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 the most beautiful Oregon 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
- Amazing Things To Do In Coos Bay, Oregon
- Where is Coos Bay, Oregon?
- Incredible Things To Do In Coos Bay, Oregon (In Town)
- Things To Do Around Coos Bay (Outdoor Adventure)
- Day Trips From Coos Bay (~1 Hour Away From Town)
- Accommodations in Coos Bay, Oregon
- Map of Things To Do In Coos Bay, Oregon
- Not Ready To Leave The Coast?
- OTHER OREGON COAST ADVENTURES
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!
Love maritime history? It’s also home to a few famous shipwrecks in the Pacific Northwest!
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.
Looking for items to pack for your trip? Read the complete Oregon Coast packing list (with a free downloadable checklist!)
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.
Incredible Things To Do In Coos Bay, Oregon (In Town)
1. Visit the Coos History Museum
Located downtown at 1210 N Front Street, the Coos History Museum & Maritime Collection hosts some of the oldest collections in Oregon!
The museum includes over 250,000 images from the past, and over 50,000 objects for viewing. It’s one of the most impressive and highly documented areas of the Oregon Coast!
Enjoy the permanent collection on the first floor, including stories from the lumber and ship industry in Coos Bay. On the second floor, you can expect a series of rotating exhibits throughout the year.
You can visit Tuesday – Saturday, expect on major holidays. To visit for free, come every second Saturday of the month!
2. Wander Along the Coos Bay Boardwalk
At the end of Anderson Avenue is the Coos Bay Boardwalk! Here, you can meander the 0.5 miles of boardwalk and enjoy interpretive signs, a fish market, and lots boats!
The Koos No. 2 Tugboat was restored, donated to the city, and is out for display which you can find under one of the tree pavilions along the boardwalk. Don’t forget to pack a picnic – there are several tables to enjoy your lunch by the bay!
3. Test Your Luck at The Mill Casino
The Mill Casino is not only a fun place to enjoy an evening out, but it’s also one of the best rated places to stay overnight! On our last trip to Coos Bay, we stayed at The Mill Casino Hotel and loved how large and accommodating the rooms were!
Here, you can play slot machines, table games, and bet on your favorite sports teams too. Come dine at the Plank House Restaurant and enjoy one of the most romantic things to do in Coos Bay!
Oh, there is even an RV park if you are visiting with your camper!
4. The Egyptian Theater
Opening in 1925, the Egyptian Theater in Coos Bay is one of the few remaining movie houses that feature the “Egyptian Revival” style. This style including this painted motif columns, lotus flowers, and lots of ornate details like hieroglyphics and pharaoh statues.
It doesn’t show new movies, but rather cult classics and independent film makers. You can also catch live performances like stand-up comedy on some nights! Check out the schedule here to see if a show lines up with your next trip to Coos Bay.
5. Cranberry Sweets & More
Did you know that Coos Bay is famous for candy-making? Established in the 1970s, Cranberry Sweets & More began using locally grown fruit (like cranberries!) to make delicious candies and sweets for the region.
Today, you can get a variety of goodies like jellies, popcorn, cranberries and more. They also make these candies the old-fashioned way, so make sure to stop by their location in Coos Bay to see how they do it!
6. Coos Art Museum
This art-deco building is packed full of art that reflects the Coos Bay area, Oregon Coast, and even greater Pacific Northwest region. There are a few permanent displays, but many of the areas include rotating exhibits. You’ll have to come back multiple times to see fresh new displays!
Located at 235 Anderson Avenue, The Coos Art Museum is open Tuesday – Friday between 11am-5pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 1-5pm. It’s closed Mondays & holidays.
7. Mingus Park
Established in 1925, this downtown Coos Bay park is nearly 100 years old! It includes a skate park, arboretum, baseball field, and calming Japanese garden area. The Japanese Bridge is one of the most popular attractions in the park. Enjoy the Choshi Gardens and keep your eyes out for birds that congregate near the pond and creek shores.
8. Conde B. McCullough Memorial Bridge
This iconic Oregon coast bridge stretches over 1,700 feet across Coos Bay. Established in 1936, it was named after the lead engineer on the project, who was Conde B. McCullough. He also designed the Yaquina Bay Bridge and the Isaac Lee Patterson Bridge in Gold Beach!
It’s quite a dramatic entrance to the city. You can stop on either side to snap a photo, specifically Jordan Point or Glasgow on the north side of the bridge. use a wide-angle camera to capture the entire bridge in-frame, or a zoom lens to capture the details of the bridge.
9. Oregon Coast Historic Railway
Train lover? You’ve got to check out the Oregon Coast Historical Railway. Hop on an old-fashioned steam train, or take a peek inside the many restored locomotive cars on display. Whether you loves trains, history, or museums, there is something for everyone to enjoy here!
Things To Do Around Coos Bay (Outdoor Adventure)
10. 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, being a unique Pacific Northwest desert-like destination. Here are some of our favorite ways to explore the Oregon Dunes Recreation Area:
11. Oregon Dunes Activities
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!
12. Bastendorff Beach
Bastendorff Beach is an excellent beach to explore when staying in Coos Bay. Here, you can find a nature trail, lots of scenic views, gorgeous sunsets, and abundant chances to spot wildlife.
The area is popular for day use, especially picnicking on the Oregon Coast, swimming, fishing, and even surfing! Bring your binoculars and look our for the resident seals, ospreys, sea lions and more!
13. 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
14. Drive The Cape Arago Highway
The Cape Arago Highway is a scenic route off of Oregon’s Highway 101. On this route (Highway 540) there are three Oregon state parks to discover. If you’re looking for the quintessential Oregon Coast experience you’ll find it here at this triple state park complex!
From cove trails leading to hidden Oregon tide pools, 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 its own unique features to explore. This route is 11-miles of pullouts, viewpoints, and lots of stops for hiking and learning about the history of the area!
15. Cape Arago State Park
Cape Arago has the most opportunities to spot wild and marine life, along the shore or sitting just over on Simpson Reef Overlook.
If you want to get out of the car and see all three parks by foot, venture out on the 4-mile trail from Cape Arago to Sunset Bay. This is a really scenic section of the famous Oregon Coast trail!
You can also take the North Trail to costal tide pools, and the south trail to spot sea lions. This is a great hike to take kids!
16. Visit the Gardens at Shore Acres State Park
Shore Acres State Park has a beautifully curated formal garden for the public to enjoy. It became open for general visitors in the 1940s, and was owned by Louis Simpson – a popular timber baron on the Oregon Coast.
The area hosts a stunning host of coastal flowers, among their Japanese Garden, All-American Rose Garden, and formal garden areas. It’s a perfect place for garden lovers! Here, you can see over 200 varieties of roses, and over 20,000 roses! Come during Thanksgiving and Christmas for an extra-special holiday lights display too!
Note: Shore Acres State Park requires an Oregon State Park Pass, which is $5 on-site or $30 online for an annual pass.
17. Stay awhile at Sunset Bay State Park
Sunset Bay State Park is one of the best beaches in Oregon. There is a sandy beach (perfect for swimming if you can stand the frigid temps!) and the area is protected from rough waves. It’s the perfect spot to bring a picnic and enjoy a sunny day with the whole family.
Sunset Bay State Park has great Oregon coast hiking trails and a beautiful and accessible swimming/kayaking bay.
18. See Wildlife at Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area
Along Oregon’s Highway 38, just a few minutes inland from Reedsport, 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 in the 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!
Day Trips From Coos Bay (~1 Hour Away From Town)
Oregon’s “Bay Area” is one of the more scenic and wild sections of the Oregon Coast. There are plenty of things to do NEAR Coos Bay, which require just a bit ore driving time to reach. Below, we’re sharing some of the coolest day trips from Coos Bay you can try out on your next vacation!
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!
19. 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
20. 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!
21. 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.
22. 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.
23. 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.
Accommodations in Coos Bay, Oregon
Looking for the best places to stay in Coos Bay? Here are our recommendations below!
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:
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Want To Camp For Free? Read Our Guide To Finding Free Camping Here!
Hotels and 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!
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.
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.