Oregon – Day 6 – Bandon to Florence

Hey Guys!

This post continues our journey along the incredible Oregon coast!

Tip: Download the Guide Along app (formerly GypsyGuide) to help guide you down the coast..it tells you when to pullover and about the history of the areas you will be visiting

Today, we will be making our way down the coast to Florence.

However, since it was only 1.5 hrs from our hotel in Bandon, we decided to stay at our hotel until check out so we could spend as much time as possible on Bandon Beach!

Once again, I was up bright and early while my hubby slept….the only time he manages to sleep late is on vacation when I want to get up early and get going!

So, I made some coffee and headed to the balcony to enjoy those amazing views of Bandon beach!

I could have sat here all day with these views!

Finally, my hubby awakened from his beauty sleep and joined me on the deck.

After having our coffee, we decided to head down to the beach.

A shot of our hotel from the beach.

Bandon Beach is known for its famous rock formations jutting out of the ocean, its magical sunsets and it’s incredible tide pools!

There were so many colorful rocks scattered all along the shoreline!

Tip: Oregon’s beaches are famous and extremely popular for beach-tumbled agate, jasper, and petrified wood….and all of the beaches along the coast are public property so you can keep anything you find!

A lot of the rocks on Bandon Beach have been named….this one is called the Wizard’s hat and for good reason, it looks just like a wizard’s hat!

Amongst all of the unique rock formations, we spotted a tree stump that had washed ashore.

We loved this beach and could have spent all day here!

Tip: Remember to keep an eye on the water. Incoming tides and sneaker waves move quickly. Use caution when climbing on driftwood.

As we walked the beach admiring all of the rocks, we started noticing all of these colorful starfish and other sea life!

At low tide, tide pools form.

Tide pools happen when the ocean tide retreats and leaves seawater trapped in indentations in the sand or rocks and are usually filled with all kinds of sea life like beautiful anemones, crustaceans, starfish, and more!

I couldn’t believe how colorful the starfish were!

I had only ever seen orange starfish!

There were so many of them too!!

We spotted all kinds of sea life in these small tide pools!

After taking close to a million pictures of the sea life, we continued our walk along the beach.

The Wizard’s Hat rock is also called the Howling Dog by some because, at certain angles, it looks like a dog howling.

It looked  morel like a Wizard’s hat to me!

My hubby found this unique looking rock on the beach!

Through my research, I have discovered that these perfectly round holes are created by piddock clams!!

Nature is truly amazing!

We couldn’t get over how big some of these rocks were!

As most all beaches in Oregon, driftwood was scattered all along the beach.

This area is part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge.

A lot of the rocks are home to a diverse community of birds, marine mammals, and plants.

As we walked closer to this rock with a hole in the center of it, we spotted a lady in a red vest who was a volunteer. She informed people about the different species of birds and other wildlife in this area.

We spoke with her for a few minutes and she gave us a lot of great information and even pointed out some seals that were sunbathing on nearby rocks.

She also told us about the Circles in the Sand and how we needed to go see it because they only do it on certain days and they happen to be doing it today…it was only a 10 min walk along the beach to get there.

I had read about the Circles in the Sand prior to our trip and had it on our itinerary…however, I wasn’t aware that they only did it on certain days.

See their schedule here

Circles in the Sand started 9 years ago…it’s basically a bunch of giant spiraling paths that are drawn in the sand by multiple volunteers. It takes them appox. 2 hrs to to create these paths.

When they are done making the paths, they invite people to walk along them and meditate or appreciate the surrounding nature.

In the spring and summer, people flock to Bandon to walk these artistic labyrinths that stretch out to the size of a football field.

It was really cool to see it!

After spending a few minutes admiring the circles, we headed back towards our hotel.

We spotted more cool looking rocks!

Once we saw this rock, we had to go inside and check it out!

There were many cave like rocks scattered along the beach.

Tip: Make sure you are always aware of the tide chart so you don’t get surprised by the rising tide!

As we were checking out all of the cool “caves”, we spotted this beautiful succulent on the beach!

Apparently, they are common all along the coast!

This area of the beach is known as Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint.

There is a rock here called Face Rock because it looks like the profile of a face.

My hubby decided he would take his profile picture in front of Face Rock and mirror the image of the rock!

I’m such a great photographer because, his profile matched the rock almost perfectly!

After spending about 2 – 2.5 hrs on the beach, we decided to head back to our room.

Where, we took even more pictures from our balcony!

This was our favorite place along the Oregon Coast!

Read reviews here

After checking out, we headed to the scenic overlook right down from our hotel.

The overlook gives you views of the Circles in the Sand as well as the rock formations.

One of my most favorite pics I took of Face Rock!

Next, we headed to find something for lunch in Bandon.

During my research, I had read about a must try place called Tony’s Crab Shack so, that’s where we headed.

Tony’s is located on the ocean on the Bandon Boardwalk.

The restaurant doesn’t look like much from the outside

Or from the inside

After looking over the menu, I decided to order the hot crab & shrimp sandwich while the hubby ordered the “famous” crab sandwich..

Tony’s Crab Shack only serves fresh seafood and nothing fried. They will even cook your catch for you!

Read reviews here

The food was delicious!!

It was so good, we decided to order the same thing and take it with us to have for dinner that night!

While we were eating, one of the employees was walking around showing off their restaurant “mascot”, a huge crab!

After lunch, we headed to their gift shop to purchase a souvenir.

We then headed for some ice cream at another place I had read about called, Face Rock Creamery.

