Coos Bay, the city, is situated on the west side of Coos Bay, the large natural harbor. Once a hub for trade and timber, Coos Bay is no longer as significant a spot for maritime commerce, though it remains the biggest urban area on Oregon's coast. For visitors to these parts, one of the big draws is the proximity of Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, a sandy playground popular with Off Highway riders and their vehicles that starts just north of Coos Bay and reaches for 40 miles up the coast. Even if dunes aren't quite your cup of tea, there's more to commend itself to this seaside city, from outside activity to culture.
While downtown Coos Bay boasts standard tourist offerings, it also is home to the Coos Art Museum. For local history, cruise over to the Coos County Historical and Maritime Museum where you'll find exhibits covering the period from Native American settlement to the heyday of Coos Bay commerce. In season, a whale-watching excursion ranks a "must-do", and avid anglers won't want to miss a fishing session when the chinook are plentiful.
Nearby, the city of Charleston is located at the head of the channel connecting Coos Bay to the Pacific Ocean. The estuary south of town offers wildlife viewing and paddling possibilities and is within easy reach of not one, not two, but three beautiful state parks just a few minutes out of town.
Sunset Bay State Park is just west of Charleston. Guarded by steep cliffs, the bay is linked to two other state parks by a network of hiking trails. If you are interested mainly in a good sunset and a warming fire, pitch a tent in the park's popular campground, open year round.
Coos Bay is 24 miles north of Bandon, 115 miles west of Eugene and 212 miles southwest of Portland. To learn more about the area, please select a topic of interest from the navigation bar on the left.