25 Best Things to Do in Coos Bay, OR

Coos Bay, OR skyline
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Coos Bay is famous for being the biggest city on the entire Oregon coast.

It is also the largest deep water port between Seattle and San Francisco.

The city is locally known as Oregon's Bay Area.

Even though the city is one of the most renowned travel destinations in Oregon, it has not lost its local tradition and history.

The city proudly presents its unique architecture and local flavor to visitors and familiarizes with its legacy.

Here are the best things to do in Coos Bay, Oregon:

Go on a Scenic Drive along the Cape Arago Highway

The Cape Arago Highway is an 11-mile-long road that starts in Coos Bay and goes on until the ocean coast.

Getting on the road on this highway is probably one of the best ways to explore the entire city in a short span of time.

The highway has scenic views and connects some of the famous tourist attractions.

You'll be able to spot some of the most famous state parks along its route.

It also has trails that can be used for adventures like walking and hiking.

The highway's entire setting is a paradise and should definitely not be missed.

Surround Yourself with Breathtaking Nature at Shore Acres State Park

Shore acres State Park
Sherri R. Camp / Shutterstock.com

Shore Acres State Park is situated on a property that was formerly owned by private individuals.

However, the estate was developed into a park stretching over 13 miles and facing the beautiful Ocean Bay in the year 1940.

It is filled with natural sandstone cliffs and rock formations, making the entire park attractive and incredible to visitors.

The park looks magnificent during the winter and fall seasons, as the high waves rushing against the rugged cliffs look unbelievably divine.

Visitors are welcome to set up picnics in the designated areas.

There is also a consciously designed garden spread over five acres of parkland.

It comprises a greenhouse, a Japanese garden, a rose garden, and a pond loaded with beautiful lily plants.

Moreover, there are a few walking trails for people who wish to walk along the shore.

The park is definitely an excellent option for those who want to visit an affordable attraction and enjoy their time.

If you're traveling to Coos Bay during New Year's Eve or Thanksgiving, you definitely can't miss visiting this park, as it is usually decked with beautiful decorations, lights, and flowers for the festivities.

Spot Sea Lions at Cape Arago State Park

Sea Lions at Cape Arago State Park
Frank Fichtmueller / Shutterstock.com

Cape Arago State Park is another beautiful park that is perfectly suitable for adventure activities such as hiking, picnicking, and watching wildlife in the area.

There are two trails located in the north and south parts of the park.

In addition, there is a fishing spot and a specific area where you can enjoy the ocean views and watch sea lions and seals enjoying the water.

You may even spot whales passing by if you're lucky enough.

The park also has arrangements for picnic tables and restrooms for visitors' convenience.

Cape Arago State Park is a place where you can enjoy the natural beauty of the ocean and view beautiful sunsets and sunrises.

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth at Cranberry Sweets & More

Not many people are familiar with the fact that Coos Bay in Oregon is also famous for its sweets and candy industries.

Cranberry Sweets & More is one of those companies that will satisfy all your sweet cravings.

The company was established in the 1970s and used local berries to produce cranberry candies.

However, the company grew by leaps and bounds and emerged as one of the most famous sweet shops in the city.

The shop offers sweet snacks like caramel popcorn, jelly candies, and cranberry candies, all of which are made using natural ingredients.

To make it more surprising, they prepare all these products using only the traditional methods.

Along with the regular items, the shop also offers complimentary items for tasting.

The shop also offers online services, making it quite convenient to get your hands on anything from this shop.

Watch a Show at the Beautiful Egyptian Theatre

Interior of Egyptian Theatre
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Located on South Broadway, the Egyptian Theatre is one of the city's last remaining pieces of Egyptian Revival architecture.

This prominent building opened as a movie house in 1925.

The theater has been renovated a few times and is used for organizing events such as stand-ups and movie screenings.

It is also quite important to note that the Egyptian interiors have never been changed since the theater first started operating.

The Egyptian Theatre showcases classics and independent movies and also conducts events such as film festivals.

It also acts as a museum for people who are interested in Egyptian architecture.

Many pieces in the theater date back to the 1920s, making everything very vintage and classy.

The Mighty Wurlitzer organ you'll find here is the only surviving Wurlitzer used in theaters in the entire state.

This place is a definite catch for all the art and history fanatics.

Admire the Works on Display at Coos Art Museum

Coos Art Museum
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Coos Art Museum is a historical wonder that is the central hub for art and traditional patronage on the southern coast of Oregon.

The museum is located in a building that was formerly used as a post office.

Today, it is a two-story museum that has five galleries and a vast atrium, showcasing the work of artists from the Northwest Pacific area.

This museum houses a huge collection of artwork produced by more than 600 local and international artists.

These pieces from the museum collection deal with diverse areas, ranging from multimedia compilations to traditional arts.

While the museum's collection is quite praiseworthy in itself, the rotating exhibits attract even more of the visitors' attention.

Along with its classy exhibitions, the museum also provides opportunities for educating art students.

Workshops and classes are organized on regular basis for different age groups, covering diverse topics.

The museum also organizes fun workshops where you can learn some basic art techniques and produce some original artwork.

Visit the Stunning Conde B. McCullough Memorial Bridge

Conde B. McCullough Memorial Bridge
Bob Pool / Shutterstock.com

The Conde B. McCullough Memorial Bridge is definitely going to catch your attention whether or not you are fond of art and architecture.

It was constructed in 1936 and stretches over 1700 feet along Coos Bay.

Eleven years after its completion, the bridge was renamed after its leading engineer, Conde B. McCullough.

Its design was inspired by Gothic, Art Deco, and modern art.

The bridge has wide sidewalks on each side, making it suitable for walking.

There are benches where you can sit, relax, and admire views of the ocean.

You'll also find a staircase that will lead you directly to the Coos Waterfront Park and Walkway.

The Conde B. McCullough Memorial Bridge is a perfect location for people who love photography.

Go Back in Time at the Coos History Museum and Maritime Collection

The museum was originally established as the Coos County Historical Society in the year 1891.

It was the second-largest and oldest historical society in the entire state of Oregon.

However, the society was converted into a history museum in the year 2015.

The Coos History Museum and Maritime Collection is quite extensive and is housed in a two-story building.

It features an extensive collection of art and artifacts from historical periods, including more than 50,000 items and half a million images.

The entire museum is a living legacy of the southern coast's history.

It has both permanent and temporary exhibitions.

While the permanent exhibitions are arranged on the first floor, the temporary exhibitions are housed on the second floor.

The museum exhibits a large number of items from the shipbuilding industry, which points out the development of overseeing traveling throughout the years.

It also organizes a number of events, such as lecture series and workshops.

Check Out the Iconic Coos Bay Boardwalk

Coos Bay Broadwalk
Sheila Sund from Salem, United States, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Coos Bay Boardwalk, located at the end of Anderson Avenue, is a perfect place to shoo away all your blues.

It provides the best views of the bay, offers a number of fun activities to do, and also features a fish market.

The boardwalk has three pavilions that depict information about how the city of Coos Bay was formed and developed.

There are also a few picnic tables where you can sit down for lunch and enjoy the cool breeze.

You can walk along the boardwalk and enjoy some time downtown.

The area features several eateries that offer local food at affordable prices.

There are also a few boutiques and specialty stores where you can buy gifts or personal use items.

Ride the Dunes at the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

Oregon Dunes National Recreational Area
Melanie Hobson / Shutterstock.com

The Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area houses some of the most famous dunes around the world, including the largest temperature dunes that are as tall as 500 feet.

The area offers activities such as off-roading and hiking.

These can be very fun if you enjoy driving or riding all-terrain vehicles and off-highway vehicles.

A lot of private rental services are also available around the dune areas, which could cut you some trouble and make your experience an excellent one.

You can choose between hiring a guide or going on a self-guided tour.

See a Hundred-Year-Old Train at the Oregon Coast Historical Railway

Oregon Coast Historical railway
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The Oregon Coast Historical Railway is a non-profit organization that was established with the intention to preserve and showcase the history of the local railroad and logging industry.

The organization has an extensive collection of engines and other trains.

Some of the trains in the collections date back to the 1950s.

