Most towns on the Oregon coast can rightfully stake a claim as a “great destination,” but Bandon takes that game to a new level.
What is there to do in Bandon? Rent a crab pot and head down to Weber’s Pier. Eat fresh-caught fish at one of three dueling seafood shacks. Play a round of golf at Bandon Dunes. Visit the Coquille River Lighthouse and comb for rocks on Bullards Beach. Sample local beer, cider and rum. See some of the most ambitious public art projects in the Pacific Northwest.
Bandon feels like a town that’s constantly reaching for something new, and that might stem from a history that’s required it.
Ever since early settlers arrived on this stretch of the coastline, locals have dabbled in a variety of industries, managing to stay relevant on a Pacific coast full of small port towns. Gold miners came first in the 1850s, but the town wasn’t founded until 1873, after which it got busy in a hurry. In 1880 a local cheese industry started up. In 1883 the first sawmill opened in town. In 1884 construction began on the Coquille River jetty, and in 1885 a settler from Massachusetts planted the first cranberry bogs.
The burgeoning port town continued to grow, but in 1936 Bandon was almost entirely destroyed by a wildfire, fed by the highly flammable gorse plant – a shrub native to Ireland that was introduced to the area by George Bennett, founding father of the town.
Locals rebuilt in the wake of the fire, and today the small town of some 3,100 people appears to be thriving. The bustling Old Town district is the beating heart of Bandon, where a dense collection of aging tourist stops mingles with timeless, beloved restaurants and modern businesses like the year-old Bandon Brewing Company, which has quickly established itself and seems primed for success.
Some locals advertise the town as “Bandon-by-the-Sea” (which sounds a little too California for this Oregonian) but truthfully the town doesn’t need that kind of breezy moniker. Bandon can stand on its own as one of the best little towns on the Oregon coast, a place where thoughtful creativity thrives, and diversity of entertainment is second nature.
Bandon Homes for Sale
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