“Oregon State Parks often make great family beach trips easy, safe, and fun. Sunset Bay is no exception. The grounds are well-kept and the cove protects swimmers and beachgoers from wind and high waves. Great for picnics, playing on the beach, and wading in the water.” –Recent Review on TripAdvisor
Camping on the Oregon Coast has always been a favorite among travelers from all over the Pacific Northwest, especially during the spring and summer months. Though there is no shortage fabulous camping sites in our region, Sunset Bay State Park is one of the most consistently recommended camping destinations among families traveling with children.
Sunset Bay State Park is one of three Oregon State Parks along the Cape Arago Highway, which runs along the Pacific Ocean west of U.S. Route 101. It’s calm, crescent shaped beach and kid friendly tide pools are just a 10 minute walk from the camping sites and very popular with families, couples, kayakers, paddle boarders, picnickers, hikers and everyone in between.
“The bay was gorgeous and a great little hangout on the beach for the kids,” writes a recent guest. “Waves were pretty mild so the kids could play in the water without worrying about the current”.
“The beach here is great. It is in a protected cove so the surf is calm,” says this recent visitor from Austin, Texas. It’s easy for young toddlers to wade in, or take out a kayak or stand up paddle board.”
The campground has sites for tent camping and RV’s, as well as cozy and comfortable yurts. Day-use and picnic facilities are located along the bay to allow easy access for beach combing, fishing, swimming, and boating. A network of hiking trails connects Sunset Bay State Park with nearby Shore Acres and Cape Arago State Parks. These beautiful and well maintained trails take hikers on a journey through pristine coastal forests and offer spectacular views of the Pacific ocean, seasonal wildflowers and the Cape Arago lighthouse.
In addition to the amenities mentioned above, the park’s desirable location is a very popular feature, especially those who are traveling with kids. The park is located on Cape Arago Hwy, one of the most scenic areas on the Oregon coast and just a short distance of several “must see” attractions like Simpson’s Reef, the Cape Arago Lighthouse, Shore Acres State Park, Cape Arago State Park and many more. It’s a wonderful place to get away and appreciate a quiet, natural setting yet the towns of Charleston, North Bend and Coos Bay are a short drive away. “Secluded yet close to the urban life,” writes another recent visitor. “So quiet you can hear the sea lions and surf. Beautiful rain forest like park”.
One recent traveler discovered it by accident to break up the drive between Nehalem Bay State Park and Avenue of the Giants. “I couldn’t have been more pleasantly surprised. This place is a GEM! The cool shaped rock formations at the head of the bay act as a natural breakwater which calms the otherwise fierce Oregon ocean and makes for a pretty chill afternoon at the beach. At low tide there’s tide pools to check out and when the tide rolls in it’s suitable for swimming and calm enough for paddle-boarding. There are trails leading out of the park that travel along the coast which are a must see. Steep cliffs and dramatic rock formations are only a couple of minutes hike….This is one of my new favorite spots and can’t wait to come back.”
“The bay is absolutely stunning,” says another recent visitor. “The live-in staff and park rangers are very helpful and hospitable. The facilities are clean and well maintained.”
Whether you’re looking for a place to camp for the week or a great spot to spend a day, Sunset Bay State Park is an experience worth having. This summer, come discover the beautiful natural gems inside this popular destination. For more info, visit www.oregonstateparks.org.