for coffee after an energetic round.

If you work up an appetite, Neskowin Trading Company and the Café at Hawk Creek are right nearby.

Grab a Bite at the Café on Hawk Creek

The Café on Hawk Creek is a community staple with a remarkable history and a dedicated following.

You can enjoy top-tier local ingredients in a family-friendly setting while relaxing by the Oregon Coast.

People drive up and down the coast to taste their wood-fired pizza.

They hand-stretch every pizza, top it with high-quality fresh ingredients, and cook it to perfection in their Italian wood-fired pizza oven.

Other popular orders are their shrimp melt and halibut bites.

Quickly becoming another customer favorite is their fantastic truffle cheese bread.

They cook it in a wood oven, topping it with hot honey, green onions, and truffle oil and serving it with marinara.

Another delicacy is their truffle ravioli, topped with snap peas, balsamic tomatoes, sautéed asparagus, and herb cream sauce.

Marvel at the Neskowin Ghost Forest

Stumps of Sitka trees at Neskowin Ghost Forest

Cynthia Liang /

In 1997 and 1998, a series of storms hit the coast of Neskowin.

This stormy weather unearthed what people recognize today as the Neskowin Ghost Forest.

During winter, the Neskowin beach reveals a fascinating 2,000-year-old forest of drowned Sitka spruce trees.

People speculate that an ancient mudslide buried the trees, preserving the stumps rather than eroding them.

Eroded tree stumps at Neskowin Ghost Forest

Steffen Seemann /

Today, the Ghost Forest stumps still grow out of their original soil, resulting in a marvelous sight.

When the tide is out, you may see about 100 ancient stumps rising from the beach, battered by incoming waves.

Star fish hiding in a stump at Neskowin Ghost Forest

Cynthia Liang /

Mussels, barnacles, and other sea life cover the stumps.

There are shallow pools at the center where you can sometimes see crabs and small fish.

The Neskowin Ghost Forest proves the many changes on the Oregon coastline.

Buy Tasty Goods at Neskowin Trading Company

Neskowin Trading Company is the local market, deli, and wine shop where you can find just about everything you need.

Every owner of this store has brought something special as its steward.

It serves as a beautiful gourmet marketplace with coffee, beer, wine, deli items, and products worldwide.

It is also a source of delicious house-made meals, desserts, meats, and pastries.

Every weekday, it serves coffee, breakfast, lunch, and pizza.

Every weekend, it serves dinner specials.

It often features local makers and growers, cooking and creating with some of the best Oregon brands.

Conveniently located on the scenic Highway 101, the Neskowin Trading Company is the perfect beach, after-work, or weekend stopover.

On top of everything else, magnificent views, strenuous hikes, and fresh, salty air surround the store.

Have a Great Stay at the Neskowin Creek RV Resort

If you like bringing your home with you on travels, ride to Neskowin Creek RV Resort.

It is a private campground in a forest along the lovely Oregon coastline.

It is a fully gated community with 24-hour security, so you will feel safe and sound within its borders.

The friendly staff at the resort will help you locate everything you need.

Here you will find tons of amenities, including a tennis court, a basketball court, a heated indoor pool, a shuffleboard, a Jacuzzi, and a kids’ playground.

Other facilities are a laundry area, showers, dog run area, game room area, rented cabins, potlucks, and scheduled activities.

Many campers also love doing incredible fishing during their stay, and the beach is less than a half mile away.

Enjoy your stay at the Neskowin Creek RV Resort!

Other Things to Do Nearby

Enjoy the Marvelous Sights at Hart’s Cove

View of the ocean from Hart’s Cove

Cheryl Zion /

A wonderful thing about the Oregon Coast is the number of spectacular hiking spots one can trek.

As you hike to Hart’s Cove, a fantastic hidden cove in Otis, Oregon, go on an amazing adventure.

It’s just a 13-minute drive from Neskowin.

The 5.4-mile out and back trek starts at Hart’s Cove Trailhead, meandering through old-growth woods and passing two seasonal creeks before reaching Hart’s Cove.

Bird's eye view of the river from Hart’s Cove

Cheryl Zion /

Soak in the peace as you pass through the old-growth forest, containing over 250-year-old Sitka Spruce-Western hemlock trees.

You will come upon a breathtaking open meadow at the edge of the ocean that thrives with colorful wildflowers in the springtime.

Follow the trail a little more, and you will come to the grand finale: Hart’s Cove.

It has vivid blue-green water and a tumbling waterfall, a beautiful jewel in the wilderness.

Visit the Shore at Winema Beach

Winema means ‘Woman Chief’ in the Modoc Native American language, and it’s also the name of a lightly used beach eight minutes north of Neskowin.

You can find it in Cloverdale, Oregon.

It is a sandy, vast beach with scarce rocks and detritus and a mild slope leading to the ocean.

To the north are an extensive rock formation, small caves, and streams that cascade down the cliffs.

If you stroll for a mile, you will reach the Nestucca River, where you can bask in the views and look out for wildlife.

The curious seals often relax on the beach in small groups or approach the river bank and pop their heads out.

Keep an eye out on the cliffs for the soaring bald eagles, which sometimes perch on the trees, looking out over the river.

Watch for a seasonal stream coming from Daley Lake and making its way out to the ocean to the south.

Learn Something New at Sitka Center for Art and Ecology

The founders established the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology to expand the connections between humanity, art, and ecology.

You can find it in Otis, 17 minutes from Neskowin.

Sitka residencies provide guests with space and time for self-controlled reflection and creative work in a beautiful setting.

Sitka’s unique location near Cascade Head and the Salmon River sanctuary sparks natural creativity and unleashes curiosity.

It offers workshops in environmental studies, art, writing, and other paths of creative inquiry, all in classrooms within the Pacific Ocean’s view.

Many summer workshops focus on fiber, sculpture, woodworking, printmaking, writing, and more.

About 14-30 professionals stay at Sitka annually, comprising writers, photographers, musicians, visual artists, filmmakers, educators, and natural scientists.

They allow scholars to explore their work while engaging with Cascade Head’s unique setting.

The Sitka Center for Art and Ecology also encourages residents to engage in community outreach during their stay.

Enjoy free campus lectures and exhibits, presentations to area schools, and spaces for scholarly research.

Meet the Wild Animals at Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge

A boat submerged in a river at Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Victoria Ditkovsky /

Established in 1991, the Nestucca Bay National sits on green pastures, becoming the home of the dusky and Aleutian Canada geese.

You can find it in Cloverdale, 12 minutes from Neskowin.

The refuge is a unique mosaic of coastal prairie, tidal marsh, woodlands, pastures, and mudflats.

Nestucca Bay currently supports 100 percent of a distinct population of Aleutian Canada geese and 10 percent of the world’s dusky Canada geese population.

It also serves as a stopover for waterfowl such as migrating shorebirds and threatened species such as peregrine falcons and bald eagles.

The Bay and its River system hold large shoals of native fish species such as steelhead, cutthroat trout, and Coho and Chinook salmon.

More refuge habitats include riparian wetlands, wooded uplands, open meadows, and salt marshes.

They are the safe refuge of waterfowl, songbirds, shorebirds, amphibians, and mammals.

Its sphagnum bog is also home to many rare and gorgeous species of plants such as native bog cranberry and carnivorous sundew.

See the animals at the Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge!

Smell the Flowers at Connie Hansen Garden Conservancy

In the 1970s, Constance ‘Connie’ Hansen retired to Lincoln City and began a 20-year love affair with gardening.

She cultivated native Oregonian flora and fauna, beginning with iris flowers and moving on to magnolia, Sitka spruce, dogwood, and maples.

Throughout her lifetime, she converted almost all of her property into beautiful, blooming garden beds.

The garden fell into neglect during Connie’s final years because of her old age and progressing illness.

However, this Garden continued to thrive after Connie passed, for Connie’s neighbors decided to preserve her legacy.

Bounteous bequests allowed them to buy the garden from the real estate investor.

Today, a small group of devoted volunteers maintains the Connie Hansen Garden Conservancy.

Today, you may catch the stunning garden with its hundreds of rhododendrons (of which Connie was an avid collector), iris, primula, small trees, perennials, and hundreds of other plants.

Find the Connie Hansen Garden Conservancy in Lincoln City, Oregon, 16 minutes from Neskowin.

Connect with Nature at Cascade Head Scenic Natural Area

In 1974, President Gerald Ford established Cascade Head Scenic Natural Area to provide present and incoming generations with streams, rivers, estuaries, and ocean headlands.

He intended to protect these significant areas for scientific research and promote a relationship between man and the immediate environment.

The Cascade Head area was the United States’ first non-wilderness land designated to ensure the protection of its ecological and scientific areas.

The area comprises private, and public land uses, including agricultural fields, rural development, and undeveloped estuaries and meadows.

It is a great coastal headland providing essential habitat to rare wildflowers, the Oregon silverspot butterfly, and native prairie grasses.

Researchers studied its western hemlock forests and fast-growing Sitka spruces for many years.

The area’s estuary continues to provide educational, scenic, research, recreational, and estuarine resources of great national importance.

You can find Cascade Head Scenic Natural Area 18 minutes from Neskowin.

Final Thoughts

Neskowin is an enchanting community with quintessential Oregonian charm, packed with little tourist attractions and grand natural sights.

Its community maintains the small village vibe many visitors and residents have fallen in love with.

Visit this jewel of the Oregon coast and have a scenic, educative, and entertaining vacation.

Try all the best things to do in Neskowin, Oregon!

Discover More of Tillamook County, OR

Things to Do in Tillamook, OR

Things to Do in Rockaway Beach, OR

Things to Do in Pacific City, OR

Things to Do in Manzanita, OR

© All rights reserved.