Towering sand dunes, beautiful beaches, a craggy coastline, bustling activity on the bay – it’s no wonder why the Coos Bay, Oregon, area is known as Oregon’s Adventure Coast. It’s made up of the cities and towns of North Bend, Oregon, Charleston, Oregon, and Coos Bay. The city was originally established in the 1850s as Marshfield and later named Coos Bay in the 1940s. Thanks to the merging of Empire, Eastside and Coos Bay, this city is the largest on Oregon’s Coast, boasting the recreation, revitalized downtown and events to match. It encapsulates everything you think of when imagining both a city and the Pacific Northwest: The area is a hotspot for art, culture, trendy restaurants and shopping while still maintaining pristine stretches of coastline, state parks, recreation areas and sweeping water prime for outdoor adventures.
To the north of Coos Bay, Oregon, (both the city and the bay itself) rests North Bend, Oregon. Aptly named after its bayside location, this city draws people with its airport – the only one on the Oregon Coast – and the promises of retail therapy: It’s home to the largest, enclosed shopping mall on the state’s coast.
City Meets Quaint Coastal Charm in Coos Bay, Oregon
The Coos Bay, Oregon, area is a fishing hub, and 8 miles west from the city itself sits a living, breathing glimpse into the history of this water-fairing culture in Charleston, Oregon. The harbor is at the heart of the community, and it maintains a large marina, which is home to one of the West Coast’s premier commercial fishing operations – in fact it’s the best natural harbor between San Francisco and Puget Sound. Numerous charter fishing services operate out of the marina too, so Charleston, Oregon, attracts great numbers of professional and recreational anglers. But as good as the fishing is, there’s so many more to the things to do in Coos Bay, Oregon. The area boasts the reputation as Oregon’s Adventure Coast, earned by the outdoor recreation activities supported by the amazing beaches, state parks, pristine natural scenery, ocean, bay and rivers.
Indoor and Outdoor Adventures in Coos Bay, Oregon
Many could argue that a trip to the Oregon Coast isn’t complete without visiting the Coos Bay, Oregon, area. One of its most attractive features is how the area has activities and features that appeal to every interest, and within that, there’s so much depth to all the things to do. On the city-side of things, shopaholics, history buffs, art enthusiasts and music lovers will find diversions to fill their days. Others take to the waterways for fishing, kayaking, standup paddleboarding or boating. People who prefer turf activities to surf stay busy with hiking, cycling and ATVing in the picturesque state park natural areas. Whatever ways people’s whims move them, boredom is never in question.
Stop and Shop in Coos Bay, Oregon
Considering the many activities at your fingertips on the South Oregon Coast, you’ll need a way to stock up on provisions and get gear needed for whatever you decide to try. Thankfully for hopeful shoppers, Coos Bay, Oregon, has been the center for commercial activity on the South Oregon Coast since its early days, and even today it’s one of the top shopping areas for the entire coast. Within the trendy Port of Coos Bay, there are funky shops throughout the walkable downtown. For a centralized shopping experience that still satisfies each point on your list, head to the impressive mall in North Bend, Oregon.
Dine in Coos Bay, Oregon
If days in Coos Bay, Oregon, are filled with shopping, visiting museums, attending concerts and theater performances, playing outside and embarking on watery adventures, then you need serious fuel. As one might expect, the sophistication that characterizes this area carries over to the dining scene too. There’s diversity with flavors from Italy, the Mediterranean, western Europe, Thailand, Japan, Mexico and beyond. Enjoy deli sandwiches bursting with fresh meat, bold cups of gourmet coffee, fresh fish served up in tacos or in beautifully plated preparations and salads with crisp, farm-fresh vegetables. While many Coos Bay, Oregon, restaurants are dine-in places, quite a number of them offer to-go options so you can pick up snacks and meals to keep you energized during your day of activities.
Stay in Coos Bay, Oregon
Many people traveling to the Oregon Coast choose to stay in the Coos Bay, Oregon, area. Whether these towns are visitors’ ultimate destination or they’re chosen simply for their proximity to the Southwest Oregon Regional Airport and other areas on the coast, Coos Bay, Oregon, hotels and vacation rentals have offerings for all travel styles and needs. Relax on a romantic getaway in a charming bed and breakfast in Coos Bay, win big when staying at a casino’s accommodations in Charleston, or catch quick zzz’s before an early morning flight at a hotel near the airport in North Bend. For longer stays or if you have the entire family in tow, consider staying in a Coos Bay, Oregon, vacation rental.
Coos Bay, Oregon, Frequently Asked Questions
Who is Steve Prefontaine?
Does the name ring a bell? Sports nerds and runners probably perked up their ears at the sound of it. Prefontaine was a middle- and long-distance runner from Coos Bay, Oregon, who competed in the 1972 Olympics. He set national records for every distance between the 2,000- and 10,000-meter events.
What's Coos Bay, Oregon's, weather?
As far as Coos Bay, Oregon's, weather goes, summers shine as the time to indulge in the rich outdoor recreation offerings. Long days warmed by sunshine encourage hiking, exploring the walkable downtown areas, boating, fishing and playing on the Oregon Dunes State Recreation Area. It never gets too cold with temperatures averaging in the mid 50s; however, the months for the most rainfall are November through January.
How do I get to Coos Bay, Oregon?
U.S. Highway 101 runs from Oregon’s north to south coast, and it goes right through Coos Bay, making it an easy destination or stopping point for travelers making their way along the coast. And as a fun fact for the ambitious roadtrippers tackling the entire West Coast, Coos Bay is halfway between San Francisco and Seattle. Those arriving from greater distances can fly into North Bend’s Southwest Oregon Regional Airport.
What fish can I catch in Coos Bay, Oregon?
No matter the time of year, Coos Bay attracts anglers. During the fall the season peaks for Chinook salmon, albacore tuna, crabs and clams. Steelhead bite in the winter months, and the return of spring brings in rockfish and bass. Come summer, venture out in the ocean for salmon and bluegill tuna.