Featuring a shoreline dotted with beautiful sea stacks, wide sandy beaches and a cute Old Town serving plenty of fresh seafood, Bandon is a can’t miss stop on any Oregon Coast road trip or the perfect spot for a relaxing weekend getaway. Bandon may be most famous for Tony’s Crab Shack and Face Rock State Park, but there’s so much more to this quaint little seaside town. In this article, we’ll highlight 27 of the best things to do in Bandon, including activities within town limits as well as a few easy day trips.
Home to one of Oregon’s most scenic stretches of coastline, you’ll find no shortage of fun things to do in Bandon. Enjoy tasty fresh crab at Tony’s or try your own hand at crabbing, stroll along Bandon Beach, enjoy a sunset over the ocean at Coquille Point, go horseback riding on the beach, take a day trip to nearby Coos Bay or Port Orford – the list goes on and on!
Bandon is the perfect spot to base yourself for exploring the Oregon Coast, or simply soaking in the natural beauty that surrounds this quiet little town.
A brief history of Bandon
Bandon is a small town on the southern Oregon Coast, home to around 3,000 full time residents. It’s situated just off the coast at the mouth of the Coquille River.
The area was originally inhabited by the Coquille tribe, who were pushed out when gold was found on the beaches around present-day Bandon starting in 1951. Bandon has historically served as an important port for shipping lumber, cheese and other produce.
Bandon is often known as the “Cranberry Capital of Oregon”, as its mild coastal climate and sandy soil make ideal conditions for cranberry bogs. In fact, Bandon’s cranberry bogs produce 30 million pounds of cranberries per year, accounting for about 95% of the state’s cranberries output.
More to do in Oregon
Where to stay in Bandon
Bandon is a small town, so there aren’t a ton of lodging options in town. Below are a few solid options for where to stay in Bandon:
- Bandon Inn: A cute little inn located at the heart of Old Town Bandon, just a short walk to Tony’s Crab Shack. Rooms run for $300 to $350 during the summer.
- Best Western at Face Rock: When we drove past this hotel we were shocked it was a Best Western! The hotel is beautiful with nice clean rooms, located just down the road from Face Rock. Rooms run for $250 to $350 during the summer.
- Lighthouse Cove Inn: Located within walking distance of Old Town Bandon, the Lighthouse Cove Inn is a more budget friendly option with rooms running for around $180 during the summer.
Campgrounds near Bandon
If you’d prefer to spend the night sleeping under the stars, there are multiple campgrounds in close proximity to Bandon, such as:
- Bullards Beach Campground: A large campground with a total of 209 campsites, located across the Coquille River from Bandon (about a 4 minute drive) that provides easy access to Bullards Beach and the Coquille River Lighthouse.
- Bandon by the Sea RV Park: Located South of Bandon, Bandon by the Sea RV Park has 90 RV sites with amenities like showers, laundry and Wifi. However, note that campfires are not allowed.
- Robins Nest RV Park: Another nice RV Park (no tent camping) about 5 minutes south of Bandon.
- Sunset Bay Campground: A little further from Bandon (30 minutes north), Sunset Bay Campground is a good option if you’re tent camping and can’t get a spot at Bullards Beach.
- Cape Blanco Campground: Another backup option that’s about 30 minutes south of Bandon.
Where is Bandon, Oregon?
Bandon is located on the southern Oregon Coast, between Coos Bay and Port Orford. Bandon may be reached from the following major Oregon cities:
When is the best time to visit?
As is typical on the Oregon Coast, temperatures remain fairly mild year round in Bandon. It’s never too cold, but it’s also never too warm. It’s not the kind of place you’re likely to want to spend much time laying in your bikini on the beach. The area also sees large amounts of rain and fog, so it’s best to keep your plans flexible or be prepared to get a little wet.
That being said, moderate temperatures mean the best things to do in and around Bandon are accessible year round.
The summer months bring slightly warmer and drier conditions, with average high’s in the upper 60s and only 0.5-1.5 inches of rain per month.
Best Things to do in Bandon, Oregon
Without further ado, let’s get into the details! We’ve organized our list of the best things to do in Bandon into 3 sections based on location relative to the town.
You can use the links to navigate around the article, or keep reading for all the details.
- Drive the scenic Beach Road Loop
- Watch the sunset at Coquille Point
- Explore the sea stacks at Bandon Beach
- Visit Face Rock State Park
- See the Circles in the Sand
- Visit Devil’s Kitchen
- Eat fresh crab at Tony’s Crab Shack
- Satisfy your sweet tooth at Cranberry Sweets
- Visit Bullards Beach State Park
- Go crabbing on the Coquille River
- See the Coquille Lighthouse
- Stroll through Old Town Bandon
- Fill up on fish and chips at Bandon Fish Market
- Go horseback riding with Bandon Beach Stables
North of Bandon
- Take a day trip to Coos Bay
- Explore Shore Acres State Park
- Visit Sunset Bay State Park
- Explore the Oregon Dunes
South of Bandon
- Visit Cape Blanco State Park
- Hike Humbug Mountain
- Visit Sisters State Park
- Hike the Cape Sebastian Trail
- Take a day trip to Samuel Boardman State Park
Map of the Best things to do in Bandon
The map below displays the location of all the things to do in and around Bandon, Oregon that we’ll cover in this article. Use it to plan your own Oregon Coast itinerary, or save it to your phone to help you find your way around.
- To view more details about each location, click on the marker on the map.
- To save this map for future use, click the star next to the title. From your phone, open the Google Maps app and click the “saved” tab, followed by the “Maps” icon. From your Gmail account, navigate to Maps –> “Saved” –> “My Maps” –> “Maps” tab.
- To email this map to yourself, click the three dots in the upper right corner.
Things to do In/around Bandon
First up, we’ll dive into the best things to do in and around Bandon. Everything on this list is within a 15 minute drive from “downtown” Bandon, so these activities are easy to access even if you don’t have a ton of time.
1. Drive the scenic Beach Road Loop
The Beach Road Loop is a 5 mile loop that starts in Old Town and follows along the coast surrounding Bandon. This scenic drive is one of the best things to do in Bandon and includes several beautiful viewpoints:
Keep reading for more detail about each stop below!
2. Watch the sunset at Coquille Point
Coquille Point is a small strip of land that juts out into the ocean, offering beautiful views of the rocky coastline and unique sea stacks that make Bandon so special.
Most notably is the so-called “Elephant Rock”, a wide rock formation with a large arch carved out of the center. We think the name is a bit of a stretch, but if you look closely you can make out the tusk formed on one side by the arch and on the other side by a narrow cave. The ears sit on either side of the narrow “tusk” section. During high tide, waves splash up through the two caves vaguely resembling tusks.
Whether you make out the elephant or not, the rocky figure is a beautiful sight and makes the perfect spot to enjoy the sunset.
From Coquille Point, you can also see Table Rock, a large, flat sea stack just slightly to the north. Perhaps as iconic as the coastline views is the long set of wooden stairs that lead down to the beach from the parking area for Coquille Point.
You can enjoy the views from the parking area, walk down the steps to the beach, or take a short half-mile walk along Coquille Point Trail.
3. Explore the sea stacks at Bandon Beach
Without a doubt Bandon Beach should be at the top of your list of things to do in Bandon. What makes this beach so special isn’t the wide sandy beach (which is lovely in its own right), but rather the stretch of sea stacks in all different shapes and sizes that speckle the coastline. Jagged, pointy, smooth, big, small, natural bridges: the sea stacks at Bandon Beach truly are one of a kind.
A few notable sea stacks at Bandon Beach include:
- The Wizards Hat
- Cathedral Rock
- The Castle
- Cat and kittens rock
4. Visit Face Rock State Park
The crown jewel of Bandon, Face Rock State Park sits just 5 minutes outside of town and features an iconic sea stack shaped like (you guessed it…), a face! This unique viewpoint earns a top spot on our list of the best things to do in Bandon.
Matt made out the face immediately upon seeing the rock, but it took Sarah a little longer to find it. The face is tipped backwards almost at a 45 degree angle, as if it’s looking up into the sky. Can you see it?!
You can enjoy the view of Face Rock from above, along a short walking trail on the cliffside, or walk down to the beach.
5. Walk the Circles in the Sand
Walking the Circles in the Sand is the most unique thing to do in Bandon! At scheduled times throughout the year, a group of artists draws intricate designs in the sand, often large swirls and circles, with the intent to “share joy, love and kindess”.
When the designs are complete, you can walk through the labyrinths. The drawings are designed such that there is one continuous path to walk, with a single entrance and exit. What makes this sand artwork so special is that it only lasts for a couple hours, before being swept away again by the rising tide.
This means you have to time your visit just right in order to catch a glimpse of the Circles in the Sand. Our time in Bandon didn’t align with the drawings, so we never got the chance to see them, but we highly recommend you check them out if you’re there at the right time!
The Circles in the Sand are located on Beandon Beach, just next to Face Rock.
- Read more about the Circles in the Sand and when you can expect to see them.
