The driftwood-strewn strand of South Beach, just south of Gold Beach’s harbor, is convenient but only so-so. You’ll find more exciting stretches both north and south of town. Tide-poolers might want to stop at the visitors center before heading out to ask for the Tide Pools Are Alive brochure, with tips and species descriptions.
Two miles south, there’s easy access to a nice beach and some tide-pooling at tiny Buena Vista State Park, at the mouth of Hunter Creek. Seven miles south of Gold Beach, there’s more tide-pooling amid the camera-friendly basalt sea stacks at beautiful Myers Creek Beach, part of Pistol River State Park south of Cape Sebastian.
The south side of Cape Sebastian and Pistol River State Park, a couple of miles farther south, are the best places on the Oregon coast for windsurfers to enjoy wave sailing. Although beginners may want to hone their skills at Floras Lake, experienced windsurfers head out into the ocean near the debouchment of the Pistol River.
Stop in the hamlet of Langlois, between Port Orford and Bandon, at Big Air Windsurfing (48435 Hwy. 101., 541/347-2692) for equipment and tips. The beaches around Pistol River are also productive areas for finding razor clams.
Bailey Beach, north of town between the Rogue River jetty and Otter Point, is another popular spot for razor clamming, and Nesika Beach, seven miles from Gold Beach, is another good tide pooling destination.
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel