I’ve been a resident of the Pacific Northwest for most of my life, setting roots in sunny (and hot) Tri-Cities, Washington. Every year, without fail, we take at least one trip to the coast, to cool off or storm watch.  We’ve stayed at and explored most beach towns from La Push, Washington to Coos Bay, Oregon, and each has its own unique charm, history, and beauty.

Maybe you agree, maybe you don’t, but we think the beaches of Oregon are hands down the most majestic and offer the most recreation. Our favorite spots in Oregon have changed over the years. We used to really enjoy Cannon Beach (still do), but the town has become a congested mess with heavy traffic and tourists – yes, tourists, imagine that (we’re including ourselves of course). We even spent 9 days in Cannon Beach on our honeymoon – that’s how much we loved that town. Now, we just typically drive-through and grab a coffee from the Sleepy Monk before continuing further south to Manzanita. Manzanita is what Cannon Beach used to be – charming, quiet, great beach, small store, and has a 9-hole golf course.

We’ve spent many days and nights on the Washington coast in Ocean Shores, Long Beach, and Westport, but they’re just not the same as Oregon beach towns. A little rundown maybe? I don’t know how to describe it, other than the feel (for us) just isn’t the same. It’s cheaper to stay – that’s a fact. By the way, if you like to fish - Westport, WA is your town.

Further up the Washington coast is the town of Seabrook, which is very nice, but it feels more like a movie set than an actual town, and if you’re going to stay in Seabrook, expect to pay for it. Seabrook has a beautiful beach and views.

Our favorite beaches to visit in Washington are along the west coast of the Olympic Peninsula – La Push and First Beach. We have friends who live in Port Angeles and we always take a trip to the beach when we visit.

Some other honorable beach towns to explore include Tillamook (cheese factory), Depoe Bay, Yachats, Lincoln City, Rockaway, Brookings, Newport, Moclips, Pacific Beach, Copalis.

Whichever coast you prefer, I think everyone would agree that there’s nothing like the smell of the ocean, sand between your toes, a beach fire, beachcombing, and long walks…and s’mores!

See the Must-Drive Roads in Every State

LOOK: Here are the best small towns to live in across America

More From 94.5 KATS