After our stay at Jessie M. Honeyman SP and our time on Oregon’s Dunes we packed up and headed further North to Newport, plugging in at South Beach SP. South Beach is the largest campground in the state of Oregon. It is clearly a very popular choice among families during the summer months with the easy access to the beach and proximity to Newport and the Oregon Coast Aquarium. This is the exact reason I chose this location for our family too. I especially loved the idea of riding our bikes into town to visit the Aquarium.
Though the campground was indeed intimidating in it’s size, with their 10 campground hosts all managing various parts of the park from the cafe to the various campers needs (RV’s, tent, Yurts, group sites) to running the JR. Ranger programs and leading other family programs it still had a nice layout, lots of close trails to hike, bike, and the many extra amnenties. The bathrooms were also clean and I never had to wait for a shower or to use any of the facilities. The campground was full and we were once again lucky in our site choice, #1. Though it was close to the main entrance and we could hear the diesel comings and goings all day and night of our fellow neighbors, we were granted a bit of distance and privacy with shrubbery surrounding our site. We were also very close to the cafe and we each enjoyed sneaking off in the morning for a hot beverage and access to the local papers.
During our time at the South Beach SP we enjoyed bike rides to Newport, scooter rides to the beach, hikes and dog walks, campfires, picnics, card games, books, and playing on the beach. I’m not a huge crowds person and I’m even a worse procrastinator so our entire trip was booked less than two weeks before we left and I have been so pleased how well it’s turned out and how lovely the state park campgrounds are in Oregon. I would happily plan many more trips back to this state for more adventures. So don’t be afraid to stay at a large campground, you may just be surprised by a wonderful time.
We traveled often down to the beach from the campground during our stay. The access to the beach is on a paved trail about a quarter of a mile straight ahead followed by a lovely Boardwalk. If you stay to the right of the Boardwalk, you will find this viewing deck with benches and telescopes and informational boards about the coast. This deck was created by volunteers for those unable to navigate the sandy dunes to see the ocean. They can stay right here and enjoy the views. Isn’t that the nicest thing ever?
My daughter and I snuck away from the boys one afternoon to investigate the bike trails and path to the beach. Here she is dancing high up on the dunes.
One of our days here, hubby and I split up the kids so we could take turns exploring the Aquarium. It was a great idea and I had a wonderful time with just the boys and of course Lady. We scootered off to the beach, had a picnic, explored the coast and the jetty. Then the boys played catch. My oldest is a pitcher for his baseball team and his team had just won the Tournament of Champions preceding our trip, so baseball was always on his mind.
Lady keeping her eyes on me, while I read and watched the boys play catch. I was reading A Prayer for Owen Meany
and was so close to finishing, it was really hard to put it down. Luckily, the boys could play for hours and Lady was a patient dog.
I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed our time here at this large campground. The proximity to town and the beach, the lovely paved trails that we biked on and the smaller dirt trails that I walked Lady on were such an important part of our routine here. And even though it was large and the campground was full, it never felt crowded. There was plenty of space to move freely and maintain some privacy. I loved this part of Oregon and wouldn’t mind returning here again someday.