Oregon’s Adventure Coast features a relaxed and rustic atmosphere ideal for anyone seeking refuge from the hustle and bustle of the “real world”. Charleston is known for its charming marina, fishing, friendly merchants, beautiful beaches and a distinctly charismatic local community.
Here are some of our favorite recommendations we have for visitors to our area.
1.Visit the 6,000-square-foot Charleston Marine Life Center, located on the campus of UO’s Institute of Marine Biology. The museum features permanent exhibits including a Marine Ecosystem Gallery, an Underwater Oregon Gallery (where after just a few minutes exploring, you’re likely to see a multitude of marine life you may have never known existed) and an Oregon Fisheries Gallery (an open-air deck where visitors can see fishing vessels coming and going from the harbor). Visit oimb.uoregon.edu for more info.
- Grab some Fish ’n Chips at Miller’s at the Cove or award-winning chowder at High Tide Cafe. You’ll also enjoy exploring what’s fresh in the retail fish markets (there are four, including one floating market on the docks in the marina). They can ship fresh seafood or you can purchase the canned catches from Charleston.
- Go for a stroll along the Charleston Marina Complex. Charleston is home to a marina and boatyard that support thriving commercial and recreational fleets. With nearly 200 commercial fishing boats and 250 or so recreational boats, the docks and boatyard are busy year-round. Our fishermen bring in fresh Oregon Dungeness crab and pink shrimp, both officially sustainable seafood fisheries.
- Spend an afternoon at the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve Interpretive Center learning about our local culture, history and natural resources. There are also miles of beautiful hiking trails and waterways to explore in addition to classes/workshops for all ages.
- Spend a day exploring the Cape Arago Highway Beaches and State Parks along the Cape Arago Highway:
- Take a walk and watch the surfers on Bastendorff Beach or search for natural treasures in tidepools in the protected beach in Sunset Bay State Park.
- Don't miss the holiday lights and all-seasons garden at Shore Acres State Park (also one of the Whale Watching Spoken Here® sites December 27th-31st).
- Be sure to look for sea lions, harbor seals, and occasional elephant seals in the viewing area overlooking Shell Island.
- From the overlook head south to the end of the roadway at Cape Arago State Park. This is a prime place to view migrating California gray whales. And watch for black oystercatchers and other birds feeding in the sea spray along the rocks. On a clear day, you can see for miles north and south.
- Go on a fishing adventure! While trips are limited in the winter due to weather conditions, it’s worth checking with Betty Kay and Pacific Charters about opportunities to get out on the water.
- Explore the eclectic shops in Charleston. You’ll never know what you’ll find in our unique shops throughout Charleston. The Charleytown Market Place is a popular spot for visitors looking for special Oregon-made and other hand-crafted items. With it’s top-notch outdoor clothing and fishing gear, Englund Marine (next door) is the place for outdoor enthusiasts. Don’t miss Kinnee’s Gifts and Shells, featuring trinkets and other coastal items along with Boat Basin Plaza featuring an eclectic mix of merchandise. You never know what gems you’ll find in the cozy shops clustered in the Oyster Cove or stop in for a warming cup of coffee at Bayside Coffee.
Visit www.OregonsAdventureCoast.com for all more relaxing and exciting adventures along the Oregon Coast!