lands end lincoln city photography

The 9 best things to do in Lincoln City, Oregon

On the Oregon Coast, an hour west of Salem, sits the small yet beautiful town of Lincoln City, Oregon. Sitting directly on the 101, the premier coastal road in the United States cuts straight through the town’s core. You’ll quickly realize it’s a tourist destination with many beachfront hotels lining the coast.

The weather can be hit or miss—I experienced the full range, from low clouds and poor visibility to stunning vistas and sunset colors. Yet, I highly recommend you visit Lincoln City. With tons of things to do in Lincoln City, Oregon, you’ll have many adventures and places to see.

Below, you’ll see what to do in Lincoln City, Oregon. If you visit, keep an eye on the forecast but understand that it’s likely to be foggy as the warmer temperatures inland draw in the clouds during the summer months.

I was told September and October is prime visiting months. So as you’re planning your trip, make sure to put these locations on your list to get the best bang for your buck!

Why you can trust me: You can trust that this blog is authentic and real because I have spent time in Lincoln City, and I think you’ll enjoy it. I try to use my blog like I’d talk to my friends.

A guide to the best thing to do in Lincoln City, Oregon

The things to do in Lincoln City, Oregon, are numerous for a relatively small town (both in size and population). However, the coastal areas punch above their weight, especially with the Cascade Head region offering tremendous hiking. Below, you’ll find all my favorite spots when you visit Lincon City.

What to Know about Lincoln City, Oregon

Is Lincoln City worth visiting?

Most definitely! I loved my time on the coast and enjoyed the hikes and views. The things to do in Lincoln City, Oregon, will surprise you and bring you great joy and adventure! I highly recommend taking a trip to the Oregon coast.

I especially enjoyed getting outside and hiking Cascade Head and Drift Creek Falls. Both are gorgeous, and you’ll be stoked at the scenery.

Where should I stay in Lincoln City?

The beauty of Lincoln City, Oregon, is it’s a resort town, and nearly all the hotels are on the beach. This provides you epic views and unparalleled ocean access and outside access. I stayed at the Starfish Manor and freaking LOVED it!

But I’m sure you can stay anywhere and have a grand time with the things to do in Lincon City.

When is the best month to visit Lincoln City, Oregon?

While many people think summer is the best time to visit Lincoln City, fall is actually the best. This is because, in summer, the warmer inland temperatures suck in the fog, making Lincoln City foggy for a lot of the day. (It’s like this in many coastal towns.) But in the fall, cooler inland temperatures don’t create such a pull on the fog, allowing Lincoln City to show off all its glory.

How far is Lincoln City from the ocean?

Mere feet. Lincoln City is a coastal town in Oregon, about perpendicular to Salem. So for many people, you’ll be able to eat breakfast, drink coffee with ocean views, and then walk on the sand to start the day. Talk about perfection!

Can you go swimming in the ocean?

Yes, you can, but the water this far north in the Pacific Ocean can be chilly. Furthermore, air temperature also matters. If you have a warm day, swimming may be more welcoming than a cold and gloomy day. If one of the things to do in Lincon City is a polar plunge, I think it’s a great place to do it!

Are the Things to do in Lincon City expensive?

When I visited, I didn’t find it any more expensive than other coastal towns. Plus, if you do a lot of what is on this list, you won’t have any costs as they are free.

My Favorite Things to Do in Lincoln City, Oregon

Let’s dive into my favorite things to do in Lincoln City, Oregon.

Cascade Head

cascade head places to photograph in lincoln city
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

The premier hike and view in the area. Cascade Head is stunning at sunset and gives you unparalleled coast views. If it has recently rained, be prepared for a very muddy hike. The hike winds through a dense forest before emerging into grassland with ocean views.

You’ll spend the next 30 minutes trekking up the hillside – each step unwrapping a better view than before. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can go to the top and then down to Harts Cove (check if it’s open), but I found a nice view near the top to set up my camera as the local elk watched with curiosity.

Expect about a four to five-mile hike with about 1,200 feet of elevation gain – with half of it at the end. This is number one on my things to do in Lincoln City list. Once you’re at the top, you’ll realize why.

