Making time for fun in Bandon, Oregon

Just south of us lies the adorable village of Bandon, Oregon. Founded in 1873 by Irishman George Bennet who named it after his hometown in Ireland, this little town of just over 3000 features about 10 square blocks of fun with restaurants, shops, a brewery and more.

Although we’ve driven through Bandon dozens of times only recently have we taken the time to check out all the area has to offer.

Within the compact old town exists enough options to keep you occupied for a couple of hours with a variety of shops offering everything from the traditional “beach” gift stores to some higher-end art studios. A favorite stop for us is Washed Ashore, a lovely studio that processes tons of garbage from the ocean and turns it into colorful artwork, sustainable straws, and storage containers, and even shopping bags.

Every Friday and Saturday from May to December the Farmer’s Market brings even more life to the working waterfront and offers up local goods and lots of artwork and jewelry that make for wonderful souvenirs.

A culinary quest leads to some wonderful discoveries. Stillwagon Distillery is distilled closer to Charleston but the Bandon tasting room offers up a colorful staff and a dizzying array of flavored rums, along with some other spirits. Cranberry Sweets displays jellied candies, flavored chocolates, and some truly unique flavor combinations.

Coastal Mist Chocolate name speaks for itself and their artisanal chocolates and desserts will lift your spirits even on a grey coastal day and if you’ve had enough sweets make sure to head down to Face Rock Creamery. This award-winning creamery entices the visitor with free cheese samples, a small store loaded with delicious goods, and a deli.

For a more substantial meal, there are also a larger number of options than a town of this size would indicate. Our personal favorite is easily Tony’s Crab Shack, however, the Bandon Fish Market, also right on the pier, has incredibly fresh fish delights.

The Wheelhouse was the scene of a recent birthday lunch with friends. It has recently scored the former Egewater chef and some staff and offers a lovely view of the bay along with friendly servers but my next choice is to check out Alloro wine bar & Restaurant featuring homemade pasta dishes and an excellent wine selection.

Golf fiends will certainly want to check out Bandon Dunes, one of the state’s premier golf resorts combining excellent courses with jaw-dropping views.

Around the town has additional intriguing spots to check out including one of eight Oregon lighthouses left on the coast. Located at Bullards Beach State Park, the Coquille River Lighthouse was erected in 1896 and remained in operation until 1936.

As a grand finale head south of town to Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint. The sweeping views and expansive beaches are perfectly Oregon, complete with Native American lore.

We are fortunate enough to live less than an hour away but for those looking to spend the night Bandon accommodations range from modest motel rooms to more luxurious digs at the Best Western at Face Rock.

Whether you have a few hours or a few days, Bandon is certainly worth a visit.

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