6. Visit Devil’s Kitchen
Also located along the scenic Beach Loop Road, Devil’s Kitchen is a scenic area that provides access to the beach and is part of Bandon State Natural Area. The wide sandy beach at Devil’s Kitchen is also home to numerous sea stacks.
Though not quite as spectacular as the sea stacks at Bandon Beach, Devil’s Kitchen is worth a quick stop. It would also make a nice spot to hang out at the beach, and tends to be less crowded than Bandon Beach.
7. Eat fresh crab at Tony’s Crab Shack
This may be a hot take, but Tony’s Crab Shack was not our favorite seafood spot on the Oregon Coast. Now, we’d heard so much about Tony’s that our expectations were very high.
It’s also quite possible that what I was really craving was a crispy platter of fish and chips at the time, rather than the more fresh (never fried) healthier and ingredient-forward fare served at Tony’s. Nonetheless, we found the food at Tony’s to be bland and lacking in seasoning and flavor.
Don’t get me wrong, the crab was super fresh and for the freshest seafood, this is the place to go. But after so much anticipation for this iconic little roadside diner, we found the crab sandwich to be slightly underwhelming.
That’s our honest opinion, but there’s a reason this spot is so famous, so don’t take our word for it. A cold beer and fresh seafood on the patio at Tony’s is 100% worth the stop, but perhaps temper your expectations slightly.
8. Go crabbing on the coquille river
If you want to take fresh a step further, try your own hand at crabbing in Bandon. We can attest that there’s nothing better than that melt-in-your mouth freshness of a crab you just pulled out of the ocean only shortly before tossing it into the boiler.
Tony’s even rents crabbing rings and boats at Port O’Call that you can use to crab off the docks by the Bandon boardwalk. Crab rings with a bucket can be rented for $12 per day and crab traps are $15 per day. Better yet, Tony’s will even cook your catch for a small additional fee.
To get out on the water, Fish Oregon offers a 2-hour guided crabbing trip for $250 with room for 5 people. They provide all the crabbing equipment you need, but you will need to purchase a crabbing license on your own.
When you get that first taste of fresh crab, you’ll understand why going crabbing is one of the best things to do in Bandon!
9. Fill up on fish and chips at Bandon Fish Market
Located just across the street from Tony’s Crab Shack, Bandon Fish Market serves up a very different style of seafood cooking! In stark contrast to the fresh-focus at Tony’s, most platters at Bandon Fish Market are fried (but that’s not to say the seafood isn’t super fresh).
Their portion sizes are huge, so you definitely get your money’s worth. We shared a fish and chips, and we’re quite content. We tried their rockfish and discovered that we really prefer cod, as rockfish tends to be more soft, squishy and fishy. That being said, the batter was crispy and the thin cut “chips” were amazing.
In addition to your classic fish and chips, Bandon Fish Market also serves popcorn shrimp, chowder, crab and/or shrimp sandwiches, calamari, jumbo prawns, scallops and more!
By the way, we ate a LOT of fish and chips on the Oregon Coast, and our running favorite is by far Luna Sea in Yachats. If you’re a fish and chips fanatic, add this tiny little seafood market to your list.
10. Satisfy your sweet tooth at Cranberry Sweets
While in the Cranberry Capital of Oregon, why not taste the tangy fruit at its best: in candy form!
A Bandon resident named Dorothy Johnson developed a recipe for delicious cranberry jelly-candies in 1962, which was eventually purchased by Clifford Shaw in 1974, who started the original Cranberry Sweets.
The original cranberry candies can still be purchased today, but the store has since expanded its candy creations beyond the humble cranberry, with hundreds of unique flavors and candy styles. What makes Cranberry Sweets so special is its frankly odd types of candies you’re unlikely to find anywhere else. Think cheddar fudge and wine and IPA jelly candies.
The best part?? Cranberry Sweets is very generous with their samples, so you can try all the funky combinations before you buy.
The original Cranberry Sweets is located in Coos Bay, but you can find all the same delicious tidbits at the store in Bandon. Satisfying your sweet tooth at Cranberry Sweets is one of the best things to do in Bandon for the entire family!
11. Visit Bullards Beach State Park
Just across the Coquille River is Bullards Beach State Park, home to a long stretch of beach, a campground tucked away among the pines, 11 miles of horse trails, and the Coquille River Lighthouse.
Bullards Beach State Park also provides access to the Coquille River, a great spot for crabbing and fishing.
12. See the Coquille River Lighthouse
The Coquille River Lighthouse was built in 1896 to guide ships into the harbor at Bandon. It sits at the junction of the Coquille River and Pacific Ocean, just north of Bandon. In 1939, the lighthouse was abandoned, as an automated light was installed opposite the jetty.
For the years that followed, the lighthouse was completely abandoned and it fell into a state of disrepair. It wasn’t until 1976 that a restoration project began, a joint effort lead by Bullards Beach State Park and the Army Corps of Engineers. The lighthouse was repainted, roof was repaired and structure was patched.
Despite the restoration effort, the effects of the many years of neglect are still apparent, giving the Coquille River Lighthouse a sea-battered, rustic look.
13. Stroll through Old Town Bandon
Old Town Bandon consists of 10 blocks of boutique shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. The Old Town district is clearly marked with a huge arch reading “Welcome to Old Town Bandon”. Beware that many shops and restaurants in this area close early.
Don’t miss taking a stroll along the short Bandon Boardwalk that sits on the Coquille River with a small marina. Keep an eye out for wildlife here. We spotted a seal swimming in the harbor!
Ironically, most buildings in Bandon’s “Old Town” aren’t actually original. In 1936, a nearby forest fire shifted course and destroyed the entire Bandon commercial district. The town had to be almost completely rebuilt.
14. Go horseback riding WITH Bandon Beach stables
Located just a few minutes from town, Bandon Beach Riding Stables offers scenic horseback ridings along Bandon Beach for $75 for a 1-hour ride. They also offer a sunset ride at 6pm for $95. It’s recommended that you make a reservation in advance by calling or booking online.
The one-hour ride covers about 2.5 miles on the beach, and you’ll turn around just before reaching Face Rock.
If you’re a horse lover, or just looking for a unique way to experience the beautiful coastline, horseback riding with Bandon Beach Riding Stables is one of the best things to do in Bandon.
Things to do North of Bandon
To the north of Bandon sits Coos Bay and several surrounding state parks and recreation areas that make a wonderful day trip if you’re staying in Bandon. Keep reading to learn more.
15. Take a day trip to Coos Bay
Coos Bay is the largest town on the Oregon Coast, situated at the junction of the Coos River and the Pacific Ocean. The area around Coos Bay is often referred to as “Oregon’s Adventure Coast” for its easy access to a plethora of outdoor adventure activities. In the town of Coos Bay, stroll the Coos Bay Boardwalk, enjoy fresh seafood at the Boat or the Fisherman’s Fish Market.
From Bandon, it’s about 30 minutes to the town of Coos Bay. Tack on a visit to Cape Arago, Shore Acres and Sunset Bay for the perfect day trip from Bandon.
16. Explore Sunset Bay State Park
Sunset Bay State Park is located about 30 minutes north of Bandon, making for an easy day trip. The main parking area at Sunset Bay State Park is located at Sunset Beach, a lovely crescent-shaped sandy beach nestled between rocky cliffs.
From Sunset Beach, a hiking trail leads south along the rocky shoreline. It’s worth at least taking the one-mile round trip hike up to the Sunset Bay viewpoint, where you can find a bench with nice views overlooking the rocky outcroppings and rugged coastline around Sunset Bay.
Continuing about another quarter-mile along the trail, you’ll come upon the Cape Arago Lighthouse Viewpoint. From here you can enjoy a view of the lighthouse perched up on the grassy cliff in the distance.
17. Visit Shore Acres State Park
Shore Acres State Park is one of our favorite state parks on the Oregon Coast, and certainly worth the 35 minute drive from Bandon. Pair it with neighboring Sunset Bay State Park for one of the best things to do in Bandon.
From the Shore Acres State Park day use area, trails branch off in both directions along the coast. It’s definitely worth exploring a little ways. Here you’ll find bright blue tide pools and layers of jagged cliffs that look like they could sink into the ocean at any time.
There’s something oddly peaceful about watching massive waves crash against the rocky coastline. There are a few spots where the waves crash over massive slabs of rock in the ocean, creating a mesmerizing waterfall-like effect as the waves retreat. It’s definitely the kind of place you could sit and enjoy for a while, keeping an eye out for wildlife.
18. Explore the Oregon Dunes
The Oregon Dunes stretch for 40 miles between Coos Bay and Florence, Oregon, and are one of the most famous landmarks near Coos Bay. There are many different ways to enjoy the dunes, including hiking trails and sand boarding.
The John Dellenback Dunes Trail is a 5.5 mile loop about 45 minutes from Bandon that leads through a green, mossy forest before emerging at the sand dunes. From there the trail continues all the way to the coast.
Another fun way to explore the Oregon Dunes is renting ATVs to ride through the dunes. If you have kids, this is sure to be a hit! You’ll see ATV’s everywhere driving around the area, and there are numerous companies offering tours. Here are a few options:
Steve’s ATVs offers ATV rentals including kid-friendly ATVs, located 40 minutes north of Bandon.
Things to do South of Bandon
If you’re looking for more to do, there are several scenic areas located within an hours drive to the south of Bandon.
19. Take a day trip to Cape Blanco State Park
Cape Blanco State Park sits 35 minutes south of Bandon and is best known for the Cape Blanco Lighthouse, the oldest standing lighthouse in Oregon, built in 1870. To reach the lighthouse, take a quick half-mile round trip walk from the parking area.
In addition to the lighthouse, Cape Blanco also has several miles of trails that lead to beaches and lovely coastal overlooks.
20. Visit Sisters State Park
An underrated gem about 45 minutes south of Bandon, taking a day trip to Sisters State Park is one of the best things to do in Bandon if you’re looking to escape the crowds. Sisters Rock State Park itself is tiny, and you could easily drive right past it off Highway 101.
A short and slightly overgrown trail leads down towards a pair of twin sea stacks, through an open field covered in beautiful wildflowers during the spring. Walking all the way out to the sea stacks, you’ll see two secluded beaches on either side of the trail that you can make your way down to.
It’s a great spot to hang out for awhile or enjoy a picnic. There is even a large sea cave carved out of one of the sea stacks!
We visited on the Monday of Memorial Day and had this stunning spot entirely to ourselves. It was pure Oregon Coast magic!
21. Hike Humbug Mountain
- Distance | 5.6 miles
- Elevation gain | 1800 feet
- Difficulty | Moderate
Find this hike on AllTrails: Humbug Mountain Loop Trail
Looking for a little adventure? Want to sweat out the fish and chips and craft beer you’ve been eating?
If so, the tallest point on the Oregon Coast, Humbug Mountain, is located just 40 minutes from Bandon. You can tackle Humbug Mountain with a 5.6 mile hike that gains 1800 feet of elevation, for a stunning bird’s eye view down the coast.
This hike is no walk in the park, but the views at the top are worth getting your heart pumping for.
22. Hike the Cape Sebastian Trail
- Distance | 3.3 miles
- Elevation gain | 800 feet
- Difficulty | Moderate
Find this hike on AllTrails: Cape Sebastian Trail
(1 hour 10 mins)
Another great hike that’s accessible as a day trip from Bandon is the Cape Sebastian Trail. This 3.3 mile roundtrip hike leads through a thick forest of Sitka Spruces, before making its way down to Meyer’s Beach. This tends to be a fairly quiet hike, so its a good way to find a bit of solitude on the Oregon Coast.
To reach the beach, you’ll need to climb down a super steep section with the assistance of a rope that is anchored into the cliff. It’s not too scary but certainly adds a little bit of adventure to an otherwise moderate hike.
From Bandon, it’s about 1 hour and 10 minutes to reach the trailhead at Cape Sebastian. You could easily make a perfect day trip from Bandon by stopping at Cape Blanco and Sisters Rock along the way.
23. Take a day trip to Samuel Boardman State Park
Samuel Boardman State Park is one of the most beautiful areas of the Oregon Coast, where the ocean meets sheer rocky cliffs and lush green forests. The park is perhaps most famous for the Natural Bridges, a stunning viewpoint of two arches carved by the sea that can be reached via a short walk.
For a slightly longer hike, take the 1.5 mile loop trail to Secret Beach, a secluded beach thats not so much of a secret these days, but nonetheless a beautiful spot to hang out. The beach is tucked away between massive cliffs, making it accessible only by hiking.
Samuel Board State Park is located a little further from Bandon, but it’s certainly worth the trip. From Bandon, it’s about a 1 hour 20 minute drive, but with incredible views nearly the whole way, the time with fly right by!
Other Oregon Resources
Looking for more incredible hikes and things to do in Oregon? You may also be interested in the following:
- The Hobbit Trail in Oregon: Hike to a Secluded Beach
- How to Visit Secret Beach: An Off-the-Beaten Path Hike in Oregon
- 20 Best Things to do in Coos Bay, Oregon
- Complete Guide to Oregon’s Sunset Bay State Park
- How to See the Spouting Horn in Cook’s Chasm
- How to Visit Thor’s Well: A Mysterious Ocean Cauldron
- Why You Need to Visit Silver Falls State Park in Oregon
- Why Oceanside is Worth a Visit: Hidden Gem on the Oregon Coast