Rockaway Beach is a quaint, old-fashioned Oregon Coast town, with cozy coffee shops, family owned restaurants and a great selection of fun antique, thrift and classic beach-town fudge/taffy shops. At the center of town, right off Highway 101 is the Rockaway Beach Wayside, which is a great public beach access with ample parking, and summertime artist markets. The Wayside is also a stop for the Oregon Coast Scenic Railway, a vintage locomotive that takes tourists on a scenic round trip along the coast from Tillamook to Nehalem. The beautiful Twin Rocks monoliths stand just off the shore of the south end of Rockaway Beach, and is a wonderful spot for beach combing, with a lot of shells and driftwood washing ashore. Rockaway Beach is one of 4 small towns in a stretch along Highway 101 that are becoming a tourist destination for their great selection of antique and vintage shops.

Rockaway Beach is the perfect location on the northern coast, being only 90 minutes from Portland, and within an hour's drive up or down the coast from the other Oregon Coast popular destinations, such as the Tillamook Cheese Factory, Astoria's Historic Fort Clatsop and Fort Stevens, and Newport's Oregon Coast Aquarium. The northern coast is also a great stretch for taking in the many historic light houses Oregon has to offer.

Below are links to many of the popular destinations along the Northern Oregon Coast.

  • Beachcombing on Rockaway Beach and Twin Rocks
  • Hiking and mountain biking trails within minutes from the cottage
  • Canoeing and swimming in nearby Lake Lytle and Spring Lake (1 mile away)
  • Crabbing and fishing at Nehalem Bay & Garibaldi ( 4 miles away)
  • Ride the Oregon Coast Explorer Scenic Railroad from Downtown Rockaway Beach
  • Take a short stroll to Downtown Rockaway Beach?s coffee shops, restaurants, and unique gift shops
  • Critter and birdwatch right from the Cottage deck
  • Explore Rockaway Beach?s wetlands reserve with it?s many hiking trails
  • Visit nearby Tillamook?s Cheese Factory and the Tillamook Air Museum (12 miles away)
  • Tidepooling at Bar View (2 miles south) and Arch Cape and Haystack Rock (15- 20 min. drive north)
  • Tour Cape Meares Lighthouse and State Park and the Octopus Tree
  • Visit the Latimer Quilt and Textile Museum


A History of Rockaway Beach

Before the jetties were built in the early 1900's, there was a wide sandy beach all the way from Garibaldi to Nehalem Bay. This beach served as the only access to this area, which was then known as "Garibaldi Beaches." The area remained nearly isolated to all but a few hearty souls who would drive up the beach by horse and wagon or walk during low tide.

After several unsuccessful plans for a railroad line from Portland to Tillamook, the Pacific Railway and Navigation Company promoted by Elmer E. Lytle opened to Hillsboro in 1906, and the first steam engine was delivered to the Tillamook end about 1907. The coastal land homestead claims, once considered near worthless, took on a new value, and a flurry of subdividing into townsites took place from 1909 on. About 1910, the Pacific Railway and Navigation line ran flatcars as far as Salmonberry, and the first train from Portland arrived in Tillamook in October, 1911. The railroad was the vital factor in the development of the Rockaway area.


The train from Portland back in the teens and 20's was the main mode of transportation to the coastal communities. It was an all day, dusty, long trip by car over gravel and plank roads, so the old steam trains played an important role in those early days. The train left Portland around 9 a.m. and arrived in the Rockaway area about 2:30 p.m. An extra engine was used to help it over the summit.

The first passenger train came to Rockaway in 1912. At all the beach resorts in those days, it was quite an occasion when the Friday afternoon train arrived, bringing the daddies who were joining their families for the week-end, thus earning the name of "Daddy-Train."

Today you will find "The Little Red Caboose" that serves as The Rockaway Beach Chamber of Commerce office set up at the Wayside as a symbol and tribute to these beginnings.

Today, the City limits of Rockaway encompass the sundivisions or townsites from north to south named Manhattan, Highland Park Addition to Manhattan, Moroney Town, Lake Lytle, Beal's Addition to Lake Lytle: Seaview Park, Rockaway Beach, Elmore Park, Tillamook Beach (known as Saltair), Midway Beach, Twin Rocks, and a small portion of Ocean Lake Park. Information about these developments was gleaned from old abstracts, plat filings and records, as well as the stories of the early settlers and "summer people."