Bandon, OR and Bullard’s Beach SP

Our next stop on the coast was Bullard’s Beach State Park near the city of Bandon. Ok, I’m going to say it right now. I loved this place! I loved our campsite, I loved the city, and I loved the beach loop drive with its little scenic day use areas along the Bandon coast.

Walking along the beach at Bandon
Walking along the beach at Bandon

Bullard’s Beach SP had a great campground. We were able to get a site with full hook ups, a lot of space (enough for an extra tent, if we had one) and a lot of privacy. It was great. Our site was also close to the beach trail. The beach trail was 3/4 of a mile to the beach, one way, all on sand and up and down dunes. It was hard work. We took the dog and headed out. When we got to the beach, it seemed to go on forever (it’s 4 1/2 miles long) and was extremely windy. We spent some time strolling along the beach and letting Coda run. There were very few people around which gives you this wonderful feeling of owning your own beach. But the wind got to me after awhile and my stomach was growling, so it was time to head back to make dinner.

A labyrinth in the sand
A labyrinth in the sand

The next day, we cheated and headed for the beach via the road. The road takes you along the Coquille River with nice picnic spots along it, then a large beach parking area, then further along a few small parking pullouts for the beach, and finally ends by a sweet little lighthouse. We parked in one of the small pullouts and climbed over the dune to get to the beach, still mostly isolated. The beach here is sand and dunes and driftwood. You can see that there are rocks  further down the coast past Old Town Bandon. We enjoyed our time for awhile and then headed back to get ready for dinner out in Bandon. I wanted some good fresh seafood so we made reservations at The Loft restaurant.

We had a great dinner at The Loft restaurant overlooking the harbor in Bandon
We had a great dinner at The Loft restaurant overlooking the harbor in Bandon

The Loft is on the second floor of a two-story building right on the coast by the harbor. It only seats about 30 people, so reservations are recommended. We started our dinner with crab cakes and a fried risotto ball with a melted cheese center over marinara sauce. Both selections were excellent. Next, I had the salmon special and Opa ordered the roasted butterfish. We often share our selections so we get to try more things. Okay. The roasted butterfish was to die for! Yummy! Opa said I inhaled it, it was so delicious! We finished our meal off with a goat cheese cheese cake with a rhubarb sauce and basil topping. It was very good as well. After dinner, we strolled along the boardwalk for a bit and then headed home. It was a great day!

More sand art
More sand art

On our final full day there, we packed up the dog and wandered out to explore the Bandon scenic beach loop road. There are many little scenic pull outs with parking and tons of beach to explore. There’s Face Rock, Wizard’s Rock, Elephant Rock and more. There are big rocks jutting out all over the beach as well with lots of cool tide pools to explore. We had so much fun looking for and photographing the marine critters. Coda had lots of fun chasing waves and racing on the beach. We met a wildlife organization on top of one of the bluffs that had spotting scopes and let us look through to see large groups of common murres on the tops of the rocks. Then we went out with our binoculars to find more. It was so much fun!

Nothing fancy, but great fish and chips
Great fish and chips were worth the wait

After a few hours of checking out the scenic loop drive, we head back to Old Town Bandon in search of the Bandon Fish Market for the best fish and chips ever! It’s a very small place right by the boardwalk, with just a few tables inside and outside. But it was very popular and we had to wait 40 minutes for our food to be ready. It was worth the wait! I had the prawn fish and chips and Opa had the Alaskan halibut fish and chips. Excellent!

Coquille River lighthouse, with Bandon in the distant background
The Coquille River lighthouse, with Bandon in the background

After lunch, we strolled along the boardwalk again and then headed for the light house. It had pictures and historical information on the walls and the volunteers filled us in with a lot of good information. Hopefully, we got a few nice photos and headed back for a relaxing evening at our campsite before leaving for our next adventure in the morning.

 

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