Most known for having one of the most spectacular coastlines in the world, Oregon offers numerous picturesque beaches, oceans and state parks with an abundance of recreational opportunities for everyone. And Oregon’s Bay Area is no exception. Below you will find a small list of some of the most popular must-see spots to explore in our area. Whether you want to swim, explore tide pools, hike, canoe, fish, ride the dunes, surf, comb the beach for agates and shells or maybe you just want to sit back and watch the waves roll in. Oregon’s Bay Area has a different experience to offer every day.
Cape Arago State Park
Located at the end of Cape Arago Highway about 15 miles southwest of Coos Bay, Cape Arago is a scenic headland jutting into the Pacific Ocean. Visitors can scan the horizon for migrating whales and other marine mammals, as well as fishing boats and ships entering and leaving nearby Coos Bay. The south cove trail leads down to a sandy beach and superior tidepools where you can visit intertidal plants and animals (but please enjoy them with your eyes only). The north cove trail provides access for fishing, beachcombing, and viewing the off-shore colonies of seals and sea lions at Shell Island — a designated National Wildlife Refuge. The trail is closed March 1- June 30 to protect seal pups. Picnic tables, restrooms and a gazebo shelter are available for daytime use. Call 1-800-551-6949 for more information.
Bastendorff Beach & County Park
Located 1/4 mile off the Cape Arago Highway, and approximately 2 miles west of Charleston, Bastendorff Beach County Park is an 89 acre hilltop park that overlooks the Pacific Ocean. The campground consists of 91 campsites open all year round with both RV or tent camping. It is a beautiful place to camp or just spend the day. Picnic areas are available including 2 picnic shelters with kitchens, a large fire pit, barbecue, playground, horseshoe pits and basketball court. Call (541) 888-5353 for more information.
Golden and Silver Falls State Natural Area
A hidden gem in the dense coastal forests of southwest Oregon, Golden and Silver Falls State Natural Area may be hard to find, but it’s well worth the 24-mile drive from Highway 101. The small parking and picnic area are located along the banks of Glenn and Silver Creeks and is shaded by large maple, alder, and Oregon myrtle trees. Hiking trails wind through scenic canyons to each of the waterfalls — they plunge over sheer rock cliffs to moss covered boulders 100 feet below. Hike to the top of Golden Falls to get an eagle’s-eye view of the cascading waterfall and giant old-growth firs and cedars. For more information call 1-800-551-6949.
Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area & Horsfall Beach
From Florence to Coos Bay, the Oregon Dunes extends for 40 miles along the Oregon Coast. Horsfall Beach, a favorite among locals and visitors, is located along the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area just 2 miles north of Coos Bay/North Bend. Formed by the ancient forces of wind, water and time, these dunes are like no others in the world. These are the largest expanse of coastal sand dunes in North America and they hold numerous opportunities for adventure and solitude. Wind-sculpted sand dunes towering to 500 feet above sea level provide numerous recreational opportunities including off-highway vehicle use, hiking, photography, fishing, canoeing, horseback riding and camping. Visitors enjoy thick tree islands, open dunes, marsh-like deflation plains and beaches. The Carter Dunes Trail and Oregon Dunes overlook provide disabled access for forest visitors. Call (541) 271-6000 for more information.
Shore Acres State Park & Simpson Beach
Perched on a scenic bluff above the Pacific Ocean, Shore Acres began as a private estate with luxurious gardens featuring trees, shrubs, and flowering plants brought from around the world aboard the sailing ships of pioneer lumberman and shipbuilder Louis J. Simpson. The garden features year-round displays of floral and scenic beauty and the annual “Holiday Lights at Shore Acres” from Thanksgiving through New Year’s. A fully enclosed observation building offers spectacular view of rugged seascapes, towering storm waves, and glimpses of migrating whales from December through June. Shore Acres State Park is located on the Cape Arago Highway, 13 miles southwest of Coos Bay/North Bend and U. S. Highway 101. Call 1-866-888-6100 for more information.
Sunset Bay State Park
One mile north of Shore Acres, Sunset Bay State Park is situated in one of the most scenic areas on the Oregon coast. Sunset Bay features beautiful sandy beaches protected by towering sea cliffs. Only a short walk from the beach, the campground has sites for tent camping and RV’s, as well as cozy and comfortable yurts. Day-use and picnic facilities are located along the bay to allow easy access for beachcombing, fishing, swimming, and boating as well as a network of hiking trails that connects Sunset Bay with nearby Shore Acres and Cape Arago State Parks. Hiking these trails will give you a chance to experience pristine coastal forests, seasonal wildflowers and spectacular ocean vistas from atop the rugged cliffs and headlands. From points along the trail, you’ll be treated to views of Gregory Point and the Cape Arago lighthouse. A public golf course is also located next to the park and the nearby fishing village of Charleston provides opportunities for crabbing, clamming and fishing. In fact, there are plenty of secret treasures in the Sunset Bay area. Call (541) 888-4902 for more information.
Seven Devils Recreation Site & Whiskey Run Beach
Seven Devils Wayside is the jumping-off point for sandy beach adventure. At this access point, you can travel several miles up and down the open beach. Agates are often the beachcombing goal of visitors to this out-of-the-way spot. Call 1-800-551-6949 for more information.
At John Topits Park Hull St, Coos Bay
120 acres of relatively undisturbed natural area within Coos Bay City limits. No motorized boats. Bike trails, hiking, kayaking, jogging, swimming, boating, fishing, wheelchair access. Middle Lake has restrooms and play structures. For more information call (541) 269-8918
10th and Commercial, Coos Bay
Japanese & rhododendron gardens, gazebo, duck pond and bandstand. Outdoor swimming pool open to the public in the summer months. Walking trails, picnic tables, disc golf, tennis courts, softball field, basketball courts, playground areas, jogging, bicycling, horseshoe pits, skateboard park, restrooms. Site of the free concert in the park during the September. Call (541) 269-8918 for more information.
Shell Island is part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge. The offshore rocks, islands and reefs provide breeding and resting areas for sea birds and marine mammals. Because these wildlife species are easily disturbed, the rocks and islands are closed to all public use, but viewing points are available at Shore Acres, Simpson Reef Overlook and various viewpoints along Cape Arago Highway. You might spot a gray whale, northern elephant seal, harbor seal, steller sea lion, california sea lion, pelagic cormorant, black oystercatcher or a great blue heron. More information on these species can be obtained by downloading thisbrochure.
South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve
5 miles S of Charleston on Seven Devils Rd
4,800 acre Reserve encompasses a mixture of open water channels, tidal and freshwater wetlands, riparian areas, and forested uplands. Explore the interpretive center, trails and waterways, programs, bookstore and online resources. Call (541) 888-5558 for more information.
Coos County Parks
Powers Park: 541-439-2791
LaVerne Park: 541-396-2344
Tenmile Lake Park: 541-759-3176
Reservations for all Coos County parks and campgrounds, please phone 541-396-3121, ext. 354