Located at the mouth of the Rogue River, Gold Beach is an ideal coastal destination for people who enjoy long walks on the beach, boats and down-to-earth local flavor.
“The Rogue kind of explains who we are,” says Jodi Fritts, City Manager for Gold Beach. “We’re one of the most remote cities on the Oregon Coast, so we’re less crowded. When you come to Gold Beach, you get to see what the Oregon Coast looked like when Lewis and Clark got here.”
Since Gold Beach is off the beaten path — there’s no direct connection to the I-5 freeway — it’s relatively underdeveloped compared with areas along the central and north Oregon Coast. Tourism is Gold Beach’s main economic driver, with guided fishing and boat tours leading the charge. Jerry’s Rogue Jets, offering jet-boat trips along the Rogue River, is considered the biggest attraction.
The town of Gold Beach is home to just over 2,000 people. It is long and narrow, about a mile long. “When you come into town off Highway 101, you’ve pretty much seen all of Gold Beach,” says Fritts.
You’ll find eateries ranging from small food carts to decadent $40-a-plate restaurants. A local favorite is Woogy’s at the Port of Gold Beach, where the owner serves up her family-recipe fish and chips and tartar sauce. For coffee, head to the Coffee Dock, located right next to Jerry’s Rogue Jets.
The lone brewery in town is also worth a stop. At the 2016 World Beer Cup, Arch Rock Brewing was voted best Very Small Brewing Company and took home the gold for its Pistol River Pale.
Gold Beach has several oceanfront hotels as well as economy hotels on the east side of 101. “These hotels are half of what you’ll pay for oceanfront, and since the beach covers the whole town, you’re still within walking distance,” says Fritts.
Gold Beach is all about — you guessed it — the beach. The beach is walkable for five uninterrupted miles, all the way to Cape Sebastian. “By car, Cape Sebastian is 10 miles away, but you can walk straight there from Gold Beach,” says Fritts. “Most people don’t realize how much beach we have here.”
Just 45 minutes north of the California border, Gold Beach is attracting a lot of retirees from California, who are lured by town’s reputation as the sunniest spot on the Oregon Coast. But Fritts likes to temper this legacy.
“Our small airport does have more cloud-free days than any other airport between San Francisco and Seattle — we have more wind, which keeps the fog away,” says Fritts. “But sunny to Oregonians is different from sunny for other people. In Oregon, sunny doesn’t always mean warm. Bring a sweatshirt when you come to Gold Beach.”