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Ten Oregon Coast Travel Tips for Charleston Salmon Run Visitors

Ten Oregon Coast Travel Tips for Charleston Salmon Run Visitors

Mon, Sep 9, 2019

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Oregon’s South Coast is a runner’s haven. Not only is this the hometown of one of our country’s greatest running icons, the late Steve Prefontaine , but the region is also filled with natural running trails, temperate weather and coastal beauty that can’t be found anywhere else in the country.

Every September, runners from all over the world travel here to compete in the Prefontaine Memorial Run , a challenging 10K road race across one of Steve Prefontaine’s training courses here in Coos Bay. The 40th Annual Prefontaine Memorial Race, part of the Bay Area Fun Festival, is coming up on September 21, 2019.

The race featured in this post, however, is the 3rd Annual Oregon’s Adventure Coast Charleston Salmon Run and Crab Walk happening October 5th on one of the most beautiful courses in Oregon. The race begins and ends in Charleston, Oregon and follows amazing scenic routes along rugged sea cliffs and sandy beaches. Runners (and their cheering squad) of all levels are invited to participate. The Salmon Run includes a 26.2-mile Marathon, 13.1-mile Half Marathon, 10K run and the 1 mile Crab Walk so there is something for every activity level in this event!

After the run, join the fun at the annual Octoberfish, the official after party of the Oregon’s Adventure Coast Charleston Salmon Run! But don’t rush off once the party is over! Stick around and experience more of what Oregon’s Adventure Coast has to offer! Here are some tips to help you enjoy the very best of Coos Bay, North Bend and Charleston, Oregon during your visit this fall.


Layered clothing allows you to adjust for changes in temperature accordingly. While our area is temperate year-round, there are daily fluctuations. Be sure to check the local, extended forecast before you go. We encourage you to bring hiking boots if you plan to explore. A light, waterproof jacket and sweaters help with the evening breezes and depending on the season, a combination of shorts and long pants will give you some options for daytime adventures.


There are a number of local restaurants dishing out the freshest seafood and chowder you could possibly hope for! Though there are too many to mention in one post, here are a few ideas to whet your appetite.

If you’re in Charleston, grab some chowder at Chuck’s Seafood or High Tide Café. You can’t go wrong with the popular Fish ’n Chips at Miller’s At the Cove Sports Bar & Grill. The Wildflour Cafe in North Bend along with these newer locally-owned restaurants are getting rave reviews from locals and visitors alike. There are a number of establishments that have stood the test of time like Shark Bites in Coos Bay, Hilltop House Restaurant and Lounge, Fisherman’s Grotto, Blue Heron Bistro, Fisherman’s Seafood Market , Captain’s Choice Family Fish House and many more. At the end of the day, grab a craft beverage at 7 Devils Brewing Co in Coos Bay.

Download our Local Restaurant Guide to carry with you or visit to see all of our local restaurants.


While you’re visiting, spend some time exploring the 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. We recommend grabbing your binoculars and taking some time to explore the Simpson Reef and nearby Shell Island to view and listen to the seals and sea lions. Be sure to look for sea lions, harbor seals, and occasional elephant seals in the viewing area overlooking Shell Island. Download this guide to help on your route . Please do not touch the wildlife under any circumstances!


Our quiet, peaceful, undeveloped beaches are ideal for training runs, long walks, hiking, photography, picnicking, and tide-pooling, but if you ignore these guidelines , what should be a beautiful day by the Pacific Ocean could suddenly become unsafe without warning.


Autumn is a lovely time of year to visit Oregon’s Adventure Coast and fishing, crabbing and clamming opportunities are in no short supply here! There are more than 30 lakes and rivers to choose from in Coos County alone, and anglers will find there is plenty of bay and ocean fishing. Click here for a list of resources that will be helpful in planning your trip. Be sure to visit one of our bait shops while in the area, they’re always willing to share pointers with visiting anglers. Learn more about crabbing and learn more about clamming on Oregon’s Adventure Coast.


Did you know that our little corner of the Pacific Northwest is home to two of the area’s best casinos? Whether its slots, cards, or games, you’re sure to find round-the-clock adventure, fun, and (fingers crossed) millions right here.

Our two casinos are located within a ten-minute drive of each other, so play your cards right and visit both. Learn more.


Spend some time browsing the museums, galleries, and other cultural gems in our area like the Coos Art Museum where runners can see the rare personal items of champion runner Steve Prefontaine, the cornerstone of visual arts on Oregon’s Southern Coast and the Coos History Museum , Oregon’s oldest continuously operated historical society boasting more than 250,000 historic photographs. Click here to see more wonderful additions to our network of museums and galleries.


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). Visit for more info.

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.


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. The Coos Bay Boardwalk along with the North Bend Boardwalk are also lovely to explore.


You never know what you’ll find in our unique shops on Oregon’s Adventure Coast. The Charleytown Marketplace is a popular spot for visitors looking for special Oregon-made and other hand-crafted items. With its 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.

While you’re here, shop for treasures in the eclectic retail stores in the Coos Bay downtown area. Local favorites include: Tru, Vintage 101, Leaf’s Treehouse, Organic Glass Art & Gifts, Katrina Kathleen’s and Canard Labs, Oregon Wine Cellars, Checkerberries, Artist Loft Gallery and so many more! The Coos History Museum Gift Shop provides visitors with a look at our history and culture. And a visit to Coos Bay is not complete without a stop at Cranberry Sweets for their unique take on cranberry candies and other delicious selections.

North Bend’s quaint downtown offers shoppers a blend of gift, antique and clothing stores to choose from, including, Painted Zebra, Petal to the Metal, Books by the Bay, Fat Cat Antiques, Mossy Rose, and many others. Other shopping options in North Bend include the Pony Village Mall, The Myrtlewood Factory, and Ko-Kwel Gifts at The Mill Casino.

Download this walking map of Downtown Coos Bay & North Bend .

There is an adventure for everyone on Oregon’s Adventure Coast. Whether you are on the hunt for awe-inspiring landscapes, thrilling outdoor activities, prime shopping, fine dining, special events, or an evening of entertainment, you will find 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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