Bandon, one of the southern Oregon Coast's most popular destinations, is located where the winding Coquille River 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 so attractive can be found in Bandon, including scenic beaches and unique shops and galleries, most of which are within walking distance of the Old Town. The coastline, river, and forest provide various opportunities for outdoor activities, from viewing beautiful rock formations to hiking and wildlife watching. When the weather turns sour, this town is a great place to watch the storms roll in and marvel at the high waves. There is always something to do in Bandon, and visitors arrive in the city all year long.
Considered one of the top golf resorts in the nation, Bandon Dunes Golf Resort features five courses with magnificent ocean views. Golfers will also enjoy the practice facility and clubhouses.
Trails allow you to experience the region's unique sand dunes while taking in the beach and golf course vistas. Various types of accommodations are offered—from lodge rooms to cottages—and guests can enjoy the massage center, as well as fine and casual dining restaurants, pubs, and lounges. It's easy to enjoy a getaway without having to leave the resort.
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. Combined with 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 rocks and tide pools. As you drive the seven-mile route, you'll come across shopping, dining, and lodging opportunities.
Another place to wander is the Bandon State Natural Area, where you'll find beaches for picnics and beautiful rock formations.
Coastal getaways traditionally include wandering through local boutiques and art galleries, along with eating locally made sweet treats and fresh-from-the-ocean seafood. Bandon's Old Town district, located by the town's small marina off 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 and vegetarian options, topped off with an Oregon wine or beer.
Art lovers will enjoy the public art displays, including unique wood sculptures. Stroll down Old Town's boardwalk from late May through early September to see the Port of Bandon Boardwalk Art Show, a fun way to check out art with different themes each year.
Also known as Bandon Light or Coquille River Light, the Coquille River Lighthouse is the 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 open, visitors can check out the "fog room," which features interpretive exhibits and a small gift shop with homemade jam and other goods.
This family-friendly state park that's open all year is located along several miles of beach on the north side of the Coquille River, two miles from Bandon. Day visitors can enjoy exploring the beach on foot, horse, or mountain bike. A boat ramp and picnic area are also there.
Bullards Beach State Park has a large campground amidst the pine trees with spaces for RV and tent campers. The park also offers yurts—circular domed tents, some of which are pet-friendly—and a yurt meeting hall, along with a horse camp with beach and dune access.
Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, which opened in 1983, is located where the Coquille River 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 some fish species such as Coho and Chinook salmon, steelhead, and Cutthroat Trout.
While visiting the refuge, you might see sandpipers and plovers by the thousands as well as waterfowl, herons, cormorants, and falcons. Visitors enjoy the great vistas from 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 Capital of Oregon." The tart red berry has been celebrated annually for decades by both residents and visitors during the second weekend in September. Bandon Cranberry Festival's three days of events include a bounty 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 booths, shop at the Old Town Marketplace Farmers Market, view classic cars, and watch the Coronation of the Cranberry Court, among numerous other festivities. The event takes place at various venues in town.
From sunrise to sunset at the Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, locals and visitors can enjoy fishing year-round on the Ni-les'tun Unit via boat launches at Bullards Beach State Park, the Port of Bandon, or Rocky Point County Park. If you are on foot, use the parking lot on North Bank Lane across from the refuge office and take the walking trails into the Unit. The banks of the Coquille River offer steelhead, cutthroat trout, salmon, striped bass, and surfperch, though woody debris and tides can present difficulties. Shellfishing is not allowed here.
You may also go fishing and shellfishing on the mudflats west of U.S. Highway 101 on the Bandon Marsh Unit.
Those with an Oregon fishing license who follow state laws, limits, and regulations may fish on the refuge. Anyone visiting may not destroy or remove property or natural objects from the national wildlife refuge.
If you'd like a fresh meal, Tony's Crab Shack, open daily on the Bandon Boardwalk, will cook the fish you catch.