Bandon Beach on the Oregon Coast is known for its famous rock formations jutting out of the ocean and its magical sunsets. There are miles and miles of beaches to enjoy, each sprinkled with its own dramatic boulders.
Head out of the charming town in either direction and you’ll discover even more adventures around Bandon Beach. Coastal hikes, cool camping, bustling marine life, lighthouses to discover, and more. Don’t miss out on these things to do in Bandon Beach, Oregon!
Things To Do in Bandon Beach
1. Bandon Beach
Bandon has some of the most scenic beaches on the Oregon Coast. The views and rocky landmarks here will make you question how nature could have possibly formed them.
One of the most defining features of this stretch of coast is its many sea stacks, which are remnants of an ancient marine terrace. They make the perfect home for a great variety of sea creatures, which makes tide pooling one of the most popular activities here.
Some rocks are more notable than others. Face Rock is one of the more well-known landmarks and is the subject of a local legend, accompanied by the sea stacks Komax and the Cat and Kittens.
Elephant Rock got its name, unsurprisingly, from the fact that it looks like the head of a partially submerged elephant’s head. Wizards Hat is of course shaped like a huge wizard’s hat, jutting dramatically out of the water. These are just a few of the sea stacks that span the coast, making for some incredible views.
Photographers come from all over to capture these dramatic rock formations, especially at sunset when they are silhouetted with the light behind them.
Collectively they are managed as part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge, home to thousands of nesting sea birds. Bring along your binoculars and see what species you can spot.
You can see some of the rocks at their best from the various viewpoints along the coast. Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint offers sights that will take your breath away, while just a simple walk along the shore will allow you a closer look.
2. Bandon Beach Walk
The Bandon Beach Walk is one of the best ways to take in the sights and smells of the coast. Overall the walk is quite long, but you can choose to walk as much or as little of it as you like. The beach is usually pretty quiet, meaning you may have some stretches entirely to yourself, plus the sand here tends to be pretty compact, which makes the walk relatively easy.
The hike will offer some incredible views of the rock formations that dominate this landscape, and you may even be able to spot some seals frolicking in the surf.
Check the tides before you travel, as this one is best attempted at low tide to allow you to get the best experience. Give yourself plenty of time for this walk as there is a lot to see.
3. Fat Tire Biking
Fat tire biking is one of the best things to do in Bandon Beach. As one of the top-rated beaches in the world, it is hardly surprising it is a popular place to ride across the sand on purpose-built bikes.
Fat tire bikes make riding over sand a breeze, thanks to the thick tires. Whether on your own or with friends, it makes for a fun way to spend the day.
With it being less crowded than some of the northern beaches, you won’t have to worry so much about avoiding other beachgoers or cyclists, you can concentrate on the feel of the salty wind in your hair and the views of the sea stacks as you speed past.
Before heading out, be sure to plan your trip in accordance with the tides. You will want to ride at as low a tide as possible, as some of the beach is not rideable at high tide.
The easiest riding is close to the surf, where the sand is harder packed, although riding on the soft sand will certainly give you a workout. Just keep your eyes on the waves as they are not always predictable.
You should also consider the wind direction, as it will always be harder riding against the wind, so maybe go in this direction first so that you have an easier ride back along the beach.
From Seven Devils Beach, riding south keeps the sandy cliffs to your left. You’ll cross a few streams along the beach that may get your feet wet but are a lot of fun to ride through, and cruise below Bandon Dunes for several miles. Once you reach the rocky outcropping at the Coquille River, if you’ve had enough of sand riding, you can head back into town along the road.
4. Explore Shore Acres and Cape Arago State Parks
Shore Acres and Cape Arago are both small but beautiful state parks that pack a lot of punch despite their small size and are a great option when looking for what to do in Bandon Beach.
Shore Acres State Park is perched on rugged sandstone cliffs high above the ocean, and is a unique combination of beautiful nature and constructed features, such as the carefully planted gardens, home to plants from all over the world.
After exploring the Japanese garden, rose gardens, and formal gardens, you can head out into the more wild side of the park, such as the trail that leads down to a secluded ocean cove at Simpson Beach. Or alternatively, head to the cliffs to enjoy some spectacular ocean vistas.
The scenic headland of Cape Arago pushes out into the Pacific Ocean, a prime spot for viewing the migrating whales that regularly pass this area. The park is located at the end of the Cape Arago Highway and is part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge.
The South Cove Trail is one of the most popular in the park, taking you down to a sandy beach filled with impressive tidal pools. Or, you could take the North Cove Trail, where you may be able to see the off-shore colonies of seals and sea lions at Shell Island.
READ MORE: 19 Must-Visit Oregon Coast State Parks
5. Bullards Beach and Coquille Lighthouse
The Coquille River Lighthouse sits within Bullards Beach State Park, first built in 1895, and is one of the best places to head in Bandon Beach. The tower itself is open to the public, so you are able to find out more about the fascinating history of this structure.
Towering 40 feet above the ground, it is a pretty impressive sight, used to help mariners cross the bar at the entrance to the Coquille River. From the lighthouse, you can walk onto the jetty and enjoy views of the river and a beautiful stretch of beach.
The lighthouse isn’t the only thing to see at Bullards Beach State Park. There is a great campsite that is nestled within the shore pines, with almost 200 sites to pick from, plus more comfortable yurts for a spot of glamping.
From the campsite, there is a mostly paved path to the beach. Winding through the grassy forest to the low lying dunes. There are 4.5 miles of beach to enjoy, which is great for a stroll or a spot of biking. It is also a popular spot for equestrians, who make use of the 11 miles of trail.
6. Cape Blanco Lighthouse
Cape Blanco holds at least four Oregon records, and this alone makes it a must-do in Bandon Beach. It is the oldest standing lighthouse on the Oregon Coast and truly is an impressive sight. It has the highest focal plane above the sea at 256 feet and also had Oregon’s first woman keeper.
You can go on a tour of the lighthouse and learn what sets it apart from other Oregon lighthouses. You can even climb right into the working lantern room where the historic lantern serves as a warning to the ships out to sea.
The lighthouse sits within Cape Blanco State Park, at the state’s westernmost tip, perched over the Pacific Ocean. More than 8-miles of trails lead down to the beach and stunning viewpoints of ocean vistas stretching as far as the eye can see, and one leads right up to the lighthouse.
Things to Do Around Bandon Beach
Here are a few more adventures that are all a day trip from Bandon Beach.
7. Port Orford
Pay a visit to the oldest town on the Oregon Coast, Port Orford, also the most westerly in the 48 states. The busy, working fishing port is a beautiful spot for visitors who are looking to enjoy some spectacular natural beauty and is located very near to Bandon Beach.
The town is located halfway between Bandon and Gold Beach and has miles of mountain hiking trails right on its doorstep.
Visit the town in the morning to see its fishing fleet of 30 ships lowered into the water by crane, and then if you feel like it, head out onto the water after them. Popular water sports from Port Orford include boating, sea kayaking, and windsurfing. You can even go scuba diving in the nearby caves and explore the shipwrecks that rest just beneath the waves.
The Wild Rivers Scenic Coast Scenic Bikeway starts right in Port Orford. The 61-miles of the bikeway hug the coast with incredible views of sea stacks, coastal bluffs, and Cape Blanco Lighthouse along the entire route.
The town itself is a fun place to explore, offering plenty of art galleries, shops, places to grab a bite to eat or drink, where the food is as good as the views.
8. Floras Lake State Park
Floras Lake State Park is beautiful, making it difficult to comprehend why it’s one of the least-visited state parks along the Oregon Coast. Some parts of it are thickly forested and a lot of the park is undeveloped, apart from the campsite that sits next to the lake.
For some people, it is this remoteness that makes the park so appealing and one of the best places to visit near Bandon Beach. There are no entrance or camping fees, making it a great place to pitch your tent.
The area stretches inland from the ocean, with forests, lagoons, and meadows, ideal if you are looking for some unsullied natural environment to explore. It is wooded on three sides, with dunes to the west.
The lake itself is a prime spot for windsurfing thanks to its stable winds. It’s not uncommon to have some of the park to yourself, save the colorful sails of windsurfers on the lake.
There are some beautiful hikes in the park, one of which takes you down to the beach along the dunes and past a series of colorful sandstone cliffs.
Another must-do trail is the 1.5-mile hike to Blacklock Point. You’ll head through thick, coastal woodlands to an impressive vantage point 100 feet above the beach. From here you’ll have some great views of the tiny islands that dot the coast.
9. The Dunes
Stretching for about 40 miles from Florence to Coos Bay is the dramatic Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, an otherworldly combination of forest, ocean, and desert.
There are many ways to explore the dunes, but on foot is a good way to start, the Oregon Dunes Day Use Area offers a viewing platform over the dune landscape, and there is also a short hiking trail that takes you onto the beach. Just be aware that you will be hiking on the sand, which can be pretty exhausting.
One of the most thrilling ways to get around the dunes is via a high-speed ATV tour or dune buggy. It can be a lot of fun to feel the wind in your hair either via rental or organized tour. Sandboarding is another fun, popular dune sport, essentially an oceanside cousin of snowboarding.
No matter how you choose to visit, each trip is sure to be a unique experience, as the dunes are always changing, making it one of the most awe-inspiring landscapes in the state.
Horsefall Beach is one of the closest entrances to the Dunes area and it’s only about 45 minutes north of Bandon Beach.
READ MORE: Your Adventure Guide to the Oregon Dunes
Where to Stay Near Bandon Beach
Camping at Bullard Beach – One of the best campsites in the area is at Bullard Beach State Park, nestled within the pines. The trees help to protect the campsite from the strong ocean breezes, yet it’s still just a short stroll from the waves.
The campsite is made up of three loops, all of which are equipped with electrical and water hookups at the least. There are also yurts if you fancy a fun, glamping experience.
Additionally, there is a horse camp and a hiker/biker camp, all of which offer easy access to the beach and dunes. From the main campground, you can get to the beach along a winding path of just over a mile through open, grassy fields and lowland forests.
RELATED: 21 of the Coolest Cabins in Oregon
Lower Driftwood – This two-bedroom home has been given a fresh renovation for a modern but relaxed coastal vibe. There’s a fully equipped island kitchen and a private patio for enjoying in the warmer months. It’s a short walk from the water and Bandon’s shops.
Ocean View – As the name suggests, this cozy one-bedroom stay offers views of the ocean from the living room, bedroom, and private patio. If you want to get a closer look, the beach is just two minutes walk away.
Cranberry Overlook – This glamping option is part of a working farm growing organic blueberries and cranberries. Your stay includes a safari-style tent with a queen bed, wood stove, and a small private deck. Guests can also request a tour of the farm.
Oregon native, photographer, videographer, adventurer.