Coos Bay – Charleston

Coos Bay, North Bend and Charleston together, are known as the Oregon Bay Area. North Bend and Coos Bay are located immediately next to each other and, collectively, are frequently referred to as Coos Bay. Charleston is located a short distance to the southwest at the mouth of the bay.

Be certain to take a side trip over to charming Charleston, the surrounding State Parks, and the lighthouse. The area around Charleston is one of the prettiest areas along the coast of Oregon. The Bandon Golf courses are a short distance south. The magnificent Oregon Dunes National Recreation area is located just to the north.

Cape Arago Lighthouse
View Near Cape Arago

The Coos Bay / North Bend area is centrally located and Coos Bay is the largest town on the coast, with a population of about 16,000. But don’t let its industrial look persuade you to skip it and move on as Charleston is the jewel of the three towns.

The Southwest Regional Airport (OTH) is located in North Bend offers flights to and from Denver and San Francisco.

Southwester Oregon Community College (SWOCC) is located in Coos Bay.

Coos Bay Map and Surrounding Attractions


Charleston harborCharleston, a working fishing village, is located 10 minutes away from Coos Bay, to the west and is well worth the visit. Major attractions include the nearby Cape Arago, Shore Acres and Sunset Bay State Parks, which offer camping, beaches, whale watching, hiking, and views of the ocean. Just north is the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area with ATV trails and rentals available … more

ATVs and the Dunes

There are Class I (dune buggy) opportunities to the north, with Class III (motorcycle) trails to the east and south. Campgrounds especially tailored for off road enthusiasts are located in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Are. The Oregon Dunes feature ATVs, tent camping, hiking, horse trails, and RV sites; a great place … more

Camping and RVs 

Camping is available to the north in the vast Oregon Dunes National Park. Or travel to the west and south to visit the beaches and cliffs overlooking the ocean near Charleston for the many excellent County or State Parks.

While the Dunes are oriented towards ATVs and Dune Buggies, there are several camps that are set up exclusively for horses or quiet tent camping. Some of those are near freshwater lakes.
Those campsites to the west and south, near Charleston, do not allow ATVs and are oriented more towards … more


To the north are the Oregon Dunes with their miles of sand hiking. The Oregon Coast Trail generally hugs the shoreline in this area, then moves inland to cross the bridge into Coos Bay.
In the dunes, there are three day-hiking trails: The John Dellenback Trail, Bluebill Lake Trail, and the North Split Hike.

To the south, the shoreline changes dramatically as cliffs rise and the dunes disappear. The most scenic hiking is west of Charleston, through Sunset Bay State Park, Shore Acres and Cape Arago State Parks. This is not technically part of the Coast Trail … more

Bird Watching

Birders are in for a special treat with some of the best shore watching on the coast. In addition to several trails and state parks in the area, there is the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve. Here are directions and a trail map.


Near Shore Acres and Charleston

North Bend and the town of Coos Bay are immediately next to each other and, to the outsider, appear to be one city. Coos Bay / North Bend is the largest metropolitan area on the Oregon coast and offer those cycling all the challenges and advantages of a city. The only bicyclists not taking the side trip out to Charleston are those who are trying to set a cycle speed record to travel the coast. The trip out to Charleston offers some of the best scenery … more


Lakeside Tenmile Lake
Lakeside Tenmile Lake

The Oregon Bay Area features freshwater fishing at Lakeside (Tenmile Lake) and Riley Ranch (Butterfield Lake); saltwater fishing and clamming in Coos Bay; and surf fishing along the coast on Bastendorff Beach or off the dunes to the north.


Plan a side trip from Coos Bay out to visit the Charleston area to look for whales. Cape Arago and Shore Acres are excellent places for whale watching. … more


There are two golf courses open to the public. One is a 18-hole course located 5 miles inland. The other is a challenging 9-hole course located in the Cape Arago area along the coast.

Sunset Bay Golf Course
(541) 888-9301
11001 Cape Arago Highway

Coos Golf Club (formerly Watson Ranch Golf Course)
(541) 267-7257
Located five miles south of Coos Bay along Hwy. 101 (milepost 243.5).

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