Post Summary: Amazing Things To Do In Coos Bay, Oregon + Where To Find Them
Making your way south on an Oregon Coast road trip, just craving a good oceanside sunset?
You’ve come to the right spot. We’re talking about Coos Bay in this post, which is the home of some of the most amazing Oregon sunsets we’ve ever seen!
This part of the Southern Oregon Coast is also known for its amazing beaches, miles of oceanside sand dunes, and opportunities for countless outdoor adventures.
If you’re craving a good dose of wildlife viewings and gorgeous beaches, we’re sharing all that and more adventurous things to do in Coos Bay in this post!
Let’s get exploring…
Amazing Things To Do In Coos Bay, Oregon
Where is Coos Bay, Oregon?
Coos Bay Oregon is located on the Southern Oregon Coast. It’s often referred to as Oregon’s “Bay Area” and serves as a hub for Southern Oregon activities.
The city of Coos Bay is also one of the oldest and largest settlements on the Oregon Coast.
It was known for its shipbuilding and lumber production but now serves as a thriving town with access to tons of natural sites like dunes, lakes, oceanfront, and so much more.
The population of Coos Bay, Oregon is just over 16,000 residents, and this area of Oregon is a fabulous place to stop and rest on any Oregon Coast road trip!
Typical Weather For Coos Bay, Oregon
The weather in Coos Bay, Oregon is what you would expect on the Oregon Coast (and the whole Pacific Northwest, as a matter of fact) – mild, cloudy, and a little rainy!
However, the Southern Oregon Coast gets a bit more sunshine than the rest of the PNW, so packing a light rain jacket should be sufficient. Marine layers, windy shores, and humidity can be expected as general weather in Coos Bay.
Average Temperatures and Rainfall in Coos Bay:
- January: High – 53 degrees, Low – 40 degrees. 16 days of rain per month.
- March: High – 55 degrees, Low – 42 degrees. 16 days of rain per month.
- June: High – 64 degrees, Low – 51 degrees. 5 days of rain per month.
- September: High – 67 degrees, Low – 51 degrees. 4 days of rain per month.
Adventurous Things To Do In Coos Bay, Oregon
Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area
The Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area is home to the largest coastal sand dunes in North America.
Over 100,000 years old and stretching 40 miles long, these sand dunes are the product of erosion, wind, rain, and lots and lots of time. The largest dunes are more than 500 feet above sea level, and the youngest dunes began forming 7,000 years ago!
Here, there are incredible opportunities for outdoor adventure and activities to explore the area for yourself. Here are some of our favorite ways to explore the Oregon Dunes Recreation Area:
John Dellenback Trail. This 5.4-mile round trip hike takes you through a huge sweep of the Umpqua Dunes and through the coastal forest.
It’s not as easy to follow as you might think though – you’re wading through deep sand and relying on signs to help you navigate the trail.
Tahkenitch Dunes. This 6-mile round-trip route begins at the Tahkenitch Campground, through Threemile Lake, and ultimately along the Oregon Coast.
Ride a Dune Buggy. Not ready to leave the Oregon Dunes? One of the most exciting things you can do is explore the dunes via a dune buggy!
You can opt to be your own buggy operator and take it for a joyride down the dunes, or take a slower-paced approach and join a tour.
Here are some dune buggy tour companies in Coos Bay, Oregon:
Volunteer with The Oregon Dunes Restorative Collaboration (ODRC)
As recently as the past 100 years, the Oregon Dunes have been threatened with invasive species as people have settled along the Oregon Coast.
The Oregon Dunes Restorative Collaboration regularly gathers work parties to come and remove invasive species from key areas of the dunes, so they can be enjoyed and preserved for years to come. Check out this video by Spring Fed Media for more information on the Oregon Dunes and restorative efforts!
See The Cape Arago Lighthouse
Cape Arago Lighthouse was built in 1866, on its own detached piece of land known as Chief’s Island and Gregory Point.
This area has great significance with the Coos Native Americans, which includes a burial site, middens, and other important areas on the island.
It was an essential part of the lumber and coal industry in Oregon’s “Bay Area”, guiding boats to and from the bay.
Now, the lighthouse is out of commission but still stands alone on Gregory Point.
The area belongs to the surrounding native tribes, and no public access is allowed to the lighthouse.
The easiest way to see the lighthouse is from a viewing area in the nearby Sunset Bay State Park. Here are the coordinates to the pullout: 43°19’45.2″N 124°22’50.8″W
Love Lighthouses? Try Exploring Oregon’s Heceta Head Lighthouse
Go Inland and See Golden and Silver Falls
Drive an hour inland from Coos Bay to explore two of Oregon’s most stunning waterfalls.
Golden Falls cascades down 200 feet and Silver Falls drops a majestic 130 feet. This is a lesser-visited state park in Oregon, which means you’ll likely have the place to yourself!
