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How to Enjoy Oregon’s Adventure Coast this Summer on a Budget

How to Enjoy Oregon’s Adventure Coast this Summer on a Budget

Thu, Aug 3, 2023

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Even though we’re technically more than halfway through the summer season, there is still much to experience this summer on Oregon’s Adventure Coast: Coos Bay, North Bend, Charleston. The best part is you won’t need a lot of money to enjoy many of these experiences - in fact, there’s a lot of fun, free stuff to do in our region! From free festivals and outdoor activities to free admission to local museums, there is a budget-friendly activity for everyone to enjoy on Oregon’s Adventure Coast. Here are tips to get the most out of the Oregon Coast this summer without breaking the bank: 

**Please note: all scheduled events mentioned in this blog post are subject to change without notice. Please call ahead or visit our Events Page and Calendar for the full list**

#1- Take Advantage of FREE Concerts

The sound of music is alive and well on Oregon’s Adventure Coast, and live music abounds all summer long! Here’s a quick round-up of just some of the FREE concerts to be on the lookout for this summer:

Rock the Dock Summer Concert Series 2023 (August 4-25, 2023)-The Mill Casino • Hotel & RV Park invites you to “Rock the Dock” with them each Friday night in August! This FREE concert series features some of the top tribute bands from all over the Pacific Northwest. More information:  

Concert Lineup: 

Music On The Bay - FREE Concert Series (August 10 - September 14, 2023) - Enjoy Music On the Bay at Mingus Park Amphitheater. Bring a picnic, dance, and enjoy the music every Thursday evening from August 10 to September 14 at 7 p.m.

2023 Season line up:

  • August 10, 2023 – NW Women of Rhythm & Blues
  • August 17, 2023 – True Loves
  • August 24, 2023 – Britnee Kellog
  • August 31, 2023 – Tommy Castro and The Painkillers
  • September 7, 2023 – Chris Pierce Band
  • September 14, 2023 – Never Come Down

Live Music Wednesdays at Wildflour Public House - Enjoy live music as you dine and/or enjoy a drink at the Wildflour Public House in North Bend every Wednesday from 6-8pm. Wildflour Public House offers a menu filled with farm-to-fork and ocean-to-table delicacies. During the summer months, the large front window is open for indoor/outdoor dining options. Visit their Facebook page for the schedule of Wednesday night performers:  

#2- Go on a Downtown Coos Bay Wine Walk (First Friday of Each Month)

Did you know you can taste wine and explore various downtown businesses on the first Friday of each month (except for January) for $10? Join the Coos Bay - North Bend Rotary for the monthly Coos Bay Downtown Wine Walk ! The fun begins at 5:00 p.m. at either the Coos Bay Visitor Center or Checkerberry’s Flowers, where participants will pick up a map & wine glass with a $10 donation (goes towards a different local non-profit each month)! The next Downtown Wine Walk will take place on Friday, August 4, 2023, and again on September 1, 2023. 

#3- Explore South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (South Slough NERR)

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There is no charge to explore the South Slough NERR , a beautiful 5,000 acre natural area located in the Coos estuary on the south coast of Oregon. The center encompasses open water channels, tidal and freshwater wetlands, riparian areas, and forested uplands. The Interpretive Center is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am until 4:30 pm (closed on State holidays). Trails are open daily from dawn to dusk. Many of their educational and outdoor programs are free or offered at a low cost to cover materials. South Slough NERR is located 4 miles south of Charleston on Seven Devils Road.

#4- Try $5 Yoga at the Coos Art Museum

Pack your yoga mat and head to a $5 yoga class every Wednesday from 9:30am-10:30am at the Coos Art Museum (CAM), the cornerstone of visual arts on Oregon’s Southern Coast! For an additional admission fee of $5 or less, visitors can explore current exhibits and a rare Steve Prefontaine collection (just $2 for students or seniors). Admission is always free to Members of CAM. FREE - Second Sunday Group tours are available on request. 

#5- Visit the Coos Bay Downtown Farmers Market

It’s completely FREE to browse the Coos Bay Farmers Market every Wednesday in Downtown Coos Bay from 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. You’ll also find fresh, locally grown produce, eggs, honey, meat, baked goods, soaps, candles, homemade jams and jellies, and unique creations handcrafted by local artisans from nearly 90 vendors for a reasonable price. The CBDA Farmers Market is located on Central Avenue between Highway 101 South and 4th Street in downtown Coos Bay through October from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Visit the market’s Facebook page for more information.

#6- Attend a FREE Outdoor Summer Festival

Some of our favorite annual summer festivals are just around the corner! There is no cost to attend these (visitors will have to pay for food, beverages and merchandise) and they frequently feature free demonstrations and live entertainment. Here’s a list of some of the festivals coming up! 

