Tierra del Mar Guide

Outdoor Enthusiasts’ Guide to Tierra Del Mar: Exploring Nature’s Beauty

Tierra del Mar, a hidden gem just north of Pacific City, Oregon, offers a pristine escape for outdoor enthusiasts eager to explore nature’s beauty. With its unspoiled beaches, lush forests, and diverse wildlife, this tranquil destination promises unforgettable adventures. Whether you’re hiking through scenic trails, fishing in the serene waters, or simply relaxing on the sandy shores, Tierra del Mar has something for every nature lover. 

Plus, with a wide selection of Tierra del Mar vacation homes nearby, finding the perfect place to stay while immersing yourself in the great outdoors is effortless. Discover the allure of this coastal haven and make your next getaway one to remember.

Hit The Trails: Tierra del Mar’s Hiking Trails and Scenic Walks

Tierra del Mar is an ocean-side community with a 2-mile stretch of pristine sand next to forests and parks just waiting to be explored. The best way to enjoy Tierra del Mar’s natural beauty is on foot, which is made easy by the wide selection of hiking trails and scenic walks. Here are some of the top recommended hikes and scenic trails in Tierra del Mar;

1. Sitka Sedge State Natural Area

  • Location: Just north of Tierra del Mar
  • Length: Approximately 3.5 miles of interconnected trails
  • Difficulty Level: Easy to moderate
  • Highlights: The Sitka Sedge State Natural Area Loop is located in a serene area that features a variety of habitats, including marshes, dunes, and forests. Hikers can enjoy views of the Pacific Ocean, Netarts Bay, and an array of wildlife, including migratory birds and deer.

2. Cape Lookout Trail

View of the Pacific ocean from the Cape Lookout Trail near Tierra del Mar
Photo Credit: ‘Pacific Coast’ by Matthew Warner via CC BY-NC 4.0 DEED
  • Location: 13-minute drive north of Tierra del Mar
  • Length: 5-mile round trip
  • Difficulty Level: moderate
  • Highlights: The Cape Lookout Trail is a popular hike, mainly for its spectacular panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. There is an opportunity for whale watching at the top. Some areas are known to be slippery and muddy so caution along the cliff edge and appropriate shoes are advised. 

3. Cape Kiwanda Trail

View of Haystack Rock from the Cape Kiwanda hiking trail near Tierra del Mar
Photo by Alexander McFeron on Unsplash

  • Location: In Pacific City, a few miles south of Tierra del Mar
  • Length: 2 miles round trip
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Highlights: The Cape Kiwanda Trail takes hikers up to the top of Cape Kiwanda, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the coastline and the iconic Haystack Rock. The trail includes steep sections and sandy terrain, making it a rewarding climb for the views at the summit.

4. Whalen Island Loop Trail

  • Location: 5-minute drive north of Tierra del Mar
  • Length: 1.5-mile loop
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Highlights: The Whalen Island Loop Trail is a gentle hike that circles Whalen Island and provides stunning vistas of the surrounding estuary. It’s a great spot for birdwatching and enjoying the peaceful coastal scenery.

5. Nestucca Spit Trail

View of haystack rock in the foggy distance on the Nestucca Spit Trail hike in Bob Straub State park next to sand dunes
Photo Credit: ‘Haystack Rock from Bob Straub Park’ by Granger Meador via CC BY-NC 4.0 DEED
  • Location: At the mouth of the Nestucca River in Bob Straub State Park, south of Tierra del Mar.
  • Length: Around 7.5-mile round trip
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Highlights: The Nestucca Spit Trail is a scenic trail that follows the Nestucca River to its confluence with the Pacific Ocean. Hikers can experience diverse landscapes, including dunes, wetlands, and beach views. It’s an excellent spot for observing shorebirds and other wildlife.

Make a Splash: Watersports in Tierra del Mar 

No visit to Tierra del Mar is complete without taking advantage of its stunning coastline, and what better way to do this than by participating in some thrilling watersports? Here what’s on offer in Tierra del Mar;


Man surfing at Short Sand beach on a foggy day with tall cliffs in the background
Photo by David Schultz on Unsplash

With its powerful Pacific Ocean waves, Tierra del Mar is a fantastic spot for surfers of all levels. Popular surf spots include Tierra del Mar Beach itself, known for its uncrowded waves and natural beauty, and the nearby Cape Kiwanda, renowned for its consistent breaks that attract surfers looking to ride the waves. Additionally, Short Sand Beach and Pacific City’s beach is another favorite, offering a variety of wave conditions suitable for different skill levels. Beginners can take lessons at local surf schools in Pacific City, while experienced surfers can challenge themselves with the more advanced waves.


Kayaking in Tierra del Mar offers a serene and scenic experience, perfect for exploring the area’s natural beauty. Paddlers can navigate the calm waters of the Sand Lake Estuary and Nestucca Bay, immersing themselves in diverse ecosystems teeming with wildlife. The peaceful environment allows for close encounters with various bird species, fish, and occasionally seals or sea otters. Whether you’re a seasoned kayaker or a beginner, the tranquil waters and stunning coastal landscapes make Tierra del Mar an ideal destination for a kayaking adventure.

SUP (Stand-Up Paddleboarding)

Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is a popular activity on the calmer waters of the estuaries and bays around Tierra del Mar. It’s a great way to enjoy the scenery and get a full-body workout. Paddleboarders can explore hidden coves and quiet inlets, often spotting marine life and enjoying the peaceful environment.


