The historic tall ships, Lady Washington and the Hawaiian Chieftain, will soon set sail for the Coos Bay Boardwalk where they will dock May 1st- 6th! The Lady Washington is a full-scale reproduction of the original Lady Washington, the first American vessel to make landfall on the west coast of North America in 1788. The Hawaiian Chieftain is a replica of a typical early nineteenth-century European merchant ship. Her hull shape and rigging are similar to the ships used by Spanish explorers during the 18th-century expeditions of the Washington, Oregon, and California coasts.
This is an exciting opportunity for the whole family to experience and learn about maritime history during the walk-on tours of the ships (for a suggested donation of $5 per person) and educational programs for all. Click here to see the current schedule. Please note this schedule is subject to change depending on conditions.
The tall ships are always a treat, but we invite our visitors to get out and explore the unique destinations that make Oregon’s Adventure Coast an exceptional region. Here are some tips to help you enjoy the very best of Coos Bay, North Bend and Charleston, Oregon during your visit.
#1. Visit the Beaches and State Parks Along the Cape Arago Highway Beach Loop. No Oregon’s Adventure Coast trip is complete without at least one visit to the beaches and State Parks along the Cape Arago Highway Loop. The Cape Arago Beach Loop will take you to three state parks (Sunset Bay State Park, Shore Acres State Park, and Cape Arago State Park) in addition to breathtaking beaches and vantage points. 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. We recommend grabbing binoculars and taking some time to explore the Simpson Reef and nearby Shell Island to view and listen to the seals and sea lions.
Shore Acres State Park, the crown jewel of Oregon’s South Coast, is not to be missed. Take a scenic stroll along the breathtaking cliffs with majestic ocean views. Be sure to visit their famous gardens for a closer look at their stunning blooms. Download this guide to help on your route.
#2. Collect Treasures on the Southern Oregon Coast Charm Trail. Embark on a fun-filled “charming” adventure the whole family will enjoy as you explore local destinations and collect individual charms for your one-of-a-kind charm bracelet. Pick up a free southern Oregon coast charm trail map (or download it here) then plan a visit to as many (or all 37) participating venues on the map and add other charms for $2 each.
#3. Take A Kayak Tour On Oregon’s South Coast. For the ultimate south coast adventure, it doesn’t get much better than fishing, wildlife viewing and exploring the peaceful waterways on a guided kayak tour along Oregon’s South Coast. Click here for more info.
#4. Stroll Through The Charleston Marina Complex. If you want to take a break from the Coos Bay Boardwalk, 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.
#5. Experience the Thrill of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. For a truly unique Oregon coast adventure, go for a ride or a hike in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. This national treasure is the largest expanse of coastal sand dunes in North America; 40 miles in all. For guides, rentals and more, click here.
#6. Explore The Charleston Marine Life Center. The 6,000-square-foot Charleston Marine Life Center, located on the campus of UO’s Institute of Marine Biology 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). Click here for more info.
#7. Hike to Golden and Silver Falls. For adventure lovers, Golden and Silver Falls (about half an hour off Highway 101, on Highway 241) does not disappoint! This is a perfect place to enjoy nature and solitude as you hike through scenic canyons and lush coastal forests to two magnificent waterfalls. Click here for our tips and more info.
#8. Go Fishing, Crabbing Or Clamming! Hands down, one of our favorite adventures that can be enjoyed any time of the year. Local tip: before you head out on your fishing adventure, contact our local bait and tackle shops and ask for tips! It could save you time and money! Click here for more info.
#9. Shop At The Coos Bay Farmers Market. The popular Coos Bay Farmers Market (CBFM) is set to open its 2019 season on Wednesday, May 1st! The market operates every Wednesday from 9 am to 2 pm through October 30th and is located in the heart of the Coos Bay Downtown Historic District on Central Ave. The CBFM presents more than 80 vendors who provide the community with fresh, locally grown produce, eggs, honey, meat, baked goods, roasted coffee, flowers, body care products, and handmade craft items. The popular market also features local nonprofits, live music, and a food court.
#10. Look For Special Antiques or Shop In a Locally Owned Boutique. Our area has a rich and unique history, making this region a treasure trove for anyone who collects antiques and collectibles. Visitors also enjoy browsing through the unique shops in Coos Bay, North Bend and Charleston. Make sure to stop at Cranberry Sweets for delicious cranberry candies and other delicious selections. Click here to see more.
#11. Visit South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve Interpretive Center. We also recommend spending a day at the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve Interpretive Center learning about our local culture, history and natural resources. There are miles of beautiful hiking trails and waterways to explore in addition to classes/workshops for all ages. Click here to learn more.
#12. Grab A Bite Or A Drink At One Of Our Local Restaurants. There are a number of local restaurants dishing out the freshest seafood and chowder you could possibly hope for! Download our local restaurant guide to help you choose the right spot!
#13.Explore even more local Art, History & Culture. If you enjoy learning about the history of the tall ships, be sure to make some time to explore the premium museums and galleries to learn even more about the history and culture of the Coos Bay, North Bend, Charleston area. Start with the Coos History Museum, Oregon’s oldest continuously operated historical society boasting more than 250,000 historic photographs, ever-changing exhibits and a unique museum shop. Then make your way to the Coos Art Museum, the third oldest art museum in Oregon featuring rotating exhibits and the Steve Prefontaine Memorial Gallery. Click here for more info about local museums and galleries we recommend visiting.
For even more ideas for your South Coast itinerary, click here or check out these posts for more info and tips: