Oregon Coast – an Oregonian’s Point of View

by Wendy on August 5, 2016

By Sherry Fanning


Big Creek Coastline by Traci Williamson

There’s nothing quite like the Oregon Coast. Come and see what is waiting by the sea… Perhaps in August for the Country Coach Friends Club Rally? Our family weekend getaways usually find us somewhere on Oregon’s Mid Coast.  Be it blustery winter visits watching the surf pound over the rail at Depot Bay, or eating yummy licorice taffy freshly pulled at one of the quaint candy stores on Newport’s bay front, or just laying on a beach on a sun-kissed summer day catching some rays at Agate Beach, there is now where quite like the Oregon Mid Coast. We have listed some South and North Coast favorites too…


Mid Coast

We love camping at Beverly Beach State Park just north of Newport. There are a few decades of extended family camping memories we hold dear of our children and grandchildren growing up building sand castles, chasing the retreating surf under parents’ watchful eyes, and discovering the most beautiful shells and rocks on sandy beaches.


Beverly Beach by Kirt Edblom

Many times I have walked out to the beach from our campsite at dawn and always was reminded how insignificant I am in comparison to the vast expanse of ocean that meets me at the shoreline.

South of Newport, just across the landmark McCullough Bridge, at the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area I have enjoyed dune-bugging amongst 40 miles of towering dunes along Oregon’s South Coast. It’s the largest expanse of coastal sand dunes in North America.

The Reedsport /Winchester Bay area is the place to see the award-winning Umpqua Discovery Center which is located on the Umpqua River. Its exhibit wing, Tidewaters & Time, takes you on a journey through time to meet the Kunich Tribes, fur traders, European settlers, and the pioneers that settled the tidewater town. Whether you go golfing, fishing, or fly a kite, the area has something for everyone.


South Coast

Just a little farther on south is the site of the Country Coach Friends Club’s 2016 Friendship Rally August 22-27th at Mill Casino RV Park in Coos Bay, North Bend and Charleston area.  My motorcoach friends LOVE the Oregon Coast, and rallying together is a fun way to enjoy their time in Coos Bay.

Visit the grounds of a turn-of-the-century lumber baron’s home at Shore Acres State Park, with its renowned botanical gardens. Go crabbing on the docks and have it cooked for you Oregon Coast style. Check out a working myrtlewood factory where they use all aspects of the myrtletree, branches for walking sticks, the leaves for cooking and spices, the flowers for perfume and the wood for fine custom furniture, gifts, and many extraordinary and unique products. Or visit the Steve Prefontaine Gallery, museums, antique shops, or the coast’s largest enclosed shopping mall for plenty of browsing opportunities.

For bay views the boardwalks in Coos Bay and North Bend are just the thing, and for those with the luck of the Irish on their shoulder, there is 24-hour gaming at The Mill Casino.


Coos Bay boardwalk by Sheila Sund

Brookings and its Harbor area is a must see. Salmon Run Golf Course is a favorite of golfers, but this is fisherman’s heaven. Experience outstanding salmon and steelhead fishing. Board a charter boat at the Port of Brookings Harbor for some ocean fishing. The harbor and the port offer the safest bar crossing in Oregon. Smith River, along with the Chetco, Pistol, Winchuck, and to the north the Rogue, Elk and Sixes Rivers offer more outstanding fishing.

Bandon by the Sea is located at the mouth of the Coquille River is home to four of the world’s premier golf courses. Crabbing and fishing on the waterfront, strolling the boardwalk, or visiting America’s largest wild animal petting park are musts when in Bandon.

Gold Beach is the place from May through October, to enjoy jet boats excursions up into the Rogue River for a close up view of wildlife and river life. Again salmon and steelhead fishing and ocean charters for fishing and sightseeing are popular Gold Beach attractions.

Port Orford is the oldest town site on the Oregon coast with the only open water port in 600 miles. It’s also a great whale watching spot.  Port Orford Head State Park, originally an active Coast Guard station, is now a day use historical park. Take a tour of the Cape Blanco lighthouse and Hughes House.


North Coast

A favorite activity of ours is whale watching as the gray whales migrate along the coast in the spring and winter. I love going up to the Cape Foulweather lookout and just being there, soaking in the coastline panorama.

We love taking a day trip to Lincoln City just to browse the unique antique stores and “clutter” shops as my husband calls them. I call it treasure hunting. Families are seen flying kites and shell seeking on the beaches. Mo’s Clam Chowder with its freshly cooked chowder and the smell of fresh baked bread entices us in. There is the adventure of the hunt for Glass Floats hidden along Lincoln City beaches.

Tillamook just north of Lincoln City has its Tillamook Cheese Factory tours, and there’s the three capes scenic loop drive. Shop Manzanita, or visit one of the 10 most beautiful towns on the west coast as voted in 2015–Cannon Beach (also voted one of America’s 100 best art towns). Cannon Beach is a great weekend getaway to refresh, relax, and enjoy time with your mate.

Haystack Rock and old growth rainforest found in Ecola State Park are must see natural attractions. The annual Sandcastle Contest is in its 51st year. At Seaside, go to the end of the main boulevard and the end of the trail for Lewis and Clark. There’s a little aquarium to watch the seals as they’re fed (a children’s favorite, as is the candy shops). Adults love antiquing in unique shoppes. Tillamook Head is a good place for a hike.


Haystock rock at Canon Beach by Jerry Sanchez

Astoria has a lot to offer coast visitors: Columbia River Maritime Museum with its military and commercial history exhibits; the Astoria Column, Captain George Flavel Museum within an ornate Victorian mansion with formal gardens, and the Oregon Film Museum with its museum in an old jail. Visit Fort Clatsop, where Lewis & Clark ended their monumental journey west.

The Oregon Coast is always a delight.  Be it chasing the surf on sandy beaches or enjoying a blustery winter day parked coast-side listening to the surf on a rainy afternoon.


I am always reminded of my favorite poem by John Mansfield, Sea Fever, part of which says:
“I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep &a sweet dream when the long trick’s over…”

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