Winter is the time to stay away from the coast, right? Wrong! This is a great time to visit the coast. Rooms are plentiful and at a price that is a small fraction of the summer rates. Ocean and / or river views are readily available. Additionally, while most envision a steady driving rain, much of the time is sunny and warm. That is a perfect time to stroll along the beach and see what the last storm washed in. When the rains arrive, it is a hard driving rains and is a whole lot of fun to watch from your ocean front room.
So bring down a good book, and watch the show. Then, when it is not raining (which is much of the time) get out and enjoy all that the coast has to offer at a fraction of the summertime price.
It is beautiful here and it is so easy to see it all. This is some of the most spectacular scenery in the world with massive ocean cliffs, soaring marine birds, wild and scenic rivers, lighthouses, wide sandy beaches, fishing villages, sea lions and nature hikes. Weather in the summer and fall is cool, with sunny days and highs in the mid-60's to mid-70's. Motels are available for every budget and expectation, many with ocean or river views. Fresh seafood is plentiful.
The beaches are natural, uncrowded, undeveloped and wide open. A busy day at the beach is seeing another person. Take a stroll watch and osprey dive in the water and take her catch back to the nest. Or marvel at the group of pelicans as they travel along the shore. To the north, in the area of the dunes, there is an unbroken stretch of sand. Further to the south, the beach is broken up by high cliffs cutting off the beach into sections some of which are miles long, while others are hidden into coves or a 'Secret Beach'.
There are at least 32 public camping spots and many more private facilities. Camp along the beach with views of the Pacific Ocean while others are located further inland or up one of the many Wild and Scenic Rivers. There is RV camping for all levels, some with full hookups and all amenities. Other RV sites are more isolated with privacy in the forest. On the north, there are campgrounds that cater to ATV dunebuggy quad riding.
Fish the Wild Rivers of southern Oregon and northern California. See the famous Rogue River, along with the lesser known but beautiful Chetco, Sixes, Umpqua, Klamath, and Elk rivers with their legendary Salmon runs.
The Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area starts at Coos Bay and heads north through Reedsport. It is magnificent, massive and can only be found here. The best way to see it is by renting an ATV. Never been on a dune buggy before? Let the experts show you how and then have a great time. Take an easy drive through the dunes, or try your skill at dune jumping.
This is an area of remarkable natural beauty. Endless sunsets, vast, pet friendly beaches and incredible vistas.
Participate in outdoor activities like boating, kayaking, surfing, windsurfing, nature walks, and hiking along the beach or in the Siskiyou National Forest / Kalmiopsis Wilderness.
Hikes are available for everyone. There are short easy hikes to amazing viewpoints, as well as ones that can challenge even the most experienced. Several of the hikes listed include downloadable free files for GPS units or for Google Earth, to make finding your way even easier.
Driving the coast means that you must travel on US Route 101, as there are not any other roads. The land is sandwiched between the ocean and the mountains. There are a few roads that travel over the mountains, but none that parallel the ocean for any significant distance. This portion of US Route 101 is removed from large urban areas and has open roads with easy, pleasurable travel that makes driving fun again. Travel at a leisurely pace and plan on stopping frequently to take in the spectacular views. For more information, see our "Getting Here" guide.
Bicyclists will find less automobile traffic, wide shoulders and lots of places to see, plenty of campsites and an abundance of bike friendly hotels and restaurants. Much of US Highway 101 hugs the ocean, offering amazing sights and views from the road while bicycling.
Whale migration is underway and now is the time to come out to the coast to see the action. Whale watching week is the last week of December and the end of March, when specified points are staffed by volunteers. But whales migrate up and down the coast all year long so anytime is good to grab your binoculars and look for whales. More information...
To the north is Reedsport, the headquarters of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area; passes through the Bay Area of Coos Bay, North Bend, and Charleston; onto the dramatic views of Port Orford, Gold Beach and Brookings; then continues onto Crescent City, Klamath, Arcata and Eureka. Bandon, located in the middle, is home to the famous Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, listed as one of the top five golf courses in the US.
New visitors to the area may wonder why we define "northern California" as Eureka on north without mentioning San Francisco. To those who think that San Francisco is "north California" have never been to the real north California and are in for a real treat.
It is time to take a relaxing vacation and see how remarkable America can be.
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