Things to do in Lincoln City, Oregon
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20 BEST Things To Do in Lincoln City

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Only about two hours from Portland, the popular beachside town of Lincoln City is great for beach bums and adventure lovers alike! A ‘godly” hike, tide pools teeming with marine life, whale watching, the best damn salmon jerky you’ll ever have, epic surfing, bonfires, and more all await you here.

Here are some of the coolest and most adventurous things to do in Lincoln City, Oregon!

Things To Do in Lincoln City, Oregon

A map of the area surrounding Lincoln City.
Click the image to view the clickable map for Lincoln City.

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For the more adventurous, rent a van or RV and ditch the hotel.

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1. Immerse Yourself in Nature at Devil’s Lake State Recreation Area

Devil’s Lake State Recreation Area is one of the best things to do in Lincoln City if you want to get out into the great outdoors without actually leaving the city.

A dock on Easy Devil's Lake on an overcast day.
Dock on Devil’s Lake

The waters are calm and sheltered from the coastal winds, and the scenery is beautiful. Swimming, paddleboarding and kayaking are all popular water-based activities, and there’s a nice mooring dock where you can walk your watercraft down to the pier.

Campervan surrounded by trees along a road in East Devil's Lake State Recreation Area.
Our campervan in Devil’s Lake State Recreational Park

Larger boats will need to use the true docking area in East Devil’s Lake State Recreation Area. There’s a kayak dock in this section of the park too, along with a bunch of picnic tables and a fishing dock where you can reel in salmon, steelhead, rainbow trout, and largemouth bass in abundance.

Take a stroll along the Devil’s Lake Boardwalk Trail, it’s easy and short.

View across Devil's Lake to houses and trees.
Lilypads on Devil’s Lake

There’s a campground here as well with many sites in the campground right next door to the lake and a coveted sink to get some dishes done! Legend says that a great, tentacled creature resides within the lake, so watch out for that!

2. Get Heavenly Views Along God’s Thumb Hike

Distance: 3.9 miles
Type of Trail: Out and back
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 971 feet

God’s Thumb hike is a must-do hike when looking for what to do in Lincoln City. You’ll see why the rocky outcrop was named God’s Thumb as soon as you set eyes on it, the way it juts up toward the heavens like a giant…thumb!

Nina hiking up to the top of God's Thumb on a sunny day.
Us heading up to the top of God’s Thumb

It’s difficult to find a better hike in the area, with lush green grass and stunning views of Lincoln City from the summit. If you can, take a detour to the Knoll for unparalleled views out over Lincoln City and the beach as far as the eye can see. The detour can be difficult to spot—look for detour signs about a mile in.

After visiting the Knoll, continue heading up through the thick forest for about another mile or so, and you’ll begin to hear the sounds of the waves below you. It won’t be long before God’s Thumb emerges in front of you.

Nina overlooking Lincoln City from God's Thumb lookout point.
Nina looking over Lincoln City from the trail

This is where the real climb begins. The path is very narrow, so take care, and it’s very steep, but you won’t be climbing for too long. From the top, the views are even better, reaching all the way to Cascade Head. This is one of our fav hikes on the Oregon Coast!

READ MORE: Your Guide to the God’s Thumb Hike in Lincoln City

3. Hike Lower Cascade Head Trail

Distance: 4.1 miles
Type of Trail: Out and back
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 1108 feet

The Lower Cascade Head Trail is a 4.1-mile hike up a wild, foggy headland just north of Lincoln City. As you’ll see, the headland gets its name from the cascades that pour off the cliffs down into the sea below.

You can use a few different trailheads to begin this hike, with only the lower Nature Conservatory Trail open all year round. The others are shut from January through to July to protect the area’s wildlife. While hiking, be sure to stick to the paths and keep your pets at home.

Ocean view from the Cascade Head Trail at sunset.
View from the Cascade Head Trail towards Lincoln City

The route starts at Knights County Park. After following a path for a bit, you’ll begin climbing steeply through an old-growth coastal forest, crossing a few streams and a tunnel of undergrowth before reaching the summit.

The scenery is amazing for most of the hike, but once you reach the 1200-foot upper viewpoint, you’ll be rewarded with panoramas of craggy islands in the distance, a cove of frolicking sea lions, the Salmon River Estuary, and incredible views of the Pacific Ocean.

4. Hit the Beaches

If sunsets, gorgeous scenery, and 7 miles of soft sand beaches are what you are looking for, hitting the beach is one of the best things to do in Lincoln City.

With more beaches than any other Oregon coastal town, there are plenty of sandy spots to go around, and most beaches are just a stone’s throw from Highway 101.

Driftwood on the beach at Lincoln City with a lush green cliff with houses on it.
A beautiful beach near Lincoln City

There are 17 beach accesses across the area, making them very easy to get to. Here are a few of our favs:

  • Lincoln Beach
  • Road’s End State Recreation Site
  • Agate Beach
  • Taft Waterfront Park

5. Catch a Wave

Surfers love the big waves in Lincoln City, and there are plenty of great waves to catch all along the coastline.

Big wave surfers tend to head to the Nelscott Reef for some of the most spectacular swells on this section of the coast. Adrenaline junkies who are looking to kick the thrill up even further on a jet ski are welcome at both Devil’s Lake and Siletz Bay.

Kite surfer in action with headland in background besides Lincoln City.
Kite Surfer in Lincoln City, Oregon

Sea kayaking and kiteboarding are also fun activities to try while in the area!

RELATED: 23 Amazing Beaches in Oregon and What To Do Nearby

6. Check out the Views at Boiler Bay State Scenic Viewpoint

If you’re more interested in taking in the coast’s views than getting into the water, head to Boiler Bay State Scenic Viewpoint.

This beautiful viewpoint features some pretty epic vistas, with Foggerty Beach in the distance and some cool rocks off to the side. There are good facilities here too, including picnic tables, restrooms, and plenty of parking.

Very foggy day over Boiler Bay State Scenic View.
A misty day at Boiler Bay

If you want to stretch your legs and get a view of Boiler Bay, you can head down to the Foggerty Beach access point, located just down the road.

7. See Lincoln City From the Water Along the Siletz River

Kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding are great alternative ways to see the sights in Lincoln City. The adventures of Siletz Bay beckon, with plenty of different areas to explore.

Tourists standing on Siletz Bay besides rock formations on an overcast day.
Tourists and beach-goers at Siletz Bay

You can kayak through the Siletz Bay Wildlife Refuge and admire the flora and fauna along the way. Keep an eye out for a variety of birdlife, including green-winged teals, sandpipers, bald eagles, blue herons, and red-tailed hawk, as you paddle.

Organized tours will take you on a two-hour adventure through the Millport Slough and Siletz River, and Moonshine Park, located on the banks of the Upper Siletz River, offers access to the water. Or just south of Lincoln City, boaters can launch from the southeast corner of Siletz Bay.

Small rapids in river surrounded by forest near Lincoln City.
North Fork of the Siletz River

Siletz Bay Park is another option for exploring the river, with beach access and great views. You can park and then use a rope to climb down a steep area to the sand below. This beachy area is strewn with large driftwood, which are fun for climbing and make a beautiful backdrop to the ocean.

8. Explore on a Fat Tire Bike

One of the most fun and unique things to do in Lincoln City is to hire some fat tire bikes and go cycling along the sand. The bikes allow you to explore the coastline in a whole new way, with over 7 miles of beaches to explore.

As the name suggests, the bikes have thick, 4-inch wheels that easily glide over the sand, especially tightly packed sand and other rough terrains. The best place to rent fat tire bikes in Lincoln City is Safari Town Surf Shop, whether you want it just for a few hours or the whole day.

One of the best routes to take on your fat tire bike is to head north to explore the tide pools and the cape at Roads End Point, which is somewhere you can’t even get to by car. You’ll know you have made it to the end of the beach when you literally can’t go any further, thanks to the towering cliffs blocking your way.

TIP: The hard-packed sand along the waterline is the most enjoyable to ride on, as it feels the most like riding on pavement, while riding on softer sand will give you a proper workout. Before you go, check the tides and try to go at as low a tide as possible, and beware of sneaker waves while riding.

RELATED: A Legendary Oregon Coast Road Trip – 35 Stops & 3 Itineraries 

9. Have a Bonfire on the Beach

Is there anything more magical than having a bonfire on the beach?  As long as you do it safely and adhere to the rules, you are allowed to have bonfires directly on the beach at Lincoln City. So you can roast your smores, gazing up at the stars and listening to the sounds of the waves.

A bonfire on the beach in Oregon.
Have a beach bonfire in Lincoln City

The fires can’t be any bigger than 2′ by 2′, and you should be mindful to keep the fires away from beach grass and driftwood. When you’re done, extinguish the fire completely with water and always check the fire danger level before setting up your fire.

A beach bonfire is the best way to experience the beauty of this sandy stretch of shore, especially if you’re able to catch the sunset before it gets dark.

10. Go Tide Pooling Along the Coast

With so many beaches around town, one of the best things to do in Lincoln City is to go beachcombing and tidepooling. When the tide recedes, you never know what you’ll find hidden in the crevices of rocks and shallow pools of water.