Read reviews here

The creamery makes their own cheese and it’s sold in stores all over Oregon…however, we came for the ice cream!

And it was delicious!

After our ice cream, we headed to our next stop, the Coquille River Lighthouse.

The lighthouse was located 10 mins from the creamery.

This lighthouse was built in 1895 and is part of Bullards Beach State Park.

Of the eight lighthouses remaining on the Oregon Coast, the Coquille River Lighthouse was the last to be constructed.

The lighthouse sits at the mouth of the Coquille River

You can tour the lighthouse for free so we decided to go in for a few minutes..

It wasn’t very big on the inside but they had some historical plaques on the walls and a few items for purchase.

Looking out the window of the lighthouse

Read reviews here

After leaving the lighthouse, we continued our drive along the coast.

We made a quick stop for coffee at the Human Bean.

You get a chocolate covered coffee bean with your coffee!

Fun Tip: Bandon is the cranberry capital of the world! If you’re visiting Bandon in Sept, be sure to visit a Cranberry Farm!

A little later we arrived to Coos Bay.

Coos Bay is 30 mins from the Coquille River Lighthouse.

After arriving to Coos Bay, we made a stop at Sunset Bay State Park.

We just took a quick picture at an overlook and then continued our drive.

However, there are several hiking trails that connects Sunset Bay with nearby Shore Acres and Cape Arago state parks. These trails will give you a chance to see coastal forests, seasonal wildflowers and spectacular ocean vistas from atop the rugged cliffs and headlands.

As we were driving, we passed Qualman Oyster Co.

The Qualman Oyster Farms was established in 1937 and at that time, was the only oyster farm in town.

A few minutes later we arrived in North Bend.

We crossed over the historic Conde Balcom McCullough Memorial Bridge.

The bridge was built in 1936 and in 2005 was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Shortly after crossing the bridge, we started noticing lots of sand dunes!

We passed a sign for the Horsfall Dunes Beach but decided not to stop.

The beach is a day-use area within the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area adjacent to a staging area for the park’s off-road vehicle trails.

About 20 mins later, we arrived at the Umpqua River Lighthouse.

The 65-foot lighthouse was constructed in 1890 after the first Umpqua River Lighthouse, built in 1857, next to the river mouth, collapsed in a storm.

It was the first lighthouse on the Oregon Coast, and remains one of the few lighthouses you can climb to the top of. It’s located adjacent to Umpqua Lighthouse State Park .

Because of its location, next to the active barracks of the U.S. Coast Guard, it was hard to get a good picture of it without doing the tour.

Very close to the lighthouse is a museum that you can also tour.

There is no set schedule for the lighthouse tours, and for a small donation, a volunteer will take a group to the lighthouse, which is only accessible by taking a tour.

After leaving the lighthouse, we stopped at an overlook in Gardiner that had views of the sand dunes.

As we continued our drive, we finally arrived to Florence where we would be spending our next night on the coast.

We passed several dunes and a sign for the Oregon Dunes Recreation Area.

We also passed this dune buggy tour headed out to the dunes!

There are several sand dunes tours that you can do in this area…you can do sandboarding, to ATV and dune buggy tours.

We decided to pull in at one of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Areas to get a closer look of the dunes.

There were several ATV’s riding the dunes when we arrived so we sat and watched them for a while.

After leaving here, we headed to the historic bayfront in Newport.

Located on the Yaquina Bay, the bayfront has lots of shops, restaurants, art galleries and more.

After getting parked, we headed to check out some of the stores.

I spotted what looked like an old building that had the name Wm. Kyle & Sons Co.

After researching this name, I discovered that the William Kyle and Sons Mercantile Store was built in 1901.

The store served as a mercantile store until 1961 and in 1971, the building was restored and 10 years later, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Buildings.

The building is now a restaurant.

There are several historic buildings in this area….one being the Harbor Theater that was built in 1938…sadly, the theater closed in 2003 and is now a shoe store.

The neon sign above the shoe store has lit up Bay Street for over six decades.

After walking around for a while, we decided to eat our sandwiches that we had purchased earlier in the day from Tony’s Crab Shack in Bandon.

We sat at a bench in font of the water and ate our delicious sandwiches!

After we ate, we continued our walk around the bay front.

We spotted two more historic buildings…one was the old electric building that was built in 1938 and the other was the old telephone company building that was built in 1905.

We then passed this cool looking mural on the side of a building!

Actually, the bay front area has over 20 murals that adorn the sides of structures along the bayfront.

Click here for a map of pictures of the murals

After leaving here, we headed to our hotel.

On the way, we passed a pullover where we could see the Heceta Head Lighthouse from a distance.

We also passed lots of sand dunes on the way!

At around 6 pm, we arrived to our hotel called the Driftwood Shores Resort.

Once we got checked in, we headed to our room.

Our room had two queen beds, a full size kitchen, a nice size bathroom and a huge balcony with ocean views!

Actually, all of the rooms here have ocean views and that’s why I chose this property!

Read reviews here

After getting settled into our room, we headed for the beach.

A shot of the hotel from the beach.

There were sand dunes all along the beach!

It was beautiful but made it hard to walk unless you were right next to the water.

The views of the dunes and ocean were beautiful!

The sand was so white!

After spending some time on the beach, we headed back to our room to enjoy the views from our balcony!

Later, we called it a night!

Thanks for reading!

Read Day 1 here, Day 2 here, Day 3 here, Day 4 here, Day 5 here & Read my 10 Day Oregon Itinerary here.

Click here to see a link for all of my blog posts over the last 5 years!




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