Best Activities In Coos Bay Oregon: Your Ultimate Guide

Things To Do In Coos Bay Oregon

Planning a trip to Coos Bay, Oregon can be overwhelming. We’ve been there too. With so many options, it’s hard to know where to start. We’ve explored this coastal gem and done the legwork for you. Our guide will show you the best activities in Coos Bay, from stunning state parks to hidden local treasures. Ready for an adventure?

Key Takeaways

  • Coos Bay offers a mix of natural beauty and small-town charm, with attractions like Shore Acres State Park, Cape Arago State Park, and the historic McCullough Memorial Bridge.
  • The area boasts excellent seafood dining options, including SharkBites Seafood Café and Fishermen’s Seafood Market, as well as unique shopping experiences at places like Leafs Treehouse Antiques & Collectables Mall.
  • Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy activities such as mountain biking on the 30-mile Whiskey Run Trails, hiking to Golden and Silver Falls, and exploring the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.
  • Coos Bay hosts various events throughout the year, including the South Coast Clambake Music Festival in March and a weekly Farmers Market from May to October.
  • The region is improving wheelchair accessibility, with eight towns on the Southern Oregon Coast receiving grants to make attractions more inclusive for all visitors.

Overview of Coos Bay, Oregon

Welcome to Coos Bay, Oregon – a hidden gem on the Pacific Coast. We’re excited to introduce you to this charming town, part of Oregon’s Adventure Coast along with North Bend and Charleston.

Coos Bay offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, rich history, and small-town charm. It’s ideal for those seeking a quieter coastal experience away from bustling tourist spots.

Coos Bay boasts a picturesque coastline with sea stacks and stunning views. The historic Marshfield District is home to unique shops, galleries, and eateries. Nature lovers will enjoy the area’s state parks, hiking trails, and outdoor adventures.

Don’t miss the chance to visit some of Oregon’s iconic lighthouses – seven of the nine original ones are open to the public here.

Importance of planning your activities

Planning our activities in Coos Bay, Oregon is crucial for a fulfilling trip. We’ll make the most of our time by mapping out our must-see spots and experiences. The Visitor Information Center offers great insights, but doing our homework beforehand gives us a head start.

We can balance our days between natural wonders like Shore Acres State Park and urban delights such as the Coos Bay Boardwalk.

Our itinerary should include space for spontaneous discoveries too. We might stumble upon a local art exhibit or music festival that wasn’t on our radar. By planning smartly, we ensure we don’t miss out on Coos Bay’s fresh seafood at places like SharkBites Café or unique finds at Vintage 101.

A well-thought-out plan lets us fully immerse ourselves in this coastal gem’s quieter charms.

Must-Visit Attractions in Coos Bay, Oregon

Things To Do In Coos Bay Oregon - Aerial view of Cape Arago State Park in Coos Bay, Oregon, highlighting its rugged cliffs, beaches, and tide pools.

Coos Bay, Oregon, offers a wealth of attractions that’ll captivate visitors of all ages. From stunning state parks to historic bridges and museums, there’s something for everyone in this coastal gem.

Read on to discover the top spots you won’t want to miss during your visit.

Shore Acres State Park

Shore Acres State Park is a must-visit gem on the Oregon coast. We love its stunning ocean views and beautifully manicured gardens. Open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:30 AM to 4:30 PM, this park offers a perfect escape for nature lovers and garden enthusiasts alike.

For just five dollars, visitors can explore the “garden for all seasons” and enjoy the observation building’s breathtaking seascapes.

We’re always impressed by the park’s high ratings – out of 845 reviews, 740 rate it as “Excellent.” The park isn’t just about pretty flowers, though. It’s also a great spot for wildlife watching.

Lucky visitors might catch a glimpse of migrating whales, seals, or sea lions from the observation points. This combination of natural wonders and carefully tended gardens makes Shore Acres a unique destination on the Oregon coastline.

Cape Arago State Park

We love Cape Arago State Park, a gem located about 15 miles southwest of Coos Bay. This beautiful spot offers stunning coastal views and plenty of space for picnics, with tables, restrooms, and a gazebo shelter available for daytime use.

Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the park’s rich wildlife – it’s a great place to spot harbor seals and sea lions lounging on the rocks below.

Our visits to Cape Arago always come with a few reminders. Currently, some areas are closed due to storm damage, including the Pack Trail. We can’t fly drones here, as they’re prohibited to protect wildlife and ensure visitor safety.

