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Coos Bay

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Located on the Southern coast of Oregon, The Coos Bay area consisting of the towns of Coos Bay, North Bend and Charleston, is the largest urban center on the picturesque Oregon Coast and is a major tourist attraction. Coos Bay offers an abundance of outdoor activities as well as a high quality of life. With pristine lakes and rivers, mountains, sand dunes, numerous parks and campgrounds, and the Pacific Ocean to the West, Coos Bay Area provides a wide variety of activities for residents and visitors to enjoy.

In Coos Bay you will find a host of historical buildings waiting to be discovered, each of them built in a different style. Coos Bay downtown features an attractive waterfront boardwalk lined by historical displays and large Mill Resort & Casino that used to be a huge lumber mill. Here you can play slot machines, blackjack, poker and bingo, as well as have a nice dinner at several restaurants. Go bay watching on the Coos Bay Boardwalk, gazing at pleasure and fishing boats and yachts sailing along and sometimes tall ships such as the Lady Washington paying the Bay Area a visit. Whether hiding down side streets or along the main drag, U.S. Highway 101, Downtown Coos Bay and North Bend offer eclectic shops that sell locally made and imported arts and crafts, clothing and seashore-themed gifts.

Coos Bay area boasts divine nature and is all an entire outdoor playground. It offers great many things to do and enjoy.

Stroll along any coastal beach of Coos Bay area, such as Seven Devil’s Beach, Cape Arago State Park South Cove, Bastendorff Beach County Park or Whiskey Run Beach and you will have the opportunity to find many interesting items. There is an abundance of beautiful sea shells, polished rocks, agates, driftwood and many other collectible items. The beaches feature tide pools with unique and watery habitat. The pools can withstand the force of large waves, but can easily be damaged by humans.

Surf in the cold water of the Oregon Coast that offers some great surfing. Here the Pacific Waters are extremely cold (about 55F) so you will surely need a wetsuit to enjoy the surf. There are many places to surf in the local area, and Bastendorff Beach State Park would be an excellent start.

Watch graceful elks. Oregon has a large population of Elk, and they can often be spotted grazing in certain areas. The Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area is a great place to visit. It is operated by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. There are signs telling all about the elk. Get your camera or binoculars and most of all - enjoy.

Walk among the animals. Located seven miles South of Bandon, the West Coast Game Park offers great opportunity to walk along exotic animals such as leopards, cougars and tigers. Here you can see animals from all parts of the world including Burma and Cambodia. The West Coast Game Park is open daily from March to November.

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Explore historic lighthouses. Three lighthouses are close to Coos Bay and worth visiting - Umpqua River Lighthouse, Cape Arago Lighthouse and Coquille River Lighthouse, all are open for tours.

Stroll the Pony Village Mall offering more than just a nice shopping adventure. It's also a great place to get some exercise during the rainy and windy winter days of Oregon. Walkers can be found here all hours of the day getting their daily exercise.

Take a tour of Clausen Oysters and watch the shucking first hand. The Clausen family gives tours to groups of 10-25 people by appointment and offers all visitors a free oyster to sample, either cooked or raw. The visitors can see the oyster processing facility located on the tide flats of Coos Bay. At low tide, oyster beds, marked by white sticks, can be seen. The tour lasts about 45 minutes and visitors are taken to the pier where they can see the oyster barge docks.

Take a ride on the Rogue Mail boat up the Rogue River. The mail boats used to deliver mail into the nearby river canyon. Today, you can take a ride on a jet boat into the scenic areas of the river and see black bears and sea lions. The trips also include short scenic routes to see plant and wildlife. The boats run seven days a week beginning in May and last until October.

Visit spectacular state parks of the area. Sunset Bay State Park, located Southwest of Charleston on the Cape Arago Highway, features a small, protected bay surrounded by picturesque cliffs. Its warm bay waters are good for swimming, which is unusual for typically cool waters of the Oregon Coast. You can spot many divers, surfers and boaters here. Year round camping is available, as well as hiking. Watching the sunset over the ocean from the cliff side trail, which connects the three parks, is a popular activity. The park is close to one of the three golf courses in the Bay area.

Shore Acres State Park, the former grand estate of pioneer lumberman and shipbuilder Louis J. Simpson, sits on a scenic bluff high above the Pacific Ocean. The park features beautiful gardens with trees, shrubs and flowering plants from around the world. The garden features year round displays of scenic and floral beauty, in addition to the annual "Holiday Lights at Shore Acres" event in December. A fully enclosed observation building, constructed on the site of Simpson's home, offers the visitors the opportunity to enjoy magnificent views of towering waves, rugged cliffs and glimpses of migrating whales from December through June.

Located on a 134 acre narrow coastal promontory jutting half a mile into the ocean, Cape Arago State Park offers wild vistas of the pounding sea. Picnic tables are scattered about the bluffs, and hiking trails lead to numerous tide pools along the beach. This park is also a good place to view marine mammals such as seals, sea lions and whales.

Tour a myrtle wood factory and see crafts people make wooden bowls, ornamental clocks, spoons, and many more items out of this dense, fine grained wood. You can purchase myrtle wood items, as well as other Oregon products including gourmet foods in a large gift shop of The House of Myrtlewood, just off US 101 in Coos Bay.