The museum's most famous attraction would have to be the Baldwin steam locomotive, which was built in 1922.

A diesel Switcher engine from 1949 and a wooden caboose from 1946 are among the other popular displays.

Visitors can climb the trains and ring some bells on the engines.

Designed like a museum, the Oregon Coast Historical Railway is open only on Saturdays and Wednesdays.

Admission is free.

Feed the Ducks at Mingus Park

Mingus Park
Hugh Hull / Shutterstock.com

Mingus Park, located in the city's downtown business district, is one of the most scenic and beautiful parks in Coos Bay.

In the center, you'll find a lake that is home to a number of ducks, which visitors are welcome to feed.

The lake is surrounded by walking trails, beautiful fountains, and other lush green plantations.

Mingus Park is more beautiful at night when it is decorated with fairy lights.

There are also other available facilities like a Japanese garden, a heated pool, a golf course, playgrounds, and a big and spacious tennis court.

Test Your Luck at Three Rivers Casino

Three Rivers Casino is a one-stop destination for adult visitors where they can play games, relax, and get their hands on delicious food.

The menu offers more than 250 games and additional facilities.

They also organize special parties for visitors on weekend evenings.

The casino's in-house restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

The food served here is very delicious, and you should definitely try the ribs special if you are dining at this restaurant on Friday or Saturday.

Relax with an Ice-Cold Beer at 7 Devils Brewing Co.

A favorite among adult visitors, 7 Devils Brewing Co. is a brewpub that specializes in producing high-quality handcrafted beer.

The drinks produced here are inspired by the city's coastal life and made with American ingredients.

In addition, the pub boasts a rich collection of beers that are served during different seasons.

Open on all days of the week except Tuesday, 7 Devils Brewing Co. also organizes special events for customers.

Live music performances and concerts are some of the main attractions of this pub.

In addition to beer, they also serve some great food, wines, and whiskeys.

Enjoy Authentic Italian Cuisine at Restaurant O

Restaurant O opened with a very creative infrastructure in the year 2017.

This place serves different dishes from all corners of the world.

Its dishes are prepared by a Michelin-star chef who is globally renowned for his Italian cuisine.

The restaurant's main specialty is its 6- and 9-course special tasting menu, which comprises local and seasonal dishes.

It is also famous for serving special diet-friendly and vegan food.

Restaurant O offers private cooking classes for people who love food.

Explore Mahaffy Ranch with Your Kids

Visitors to Mahaffy Ranch, situated approximately 30 minutes from Coos Bay, may enjoy a day of outdoor adventure with the family.

A typical You Pick Pumpkin Patch harvest season takes place from the last week of September to October 31st, depending on the location.

There are a variety of exciting rural activities for children, including picking their own pumpkins for Halloween, horse rides, mazes made of straw, molehill slides, and corn cannons.

Children will also get the opportunity to interact with farm animals.

When hunger strikes, Mahaffy Ranch's Snack Shack offers various delectable treats.

Also located on-site, Harvest Market is a great place to stock up on fresh vegetables, cider, and other autumn favorites.

Look Back on the Local Publishing History at the Marshfield Sun Printing Museum

The Marshfield Sun Printing Museum is a newspaper and job printing firm listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Marshfield Sun newspaper was produced here every week between 1891 and 1944,

Even though it is no longer being printed, its history remains at the Marshfield Sun Printing Museum.

The museum showcases the Marshfield Sun's original equipment and displays on printing and local history.

Except for Mondays, the museum is open every day from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

You may take a personal tour by appointment at any time of year.

Go Hiking through the Elliott State Forest

The Elliott State Forest was Oregon's first state forest, stretching from Reedsport to Coos Bay across around 93,000 acres.

Forests comprise about 70% of the area.

Although this is mostly for logging, it also provides a wide range of exciting leisure activities.

With breathtaking vistas of clear-cut and densely wooded sections, the Ridgetop Drive gives access to the West Fork Millicoma River.

You may go hiking, although there aren't any designated paths to follow.

Swing Your Clubs at Coos Golf Club

Coos Golf Club, previously called Watson Ranch Golf and Coos Country Club, is approximately 100 years old.