Despite these small limitations, the park’s natural beauty and peaceful atmosphere make it a must-visit destination for those of us seeking quieter Oregon coastal experiences.

McCullough Memorial Bridge

We can’t miss the McCullough Memorial Bridge when visiting Coos Bay. This iconic structure spans the Coos Bay, offering a stunning view of the area. Named after Conde B. McCullough in 1947, it’s a testament to Oregon’s engineering prowess.

The bridge stands as the longest in the state highway system since its completion in 1936. Its steel cantilevered truss mid-section soars 150 feet above the water, creating a breathtaking sight.

Our trip to Coos Bay isn’t complete without exploring this historic landmark. As part of the Coast Bridges Project from 1934-1936, it represents a key piece of Oregon’s transportation history.

In 2005, the bridge earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. This recognition highlights its significance to both locals and visitors alike. We’ll take a moment to appreciate its design and the role it plays in connecting the community.

Coos History Museum

We love exploring the Coos History Museum, a gem nestled in downtown Coos Bay at 1210 N Front Street. This fascinating spot boasts two floors packed with exhibits that bring the cultural history of the Coos region and south coastal Oregon to life.

It’s not just about static displays – the museum hosts engaging events like the First Tuesday Talk Lecture Series and Second Saturday Explorer’s Club, perfect for curious minds of all ages.

For military families, there’s an extra perk. The museum offers FREE admission to active duty personnel and their loved ones through the Blue Star Museums program. Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for an interesting afternoon, the Coos History Museum delivers a rich, educational experience that’ll deepen your appreciation for this beautiful corner of Oregon.

Coos Bay Boardwalk

We’ve found a real gem in downtown Coos Bay. The Coos Bay Boardwalk, built with thousands of wooden planks, stretches along Highway 101 North. It’s a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll, offering great views of the bay and a chance to soak in the local atmosphere.

Our favorite part? The fish market and informative displays. They give us a taste of the area’s rich maritime history and culture. For those wanting more details or to plan a visit, the boardwalk’s contact number is 541-269-8912.

It’s a must-see stop for anyone exploring this charming Oregon coastal town.

Exploring the Best Small Towns in Oregon Around Coos Bay

Let’s explore the charming small towns surrounding Coos Bay. Bandon, a quaint coastal gem, offers sweet surf breaks and classic boardwalks. It’s perfect for a relaxing day trip, where we can stroll along white sand beaches and enjoy fresh seafood.

Just a short drive away, we’ll find Golden Falls, a hidden treasure nestled in the lush Oregon forest. This spot boasts crashing waterfalls and scenic hiking trails, ideal for nature lovers seeking tranquility.

For those craving more coastal beauty, Devil’s Kitchen provides a rugged and dramatic landscape. We can wander along rocky cliffs, watch powerful waves crash against the shore, and spot diverse wildlife.

These small towns around Coos Bay truly embody the essence of Oregon’s coastal charm – each one a tiny slice of heaven waiting to be discovered.

Things To Do In Coos Bay Oregon – Local Dining and Shopping Experience

Coos Bay’s local dining and shopping scene offers a mix of fresh seafood and unique finds. We love exploring the area’s markets, cafes, and shops for a taste of coastal Oregon life.

Sample fresh and local goods at the Farmers Market

We love strolling through the Coos Bay Farmers Market every Wednesday from May to October. It’s a feast for the senses, offering a bounty of fresh, local goods from 9 am to 2 pm. The market bustles with vendors selling locally grown produce, farm-fresh eggs, golden honey, and succulent meats.

Artisan bakers tempt us with their aromatic breads and pastries, while roasted coffee fills the air with its rich aroma. Vibrant flowers catch our eye, and handcrafted body care products invite us to indulge.

This market truly captures the essence of Coos Bay’s community spirit and agricultural heritage.

Seafood options at SharkBites Seafood Café and Fishermen’s Seafood Market

Coos Bay offers some fantastic seafood spots that’ll make your taste buds dance. At SharkBites Seafood Café, we’ve savored fresh, local catches and some of the best burgers in town.

Their full bar and brunch options add to the appeal. Just down the road, Fishermen’s Seafood Market stands out with its 4.5-star rating on Tripadvisor. We’ve indulged in their crispy fish and chips, golden fried oysters, and creamy clam chowder.

