If you have never visited Oregon’s Adventure Coast: Coos Bay, North Bend, and Charleston during our “off-season”, you are missing out! Travel Oregon’s Emily Forsha says winter is her favorite season on the Oregon Coast. “You might find yourself cozying up by a fireplace, watching angry waves crash during a spectacular storm; or you may find yourself on an uncrowded beach on a clear, sunny day that ends with a sunset over a beach bonfire,” she writes in her post, The Oregon Coast, A Winter Odyssey .
The towns of Coos Bay, North Bend, Charleston are year-round destinations, offering visitors plenty of opportunities for relaxation and adventure whether it is winter, spring, summer or fall. Despite what you may hear about cold and rainy Oregon winters, it’s not uncommon for coastal residents and visitors to be treated to spectacular balmy days of sunshine and warmer temperatures. Visitors can often find great hotel deals in the winter months - click here to find the best rates on hotel stays.
Here are some other reasons to visit Oregon’s Adventure Coast this winter.
Whales can sometimes be spotted off the shores of Oregon’s Adventure Coast throughout the year, but peak winter migrating season for gray whales is mid-December through mid-January. This year, volunteers from the Whale Watching Spoken Here® program will be available in designated locations (like Shore Acres State Park ) between 10am and 1pm the week of December 28, 2022 – Sunday, January 1, 2023. It is estimated that up to 18,000 gray whales will pass by the Oregon Coast as they travel south to the warm lagoons of Baja Mexico. Of course, Whale Watch Week is an ideal time for whale watching, but Oregon Coast visitors often see the migrating gray whales blowing, breaching and fluking well into the month of January. Click here for a Whale Viewing Guide and more information.
Have you heard about our newest winter attraction? The North Bend Ice Skating Rink opened in December and will remain open Wednesday through Saturday until February 19, 2023! Not to mention, you won’t have to break the bank to enjoy this wonderful winter-time activity since there is no fee to enter and ice skates are only $5 an hour! Here are the new public hours for the ice skating rink (updated 1.19.23):
Fridays 4 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Saturdays 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. AND 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Sundays 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Private parties offered during the week. Hours are subject to change, please check with the ice skating rink to confirm hours.
Of the many outdoor recreational activities here on Oregon’s Adventure Coast, fishing is undoubtedly a favorite! Coos Bay, North Bend and Charleston have an abundance of fishing options, after all there are more than 30 freshwater lakes and rivers to choose from in Coos County alone, as well as fantastic bay and ocean fishing ! The winter months are a great time for winter steelhead fishing, as well as rockfish/bottom-fish,and surfperch. Download our Fishing Information Rack Card here (PDF).
To help plan your winter fishing trip, we put together a list of resources . Daily, multi-day and annual licenses are available at sporting goods stores and other local retailers. Find a list of vendors here or purchase online from ODFW. Be sure to visit one of our bait shops while in the area; they’re always willing to share pointers with visiting anglers.
You won’t have to travel far on Cape Arago Highway to find some of the most glorious beaches and state parks in the region. Winter is a beautiful time to take a walk and watch the surfers on Bastendorff Beach (yes, you can surf in the winter), or search for natural treasures in tide pools in the protected beach in Sunset Bay State Park. Watch the seal and sea lions on Simpson Reef and Shell Island , part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge . Take in views of the ocean and stroll through the gardens at Shore Acres State Park , the crown jewel of the Oregon Coast. If you are visiting between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, please note that Shore Acres State Park is transformed into a winter wonderland of holiday lights after 4pm.
Mountain biking in the winter, you ask? When you have a trail system like Whiskey Run Mountain Bike Trail s designed for year-round mountain biking, why not? In fact, this one-of-a-kind trail system is one of the ONLY systems in Oregon open year-round! Whiskey Run is renowned for its 32 miles of well maintained trails, moderate climbing and fun descending through the misty Coos County Forest.
Winter is an excellent time for crabbing on the Southern Oregon Coast! Many experts say the best time for crabbing is during the months with an ‘r’ (January, February, March, etc). Click here for important crabbing tips and information, and mark your calendar for the Annual Charleston Crab Feed happening Saturday, February 11, 2023!
You just never know when a winter storm system will break out over the Pacific, resulting in a show like none other. While we wish we could give our visitors exact dates and times for prime winter storm watching, we can tell you that the best time to view them is during the months between November and March. The Oregon Coast is known for its unpredictability, and what appears to be a quiet, balmy ocean one day can churn massive waves resulting from wild winter storms the next. Winter storm watchers will find multiple vantage points to view the massive waves crashing into the rugged coastline along the Cape Arago Beach Loop . We will post High Surf Warnings on our Facebook Page , so be sure to follow us. Please read this post on how to safely view and photograph the wondrous winter storm waves.
There is an adventure for everyone on Oregon’s Adventure Coast. Whether you are on the hunt for awe-inspiring landscapes, thrilling outdoor activities, eclectic 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 . You can also follow Oregon’s Adventure Coast Facebook , @travelcoosbay on Instagram , Twitter and TikTok to find inspiration on the best spots to visit, eat, stay and explore any time of the year.