Prehistoric Gardens

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Old Town Bandon (half hour north) - A charming collection of quaint shops and small seafood restaurants offering fresh fish of the day in a waterfront village. Check out the funky little antique stores on the way up 101.

Charleston (45 min north) - With Shore Acres and Cape Arago State Parks, the South Slough National Estuarine Reserve, the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology, Cape Arago lighthouse, Sunset Bay Golf Course and a great little harbor with lots of shops, good places to eat and charter options for boating and fishing. Contact their visitor’s center for more information 541.888.2311.

Shore Acres State Park & Botanical Gardens (45 min north) - Visit or picnic in this spectacular historic spot. Enjoy the ocean-view gardens. Perched on rugged sandstone cliffs high above the ocean, Shore Acres State Park is a beautiful and exotic combination of natural and crafted features. Once the grand estate of pioneer timber baron Louis Simpson, Shore Acres features lushly planted gardens with plants and flowers from all over the world. Something is in bloom almost every day of the year. In the landscaped area you'll discover a formal garden, an oriental-style pond and two rose gardens which include an All American Rose Selection display. From Thanksgiving through New Years, the gardens are ablaze with thousands of colored lights and holiday decorations. Visit their website for more information.

Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area (8 miles east of Reedsport on Hwy 38, about 1 1/2 hours north) Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area (EVA) totals 1,040 acres. The 440 acres of bottomland consist of pasture and wetlands, and the 600 acres of woodlands contain hardwood and coniferous forest. Dean Creek is managed to provide optimum viewing opportunities. Pastures are mowed, grazed, and fertilized to improve the nutrition and palatability for the elk. Portions of the wetland have been enhanced to provide more standing water for a variety of waterfowl. A heard of 60 to 100 Roosevelt elk are year round residents. Numerous birds can be seen in the area and waterfowl are visible in the wetlands. The best times to view elk are early mornings and before dusk. It is jointly managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Hwy 101 South to Brookings  - Arguably the most beautiful hour’s drive along the entire US Pacific Coast, with lots of clearly marked view spots to stop and enjoy truly awe-inspiring views. Stop in Gold Beach for lunch or bring a picnic from Port Orford.

Brookings (1 hour south) - Brookings-Harbor is one of two spots in the continental US that was bombed by a foreign country (Japan) in World War II. The bomb site is marked by a monument accessed from the Bombsite Trail, located about 10 miles inland from Brookings-Harbor on South Bank Road. The pilot of the plane returned to Brookings twenty years after the bombing during their annual Azalea Festival, and presented the town with his personal samuri sword. The sword, now on display at Brookings City Hall, had been carried in his plane for good luck. Plus, don’t miss their great harbor/marina with shops, eating and recreational opportunities.

Brookings - Alfred Loeb State Park (1 hour south, off the 101, 10 miles north of Brookings) - The park is in the middle of a grove of a very aromatic myrtlewood forest - where many of the trees are well over 200 years old. The Chetco River runs just beyond the park. You can fish, swim and raft, or just walk a self-guided streamside nature trail. The river offers some of the finest fall and winter salmon and steelhead fishing on the south coast. Throughout spring and summer, you're likely to see chipmunks, osprey and possibly a family of otters in the water. And...the northern-most redwood grove in the US can be reached by a .75 mile self-guided River View Trail adjacent to the Chetco River.

fish sclpture made of ocean salvage

Art 101 (20 miles north) - The Washed Ashore Project builds large art sculptures of sea life made from plastic marine debris. Our unique art pieces are part of a traveling exhibition which includes educational signage and programs that encourage reducing, refusing, reusing and recycling. You won't believe how cool some of these sculptures are! See their website for more info.

Prehistoric Gardens (15 min south) - One of the most unusual tourist attractions in the world, a "lost world" of life-size replicas of the dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals. Scientifically correct, the size and shape of these restorations are based on the measurements of fossil skeletons. Check out this website for more information.

Game Park Safari (20 minutes north) - See lions, tigers, bears, snow leopards, elk, deer, chimps, llamas, bison, camels, goats, cougars, peacocks (even white ones), lynx, black  panthers, miniature horses, and zebras. Also a great petting zoo where you can hold all sorts of baby wild animals. Visit their website for more information.

Jedediah State Park - The Redwoods (1 1/2 hours south) - This 10,000 acre park is filled with predominately old-growth coast redwoods and is a World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve. It has the last major free-flowing river in California running through it – the Smith River. You will also find western hemlock, Sitka spruce, grand and Douglas fir, as well as the rare and lovely Port Orford cedar, plus tan oak, madrone, red alder, big leaf and vine maple, and California bay. Ground cover is dense with a wide range of species and varieties of shrubs, bushes, flowers, ferns, mosses and lichens common to the coast redwood environment. Visit their website for more information.

The Mill Casino (Coos Bay, 1 hour north) - Play over 550 slots, or enjoy blackjack & bingo, craps & roulette.

Brandborg Winery and Gallery and Rivers Edge Winery (about 40 miles east of Reedsport on Hwy 38, about 2 hours north) - Enjoy good area wines in their tasting rooms. Visit their website for more information.

Girardet Wine Cellars (Roseburg, 2 hours east) - Enjoy wine sampling in the tasting room, take a tour of the cellar, and take advantage of the picnic area with BBQ overlooking the vineyards. Visit their website for for more information.

 

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