Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Gold Beach, OR

  • Published 2021/11/19

Located in Oregon, Gold Beach serves as the seat of Curry County.

This city isn’t as well-known as more prominent coastal attractions like Newport or Yachats, but the southern hub makes up for its lack of facilities by its location in a prime spot along the Oregon coast.

For many visitors, this town with over 2,300 people is more appealing than other seaside attractions since it doesn’t attract the same number of tourists.

Gold Beach remains a renowned destination for tourists, and several factors combine to make it one of the best little towns in Oregon.

Gold Beach, Oregon’s warmest and lowest-lying town, also has a long sandy beach, which, while not gold, is lovely for strolling and beachcombing.

In the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, the Rogue River flows into the Pacific, where hikers, boaters, and anglers enjoy it.

Jet boat trips on the Rogue are popular with tourists looking for a fast-paced adventure with breathtaking views.

Read on to know the best things to do in Gold Beach, Oregon!

See the Wreck of the Mary D. Hume

View of the Wreck of the Mary D. Hume

DCrane /

You can’t ignore the shipwreck on Isaac Lee Patterson Bridge’s south side.

The Mary D. Hume was built at Gold Beach in the late 1800s and is currently deteriorating in the ocean. In addition to its visual uniqueness, this location has a rich history to tell.

Shipping products to and fro the Rogue River and San Francisco had been more accessible thanks to Mary D. Hume, which has been in operation for over a century.

View of the Wreck of the Mary D. Hume

TFoxFoto /

After serving as an arctic whaling ship in the far north, the owners converted the boat into a tug in Puget Sound.

When the ship returned to Gold Beach for retirement in 1978, it ran into trouble getting out of the ocean and eventually sank into the shallow waters.

There has been a steady erosion of Mary D. Hume by the seas and elements ever since.

Today, the boat is still an exciting pit stop at the city’s northern side, even though it is a well-known stop for passing birds.

View of the Wreck of the Mary D. Hume

Sergey Novikov /

Learn About the History of Gold Beach at Curry Historical Museum

The Alice Wakeman Memorial Building houses this great place to learn about California’s South Coast history via a miner’s hut, images, a Native American exhibit, and relics.

An important collection of historic relics connected to the history of Curry County is now at Gold Beach’s newest museum, named after its patron, a descendant of one of the founding families of Curry County.

It features the Salmon King of Oregon exhibit and the Wedderburn Quilt and has volunteers explaining their importance.

Check out the local and regional history resources in the bookstore’s collection.

Take Photos at the Kissing Rock

View of Kissing Rock

Ansel B /

Kissing Rock is a large rock structure that resembles more of a shark fin than a kiss, although it serves as a famous southern entrance to the Gold Beach.

The origin of the term “Gold Beach” has been widely debated, according to the staff at the Gold Beach Visitor’s Center.

The most frequent story about how this Gold Beach monument got its name is becoming a meeting place for local lovers.

View of Kissing Rock

Nature’s Charm /

You may either enter or exit the city through this gorgeous spot.

Perennial grasses and rocks surround it.

This Rock is a popular spot for couples to share a passionate smooch and have their photos taken.

Ride Onboard Jerry’s Rogue Jets Along Rogue River

The Rogue River, which flows through Gold Beach and its surrounding area, is a prominent natural feature. On the north side of town, the river joins the Pacific Ocean.

From Isaac Lee Patterson Bridge, Jerry’s Rogue Jets launches one of the river’s most exciting excursions.

Since its inception in 1958, Jerry’s Rogue Jets has been providing river trips aboard a jet boat.

A 52-mile trek upriver is possible on these exciting excursions.

Whitewater rafting, natural tourism, and family entertainment are all part of the package on these vacations.

The boat operator provides entertaining and educational commentary on each trip.

There are three options for day trips with Jerry’s Rogue Jets.

The 64-mile round journey offers beautiful views at a more leisurely pace.

Rapids and whitewater fun abound on the longer roundtrips of 80 and 104 miles.

