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Bandon, Oregon Travel Guide
Last Updated: Dec-22-2011, Hits: 8,477, Rating: 5, Reviews: 1, Votes: 1 Bookmark and Share
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Bandon, Oregon Travel Guide Restaurants (23)
Hotels and Lodging (15)
Bars and Nightlife (9)
Attractions (10)
Services (5)
Links (3)
Oregon Travel Forum (20)
Location: North America
Geography: Beach
Vacation Type: Family, Romantic, Relaxation
Popularity: Moderate Tourism
Costs: Budget, Moderate
Attractions: Golfing, Scenery, Camping, Festivals, Fishing, Shopping

Facts and Stats:
City Population: 3,214
Land Area: 2.75 sq mi
Government: Constitution-based federal republic
Country Dialing Code: +1
Area Code: 541
Languages: English
Electricity: 110V
Currency: United States Dollar
Time Zone: PST (UTC-8)
Current Time:

The small town of Bandon, once a community centered around fishing and timber, has evolved into a world class golf and beach destination. In addition to tourism, Bandon is known for farming, especially cranberries which are celebrated every year at the annual Cranberry Festival.

Bandon, also known as Bandon-By-The-Sea, is located on the Oregon Coast about 90 miles north of the California border on Highway 101 and approximately 25 miles south of Coos Bay. The town of Bandon is bordered to the north by the Coquille River and to the west by the Pacific Ocean. Visitors to Bandon enjoy a sandy beach that is several miles long and decorated with protruding rocks sometimes referred to as "Sea Stacks". The most famous of these is Face Rock which local legend says portrays the face of an Indian maiden that was frozen into stone by an evil spirit.

Brief History:
Previous to 1850, the area now known as Bandon was inhabited by the Coquille (Ko-quell Indian Tribe). According to a Coquille tribal legend, the face in Face Rock belongs to Ewauna, daughter of Chief Siskiyou. Ewauna was attacked by the evil sea spirit Seatka. She refused to look into his eyes, knowing that this was how he controlled his victims. Instead she fixed her stare on the North Star, and defiantly gazes there even today.

In 1851, gold was discovered at nearby Whiskey Run Beach by French Trappers, although there was not much of a gold rush in the area. In 1852, Henry Baldwin from Cork County, Ireland, was shipwrecked on the Coos Bay Bar and came to the Bandon area. The first settlers came just after in 1853 and established the town that would become Bandon. This came with Indian resistance in 1856. The Indians were defeated and went to the Siletz Reservation.

In 1873, George Bennett came Bandon, Ireland to the settlement known as Averill with his 2 sons. In 1874, the town's name was changed to Bandon. In 1876, Joseph Williams and his 3 sons also arrived from Bandon, Ireland. Bandon, Oregon and Bandon, Ireland are sister cities to this day.

In 1880 congress approved funds for the building of the jetty which began construction in 1884.

Bandon was incorporated in 1891 and the lighthouse was built in 1896. Cranberries were introduced to the region in 1885 by Charles McFarlin who came from Boston with cranberry vines. Bandon remains a large producer of cranberries to this day.

Bandon experienced rapid growth between 1900-1910 with its population increasing from 645 to 1,803. It had become one of the most popular tourist destinations on the Oregon coast and a key port between Portland and San Francisco. Other key industries were timber, fishing, cheese making, and cranberries.

The Great Fire of 1936 destroyed Bandon's entire commercial district and killed 11-13 people. In an ironic twist of fate, the fire was caused when an ember from slash burning inflamed invasive gorse plants which were introduced to the region by George Bennett 60 years earlier. The gorse plant is very oily and flammable, and still remains in the area.

In 1947, Bandon celebrates their first annual Cranberry Festival.

In 1999, Bandon Dunes Golf Resort opens putting Bandon on the map in a big way. The course was designed by Scotsman David McLay Kidd, and was followed by 2 additional world class courses. In 2009, Golf Magazine named all three courses to its list of the 50 best courses built in the last 50 years. Pacific Dunes ranked 2nd, Bandon Dunes 12th, and Bandon Trails 33rd. A fourth course, Old Macdonald, was opened in the summer of 2010.

Bandon's residents are known for being very friendly. Bandon is a very safe community where violent crime has historically been extremely rare and way below national averages. The biggest crime issue found in the town is theft so keep an eye on your valuables.

Bandon's Cranberry Festival has been held the second weekend in September since its inception in 1946. The festival includes a parade, arts and crafts, food fair, and vendors selling unique items.

Food & Nightlife:
Due to its size, Bandon doesn't have a ton of restaurants, however, they do have a number of good ones. Fresh seafood is easily found here.

Outside the upscale Bandon Dunes Resort, Bandon is very affordable. Like most of Oregon's coastal towns, you can get a beach house at a very reasonable price especially if you get a large house with a lot of people. Most of these houses have all of the modern amenities that you would expect. The handful of hotels and motels in town are also reasonably priced. There is a 10.5% hotel tax in Oregon.

You don't even have to spend a fortune if you want to golf. Check out Bandon Crossings or the recently reopened Old Bandon Golf Links.

There is no sales tax in Oregon.

Getting There and Around:
Bandon isn't the easiest place in the world to get to. Major airlines do not fly into Bandon's tiny airport. Your only options are a charter flight or a long drive. Below are some of the approximate drive times from other locations you may be coming from.

Bend, Or5 hours
Coos Bay, Or30 minutes
Corvallis, Or3 hours, 30 minutes
Eugene, Or3 hours
Lincoln City, Or   4 hours
Newport, Or3 hours, 20 minutes
Portland, Or5 hours
Redding, Ca5 hours, 30 minutes
Roseburg, Or1 hour, 45 minutes
Salem, Or4 hours

If coming from the north (except Corvallis), the fastest way to get to Bandon is to take I-5 south to Hwy 38. Once in Reedsport, take Hwy 101 south to Bandon. From the south, take I-5 north to Hwy 42 which will take you to Bandon.

Bandon is a small town and it is very easy to get around on foot or bicycle. Unless you charter a flight, you will likely have a car to explore surrounding areas.

Bandon has a moderate climate, but receives a lot of rainfall especially in the winter months. Below are the current weather conditions.

The table below shows the average temperatures, rainfall and ocean temperatures.

Month Avg High Avg Low Average Rainfall Ocean Temp
January 54 38 9.22" 50
February 56 39 7.76" 50
March 56 40 7.39" 50
April 58 41 4.61" 51
May 61 45 3.16" 52
June 64 49 1.63" 54
July 67 51 0.43" 55
August 68 51 0.90" 55
September 68 48 1.63" 55
October 64 44 3.88" 53
November 57 41 9.13" 53
December 54 38 9,71" 51

Tips/Additional Information:
  • Bandon is a good location for whale watching during the Spring and Fall.

  • Services:
  • Emergency - 911
  • Police (non-emergency) - 541-347-2241
  • Tourist information - 541-347-9616

  • Photo Gallery

    User Reviews (1)

    Reviewed by: sloshed
    Review date: Oct-05-2010

    Went here a couple of weeks ago after a lapse of over 20 years and faded memories. What I discovered is that Bandon is absolutely beautiful and a beachcombers paradise. Tidepools, caves, photographs, etc. provide days worth of exploration. Combine that with very affordable rental houses, plenty of food choices, and better weather than the rest of the Oregon coast and I think this is my favorite town on the Oregon Coast. The only bummer about Bandon is the 5 hour drive to get there from Portland. And next time I am going to save up for some incredible golf! 

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