Silhouette of three people in a small boat fishing on the Oregon Coast
Photo by Jed Owen on Unsplash

Fishing in Tierra del Mar offers anglers a delightful experience with both freshwater and saltwater opportunities. Popular fishing spots include the Sand Lake Estuary, where calm waters make it ideal for catching salmon and steelhead, and the shores of Nestucca Bay, known for its abundance of rockfish and Dungeness crab. 

For those interested in ocean fishing, the nearby Pacific Ocean provides excellent conditions for deep-sea fishing, with charters available near Tierra del Mar to help visitors reel in impressive catches like halibut and lingcod. With such a variety of fishing spots and species, Tierra del Mar is a haven for fishing enthusiasts.

Get Wind Swept in Tierra del Mar

Windsurfing and kiteboarding in Tierra del Mar offer exhilarating adventures for thrill-seekers, thanks to the area’s consistent winds and open waters. Popular spots like Tierra del Mar Beach and Cape Kiwanda provide the perfect conditions for these high-adrenaline sports. For those new to the activities or looking to rent equipment, local rental shops in Pacific City, such as Moment Surf Company, offer quality windsurfing and kiteboarding gear. Whether you’re catching air on a kiteboard or slicing through waves on a windsurfer, Tierra del Mar promises an unforgettable experience for outdoor enthusiasts seeking an adrenaline rush.

Take to the Sky: Paragliding in Tierra del Mar

Experience the Oregon Coast’s breathtaking beauty from above by paragliding in Tierra del Mar. With its expansive beaches and favorable wind conditions, this area is a haven for visitors seeking both adventure and stunning views. Launching from nearby coastal cliffs, such as those at Cape Kiwanda, paragliders can soar over the Pacific Ocean, enjoying panoramic vistas of the sandy shores, rugged landscapes, and the vast blue sea. Whether you’re a seasoned paraglider or a beginner taking your first tandem flight, the skies above Tierra del Mar provide an unforgettable aerial adventure.

Wildlife Watching and Birding Spots in Tierra del Mar

Bird perched on top of rock in the ocean at a bird watching spot near Tierra del Mar
Photo by Katie Moum on Unsplash

For birders visiting Tierra del Mar, there are plenty of wildlife and birding spots to place on your to-visit list. So grab your camera and binoculars and head to some of these popular wildlife viewing spots;

1. Sand Lake Estuary

This estuary is a haven for birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts. Visitors can spot a variety of waterfowl, including herons, egrets, and ducks. The area is also home to deer, otters, and occasionally seals basking on the shores.

2. Sitka Sedge State Natural Area

This natural area offers diverse habitats that attract a wide range of birds and wildlife. Look for songbirds, raptors, and migratory species, as well as mammals like deer and rabbits. The tidal marshes are particularly rich in birdlife, making it a prime spot for birdwatching.

3. Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area

Cape Kiwanda provides excellent opportunities to spot marine wildlife such as gray whales during migration seasons, as well as seabirds like puffins, pelicans, and cormorants. The tide pools around the cape are teeming with marine life, including starfish, crabs, and anemones.

4. Whalen Island

This island offers a peaceful retreat for wildlife watching. Birdwatchers can see a variety of shorebirds and wading birds, while the surrounding waters are frequented by otters and seals. The island’s diverse ecosystems support a range of plant and animal life.

5. Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge

This refuge is a birdwatcher’s paradise, with over 200 species of birds recorded. It’s a crucial stopover for migratory waterfowl, including Canada geese, mallards, and pintails. The refuge’s wetlands and grasslands also provide habitat for elk, beavers, and a variety of other wildlife.

Tierra del Mar Accommodation

Kiwanda Coastal Properties offers a wide selection of vacation homes in Tierra del Mar, catering to various preferences and group sizes. From cozy cottages perfect for a romantic getaway to spacious, modern family homes situated right on the beach, there’s something for everyone. 

Each property is beautifully furnished and equipped with all the amenities needed for a comfortable stay, ensuring guests will feel right at home. With easy access to local attractions and outdoor activities, these vacation homes provide an ideal base for exploring the natural beauty of Tierra del Mar.

#104 Lighthouse

Modern vacation home next to Tierra del Mar beach

The Lighthouse is a beautifully restored heritage oceanfront home in Tierra del Mar, offering a blend of historic charm and modern comforts. Lovingly restored by local artisans in 2018, the cabin features three bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms. Every aspect of the home has been meticulously redone, from the electrical, plumbing, and septic systems to the exquisite hand-packed concrete countertops and vessel sinks. Salvaged flooring and unique furnishings add character to this cozy retreat, making it a perfect getaway for those looking to experience the rich history and natural beauty of Tierra del Mar.

#172 Dune Grass Cottage

Cozy cottage vacation rental in Tierra del Mar

The Dune Grass Cottage is a charming, upscale retreat just steps from the beach on a quiet street in Tierra del Mar. This spacious, one-level home features three bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms, offering plenty of room for relaxation and comfort. With a fenced backyard and a gas BBQ, it’s perfect for outdoor gatherings and enjoying the coastal breeze. The Dune Grass Cottage combines modern amenities with a cozy ambiance, making it an ideal choice for a serene beachside getaway.

Come Get Lost in Nature in Tierra del Mar

Tierra del Mar’s stunning natural beauty and wealth of outdoor activities is what sets it apart as the ultimate vacation spot for nature lovers along the Oregon Coast. Whether you’re exploring scenic trails, enjoying thrilling watersports, or simply relaxing on the pristine beaches, this coastal gem offers something for everyone. 

After a day of excitement, unwind in one of the charming Tierra del Mar accommodations, ranging from cozy cottages to luxurious beach homes. Plan your visit to Tierra del Mar and create unforgettable memories in this serene and picturesque destination.