Beach vacation guide

From all-to-yourself islands to hidden beach towns to iconic coastal experiences, the West has the beach vacation of a lifetime in store for you

Top 14 unsung beach towns

Enjoy a heaping dose of sand and surf in these quintessential beach towns--but better keep these underrated spots (relatively) secret!

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Astoria, OR
Photo by Jake Stangel; written by Jennifer Margulis

Astoria, OR

Yellow-slickered fishermen mix with just a sprinkling of iPad-toting tourists in this small riverfront town with San Francisco–steep streets. Particularly fine stretches of sand with towering dunes and uninterrupted ocean views make Astoria a dreamy spot...and then there's the nostalgia. The young and hip love Astoria because it embraces the old and hip. Cozy up to the bar at Astoria Brewing Company’s taproom-cafe ($$; wetdogcafe.com), or ride to dinner from the Cannery Pier Hotel (from $209; cannerypierhotel.com) in a chauffeured Packard. That’s right, it’s The Great Gatsby on the Columbia.

More: Hang out in Astoria, Oregon

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