Port Orford marks the northernmost end of one of the most spectacular stretches of coastline in the nation. From Bandon , the highway runs inland; when it hits Port Orford, the road nearly runs into the Pacific. And what a splendid place to encounter the ocean: The beach is perfect for long treasure-hunting walks, and the bluffs just to the north are also fun to explore.
A few miles north, blustery Cape Blanco  is the westernmost point of the continental United States; a short distance south, Humbug Mountain  rises almost directly from the ocean. All of these places are great for a quick ogle and a snapshot, but even better for hiking and exploring. Port Orford is a good base for all of that, with a wide range of accommodations  and a few good places to eat .
Port Orford has an ocean view from downtown that is arguably the most scenic of any town on the coast. A waterfront stroll lets you appreciate the cliffs and offshore sea stacks, as well as the unique sight of commercial fishing boats being hoisted by large cranes into and out of the harbor.
With only a short jetty on its north side, Port Orford’s harbor, the only open-water port in Oregon , is unprotected from southerly swells, so boats can’t be safely moored on the water. When not in use, the fleet rests on wheeled trailer-like dollies near the foot of the pier.
In spite of its knockout views and great recreation, the area is not especially prosperous. Commercial fishing and cedar logging were once the leading revenue producers. In recent years, tourism and many eclectic cottage industries have sprung up to supplement the boom-bust resource-based economy.
The outskirts of Port Orford host such diverse undertakings as llama and sheep ranches, a goat-milk dairy, and commercial berry growers, as well as plots of land devoted to Christmas trees and exotic herbs. Offshore, divers harvest kelp for use as a food supplement and sea urchins to supply the Japanese with a popular aphrodisiac and seafood delicacy.
In town, the stunning scenery and relatively low rents have probably played a role in the development of a passel of galleries, evidence of a nascent artist colony.
A stroll or bike ride through town is a perfect way to visit Port Orford’s galleries. These are, by and large, much different and far more interesting than the typical seaside-town collections of landscape paintings and sunset photos. Expect to find high-quality crafts, glass art, sculpture, and Internet-based art. Stop by the visitors center to pick up a gallery-walk brochure.