Oregon: Oregon Coast

99 Coastal Destinations Rated: Top Rated

Score: 75

Landscapes along Oregon's 363 miles of shoreline, much of which is publicly owned, range from towering sand dunes, to low-lying estuaries, to basalt headlands crowned by evergreen forests. Some beaches near population centers are overbuilt, but, in general, tourism is "appropriately managed."

Here is a representative sampling of additional anonymous comments from the panelists. They are not necessarily the views of the National Geographic Society:

"One of the most well managed coastal areas in the USA."

"Awash in rustic beauty. Nicely managed parks and preserves. The seaside cliffs and high, steep dunes help keep development in check, as does the summer fog. Great place to travel, busy in high season but not overbearing. Locals play a major role in the tourism scene."

"Still relatively unspoiled, a true pleasure to visit. We rented a house near Lincoln on the coast and spent hours walking the beautiful beach and admiring the abundant marine life. It appeared that locals appreciate its beauty and are attempting to keep it pristine. Our only concern was overbuilding of houses."

"Due to the cool climate and sea cliffs, this area continues to resist developers. However, more populous areas such as Seaside and Canon Beach have started to push the boundaries. Inland, clear-cut logging affects salmon habitat, but large swaths of land remain largely untouched."