Siletz Bay

siletz bay lincoln city photography
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

Next to the 101, Siletz Bay is a lovely spot to stretch your legs and enjoy a little walk as you visit Lincoln City. While exploring, I saw a handful of people digging up shellfish. (Unsure what kind.) There are a few places to pull off and park around the bay.

I enjoyed strolling around here as one of the things to do in Lincoln City, Oregon.

Visit Lincoln City’s Coast

places to photography in Lincoln city
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

The entire coastline of Lincoln City is a photographer’s dream. Having the ability to get an aerial view puts things into perspective. It’s full of great hotels like the Star Manor, but they all fade away when you get high enough.

I strongly suggest spending time on the beach when considering things to do in Lincoln City, Oregon.

Book your visit to Lincoln City.

Devils Punch Bowl

devils punchbowl lincoln city photography what to do in Lincoln City Oregon
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

About 20 minutes south of Lincoln City is the Devil’s Punchbowl. During low tide, visitors can enter and look around. This would be a beautiful place to photograph sunset or sunrise—a bonus if you can do it from inside.

While technically outside the city limits, it’s still a must for things to do in Lincoln City, Oregon.

Drift Creek Falls and Suspension Bridge

drift creek falls places to photograph in lincoln city what to do in Lincoln City Oregon
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

Behind Cascade Head, this is the second-best place to photograph in Lincoln City. (Albeit, it’s a bit outside of Lincoln City.) Drift Creek Falls is a three-mile hike to an incredible waterfall and suspension bridge. Despite steadily raining on me for this hike, I still loved it.

The whole place is amazingly green, and the roar of the falls is wonderful. The drive from town is about 45 minutes. There are two ways in, and both are narrow, winding roads. So take your time and enjoy the views of the lush forest.

Lands End

visit lincoln city lands end things to do in lincoln city oregon
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

The end of the road. Well, not officially, but sort of. At Lands End, hop out of the car and start walking. You’ll have miles of coastline to the left and right, and it’s simply beautiful. Looking north will be your best bet photo-wise, as you’ll see God’s Thumb and Cascade Head.

This is a must-stop place when planning things to do in Lincoln City, Oregon.

Local Elk Herd

roosevelt elk things to photograph in lincoln city what to do in Lincoln City Oregon
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

Keep an eye out for the local herd of Roosevelt Elk. They’re the largest of their species and love to hang around the northern edge of town. I just stumbled upon them and spent about 20 minutes watching and photographing them.

So when you visit, add this to your list of what to do in Lincoln City, Oregon.

Related: Staying safe while hiking

The Knoll

the knoll lincoln city photography things to do in lincoln city oregon
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

There are several parking places (check Google Maps and then follow AllTrails), but they all take you to this beautiful vista. It’s not more than 2.5 miles round trip, and the open space provides views of Lincoln City and the ocean.

This is a prime Lincoln City photography destination for sunset pictures. I highly recommend what to do in Lincoln City, Oregon.

Devils Lake

visit lincoln city oregon what to do in Lincoln City Oregon
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

Sitting in the middle of town just off the 101, Devil’s Lake and Regatta Park are great places to enjoy a picnic lunch and have the kiddos run around. Also, check local regulations for fishing and boating here. I recommend adding this as one of your things to do in Lincoln City.

Wrapping Up – Things to do in Lincoln City, Oregon

Lincoln City, Oregon, is a hidden gem on the Oregon coast with a variety of activities to suit any traveler. From exploring tide pools and hiking trails to shopping and dining in quaint coastal towns, there are things to do in Lincoln City, Oregon, for everyone.

Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, you’ll find it in Lincoln City. So why not plan your next getaway to this beautiful destination? You won’t be disappointed!

Until next time adventurers, take care and be safe.

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Author: Alec Sills-Trausch

Title: Founder of Explore with Alec

Expertise: Hiking, Backpacking, Photography, and Road Trips

Alec Sills-Trausch is a hiker, backpacker, landscape photographer, and syndicated travel writer. He enjoys showing off the beauty of the world through his photos, videos, and written work on Alec is also a 2x cancer survivor and bone marrow transplant recipient, showing the world that there is a future from this terrible disease.

He lives in Washington, where he gets to enjoy the stunning PNW mountains in addition to all the other places he attempts to visit each year! You can see more work on IG at @AlecOutside