Arcadia Beach, Oregon – Lesser Known Beach Guide Series

Arcadia Beach – General Information

Open: Year-round, 6 AM to 10 PM
Type Of Beach: State Park
Approach: Easy
Main Activities: Tidepooling, Agate Hunting, Hiking, Fishing
Popularity: Low to Moderate
Services: Flush Toilets, Picnic Tables
Accommodations: Florence (Lodging, Camping, RV Park), Manzanita (Lodging)

Up next on our series of beaches that deserve to be more popular is Arcadia Beach between the cities of Cannon Beach and Tillamook on the Oregon Coast.

Online searches for it can be a bit difficult, as it has a similar name to Acadia National Park in Maine and a town in Florida called Arcadia, which might be one of the reasons why it isn’t as well-known as it should be.

It’s one of my favorite places to visit when other nearby beaches are a little too packed and I just want enough space for my family and me to have a great time in peace.

What to Expect

The main reason that Arcadia Beach isn’t more popular (despite how awesome it is!) is that it is three miles south of Cannon Beach, which is probably the most popular and well-known beach on the Oregon Coast.

This beautiful sandy beach is a little over a mile long and is situated near both Hug Point and Humbug Point, making it an excellent place to relax in the sun after a long hike.

It is also home to many sea stacks and rock formations, so you’ll want to bring along a camera to capture these gorgeous sights!

Where is Arcadia Beach Located?

Arcadia Beach is a little over three miles south of Cannon Beach, 11 miles north of Manzanita, and 36 miles north of Tillamook

From Cannon Beach, head south on Highway 101. From Manzanita or Tillamook, head north on Highway 101. No matter which direction you’re coming from, you’ll see the parking lot from the road between mile markers 22 and 23.

Once you see the sign that says “Arcadia Beach State Recreation Site”, turn left if you’re coming from the south or right if you’re coming north and you’ll arrive in the parking lot.

Getting to the Beach

The parking lot is a bit on the smaller side but due to this beach’s lack of popularity, it should very rarely be an issue.

Once you exit your vehicle, you’ll see a classic dark brown sign that says “Beach Access”, leading to a short trail through the woods. After a quick walk of maybe 200 feet (with some declines towards the end), you’ll take your first step onto the sand.

Once you’ve landed on the beach, you can find a spot to relax in the sun or at low tide, you can start heading north or south to one of the two headlands (see below).

Things to Do on Arcadia Beach

Tidepooling, Beachcombing, and Rockhounding

As with nearly every beach in this series, it is a perfect place for agate & seashell hunters, beachcombers, and tidepoolers to explore. It’ll be much easier in the winter, with storms and stronger tides revealing treasures that would ordinarily remain obscured.

If you’d like to know more about tidepooling, check out the extensive article on the subject that I’ve written here.

Cavern Exploration

At low tide, there are several caverns along the beach that you can explore. Unfortunately, I’ve never been here while the tide was low enough, so I can only go by what I’ve heard from others! Hopefully, I’ll make it on my next trip to the coast.


At low tide, you can hike from the north side to the beach to Humbug Point or to Hug Point from the South. Hug Point was named in the horse-and-buggy days and refers to the need for those vehicles to hug the side of the mountain. It also grants access to Hug Point Beach.

Humbug Point is a more difficult hike and was given its name because the early pioneers thought they were at Hug Point but were soon dismayed to find out they had arrived at the more challenging trail.


There are several picnic tables above the vegetation line here, or you can spread out a blanket on the sand and eat near the water!

The last time my family and I went, there was one other group of people about a quarter-mile down the beach. No one to accidentally kick sand on your sandwiches!

Where to Stay

There is lodging available at Cannon Beach, just a few miles north on Highway 101. If you’re driving south and don’t want to double back, there are a couple of hotels in Manzanita.

If you’re exploring the Oregon Coast from the comfort of an RV, there are two parks in Cannon Beach (including the Sea Ranch RV Park) and several more a few miles to the south in Nehalem Bay, like the Nehalem Shores RV Resort.

There are several campgrounds in the Cannon Beach area as well, including the Sea Ranch Resort, which offers spots for tents as well as a couple of cabins.

Other Activities in the Area

Cannon Beach

Perhaps the most famous beach in Oregon, Cannon Beach is the home of Haystack Rock, a large rock formation near the shoreline that is one of the most iconic sights in the entire Pacific Northwest.

Ecola State Park

A few miles to the north of Cannon Beach, you’ll find Ecola State Park, which is home to some amazing wildlife, incredible views, and several miles of hiking trails. The site also features a beautiful forest full of Sitka spruce.

Oswald West State Park

Oswald West State Park is about seven miles south of Arcadia and features the popular Short Sands Beach (not to be confused with the Short Beach that is part of this series), which is very popular with the local surfers.

There are also miles and miles of hiking trails here, some of which run through the beautiful temperate rainforest.

Seaside Aquarium

I know the Seaside Aquarium is close to 16 miles north of the beach but, lucky for me, the definition of “nearby” is fungible and I’m going to say it counts.

My family and I love visiting the aquarium in Seaside, which is one of the oldest on the Pacific Coast. It has a famous underground tunnel that lets you and your children get an extremely close look at some fish in their natural habitat. I can’t recommend it enough!

Clatsop State Forest

Clatsop State Forest has some of the best campgrounds in all of Oregon, although you’ll have to get there early because only one (Northrup Creek) accepts reservations. All the rest are first come, first served.

In addition to hiking, there are also trails for horseback riding and off-road vehicles throughout the area.

Final Thoughts

If you’re in the Cannon Beach area and would prefer a smaller, lesser-known beach that isn’t overcrowded, Arcadia Beach is a perfect choice. I highly recommend the hike to Hug Point, although I do like this beach better than Hug Point Beach. Just personal preference.

Whether you’re coming for hiking, tidepooling, agate hunting, or just to lay down in the sand and relax, you’ll have an amazing time at Arcadia Beach. Why not start booking your trip today?

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