Add This Charming Small Oregon Coastal Town to Your Travel List

Bandon, Oregon Historic District / Image via Wikipedia Commons

While I was growing up in the ’80s and ’90s Portland-area, trips to the Northern Oregon Coast were mandatory. I got to know Seaside and its touristy-charms like the back of my little hand, but the Southern Coast was still a vast mystery until I was grown and mobile with my own vehicle.

How much I had missed.

“Isn’t that the place they make the cheese?” “There’s a wildlife park or something there, I think…I saw it on a billboard.”

We’re talking about the awesome little city of Bandon.

Located exactly 101 miles up US-101 from the California border, 230 miles south of Portland, and 23 miles south of Coos Bay/North Bend, Bandon is nestled at the mouth of the Coquille River where it spills out into the vast Pacific Ocean.

The Coquille River Lighthouse, Bandon Oregon. / Image via / Wikipedia Commons

Life in Bandon is shaped by nature and the people who make their home in this corner of the Oregon Coast.

That’s why we say our attractions are always in season, always open.

Stunning ocean vistas. Wild woods and streams. Friendly neighbors who understand you want to pace yourself, take it all in.

www.bandon.com

Are you ready to go yet? Read on. You will be.

Summer temperatures in Bandon rarely get much warmer than the low 70s F, but the sun shines almost every day, making this the perfect escape from Willamette Valley and Eastern Oregon heat.

One of the gorgeous sunny beaches to explore near Bandon. / Image via / https://travelazzi.com

In fact, there are so many things to do in the area that you may never want to leave.

Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint offers incredible vistas, especially at sunset.

Face Rock, Bandon, Oregon. / Image via/ Danielle Denham / www.thepdxphotographer.com

Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge is a beautiful spot to picnic and enjoy a scenic hike or stroll.

Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge as seen from Coquille Point / Image via / Finetooth / Wikimedia Commons

Face Rock Creamery makes award-winning cheeses that you can sample daily from 10am-5pm, masks required. Visit and watch cheese being made, bring home a gift box (trust me, you want to try the Horseradish Cheddar), or indulge in some Umpqua ice cream at the gift shop.

Image via / Facerock Creamery
Umpqua’s Cranberry Cheesecake Ice Cream at Facerock Creamery, OH LAWD. / Image via / Julie Hashimoto-McCreery / Instagram / ForbiddenRiceBlog

Bandon is the “Cranberry Capital of Oregon”, and every second week in September you can help celebrate the annual Bandon Cranberry Festival. This year it takes place from September 11th to the 13th 2020, with live music and performing arts, classic cars and farm equipment, carnival rides, sports, shopping, dining, and contests. (Check their website for ongoing updates regarding Covid-19)

Festivities at the annual Bandon Cranberry Festival. / Image via / bandon.com

Visit the West Coast Game Park Safari to see over 75 species of animals, including goats, sheep, deer, and peacocks that roam free along with you. (Scratch a Capybara’s back while you’re at it.)

Capybara back scratches at West Coast Game Park Safari near Bandon, Oregon. / Image via / Facebook / West Coast Game Park Safari
A majestic African Lion, Bandon, Oregon. Image via / Facebook / West Coast Game Park Safari

Go horseback riding on the beach with Bandon Beach Riding Stables. The sunset ride is pure magic.

Riding with Bandon Beach Riding Stables / Image via / Gleneda B. / TripAdvisor.com

Bandon is home to the world-famous Bandon Dunes golf resort which contains 5 distinct courses that stretch across land with some of the best views and sweeping vistas around.

A view of hole 4 from Bandon Dunes Golf Course. / Image via / Bandon Dunes

There are of course many options for lodging, but why not try one of the 13 yurts for rent at Bullard’s Beach State Park? The views here are extraordinary as well, and if they’re booked up, try another of the coast’s many yurt-stay locations.

Bullards Beach State Park Yurt for rent.

Go birdwatching or kayaking (heck, you can do both at the same time). Tours are available through such companies as South Coast Tours, or go at it on your own.

Kayakers enjoy an outing by Bullard’s Bridge, Bandon Oregon. / Image via / Aaron Theisen / Bandon.com
A huge grouping of coastal birds in Bandon, Oregon. / Image via / theworldlink.com

However you choose to spend your time in Bandon, enjoy your time doing it. There are a multitude of activities not covered here, so checking out www.bandon.com is a great place to start.

Sunset at the coast, Bandon, Oregon. / Image via / Danielle Denham / www.thepdxphotographer.com
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