Planning Your Time
Coos Bay is the only real city along the southern coast, and like Tillamook to the north, it’s a gateway to some spectacular areas but pretty workaday itself. Be sure to head west and south from town to explore the coastal estuary at South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, south of Coos Bay.
Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge protects the largest remaining tract of salt marsh within the Coquille River estuary. Major habitats include undisturbed salt marsh, mudflat, Sitka spruce, and alder riparian communities, which provide resting and feeding areas for migratory waterfowl, shore and wading birds, and raptors.
Of course, Bandon is now best known for its world-class Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, but there’s also a real community. Bandon’s beachfront, along with the Coos Bay sand spit, the beaches on the western side of Humbug Mountain, and the isolated shorelines of Boardman State Park are choice beachcombing spots.
Port Orford is often overlooked, but it’s one of our favorite spots, with great ocean vistas from town, and lots of hiking at nearby Humbug Mountain. It also doesn’t hurt that there’s good eating here.
Jet-boat tours start in Gold Beach and head up the Rogue River, offering those with just a morning to spare the chance to explore stunning river vistas—and perhaps help deliver the mail. Between Gold Beach and Brookings, save some serious time to explore beaches sequestered between steep cliffs and pounding surf at the 11-mile-long Boardman State Scenic Corridor.
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel