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The towns of Coos Bay, North Bend and Charleston, located on Highway 101 in the southern part of the state, are called “Oregon’s Adventure Coast” for a reason. Surrounded by thick forests and perched on an ocean bay, Coos Bay is the gateway to some of the coast’s best outdoor fun.

Do the Dunes. Just to the north in the town of North Bend, you’ll find the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. The enormous, wind-sculpted dunes, some as high as 500 feet, sprawl along a 40-mile stretch of coast. Explore the sandy terrain along hiking trails, or take to the sand on a dune buggy ride or rented ATV.

Feeling Crabby? Get a taste of Oregon’s official state crustacean — Dungeness crab —  the DIY way. Most local fishing shops supply the necessary licenses and equipment. Toss your pot in at the Charleston Boat Basin. The folks at Fisherman’s Wharf will cook and clean your catch for you.

Surfs up! Brave the Oregon waves on a surfboard. Waxer’s Surf Skate Shop in Coos Bay offers lessons for all levels and provides everything you need — wetsuit, booties, gloves, hood, board and, most important, enthusiastic encouragement. Locals love Bastendorff Beach outside of Charleston.

Taste the Coast. Try Shark Bites Café for tasty tacos, burgers and seafood sandwiches. Hilltop House Restaurant & Lounge offers beautiful views of the Haynes Inlet and a menu rich in fresh fish. At The Mill Casino Hotel, choose from the Plank House, the Saw Blade Buffet, Warehouse 101 and others. The Coach House Restaurant & Lounge offers barbeque, seafood and steak.

About the Author: Eileen Garvin

Eileen Garvin is the editor of Travel Oregon’s Seasonal Features, enewsletters and annual visitor guide. When she’s not cooking up trip ideas, Oregon Dreamer profiles and outdoor adventures to write about, she’s out exploring Oregon.

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These maps and directions are for planning purposes only. You may find that construction projects, traffic, or other events may cause road conditions to differ from the map results. For travel options, weather and road conditions, visit, call 511 (in Oregon only), 800.977.6368 or 503.588.2941.

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  1. Dr.Dune says…

    Someone forgot to add one of the biggest attractions to the dune… sandboarding!!

    Written on November 8th, 2012 / Flag this Comment

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