Access: Three access points along the length of the beach: the Agate Beach Wayside on Oceanview Drive, the Lucky Gap trail with parking at the south end of the Roby’s Furniture parking lot, and down a very steep and sometimes-slippery trail near the north end of the beach – park in the small lot across from the Lighthouse Diner or on the road and walk down toward the beach. At all access points a creek usually needs to be crossed to get to the surf line – usually at the Wayside it’s either small enough to jump across or someone has laid wood across it.
Amenities: Bathrooms and picnic tables at the Agate Beach Wayside; none at other access points
Don't Miss: Surfers near Yaquina Head
While it’s actually not easy to find an agate on Agate Beach these days, the delights of this beach are innumerable. When the wind comes from the north, as it typically does in the summertime here, Yaquina Head provides a wind break at the north end of the beach, allowing it to really heat up at that spot even when people are shivering in their fleeces a short distance to the south. One of the most popular activities at this beach is surfing, particularly at the north end of the beach. Surfing is great in the fall when the summer fog is gone, water temperatures actually warm up, and the swell starts to pick up as well, a hint of the winter storms to come. The creek that empties onto the beach provides a great place for littler kids to romp. The rocks near the headland, exposed at low tide, hide crabs and other animals seemingly placed there just to delight children with buckets.
Clamming is also a popular activity at Agate Beach. The quarry here is razor clams, which are unbelievably fast and wily for an invertebrate. If you want to try your luck, you’ll need a clam shovel or a clam gun (no background check necessary: a clam gun is basically a tube with a handle that is used to collect a column of sediment containing a razor clam), a shellfish collection license, a lot of patience, and a stash of butter and garlic waiting at home.
Most spots on Agate Beach are graced with a view of the Yaquina Head Lighthouse. Every lighthouse has a unique light pattern; for this lighthouse, the signature is two seconds on, two seconds off, two on, fourteen off.