Explore More Oregon Waterfalls: See The Nearby Diamond Creek Falls
Explore Cape Arago, Shore Acres, and Sunset Bay State Parks
If you’re looking for the quintessential Oregon Coast experience you’ll find it here at this state park complex.
From cove trails leading to hidden tide points, beaches, and viewpoints, to potential run-ins with barking sea lions, you won’t get bored on this section of the Oregon Coast!
These state parks sit right alongside one another on the coast, but each one brings their own unique features to explore.
Sunset Bay State Park has great coastal hiking trails and a beautiful and accessible swimming/kayaking bay.
Shore Acres State Park has a beautifully curated formal garden for the public to enjoy.
Cape Arago has the most opportunities to spot wild and marine life, along the shore or sitting just over on Simpson Reef.
Note: Shore Acres State Park requires an Oregon State Park Pass, which is $5 on-site or $30 online for an annual pass.
See Wildlife at Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area
Along Oregon’s Highway 38, just a few minutes inland from Reedsport on the coast is a protected area used for wildlife viewing called the Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area.
These series of pastures along the highway are open year-round, and the resident Roosevelt elk are present nearly every single day!
There are several viewing platforms to sit and enjoy watching the elk. They are closest and more present during feeding times, like early morning and late evening hours.
You can also often find photographers with their tripods and zoom lenses out getting them in action.
Make sure to bring your binoculars so you can watch, too!
Things To Do Nearby Coos Bay
Oregon’s “Bay Area” is one of the more scenic and wild sections of the Oregon Coast.
From the amazing rock features of Bandon, Oregon to the amazing 40-mile stretch of dunes north of Coos Bay, you won’t be bored a single day of your Oregon Coast road trip!
Here are some of our favorite activities near Coos Bay – perfect for a day trip!
See The Devil’s Kitchen
Devil’s Kitchen is an area that’s part of the Bandon State Natural Area along the Oregon Coast.
From here, there are opportunities for hiking along the shore (up to 3 miles north of the Devil’s Kitchen access point) and sightseeing.
Some of the most notable features are the Coos Bay area’s “Haystack Rock” (don’t forget there’s another identically named rock at Cannon Beach!), Crooked Creek to the south, and the vista point from the parking lot.
Take the small trail down to the beach (less than a mile walking) to access Haystack Rock. There is plenty of parking here!
Discover Amazing Oregon Photography at Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint
If photography is your thing, Face Rock Viewpoint is a can’t-miss location on the Oregon Coast.
Some of the most notable formations are Face Rock (and it actually looks like a face!), Wizard’s Hat, Cat and Kittens, and Table Rock.
Make sure to make your way down to the beach via Coquille Point, a dramatic set of stairs with a sweeping view of the Oregon Coast just steps below.
Explore Bandon’s Old Town District
Bandon’s Old Town is 10 blocks of fun, with endless options for dining, shopping, and hanging out on the boardwalk along the shore.
We spent an afternoon wandering the gift shops and having a meal here before our next Oregon Coast adventure!
Here are some of our favorite Bandon recommendations:
Bandon Coffee Cafe: High-quality coffee and really great breakfast and lunch options!
Tony’s Crab Shack: Fresh seafood with ample outdoor seating on the boardwalk.
See The Sunburst Through Keyhole Rock (Not The Official Name)
During sunset at Face Rock State Park, there is an incredible sunburst that happens through a rock just offshore of Coquille Point.
You can find this rock here, but all of this happened by happenstance. We weren’t waiting for the sun to be in position, but we just happend to be in the right place at the right time.
If you are hoping to catch the same sun rays as we did, we suggest downloading an app called PhotoPills and planning out when and where the sun will be for the perfect exposure.
Map of Things To Do In Coos Bay, Oregon
Click below for a Coos Bay Map of all the amazing things to do! We’re sharing the best campgrounds, places to stay, and interesting features along the Oregon Coast.
Accommodations in Coos Bay, Oregon
Camping in Coos Bay
From state park campgrounds to private ones, there are a lot of great options out there for camping on the Oregon Coast.
Here are some campgrounds near the area that you should consider:
Want To Camp For Free? Read Our Guide To Finding Free Camping Here!
Resorts in Coos Bay
One of the more unique resorts in Coos Bay is called Bay Point Landing. Here, there are RV sites, airstreams, and tiny cabins available for rent.
During our time there, we stayed in our of their tiny cabins, and it was the perfect mix of comfort and close proximity to nature!
Not Ready To Leave The Coast?
We have TONS of resources on extending your trip around this area!
Here are some of our favorite nearby adventures, including inland in Oregon, as well as neighboring states like Washington and California.
- 101 Adventurous Things To Do In The Pacific Northwest
- 10 Epic Washington Beaches You Need To Explore
- The Best Olympic Peninsula Road Trip Route
- 10 Adventurous Things To Do Around The San Francisco Area