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 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 since I was going to be solo and Bandon was about where I would call it a night after a long day.
Don’t forget to check out my post about the best places to stop on the Oregon Coast by clicking here.
Once I left Petaluma I continued driving through Northern California. I love the forest so I always I stop to look at the beautiful ancient Redwood trees. I take the Avenue of Giants 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 colors were really like this. No edits!
After the Avenue of Giants, I kept driving north on Highway 1o1. I stopped for a quick photo of Paul Bunyan and Babe at the Trees of Mystery in Klamath. I use their facilities but I’ve never actually gone inside. I think next time I’ll make a proper visit. From Klamath, I drive 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.
Paul Bunyan and Babe the blue ox at Trees of Mystery in Klamath
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 or Port Orford to the south. I arrived a little too late so the cute seafood shacks along the harbor were closed. I stopped to take some photos and then ended up going to a grocery store called Price and Pride to get something to eat. I didn’t want to eat fast food and the only thing left open was some bars and a Dairy Queen.
The harbor in Bandon, Oregon
After the harbor, I made my way to my Air BnB rental. I rented a room in my host Myrdith’s house, which wasn’t quite on the water but just a short walk down a path to the beach. If you end up needing a room on the coast during your drive, her place is lovely. 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 my host 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. There were massive rocks in the sand and the tide was way 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
Shhhh I set up my tripod for this photo! I see ummm…funny shapes.
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.
Tips for the drive from Petaluma 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 harbor 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 beforeBandon is Port Orford or north is Coos Bay.
- A visit to Face Rock Scenic State Viewpoint is a must!