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Spring Break on S. Oregon Coast: Whales, Glass Floats, Dinos, Pub Crawl, More

Published 03/11/23 at 12:03 AM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Spring Break on S. Oregon Coast Brings Whales, Glass Floats, Dinos, Pub Crawl, More

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(Coos Bay, Oregon) – Spring break 2023 is going to be a rager - for the great outoors, anyway.

On the south Oregon coast, where things are decidedly more rough-edged and purely wilderness than farther north, the focus is often nature and rugged but beachy outdoors. And with good reason. Thus, spring break 2023 is not so much about kiddie-oriented events as it is getting away from it all, and not all the events are truly about kids. (Photo courtesy Gold Beach Visitors Center)

Still, there's a few happs down south and a load more attractions and distractions for families with kidlets in tow- or those who wish to maintain the more collegiate traditions of downing a few shots.

As they say on Star Trek: Picard...”Engage.”

Gold Beach Glass Floats, April 1 – 30. At the very tail end of Spring Break season, Gold Beach comes up with a whopper, especially for those Washington kids who have break at this time.

All throughout April, Gold Beach features one thousand glass floats along one mile of this famed south Oregon coast hamlet. Most are about 3 inches, but a good helpin' of them are 4 inches, while some of these clock in at 12 inches round. Hit the Visitors Center to get maps to help you find them, which includes participating shops where you can get a 4-incher and a gift certificate with a minimum purchase.

Only one of the giganticus floats is hidden per week.

March 18 -19. Langlois Artisan Market the Bloom Edition. To celebrate the first days of spring, Langlois brings in 30 vendors from around the south Oregon coast from 11 – 3 at the Langlois Cheese Factory event venue. 94179 Allen Boice Dr., Langlois, Oregon.

March 18. ShamRock 'n Roll in North Bend. It's a combo of live music, St. Patty's Day frolic and lots o' drinks in lots o' places – a kind of block party, really. Food trucks will be in the area until 7 p.m. Local performers hit the stage from noon to 2 p.m. Then the big act, Captain Blue, rages on from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. After the big show there's the Clover Pub Crawl in downtown North Bend. It's all free and it's under the big tent at 2040 Union St. in North Bend. See North Bend site.

March 28 – April 2. Oregon Coast Spring Whale Watch Week on South Oregon Coast. There are 17 spots along the entire coastline where volunteers will help you spot the gigantic cetaceans on their twice-yearly migration. You'll find them there from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Along the south coast, they are at Umpqua Lighthouse near Reedsport, Shore Acres State Park near Coos Bay, Face Rock Scenic Viewpoint at Bandon, Ophir Wayside just south of the little village of Ophir in Curry County, and Brookings' Harris Beach State Park.

Spring Break Along Oregon Dunes National Rec Area. There's 40 miles of these phat, monster dunes to play around on – from Florence down to Coos Bay, and including Reedsport area along the way.

Numerous areas provide dune buggy rentals and all sorts of funky sand gear and machinery. Among them, one of the biggies is Sand Master Park just north of Florence. The highlight there is sandboarding – like a surfboard only on sand. This is a thrill-a-millisecond. You can rent them there, take sandboard lessons, or snag curious fun rides like surfboards, boogie boards, skim board, paddle board or even a sand sled. You can also learn sand sculpting. 541.997.6006. 4981 US Hwy. 101. Florence, Oregon.

Around Coos Bay there's all these dunes and more, according to Oregon's Adventure Coast executive director Janice Langlinais.

“So, of course, riding the dunes, cycling at Whiskey Run Mountain Biking Trails, and kayaking are on the tops of a lot of lists.” See Oregon's Adventure Coast for more.

Coquille River Lighthouse, courtesy Manuela Durson - see Manuela Durson Fine Arts for more

Bandon Rocks It. The highlights of Bandon involve that near-labyrinth of rock at Face Rock Scenic Viewpoint, but there's gobs of hiking and fun times in those hills above, which often involve cycling up there. You can also rent fat tire bikes for the beach. See

Prehistoric Gardens. In a primeval, true rain forest, Port Orford’s Prehistoric Gardens is not only the Oregon coast’s time-trippiest attraction but it’s also just about the oldest as well. Starting out in 1955, it’s held visitors enthralled by the presence of towering dinos decades before the Jurassic Park movie franchise. One specimen at Prehistoric Gardens soars above you some 46 feet. 1-541-332-4463. 36848 Highway 101 South. Port Orford, Oregon.

Kissing Rock, Gold Beach. Just a wee bit south of Gold Beach, you hit a viewpoint and turnout with a rock feature slightly towering above the highway. Here, you've reached the Hunter Creek Turnout and Kissing Rock – not an official state park or anything, simply a wondrous little spot filled with beachy delights.

There's more than just a romantic selfie to be had here. The rock structure itself hides a myriad of crevices inside that you can wander through. The kiddies will likely fit better in some areas than grownups, and they'll have a ball navigating those tight spaces. The whole beach is a wonderland of stuff to do as well.

Natural Bridges of Boardman Corridor, courtesy Manuela Durson - see Manuela Durson Fine Arts for more

Samuel H. Boardman Scenic Corridor. Between Brookings and Gold Beach, this is one stunning area that will get you fired up. 15 miles of incredibly diverse landscapes and biomes, there's lots of crazy-tall viewpoints to look down from, hidden beaches left and right, and incomparable coves to engage all your kids – including the furry ones.

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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