The rockfish here is a must-try – it’s a local favorite that keeps us coming back for more.

Unique finds at Leafs Treehouse Antiques & Collectables Mall and Vintage 101

We love exploring unique shops, and Coos Bay doesn’t disappoint. Leafs Treehouse Antiques & Collectables Mall is a treasure trove of curiosities. This giant swap meet-style space offers everything from rare collectibles to vintage furniture.

We can easily spend 2-3 hours browsing the aisles, discovering mid-range priced antiques, curios, and household items.

For more vintage finds, we head to Vintage 101. This charming store stocks a variety of retro goods and nostalgic pieces. From classic vinyl records to quirky home decor, it’s a fun spot to pick up a one-of-a-kind souvenir.

Both shops offer a glimpse into the past and a chance to bring home a piece of Coos Bay’s history.

Outdoor Adventures in Coos Bay

Coos Bay offers a playground for outdoor enthusiasts. From rugged coastlines to lush forests, the area brims with chances for adventure and exploration.

Mountain biking and cycling

We love hitting the trails in Coos Bay, especially the Whiskey Run Mountain Bike Trails. These paths offer 30 miles of two-wheeled fun, just a quick 15-minute drive south of town. The Wild Rivers Coast Mountain Biking Association keeps these trails in top shape for riders of all levels.

Coos Bay is a playground for outdoor lovers, and biking is no exception. Whether you prefer cruising on roads or tackling rugged terrain, you’ll find plenty of options here. The area’s natural beauty provides a stunning backdrop for your rides.

From coastal views to lush forests, every pedal stroke brings new sights to enjoy.

Water activities at Charleston Marine, Life Center, and Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

Coos Bay offers a wealth of water activities for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. From interactive marine life experiences to thrilling dune adventures, there’s something for everyone in this coastal gem.

  1. Charleston Marine Life Center: This educational hub brings coastal ecosystems to life. We can explore full-size marine animal skeletons, including an orca and a juvenile gray whale. The center’s hands-on touch tanks let us feel starfish, anemones, and sea urchins up close.
  2. Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area: This 40-mile stretch of coastal sand dunes is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts. We can try sandboarding, a unique activity that combines surfing and snowboarding on the dunes. ATV tours offer a thrilling way to explore the vast dune landscape.
  3. Kayaking and Canoeing: The bay’s calm waters are perfect for paddling adventures. We can rent equipment from local outfitters and explore the coastline at our own pace.
  4. Fishing Charters: Local guides offer trips to catch salmon, rockfish, and lingcod. These excursions give us a chance to experience the area’s rich marine life firsthand.
  5. Whale Watching: During migration seasons, we might spot gray whales from shore. For a closer look, boat tours are available, offering a chance to see these majestic creatures up close.
  6. Tidepooling: At low tide, we can discover a miniature world of sea creatures in the rocky intertidal zones. It’s a fascinating activity that doesn’t require any special equipment.
  7. Surfing: While not for beginners, experienced surfers can catch waves at nearby beaches. Local surf shops offer rentals and can provide information on the best spots.
  8. Crabbing: We can try our hand at catching Dungeness crabs from the docks or by joining a crabbing tour. It’s a fun activity that often ends with a delicious meal.

Hiking to Golden and Silver Falls

We love hiking to Golden and Silver Falls, a hidden gem just 24 miles from Highway 101. This state natural area offers a peaceful escape from the bustle of Coos Bay. The 1.4-mile trail to the top of Golden Falls winds through lush canyons, revealing stunning views along the way.

It’s open year-round for day use, perfect for those seeking a quiet adventure in Oregon’s breathtaking landscape.

Silver Falls, Golden Falls’ equally impressive neighbor, awaits hikers on a separate trail. Both paths offer unique perspectives of these majestic waterfalls. The area’s natural beauty and serene atmosphere make it a must-visit spot for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike.

We find this hike an ideal way to experience the raw beauty of Oregon’s coast range – it’s a true feast for the senses.

Travel Tips for Coos Bay

Our travel tips for Coos Bay cover everything from wheelchair access to local events. We’ve got the inside scoop on the best routes for your Oregon coast road trip… Want to know more? Keep reading!

Accessibility options for wheelchair users

We’re excited to share that Coos Bay and its surrounding communities are making great strides in wheelchair accessibility. Eight towns on the Southern Oregon Coast have received grants to improve access for wheelchair users.

