Oregon won the lottery with Brian Booth State Park, a serene ribbon of coastline connecting Newport to Waldport. The area is a great mix of sandy beaches and ecologically rich wetlands, so it’s not surprising that the spot sees around 200,000 annual visitors. While amenities are somewhat limited, and no campsites have been added yet, there’s no shortages of hikes, beach spots, and kayaking areas to keep folks busy.
Interestingly enough, Oregon did indeed buy the land from private owners with $1.3 million in state lottery funds over the span of several years. Since then the park has slowly added trails and facilities along the 374 acres of coastal wilds. The spot is most beloved for the Ona Beach section, which is a tiny Highway 101 picnic area paired with a beautiful sandy beach.
Visitors new to the park might benefit from first stopping by the Beaver Creek Welcome Center (open daily) to get hiking or kayaking suggestions. They’ll also provide guests with tide reports, weather forecasts, and notes of wildlife sightings. The park is family-friendly, and offers restrooms, picnic areas, a boat launch, and hikes of varying length and difficulty. Plus kayakers can join guided tours led July through September.
I’d recommend checking out the area just around Ona Beach if you have a limited visit time. You’ll find lovely beach areas, fascinating rock features with fossil prints, and tide pools. The surrounding areas are also very scenic, with wooded hills, winding estuaries, lush marshlands, and the flow of Beaver Creek. And it’s worth the 2-mile trek down the beach to Seal Rock, a headland where seal families can be found loafing around on lava rocks.