Winter on the Oregon / California Coast
Winter is here and there is fun to be had. Whales are migrating, the the fish are running, the birds are out and about and the wildlife is active.
Yes, we have rain and it is darned entertaining to get a hotel room with a view of the water and watch it roll in. But after it passes, the beaches are full of new cool stuff that has washed up. Then the warm air moves in and people get out and hike, bird watch and play golf.
The coast never gets crowded and even less so in the winter. Hotel prices are low and restaurants are open and no waiting. We are the best kept secret of California and Oregon. Few venture in, and those that do are richly rewarded.
So travel off the beaten path, avoid the crowds and discover what others have described as one of the most scenic stretches in the world, the Northern California and Southern Oregon coasts.
Whales migrate up and down the coast all year long so anytime is good to grab your binoculars and look for whales. Winter migration south continues, then spring arrives and they start moving back north. More information…
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. In the winter, it rarely gets to freezing and many days are in the 50’s to low 60’s. Motels are available for every budget and expectation, many with ocean or river views. More information…
Driving the coast means that you must travel on US Route 101, as there are not any other major 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. For more information, see our “Getting Here” guide.
The beaches are natural, uncrowded, undeveloped and wide open. A busy day at the beach is seeing another person. The massive dunes are to the north in an continuous stretch of sand. Further to the south, the beach is divided by high cliffs cutting off the beach into sections, some of which are miles long. Others are hidden into coves or a ‘Secret Beach’. After a storm, the cool stuff washes in waiting to be discovered.
There are at least 32 public camping spots and many more private facilities. Camp along the beach with views of the ocean while others are located further inland or up one of the many Wild and Scenic Rivers. There is RV camping, 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. More information…
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. More information…
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. More information…
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. More information…
The Towns on the Oregon & California Coast
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 treat.
It is time to take a relaxing vacation and see how remarkable America can be.
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