Starfish on a rock within a tide pool and surrounded by barnacles.
Explore the tide pools around Lincoln City

The tide pools are full of life no matter the time of year, but you’ll only be able to see the tide pools during or just before the low tide, so check the tide times before heading out. Although tide pools can be found all along this stretch of coast, there are some places that are better than others.

Beautiful orange starfish in shallow tide pool surrounded by algae.
Check out this massive starfish we found while tide pooling in Lincoln City!

Some of the best pools can be found just north of Roads End Park along the beach, in front of the Inn at Spanish Head, and NW 15th Street (which has the most accessible tide pools in town).

11. Go Beachcombing at Roads End State Recreation Site

If you only have time for one beach, make it Roads End. This beach has it all: soft sand, beautiful views of God’s Thumb and Cascade Head, and lots of parking! What else could you need?

Aerial view across Roads End State Recreation Site beach near Lincoln City on a sunny day.
Roads End Beach from the sky

Spend some time beach combing, and you will find all sorts of treasure buried within the sand, including the city’s famous hand-blown glass floats. Thousands of these floats are placed on the beach and those who find them get to keep them.

This beach is also great for just walking and enjoying the views, flying kites, or any other classic beach day activity.

Lone person flying a kite on Roads End beach.
A lone kite flyer

TIP: at low tide, you can reach a secret cove and beach just past Roads End Point. Just make sure you don’t linger too long, or you’ll be stuck when the tide comes back in!

12. Throw Back a Pint (or Two) at Beachcrest Brewing Company

A brewery in a shopping center may not have much appeal, but Beachcrest Brewing Company defies all odds. This laidback brewery maintains a cool vibe despite its somewhat odd location.

A queue inside Beachcrest Brewing in Lincoln City.
Plenty on the menu!

Enjoy experimental craft beer like a blackberry or mango milkshake IPA as you take in views of a meadow from the indoor or outdoor seating areas.

There’s also food available if you’re hungry after a hike. We had a thin-crust mushroom truffle pizza and thought it was great (though this could be in part because we were starving).

A fill beer glass on a table at Beachcrest Brewing in Lincoln City.
When we say this went down well…

13. Sample Great Food in Lincoln City

Lincoln City itself is an adventure for your taste buds. The bustling town has all sorts of culinary delights to cater to even the fussiest of eaters. Choices range from family-friendly to fine dining.

  • Pub Fish & Chips a simple name and the exact thing you’ll order here!
  • Kyllo’s Seafood & Grill has upscale seafood with a view.
  • Autobahn 101 offers something a bit different, head here for sausages and brews as the Germans do!
  • Barnacle Bill’s is one of the best places to swing by when visiting Lincoln City for some smoked or jerky salmon! It’s going to be the best salmon you’ll ever have, and it fueled us on our road trips up and down the Oregon Coast many times. No, but seriously, we buy an embarrassing amount every time we are here!
Campervan parked outside of Barnacle Bill's seafood market in Lincoln City.
No visit to Lincoln is complete without hitting up Barnacle Bill’s

14. Explore Lincoln City Proper

It’s easy to get lost in all the fabulous things to do in Lincoln City, but don’t miss out on the city itself! It might not be the most popular coastal city in Oregon nor the best but it is still worth a wander.

The town is made up of a series of districts, including Roads End, Wacoma, Oceanlake, Delake, Taft, Nelscott, and Culture City. Each of these districts has its own distinct character and treasures and is worth exploring in its own right.

Campervan parked besides giant octopus mural in Lincoln City.
How cool is this giant octopus mural? Especially with Lucy posing in front of it!

On rainy days, you can catch a film at the historic Bijou Theater, stop by the Lincoln City Glass Center, or visit the North Lincoln County Historical Museum, housed in the old Taft fire station.

Things To Do Nearby Lincoln City

You won’t have to go too far to find things to do around Lincoln City! These are our favorite spots that are nearby…

15. Make the Trek to Drifts Creek Falls

Distance: 3.5 miles
Type of Trail: Loop
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 600 feet
NW Pass Required

When in the area, the 3.5-mile Drift Creek Falls Hike is a must-do. Even though it’s about 30 minutes from Lincoln City, it’s one of the most worth it hikes in the area. Once you arrive, you’ll find a nice big parking lot and a vault toilet near the trailhead.

Nina overlooking Drift Creek Falls from a suspension bridge in the forest.
Overlooking Drift Creek Falls from the bridge

The trail is wide and well-maintained, which makes for a nice walk, but unlike many hikes, you’ll be heading down to reach the falls, meaning you’ll have a climb on the way back.