This means more people can enjoy the area’s beauty and attractions. Places like state and county parks near Charleston now offer accessible travel options. The Coos History Museum and Charleston Marine Life Center have also stepped up, providing accessible features for all visitors to enjoy.

Wheel the World, a specialized organization, is assessing local attractions, restaurants, and accommodations for their accessibility features. This work will help wheelchair users plan their trips with confidence.

It’s part of a broader effort to make the quieter, smaller towns of Oregon’s coast open to everyone. We love seeing these changes, as they allow more folks to experience the charm and natural wonders of Coos Bay and its neighbors.

Things To Do In Coos Bay Oregon – Events and festivals to attend

Coos Bay comes alive with vibrant events throughout the year. We love the South Coast Clambake Music Festival in March, where jazz enthusiasts gather for toe-tapping tunes and delicious seafood.

For thrill-seekers, the UTV TakeOver in 2023 offers heart-pounding off-road action. Don’t miss the spectacular Independence Day Celebrations, lighting up the bay with dazzling fireworks.

And for those who enjoy a good cocktail, the Annual Margarita-Mill Festival serves up refreshing drinks and lively entertainment.

From May through October, we recommend visiting the Coos Bay Farmers Market every Wednesday. It’s a perfect spot to mingle with locals, sample fresh produce, and find unique handcrafted goods.

These events showcase the community spirit of Coos Bay, offering a taste of local culture and traditions in a relaxed, small-town atmosphere.

Ideal road trip routes through the northern Oregon coast and Mount Hood, Oregon.

We’ve mapped out an unforgettable road trip along the northern Oregon coast and Mount Hood. Our journey begins in Astoria, a charming coastal town steeped in history. From there, we’ll wind our way south, covering 338 miles of breathtaking scenery.

We’ll stop at Ecola State Park, known for its stunning views, and Cannon Beach, famous for its iconic Haystack Rock. Hug Point State Recreation Area offers a perfect spot for a picnic and beach exploration.

As we continue south, we’ll encounter smaller, quieter towns that offer a glimpse into Oregon’s coastal charm. The Pacific Coast Scenic Byway provides a picturesque drive with numerous pull-offs for photo opportunities.

After enjoying the rugged beauty of the coast, we’ll head inland to Mount Hood. This snow-capped peak offers year-round outdoor activities, from hiking in summer to skiing in winter.

The route takes about 7.5 hours of driving time, but we recommend spreading it out over several days to fully appreciate each stop.

Things To Do In Coos Bay Oregon Conclusion

Coos Bay captivates visitors with its natural beauty and friendly atmosphere. Our guide highlights the best activities, from exploring state parks to savoring local seafood. Whether you’re hiking coastal trails or browsing antique shops, this charming Oregon town offers something for everyone.

Plan your trip to Coos Bay and create lasting memories in this Pacific Northwest gem. You’ll leave with a newfound appreciation for small-town America and the wonders of the Oregon coast.

Things To Do In Coos Bay Oregon FAQs

1. What are some amazing things to do in Coos Bay, Oregon?

Coos Bay offers plenty of exciting activities. Visit Sunset Bay State Park for stunning views. Explore the Oregon Coast Trail for hiking adventures. The Mill Casino provides entertainment. Watch California sea lions at local beaches. Enjoy camping at nearby campgrounds.

2. Is there good camping near Coos Bay?

Yes, Coos Bay has excellent camping options. The Dyrt recommends several campgrounds in the area. Sunset Bay State Park offers beautiful campsites. You can find spots along the Oregon Coast Trail. Many campers enjoy the natural beauty and wildlife.

3. Can I see sea lions in Coos Bay?

Absolutely! California sea lions are common in Coos Bay. You can often spot them lounging on beaches or swimming. The South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) is a great place to observe marine life. Bring binoculars for a closer look.

4. What’s special about Sunset Bay State Park?

Sunset Bay State Park is a gem in Coos Bay. It features a crescent-shaped beach with calm waters. Visitors enjoy picnicking, swimming, and fishing. The park offers scenic hiking trails and camping facilities. Sunsets here are truly spectacular.

5. Are there any unique cultural experiences in Coos Bay?

Coos Bay has rich cultural offerings. The area has Japanese heritage sites to explore. Local museums showcase the region’s history. The Mill Casino hosts cultural events. You can find diverse dining options beyond fast food. The town blends coastal charm with cultural depth.

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