8 Top Things to Do in Bandon, Oregon

Bandon Beach at Sunset, Bandon, Oregon

Klaus Lang / Getty Images

Bandon, one of the southern Oregon Coast's most popular destinations, is located at the mouth of the winding Coquille River, where it empties into the Pacific Ocean. The small, charming city is known for its historic lighthouse and the highly acclaimed golf courses at the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. Many of the sites and activities that make the Oregon Coast attractive to visitors can be found in Bandon, including scenic beaches and unique shops and galleries, most within walking distance of the Old Town. The coastline, river, and forest provide various opportunities for outdoor activities, like viewing beautiful rock formations, hiking, and wildlife watching. When the weather turns grey, this town is a great place to watch the storms roll in and marvel at the high waves. There is always something fun to do in Bandon all year long.

01 of 08

Marvel at Artwork Along the Oregon Coast Public Art Trail

Giant puffin made from sea trash in Bandon, Oregon

Emily_M_Wilson / Getty Images

The 30-mile stretch from Port Orford to Bandon makes up a featured section of the Oregon Coast Public Art Trail. Along this trail, you'll find bold large-scale abstract paintings, eyepopping modern sculptures, and blown glass creations tucked inside contemporary galleries, as well as free-to-the-public outdoor art exhibits. Check out the Hawthorne Gallery in Port Orford which houses works primarily from the Hawthorne brothers—a glass artist and a painter and sculptor. Woods of the West in Bandon showcases custom furniture, jewelry, and gifts made from the famous Oregon Myrtlewood. And don't miss the public art in Bandon, which consists of a fish sculpture and a giant puffin named Avery, both made from upcycled sea trash, as part of the Washed Ashore Project.

02 of 08

Eat Fresh Seafood

Fresh Dungeness crab at a fish market

Carlina Teteris / Getty Images

The Pacific Northwest, with its inlets, fjords, archipelagos, and long stretches of sandy beach, has long been a fisherman's haven. Local fisherman haul in droves of salmon, Dungeness crab, spot prawns, and a variety of clams. A visit to one of the local restaurants assures you'll get the freshest meal from the sea.

Tony's Crab Shack, located on the Bandon Boardwalk, might not look like much, but they offer up some of the finest seafood dishes around, as nothing is deep-fried here. However, if fish and chips are your thing, the Bandon Fish Market delivers the goods, alongside battered and fried prawns, clam strips, and scallops. Edgewaters claims some of the best views around. Enjoy a window-side table as you sip local wine and munch on halibut, rockfish, and crispy fried oyster dishes.

03 of 08

Indulge Yourself at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort

The 15th hole at the Bandon Dunes Golf Course

Tony Roberts / Getty Images

57744 Round Lake Rd, Bandon, OR 97411, USA
Phone +1 877-652-2122

Considered one of the top golf resorts in the nation, Bandon Dunes Golf Resort features five courses with magnificent ocean views. Winding trails that envelope the courses allow you to experience the region's unique sand dunes, while taking in beach and golf course vistas. Various types of accommodations are offered here, too—from rooms in the main lodge to private cottages—and guests can enjoy the resort's spa, several restaurants, pubs, and lounges. Golfers can take advantage of the practice facility and private clubhouses, as this getaway assures you'll never have to leave the resort for anything.

04 of 08

Catch Some Views on Beach Loop Drive

View of Beach Loop Drive

TripSavvy / Jamie Ditaranto

Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint, Bandon, OR 97411, USA
Phone +1 800-551-6949

Running along the coastline south of town, Beach Loop Drive—accessible from Highway 101 and many downtown roads—has some very photogenic viewpoints, including a series of offshore rocks, like Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint. With a backdrop of blue water, white-tipped waves, and broad sand beaches, these rocks are stunning. Enjoy the views while hiking the trail to the beach, where you can explore tide pools. As you drive the seven-mile route, you'll come across shopping, dining, and lodging opportunities, as well as the Bandon State Natural Area, where you'll find beaches for picnics and other beautiful rock formations.

Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08

Visit Old Town Shops and Restaurants

Old Town in Bandon as seen from the boardwalk near the marina

Joe Mabel / Wikimedia Commons

370 US-101, Bandon, OR 97411-9300, USA

Coastal getaways traditionally include wandering through local boutiques and eating locally made sweet treats. Bandon's Old Town district, located by the town's small marina off of Highway 101 South, is the place to pick up the latest beachwear, local art, and Oregon Coast souvenirs. You can also find nice spots for dining on seafood or vegetarian options, topped off with a local wine or beer. Stroll Old Town's boardwalk from late May through early September to see the Port of Bandon Boardwalk Art Show. The show features a different theme each year and showcases the works of both professional and amateur artists.

06 of 08

Stroll Around Coquille River Lighthouse

Coquille River Lighthouse

TripSavvy / Jamie Ditaranto

56487 Bullards Beach Rd, Bandon, OR 97411-7402, USA
Phone +1 541-347-2209

Also known as Bandon Light or Coquille River Light, the Coquille River Lighthouse is a local icon. Situated on a rocky point at the south end of Bullards Beach State Park, north of the town of Bandon, this decommissioned lighthouse—which was in operation from 1896 to 1939—is the smallest of the many Oregon Coast lighthouses. When it's open, visitors can check out the "fog room," which features interpretive exhibits and a small gift shop with homemade jam and other goods.

07 of 08

Go Birdwatching at a the Wildlife Refuge

Western Sandpipers and Dunlin, Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge

David B. Ledig / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service / Flickr

Oregon 97411, USA

Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge is located at the mouth of the Coquille River, where it empties into the Pacific Ocean and protects one of the last salt marshes within the Coquille River estuary. The lower Coquille River estuary provides a needed habitat for certain fish species, like Coho and Chinook salmon, steelhead, and Cutthroat trout. This spot is also home to birds, like sandpipers and plovers (you can sometimes see them by the thousands), as well as herons, cormorants, and falcons. Visitors can enjoy the vista from the Bandon Marsh Observation Deck, located at the south edge of the refuge, complete with an accessible viewing platform and stairs leading to the mudflats.

08 of 08

Have Fun at the Bandon Cranberry Festival

Cranberry harvest on the Oregon Coast

Tashka / Getty Images

With miles and miles of cranberry bogs, Bandon is often called the "Cranberry Capital of Oregon." The tart red berry is celebrated annually, each September, by both residents and visitors. Bandon Cranberry Festival hosts three days of fun activities, which, of course, include a cranberry eating contest. The attendees can also participate in a fun run, watch live music, from country to rock and roll, dine at food trucks, shop at the Old Town Marketplace Farmers Market, view classic cars, and watch the coronation of the "Cranberry Court." The event takes place at various venues in town.

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8 Top Things to Do in Bandon, Oregon