Paradise Lodge near Medford, Oregon, offers overnight packages for those who like to stay a little longer than a day.

Try Fat Biking at the Banana Belt Loop

In addition to being one of the top fat biking spots in the state, Gold Beach’s Banana Belt Loop is also a great way to spend a day outside of the city!

Since this location is known for its mild winter temperatures, it got its name after the tropical fruit.

Consequently, all-year riding is much more tempting here than in other parts of the state.

As a bonus, it’s far less congested than other northern beaches, so you can ride for kilometers without encountering another person.

As the name says, you can ride fat bikes right on the sand because they have broad wheels that make it simpler.

The loops display some of Oregon’s best fat tire biking, including caverns, jagged boulders, and several other low-tide delights.

A strong wind will almost certainly be present when you ride, which is excellent if you’re riding along with it.

However, it won’t be easy if you’re riding against it.

It will help if you consider this while planning your trip and selecting when to cope with the winds.

Try Whitewater Rafting at the Rogue River

View of Rogue River

Marilyn D. Lambertz /

All skill levels may enjoy whitewater rafting on the Rogue River.

Many different river trips are available, from multi-day expeditions to quick, action-packed thrills.

Depending on where you are on the river, you may or may not be ready for a challenge, including Class IV Nugget Falls.

View of Rogue River

Art Boardman /

For example, “Ol Slippery Rock” and “The Surf Wave” are among the most renowned rapids on the river, as well as “Bitterman Falls.”

With just a few hours to spare, you may join a half-day guided river excursion that covers a 7-mile portion of the river, while the full-day option is twice as long.

Look for a variety of species, such as osprey, beaver, otter, and sometimes even a black bear, as you go around the area.”

Stroll Down the Otter Point State Recreation Site With Your Dogs

Compared to other oceanside sites, this state recreation park is less well-known.

This beautiful stretch of coastline is even more appealing because of the low number of visitors.

It has a gravel parking lot off of the Old Coast Highway.

Hundreds of acres of sandstone cliffs, small hiking paths, and unusual sea stacks make up this state park area.

Wandering about the maritime environment and admiring the changing nature is the most typical pastime here.

A leash-free zone makes the area popular among pet owners.

When exploring the sandstone bluffs, explorers should exercise caution and remain safe from the disintegrating edges.

From winter to spring months, you can spot whales from these high peaks.

Beach access points are available at the recreation site to get a closer look at the sea stacks at the water’s edge.

Take Photos at Pistol River State Scenic Viewpoint

Located in the southern part of Gold Beach, this state park unit lies among changing dunes and the Pistol River.

This location features a vast, sandy beach.

However, despite its calmer atmosphere, Pistol River is still a favorite beach site for residents to relax and enjoy the seaside.

Because of the expansive beach, lazy river, and beautiful dunes, Pistol River State Scenic Viewpoint is quite popular with tourists, although quieter than others.

In addition, pet owners frequently bring their four-legged pets along for the ride.

The river and the dunes of the Pistol River are constantly moving, resulting in consistently changing vistas.

Since it’s a day-use park, you may come and go whenever you like. On the Oregon Coast Trail, hiking from Cape Sebastian is a popular route to the state scenic viewpoint.

A grueling journey through some of Oregon’s most beautiful coastal areas is the reward.

Have a Picnic at Geisel Monument State Heritage Site

The historic gravesites of the Geisel family lie in the Giesel Monument State Heritage Site.

The Rogue River Wars, a conflict between new settlers and indigenous communities in the region, was at the heart of the terrible events surrounding the loss of the family.

Many dramatic events have marked Orgon’s coastal history, and this location serves as one reminder.

A fast detour from the 101 leads to this place, a peaceful spot to take in the area’s temperate landscapes.

The Curry Historical Society and the Curry Historical Museum offer further information about the Rogue River Wars.

Admire the Views at Cape Sebastian State Scenic Corridor

Views at Cape Sebastian State Scenic Corridor

Adbar, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

At Cape Sebastian State Scenic Corridor, both parking lots are more than 200 feet above sea level, so it’s no surprise that the views are spectacular.

On a clear day, you may see up to 43 miles heading north from the south parking overlook, with Humbug Mountain occupying most of the view.

Looking south, you could see as far as California, which was up to 50 miles away.

There is a large amount of Sitka Spruce forest throughout the park, making it an excellent place to go hiking.

In the lower areas of the cape, there is a 1.5-mile trekking track that can provide equally stunning views.

As an alternative, you may walk along the shore and look for whales or fish while there.

It is one of Southern Oregon’s tallest, most sheer-sided, and breeziest points. Near Gold Beach, it’s just a short drive from the 101, making it convenient to visit.

Stop by Rogue River Museum

Nestled away in a spot you wouldn’t expect to find, the Rogue River Museum is only a short distance from the Curry Historical Museum.

You’ll learn all about the Rogue River’s history, from its origin to the present day, on its guided tours.

The museum features early explorers, some of the best images, and information on Jerry’s Rogue Jets, along with a few relics from the company’s early days.

The museum’s animal wall, which depicts various creatures that have made the Rogue River their home throughout the years, is a popular attraction.

If you’d like to make a gift to help keep the museum open for future visitors, you can do so at the museum’s entry.

Bring Home a Good Read From Gold Beach Books

Locals refer to it as the “Powell” of the ocean.

There are more than 75,000 volumes at Gold Beach Books’ two-story store, as well as a cafe with fresh-baked goods and a selection of local artwork.

Not just the original editions of “The Jungle Book” are here but also “The Second Jungle Book” and for sale at $2,950 in the exclusive book showroom, which is only open to hardback book collectors.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Go Mountain Biking at Harris Beach State Park

View of Harris Beach State Park

Simply Emily Ruth /

Oregon’s Harris Beach State Park, 32 minutes away from Gold Beach, is one of the state’s most popular parks. It offers a wide variety of leisure activities, including camping.

Surrounded by nature, there are plenty of opportunities for hiking, bicycling, and so on.

The shore is alive with sea life, and sea lions and seals abound in the tide pools.

View of Harris Beach State Park

arboursabroad /

Located off the shore, Bird Island is a National Wildlife Sanctuary home to a large population of tufted puffins.

You can hold picnics overlooking the sea stacks in the day-use area and exploration of the rocky cliffs.

You may also spend the night here since the area has a power source.

Take Selfies With Dinosaurs at Prehistoric Gardens

Prehistoric Gardens is about 20 minutes drive from Gold Beach.

More than 20 gigantic dinosaur statues stand amid the vegetation of this lush jungle near the beach.

Since 1955, this roadside landmark has been a beloved family destination.

E.V. “Ernie” Nelson’s family runs this park.

Wander around the grounds and take photographs of the stunning exhibits.

Each ancient statue has information on each dinosaur.

The moss and many colors of the rainforest add to the atmosphere.

The vibe and its beautiful surroundings alone make this park worth a visit, but the giant dinosaurs add to the fun.

Operating hours vary depending on the season.

Camp at Humbug Mountain

View of Humbug Mountain

Manuela Durson /

Humbug Mountain State Park is around 30 minutes from the downtown of Gold Beach.

As the tallest point on the coast, it comes as no surprise that the vistas from the summit are spectacular.

The campground is tucked away in the woods and along a rushing creek, making it an ideal location for camping.

You may enjoy a picturesque walk to the beach from the campsite.

View of Humbug Mountain

Jared Matthew Baker /

The 5.5-mile journey to the mountain’s 1765-foot summit is an option for those looking for a more challenging trip.

The Oregon Coast Trail also passes through the park, so that you may take it from here.

The mountains around the region provide some shelter from the strong ocean breezes, allowing the area to experience some of the hottest temperatures on the Oregon Coast.

Final Thoughts

Spend a long weekend in and around Gold Beach and put your worries aside, and take advantage of the beautiful scenery, pleasant weather, laid-back atmosphere, and other natural attractions the area had to offer.

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