Exploring Southern Oregon
Oregon’s Rugged Coast is destined to be enjoyed by RVers. We had the pleasure of heading up the entire Oregon Coast on our 6 month RV Surfing Trip and it was definitely one of the highlights of the Adventure.
What was really interesting is how many State Parks are on the coast. What a truly beautiful state and an adventurer’s paradise.
I wanted to spend a day or so exploring the beaches near Bandon. I read online that the Coos Bay Casino encourages RVers to Boondock for the evening and they even have an RV Park if you need hookups. We pulled in after a full day of driving, got some grub to go at the casino and headed to bed.
The next morning I got up to catch the sunrise at the beach near Charleston, Oregon. I noticed there were a few other RVers that spent the night at the Casino. Something that’s interesting about Oregon is there are so many state parks on the coast. That day I ended up exploring Bastendorff Beach, Yoakam Point State Park, Sunset Bay State Park, and Cape Arago State Park.
RV Friendly Candy Factory
After doing some research on things to do in the Charleston Oregon area we stopped at the Cranberry Sweets Candy Factory, watched them make candy and then we bought a good amount to enjoy on the road. It was cool to see that they had RV Parking for all the travelers coming through town.
Whaler’s Rest RV Resort
We stayed for 3 weeks at the Thousand Trails Whalers Rest RV Resort near Newport Oregon. One of the challenges we run into is finding sites that fit our long rig. Most campgrounds can easily accommodate us but this one had all of their sites’ length on the map so we knew exactly which ones we could fit into.
We made it into a beautiful site that you could see the ocean from the deck on the other side of the trees. It was nestled in where we had privacy and enjoy the sounds of the waves crashing on the shore. There was a nice path to the beach that I hiked and biked on daily. I caught the sunset almost every day, it’s easy to do when it’s about a 30 second bike ride and a 2 min walk to the sand.
This campsite was the ultimate surfing camping experience. I was able to walk out from the comfort of our home on wheels, head down to the beach and go surfing.
There were a few times I had to pinch myself to remind myself this was real. The waves were big and rough but easy enough to catch consistently with the longboard. I had the entire beach to myself each time I went.
It’s a little nerve wracking heading into a secluded new area to go surfing when you can’t find any information online about the area and you’re the only person in sight. The first day I headed down at low tide to see where the rocks were at and get a feeling for the best spot to hit the waves at higher tide. It’s not so much the rocks or the sharks that make me a little uneasy, it’s the rip tides. The Oregon Coast is rugged and powerful.
Right away when I got into the water I realized I wasn’t alone… A Sea Lion came right up to me to see what in the world I was and why I was in the ocean. I’m sure he’s never seen a surfer before.
After surfing for a few hours I would head on back and spend some time with the family around the campfire.
Thousand Trails often has community events for their campers. We’ve seen a huge variety of events from meat raffles to dances. We joined the Bingo game and we mopped the floor with our competition, completely dominated everyone else until we had to walk away from winning so much.
FOOD! It’s always nice to score big with restaurants when you travel. We love finding
good restaurants to the places we travel. We’ll typically use Yelp or a phone app like Around Me. We found a pizza buffet called Izzy’s that overlooked the ocean for under $10, with a million dollar view.
This RV Resort has a lot of amenities: hiking, biking, heated indoor pool, dog run, golf cage, internet room, etc. Crabbing is popular here and you can even rent the gear to catch & cook the dungeness crabs. But the best part about Whaler’s Rest Campground is the beach access. It’s a free playground to be able to surf, bodyboard, splash around, bike, run, or just relax and soak in the views.
We had cell phone service with AT&T but didn’t get Verizon or Sprint.
Just up the road from the Whaler’s Rest campground is South Beach. This is a fairly secluded beach that can become a hot spot during warm summer days. It’s known for having consistent waves that are good for long boarding. It seems like it goes on forever. Great place to just walk along the beach and take in the views.
Yachats State Park
Located right in the tiny town of Yachats, this is where the Yachats River dumps into the Pacific Ocean. It has some tide pooling and is great for whale watching. Word is that there are a few local surfers that often hit the waves here. Walk around downtown and feel the chill vibe here. Yachats is big on festivals and has events going on each month. We ate at the Yachats Underground which was a cool local spot.
Driving through Waldport
Driving the Road Warrior through Waldport on the Alsea Bay Bridge was fun. It’s a great place if you’re looking for fresh seafood. There’s a lot of fishing clamming and crabbing done in the area. The Alsea Bay Bridge is amazing and a highlight of the 101. There’s a few places around town you can explore the bridge, relax on the beach or even go boating.
Thors Well & Spouting Horn
Put Cape Perpetua on your bucket list. It’s not like a bucket list trip to Zion or Yosemite, but it’s a MUST STOP if you’re going to be anywhere near here. You can’t go wrong on any hike here, but the highlight is Thors Well an hour before high tide. Be careful when walking out here, the waves here are dangerous and unpredictable. I saw a guy get a little too close for comfort and almost got swept away. If you fell into the hole you wouldn’t come out alive.
The spouting horn was really neat to watch the water shoot in under the bridge and make a natural horn sound. Spending time around here you feel the power of the ocean.
Working at Seal Rock
A neat day hike is to Seal Rock. There’s a number of nice paths to take but a must is heading down to the beach. Spend some time rustling through the driftwod and then relax on your favorite log. So scenic and I had the entire place to myself.
The coolest part is that I had cell phone service and spent the day working from my phone here. There’s a set of tasks that I can do from my phone each month so instead of doing them from my laptop at the RV, I make sure I do them from scenic locations. I even made sales calls to potential new clients from here and I track the conversations with software on my phone. So this was the view from my desk for a day.
Nice Nye Beach
This place is labeled America’s “Nicest” City. We sure found the views of the ocean nice. The day we came here the waves were absolutely gorgeous.
There’s a bunch of great restaurants on Bay Street in Newport Oregon. It’s a port town so you get a fun crowd of locals. Some of the places have fantastic views of the marine life and boats coming in and out. It’s a nice easy walk up and down the street.
Lincoln City Oregon
Lincoln City has 7 miles of beaches to relax, explore and go crabbing. It’s a small coastal town that’s located on the 45th parallel. It’s often windy and was named the Kite capital of the world.
These guys were fishing for Crabs with raw chicken as bait. Apparently one of these guys is a local Crab Legend.
Heceda Head Lighthouse
Said to be the most photographed Lighthouse in the USA, Heceda Head Lighthouse is an Oregon beauty. There’s a large parking lot with RV Parking. The hike to the lighthouse is an easy hike with a little bit of an uphill climb.
This is a very beautiful beach. The perfect place to take a long walk or set up to hang out and have a picnic for the day. It had very few people and lots of fresh areas to beachcomb along the shores.
I spent one day working from my phone on this beach. This was the view from my office.
The World’s Smallest Harbor
The town of Depoe Bay might have a small harbor, but it’s big in FUN! It’s considered the Whale Watching Capital of the Oregon Coast. We visited while they were having their Dungeness Crab Festival where you not only get to eat some delicious crabs, but you get to build a boat! The people of this small community seemed very friendly and outgoing.
Emergency Rescue Training
Cape Foulweather Lookout offers some of the most stunning views of the rugged Oregon Coast. There’s a gift shop where you can buy a few things but the view is the reason to come here. It’s located 500 feet above the sea and while we were there the firefighters were doing a rescue training. It’s a great spot for whale watching when in season also.
A few locals told us this was one of the places we had to visit. It’s conveniently located and after a quick walk from your vehicle you catch yourself ready to relax on the beach.
There’s a big surf culture here and the local surfers greet you when you get to the beach. On this day the waves were nice and big.
I think this couple found the perfect place to relax. Their own relaxation station. I suppose they may have to move up or back depending on the tide. This beach was dog and kid friendly.
Brian Booth State Park
I did not expect this area to be as scenic and secluded as it was. It was such a great hidden gem that I decided to spend a day working here. The waves were really pounding on this day and the loud sound was a lot of fun.
This was the view from my office for the day. If I’m working from my phone I’ll make sure the tasks that day are easy to do from my phone. Then the challenge becomes keeping the phone charged. Often I work in such secluded areas that when my phone gets low I just work from inside the truck until it’s charged again. Knowing this I always try to get the most scenic parking spot that I can if I’m going to be there at least half the day.