Positive comments about the course's friendly personnel, well-kept greens and fairways, and exciting layout make for an entertaining game of golf.

In the first nine holes, you'll encounter two lengthy par-5 holes, rolling fairways, high greens, and elevation changes, all of which make for a challenging game of golf.

It's easier on the back nine, but you'll still need to be skilled and pay attention.

Try playing at this course when visiting Coos Bay if you consider yourself a passionate golfer.

Dine and Enjoy the Atmosphere at the Coach House Restaurant & Lounge

The Coach House Restaurant & Lounge was established in the 1950s.

It quickly transitioned to a steakhouse from being a tavern for the local loggers.

It served as a Chinese restaurant before becoming the casual steak and seafood joint it is today.

For lunch and dinner, you can have the popular grilled meats roasted over hot coals on an outside grill; however, the selection is more varied at dinnertime.

In addition to the standard steak and seafood options, you may also select the combination pattern, which includes your choice of meats.

Shop for Unique Finds at Vintage 101 - Antique & Home Decor Marketplace

Beautiful and unique items to grab for gifts or souvenirs are all housed in the eclectic corners of Vintage 101 - Antique & Home Decor Marketplace.

Choose from its charming and vintage items, including home decor, glassware, jewelry, clothing, gems, midcentury-modern furniture, antique tools, records, and many other collectibles.

And if you love chocolates, the shop also has gourmet chocolate to munch on!

There's a little bit of everything at Vintage 101 - Antique & Home Decor Marketplace, and you don't want to miss on it while in Coos Bay.

Go find it at South Broadway.

Hang Out at Captains Cabin Bar

After getting around the city, chill and relax with great drinks and delicious food at Captains Cabin Bar with your family and friends.

This charming dive bar serves a great selection of specialty drinks, including a wide selection of beers to enjoy while having fun with everyone around.

You'll also love that the tables outside the bar have propane-fueled heaters; making it more cozy and comfortable during colder months.

Try delicious bites to pair with your drinks, listen to live music, sing in the karaoke, play billiards, and make friends!

Captains Cabin Bar is located off Ocean Boulevard Southeast.

See the Beautiful Steve Prefontaine Murals

View of a Steve Prefontaine Mural on a building
Hugh Hull / Shutterstock.com

Honoring the Coos Bay native and long-distance running icon Steve Prefontaine, the Steve Prefontaine Murals grace the downtown area.

Three larger-than-life murals were completed in 2017, which were all produced by the Old City Artists, and designed by Erik Nicolaisen.

You can find these murals along South Broadway Street showcasing Prefontaine running at Marshfield High School, the University of Oregon, and as an Olympian.

Don't forget to take a photo with these stunning Steve Prefontaine Murals for documentation!

Prefontaine died in a car accident in 1975.

He was 24.

Read a Book at the Coos Bay Public Library

If you want something new to read during your trip to Coos Bay, you can take refuge in the cozy reading nooks of the Coos Bay Public Library on Anderson Avenue.

The library features an amazing selection of resources like books, audiobooks, magazines, movies & TV, music, and many more.

These are all available for all ages in many different genres and categories.

So whether you're here for reading, research, or study, the library is the perfect place.

Established in 1910, Coos Bay Public Library also offers events, programs, and classes for kids, teens, and adults, including arts & crafts, storytimes, spelling bees, and more.

Get Your Caffeine Fix at So It Goes Coffeehouse

Whether you're starting your day for another adventure in Coos Bay, or you're simply having your daily coffee fix, look no further than So It Goes Coffeehouse.

The coffeehouse serves fresh and delicious cups of coffee with vegan and gluten-free options for those who have diet restrictions.

What makes it more inviting for many locals and tourists, is its events for local artists, including musicians and crafters.

If you love books, there are plenty of used books, as well as records at the coffeehouse for purchase.

Go find So It Goes Coffeehouse on Central Avenue.

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of ways you can enjoy a visit to Coos Bay.

The area's many waterways and dune-lined lakes, rivers, and bays provide an idyllic setting and many possibilities for pleasure.

Given the city's proximity to the Pacific Ocean, you may enjoy many outdoor pursuits at this stunning destination.

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