Bandon, Oregon: A Must On Your West Coast Road Trip
Planning an Oregon road trip? Add Bandon to your plans!
When I was planning my solo drive up the West Coast, I looked for accommodations to stay in on the Oregon Coast. I could have driven along the Interstate 5 from Petaluma, California and reached Portland quicker, but I always prefer taking the scenic route. As I was researching accommodations, I found an Air Bnb rental in Bandon, Oregon. There wasn’t much available along the coast for a single person and since I was only stopping to sleep, I wanted something simple. I also don’t like to drive more than 10 hours alone and Bandon was about where I would call it a night after a long day of driving.
Once I left Petaluma I continued driving through Northern California. I love the forest so I always stop to look at the beautiful ancient Redwood trees. Avenue of Giants is a great place to turn off and drive through. It connects back to Highway 101 so it’s definitely worth the quick detour.
Standing next to massive Redwoods
The colours were really like this. No edits!
After the Avenue of Giants, I kept driving north on Highway 101. Naturally, I stopped for a quick photo of Paul Bunyan and Babe at the Trees of Mystery in Klamath. I used their restroom facilities but I have never actually gone inside. Next time, I’ll make a proper visit.
Paul Bunyan and Babe the blue ox at Trees of Mystery in Klamath
From Klamath, I drove to the border of Oregon and California for some photos. I stopped to take a photo at the sign at Welcome to Oregon sign and I always stop at Crissey Field State Park in Brookings, Oregon. There’s a really nice brand-new visitors center with Wi-Fi and bathrooms. Even if there are cars in the parking lot, I never see people around.
Taking lone photos at the beach! Gotta love my tripod.
I have driven through Bandon, Oregon many times but I have never stayed in the town before. It’s really small and it doesn’t even have a big grocery chain in town. The next big town would be Coos Bay to the north of Port Orford to the south.
Arriving a little too late, all the cute seafood shacks along the harbour were closed. After stopping to take some photos, I ended up going to a grocery store called Price and Pride to get something to eat. Not wanting to eat fast food, my only options were some bars and a Dairy Queen.
The harbour in Bandon, Oregon
After the harbour, I made my way to my Air BnB rental. At the time of my road trip, I rented a room in my in Bandon which wasn’t quite on the water but just a short walk down a path to the beach. I am not sure if my host Myrdith is still renting out rooms, but if she does and you need a room on the coast, book it! I had my own room and bathroom and she gave me a lot of personal space. She suggested going to the beach for the sunset, which sadly I missed, but was able to get a few photos before it became dark.
The next morning she had coffee and a bagel for me before I set off. She also recommended I stop at Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint. I’m glad that I listened to her suggestion because it was so stunning. There were massive rocks in the sand and the tide was out. There were no more than 4 people on the beach during my visit. Next time I’m going to explore the sea caves and spend at least half the day if not more there.
The view from the parking lot above
The view looking the other way from the parking lot above
I set up my tripod for this photo! I see ummm…funny shapes.
And a GoPro selfie. No one to be seen for miles!
When you drive by Bandon it’s a really nondescript place. The Harbor is quaint and you can’t really see the beach from the highway. Most people probably just drive right through and don’t realize how beautiful it is. If you find yourself planning a trip down the coast or live in Northern California or Oregon, I highly recommend a visit. I’m going to go by again and this time, stay longer and make it to the local seafood shacks for some crab and chowder.
Want a hotel room in or near Bandon? Check Booking.com for the best rates:
Tips for the drive from Petaluma, California to Bandon, Oregon
- Drive through the Avenue of Giants. Coming from the south, the entrance begins in Philipsville and ends in Elinor
- Go to the Trees of Mystery. At the very least photograph the Paul Bunyan and Babe statues. There’s a public bathroom there if you need a rest stop.
- Stop at the border of Oregon & California to take a photo with the signs.
- Crissey Field State Park at the south of Oregon is an excellent stop. The beach is amazing and there is a visitors’ center that has a load of information, free Wi-Fi, and bathrooms. There’s a campsite there as well.
- Bandon is a very small town. Everything closes down early. The seafood shacks on the harbour close around 7:30 pm in the summer.
- There were some sit-down restaurants that were still open but if you want to pick up something quick, there isn’t much.
- The biggest town before Bandon is Port Orford or north is Coos Bay.
- A visit to Face Rock Scenic State Viewpoint is a must!