This hike offers a little something for everyone, with an incredible waterfall, a huge suspension bridge, and stunning Coast Range Forests.

Nina posing besides Drift Creek Falls in Oregon.
Relax and enjoy your time here!

RELATED: 17 Breathtaking Oregon Coast Hikes

16. Take a Day Trip to Pacific City

If you have extra time and are looking for other things to do near Lincoln City, leave the town in the rearview and head north to Pacific City.

Aerial view over Pacific City Beach in Oregon on a misty day.
Pacific City from the sky looks crazy!

This coastal town is brimming with epic outdoor adventures, so you can spend your day kayaking scenic rivers, riding an OHV through sandy dunes, or taking a quiet walk along one of the beaches.

READ MORE: 11 Adventurous Things To Do in Pacific City

17. Marvel at the Devil’s Punchbowl

Devil’s Punch Bowl is the ideal name for this natural spectacle on the Oregon Coast. During winter storms, waves smash against the rock in the rock formation that’s hollowed out like a punch bowl. Watching the waves here is pretty impressive as they roar and foam.

Aerial view of the Devil's Punchbowl and the ocean near Lincoln City.
Devils Punchbowl near Lincoln City

It is likely that the ‘bowl’ was created by the collapse of two sea caves, then further shaped over time by the waves. It sits in a state natural area and is a popular place for whale watchers. We loved roaming around here, it’s stunning!

READ MORE: Devils Punch Bowl Oregon

18. Visit Yaquina Head

Yaquina Head is an area of outstanding national beauty, and that’s hardly surprising. The headland is home to Oregon’s tallest lighthouse, amazing hikes, and tidepools teeming with life.

Nina walking along the path towards Yaquina Head Lighthouse in Newport.
Us at Yaquina Head near Lincoln City

Yaquina Head reaches out a mile into the Pacific Ocean, formed by ancient lava flows. Harbor seals lounge on the low rock islands and the mass migration of gray whales can easily be seen from this lofty viewpoint.

Several miles of trails connect visitors to interpretive sites throughout the headland, with plenty of observation decks so you can take in the views. There is a trail that leads from the interpretive center to an observation deck, and it offers a dramatic vista of the ocean and Newport.

RELATED: 11 Oregon Lighthouses & The Adventures Nearby

19. Watch for Whales in Depoe Bay

Depoe Bay is well known for many reasons. For a start, it has the world’s smallest harbor and is also known as the ‘whale-watching capital of the Oregon Coast.’

Every March through December, the whales come flooding past, and the town offers a few ways to see them. You can watch from the shore observation decks, a Whale Watch Center, or hop on a charter boat for a closer look.

Aerial view of the yellow cliffs of Depoe Bay surrounded by clear, blue waters.
Depoe Bay near Lincoln City

The town is also known for its ‘spouting horn’ where when the weather is stormy, the geological features on the coast cause a massive spray of water into the air above Main Street, very much like the spray of water from a whale. We nearly got drenched walking around here!

20. Head Up the Coast to Neskowin

Neskowin is a charming coastal village with 3 miles of beautiful beach stretching down the coast. Although small, the town has a friendly, welcoming feel, no matter the time of year you visit.

Neskowin Ghost Forest tree stumps on Oregon beach.
Tree stumps of Neskowin Ghost Forest

The beach stretches from the mouth of the Nestucca River to its southern tip, where the dramatic Cascade Head can be seen rising out of the surf. You’ll also see Proposal Rock jutting up from the sea, crowned by a scrubby Sitka spruce woodland, with bald eagles resting in the trees.

One of the most fascinating points of interest near town is the Ghost Forest, a 2000-year-old drowned forest that can be seen when the tide is right.

RELATED: 11 Most Scenic Oregon Coast Towns (And What To Do There!)

Where to Stay Near Lincoln City

  • Saltwater Cottage – This lovingly restored combines a country feel with oceanfront living. The tranquil home with a private garden includes a jacuzzi and firepit for cozy nights, and is just a 3-minute walk from the beach.
  • Lakefront Beauty – A beautiful cabin situated right on Devils Lake with gorgeous lake and mountain views. Only minutes from Lincoln City and its beaches.
  • SeaCret Hideaway – This stunning three-level home has spectacular views over Roads End and the water from its large windows and spacious deck. Enjoy the best of the coast with easy access to the beach and miles of hiking trails.
  • Camping: Devil’s Lake State Recreation Area

👉 More Accommodation in Lincoln City

We hope this post helped you better explore Lincoln City! Check out more posts on the Oregon Coast and even more adventures around the state.

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