#7- Explore Charleston

It won’t cost a dime to explore the scenery, boats, unique merchants, fishing markets located in the Charleston Marina . The friendly residents and merchants in this distinctive fishing village will do everything possible to make your visit memorable and fun! Sometimes, you can even catch a few of our local resident sea lions relaxing on the docks or going for a morning swim. While you’re there, visit the Charleston Marine Life Center, part of the OIMB - The Oregon Institute of Marine Biology , located in the marina, overlooking the water. Attractions include an aquarium highlighting different coastal ecosystems, a tide pool touch tank, whale and sea lion skeletons, and underwater video from deep reefs and undersea volcanoes. Admission is FREE for Children/Students, $5 for Adults, and $4 for Seniors/AAA. 

#8 - Learn About Local Culture & History at Coos History Museum 

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The Coos History Museum , located on the waterfront, offers Free Family Activities on the Second Saturday of every month! Join the CHM Explorer’s Club with children’s activities in the Sprague Gallery from 11 am to 2 pm. Regular museum admission ranges from just $3-$7, and it is always free to members, active-duty service, and children under five.   

#9- Take the Family Bowling

Did you know that you can bowl for 1/2 price every Sunday from 8:30 PM - 10 PM at North Bend Lanes ? With prices like that, you can afford to treat the whole family to dinner too! 

#10 - Visit a State Park 

For just $5 per car, you can explore Shore Acres State Park , the crown jewel of the Oregon Coast. Enjoy a stroll through the gardens and amazing views of the ocean, and explore a “secret beach” and a secluded ocean cove on Simpson Beach, just below Shore Acres State Park. Watching the seals and sea lions bark and bask in the sun on Simpson Reef and Shell Island , located just a couple of miles south of Shore Acres State Park, is considered by many to be the greatest show on earth - and they won’t charge you a dime!  You can also check out Cape Arago State Park and Sunset Bay State Park . Download our Charleston to Bandon Scenic Tour Driving Map to help you on your route and choose your own experience. You may also download our PDF Guide for the Cape Arago Beach Loop. 

Other Budget-Friendly Trip Ideas on Oregon’s Adventure Coast: 

  • Explore the many hidden “trails less traveled” on Oregon’s Adventure Coast, like Empire Lakes Trail , Millicoma Marsh, Mingus Park , North Spit Of Coos Bay Trail System and Simpson Park/Ferry Road Park. You can also find miles of spectacular trails from Sunset Bay to Cape Arago State Park that wind around the coastal bluffs, offering spectacular views of the rugged, cliff-lined Pacific Ocean. Click here for a trail map .

  • Fish on! With a little research and planning, you can find multiple fishing adventures the whole family can enjoy for a relatively low price any time of the year. We recommend checking with our local bait stores for tips on how to save $$ and come home with a big catch. Don’t forget to pick up a fishing and/or shell fishing license .

  • Explore the mysterious history of our region on a FREE self-guided walking tour of Historic Coos Bay & North Bend.

  • Listen to live organ music at the Egyptian Theatre for FREE! This summer, visitors can hear spectacular music every Wednesday from 12pm - 1pm on The Mighty Wurlitzer! Located in the heart of downtown Coos Bay, this destination is fun for the whole family. 

  • Go tide pooling and discover a new species or natural treasure. Look, but don’t touch! 

  • Bring your bike and go on an adrenaline pumping ride through miles of misty coastal forests, tranquil streams, and fern covered floors on the Whiskey Run Mountain Bike Trails .

  • Hunt for treasures in local antique shops. The towns of Coos Bay, North Bend and Charleston have a rich and unique history, making this region a treasure trove for collectors.

  • Go window shopping in Downtown North Bend and Coos Bay. Our downtowns offer a wide range of unique antique stores, retail shops, restaurants, art and so much more. Spend an afternoon getting to know our wonderful and friendly merchants while browsing through their shops. You never know what treasures you will find.

  • Visit Cranberry Sweets , a candy manufacturer/retailer with stores in Bandon and Coos Bay. You can watch candy being made most weekdays, while also sampling your heart out! 

  • Hike through lush coastal forests to Golden and Silver Falls State Natural Area , two magnificent waterfalls here on Oregon’s Adventure Coast.

  • Look for restaurant specials. There are numerous local restaurants dishing out the freshest seafood and chowder you could hope for. Ask about discounts and specials!. Download our Local Restaurant Guide to carry with you, or visit to see all our local restaurants.

There is an adventure for everyone on Oregon’s Adventure Coast: Coos Bay, North Bend, Charleston . Be sure to book your accommodations in Coos Bay, North Bend, Charleston early by clicking here . Whether you are on the hunt for awe-inspiring landscapes, thrilling outdoor activities, shopping, fine dining, special events, or an evening of entertainment, you will find it here. For more information, please contact the Coos Bay – North Bend Visitor & Convention Bureau .


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(541) 269-0215
50 Central Ave, Coos Bay, OR 97420

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