When Everyday Northwest recently featured some of the fantastic adventures waiting for travelers on Oregon’s Adventure Coast: Coos Bay, North Bend, Charleston, this got us thinking about an itinerary for first-time visitors!
Keep reading for an itinerary featuring some of our “Greatest Hits” on Oregon’s Adventure Coast that every first-time (or second, third, fourth time) visitor should experience…but first, here are some rules to keep in mind:
Day one is full of adventure – outdoor and indoor! The first item on your big adventure itinerary is a stop at Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area where you can rent an ATV and/or Dune Buggy for an exhilarating ride and memories that last a lifetime! The Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area is a scenic area which includes the dunes, vegetation islands, various wildlife, and the breathtaking Pacific Ocean.
After exploring the largest expanse of coastal dunes in North America, it’s time to grab a late lunch or early dinner at Clausen Oysters , where you will taste some of the best oysters on the planet. Locals consistently recommend Clausens for their fresh and shucked oysters, as well as smoked oysters, BBQ Garlic-Parmesan Butter Oysters and other delicious selections. You cannot miss their signs when you are driving North or South on Highway 101, North of North Bend and North of McCullough Bridge.
Before checking into your hotel, be sure to stop in the Coos Bay Visitor Information Center , where you will be welcomed with a smile and an abundance of information about Oregon’s South Coast (not to mention clean restrooms). Once you’ve had some time to rest and freshen up at your hotel or lodging property, head to the Mill Casino Hotel & RV Park for a night of fun-filled Vegas-style gaming ! Whether it’s slots, cards, or games, you’ll find round-the-clock adventure, fun, and (fingers crossed) maybe even a jack-pot prize! If you play your cards right, you can also hit Three Rivers Casino – Coos Bay, just ten minutes away! That’s right, in the Coos Bay area, we have two casinos to choose from!
Start your morning with a hotel breakfast or a delicious and hearty meal at the Pancake Mill Restaurant and Pie Shoppe . Depending on the day, there may be a wait - but it’s worth it! After breakfast, hop in the car and head towards Charleston, our quaint working fishing village, for a scenic drive like none other along the Cape Arago Beach Loop .
Along the 8 mile drive, you’ll find a trifecta of State Parks, including Shore Acres State Park (Oregon Coast’s crown jewel), Sunset Bay State Park and Cape Arago State Park . Here are some of our favorite ways to explore the loop:
For Complete Details, download our PDF Guide for the Cape Arago Beach Loop .
On your way back to Coos Bay/North Bend, be sure to stop by Cranberry Sweets for a sweet treat made from Oregon cranberries and other delectable flavors. You can watch candy being made most weekdays, while also sampling your heart out. We also recommend exploring the marina and boatyard in Charleston. With nearly 200 commercial fishing boats and 250 or so recreational boats, the docks and boatyard are busy year-round.
After a satisfying morning of adventure and wildlife viewing, grab a quick and delicious bite at one of the local seafood restaurants in Charleston, before an afternoon visit to the Charleston Marine Life Center , located on the edge of the harbor in Charleston. Curious minds can discover various coastal ecosystems and experience a tide pool touch tank, whale and sea lion skeletons, underwater video from deep reefs and undersea volcanoes, and various specimens reveal the hidden and remarkable diversity of life off Oregon, from the coast to the deep sea. Open Wednesday through Saturday 11am-5pm.
Next up, head to Davey Jones' Locker to gear up for an afternoon of fishing , crabbing or clamming . Our local bait and tackle stores are a local treasure trove of fishing, clamming and crabbing tips and a great place to rent a crab ring. If charter fishing is more your speed, there are several businesses more than willing to help you make the most of your Oregon’s Adventure Coast experience!
After a fun day along our beautiful, rugged coast, head out for a relaxing, delicious meal from one of our local restaurants (too many to list). There are many establishments that have stood the test of time, like Shark Bites in Coos Bay , Hilltop House Restaurant and Lounge , Blue Heron Bistro , Captain’s Choice Family Fish House and many more. After dinner, head out for a beer and fun night of bowling at The Back Alley Pub & Grill at North Bend Lanes, or live music at Liberty Pub (on select nights only). A trip to 7 Devils Brewing Co in Coos Bay, recently featured in Everyday Northwest , will not disappoint! See video below
After checking out of your hotel, grab some freshly brewed coffee and a delicious pasty at one of the many local Coffee Shops & Bakeries that can be found throughout the area. Hunt for rare and special treasures to bring home from one of the many antique and specialty boutiques in Coos Bay, North Bend and Charleston.
Head next to the Coos History Museum, where permanent and rotating exhibits give a perfect overview of the history and culture of Coos Bay and Coos County, before indulging in a delicious lunch at 7 Devils Waterfront Alehouse directly next door. There are also several options along Hwy 101 (Sherman Ave) in North Bend and downtown Coos Bay.
As you wrap up your amazing trip, stop by the Coos Bay Visitor Information Center once again to let us know how you enjoyed your adventures, and get a jump start planning your next visit!
On your way out of town, stop by The Original Myrtlewood Factory & RV Park , offering tours and a wide variety of Myrtlewood products - from bowls and utensils to jewelry boxes, sculptures and even furniture! There are also clean restrooms and a convenience store for snacks, water and other Oregon coast souvenirs!
Now that you’re in the know, let’s help you plan your next trip to Oregon’s Adventure Coast: Coos Bay, North Bend, Charleston! Click here for some unique trip itineraries, and browse through our suggestions as you plan your getaway.
Contact us to get even more tips, as well as the inside scoop, for finding the best local food and activities any time of the year, and visit our Adventure Page for more ideas and inspiration. Download our Visitor Guide (PDF)