Located where the winding Coquille River empties into the Pacific Ocean, Bandon is one of the many fun getaway destinations located on the South Oregon Coast. Bandon is known for the highly-acclaimed golf courses at the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. Many of the attractions and activities that make the Oregon Coast so popular can be found in Bandon, including an historic lighthouse, scenic beaches, and unique shops and galleries. The coastline, river, and forest provide opportunity for outdoor activities of all kinds, from beach combing to hiking to wildlife watching. Bandon is a fun place to visit all year long. When the weather is blustery, this beach town makes a great place to watch the storms roll in.
Here are my picks for fun things to do in Bandon, Oregon.
Considered one of the top golf resorts in the nation, Bandon Dunes Golf Resort features multiple courses with magnificent ocean views. Golfers will also enjoy the practice facility and the three clubhouses. Trails allow you to experience the region's unique sand dunes while taking in beach and golf course vistas. Resort accommodations include guest rooms in The Inn, rooms or suites in The Lodge, and a range of vacation homes. Fine and casual dining options are available around the resort complex, along with pubs and lounges.
Beach Loop DriveRunning along the coastline south of town, Beach Loop Drive provides access to some extremely photogenic viewpoints. These include a series of offshore rocks known as Bandon Rocks and Face Rock that, when combined with blue water, white-tipped waves, and broad sand beaches, are truly stunning. Views can be enjoyed while hiking the trail to the beach, where you can explore rocks and tide pools. Another place to stop and wander is Bandon State Natural Area, where more sandy beach and rugged rocks beg to be photographed. As you drive the two-plus mile route you'll come across shopping, dining, and lodging opportunities.
Coastal getaways traditionally includes wandering through local boutiques and art galleries along with locally-made sweet treats and fresh-from-the-ocean seafood. Bandon's Old Town district, located by the town's small marina, is your place to pick up the latest beach wear, local art, and Oregon Coast souvenir.
Bandon's Beach Loop Drive is another section of town where you can explore fun shops and eateries.
Coquille River Lighthouse (©Oregon State Parks)
Also known as Bandon Light, the Coquille River Lighthouse has become the local icon. Situated on a rocky point at the south end of Bullards Beach State Park, this decommissioned lighthouse is the smallest of the many Oregon Coast lighthouses. When open, visitors can check out the "fog room," which features interpretive exhibits and a small gift shop.
This family-friendly state park is located along several miles of beach on the north side of the Coquille River. Day visitors can enjoy exploring all this beach on foot, horse, or mountain bike. A boat ramp and picnic area are also available. Bullards Beach State Park has an extensive campground with spaces for RV and tent campers, yurts, and a horse camp.
Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, located near the mouth of the Coquille River, protects the one of the last salt marshes within the Coquille River estuary. While visiting the refuge, you might see sandpipers and plovers by the thousands as well as waterfowl, herons, and falcons. Be sure to check out the Bandon Marsh Observation Deck, located at the south edge of the refuge, which includes an accessible viewing platform and stairs leading to the mudflats.
With miles and miles of cranberry bogs, Bandon is often called the "Cranberry Capitol of Oregon." The cranberry is celebrated annually over the second weekend in September. Bandon Cranberry Festival events include a fun run, food booths, eating contests, and the Coronation of the Cranberry Court.