If you love sun, the beach, and quaint little towns, then traveling down the Oregon coast makes for an excellent getaway. There are numerous little towns that you can stop and stay in along the way, each one offering its fair share of hospitably hotels and bed-and-breakfasts. Here's a look at three of the best places to stay on southern Oregon coast that you'll want to spend at least a night or two in along the way.
Depoe Bay, Oregon
Located about midway down the Oregon coast, this little town had a population of only 1,398 at the time of the 2010 US census. Depoe Bay is named after the harbor located within it, which at 6 acres, has the reputation of being the smallest navigable harbor in the world. There are many small, boutique hotels to stay in, along with an assortment of independently owned bed-and-breakfasts.
Things to Do:
Visit the bay: You can't visit this town without venturing down to the bay itself. The caves and lava beds along the shoreline make for some wonderful photos, and on a hot day, the spray from the waves crashing against the uneven shoreline will cool you off. This is also known to be a great place for whale watching.
Get salt water taffy: This tasty treat is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Taffy stands along the shore offer unique flavors like butter rum and cinnamon roll. Enjoy some yourself, and bring a bag home as a souvenir for friends.
Located in the southern portion of the state along the Coquille River, Bandon, Oregon had a population of just over 3,000 in 2010. Its list of accolades include mention as one of the "Coolest Small Towns in America" by BudgetTravel in 2010. Bandon offers its share of quaint hotels, but it also has some larger, resort-style accommodations at local golf courses if you prefer to stay in a more posh setting.
Things to Do:
Visit the sandy beaches: The beaches in Bandon are much friendlier and sandier than most in Oregon. You can traverse a set of stairs to a smooth, sandy portion of the beach that's perfect for sunbathing or just watching the waves.
Sip some wine or beer: Bandon is home to several breweries and wine rooms where you can enjoy beers and wines made with ingredients grown in the Pacific Northwest. Book a tour, or just enjoy a delicious dinner and drinks with your traveling buddies.
Port Orford, Oregon
The southernmost of the three towns in this list, Port Orford is a tiny locale with a population around 1,100 as of the 2010 census. Its motto is "Natural. Wonders." and it certainly lives up to it. You can see the mountains rising up on the inland side, and the rocky beach stretching out on the other. Much of the town is covered in forest, and there are many cabin-like accommodations with a rustic feel.
Things to Do:
Go fishing: Fishing is a favorite local pastime here, and you won't really feel like a part of the town until you participate. Some good fishing spots to try include the Rogue River, where you can catch chinook salmon from July through winter; and Garrison Lake, where you can find rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, and largemouth bass.
Go for a hike: Port Orford is home to several parks that offer pleasant hiking. Cape Blanco State Park offers easy, family-friendly hikes and a lighthouse you can admire. Battle Rock Park offers wonderful coastal trails and a mix of flat and hilly terrain. Along the way, you're sure to see seabirds and other beach-dwelling creatures.
The Oregon coast offers a wonderful blend of natural beauty and friendly people. Drive down the coast visiting the towns above along the way, and you'll create memories that last a lifetime.