The Oregon Coast reigns supreme as a tourist destination
COOS BAY, Ore. - The Memorial Day weekend is the "unofficial" start the summer here in Oregon, and it signals the start of a very busy time of the year.
It's already starting to get busier on Coastal Highway 101, and a lot of those people are headed to Coos County and the Coos Bay and North Bend area for the weekend.
The sheer beauty of Oregon's South Coast is more than enough to draw thousands of tourists to this part of the world.
"The beach is wonderful," said Mel Campbell, from Charleston. "Bastendorff, Sunset Bay, Botanical Gardens. Now we have a little marine life center where you can tickle a fish if you want to. It's pretty wonderful."
Campbell has lived along the South Coast for decades, enjoying the view of Coos Bay and the Charleston Marina from her backyard. Most days, you'll find her at the Charleston Visitor Center, talking with tourists who come from just about every place on the map.
"We have about 10,000 people come and go through the information center," said Campbell.
Some docks in Charleston are home to commercial fishing boats, charter boats and sports boats. Tourists love to fish, crab, dig clams, pitch a tent and play on the beach or park their R.V. in the county and state parks.
In downtown Coos Bay and North Bend, you'll find plenty of shops and restaurants to enjoy.
Just a few miles south, a golfer's paradise resides at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort.
"Just the natural scenery in itself will bring anybody from the world to the Oregon Coast," said Campbell.
The best golfers in the world come to play the four 18-hole links courses at Bandon Dunes, as do local golfers and tourists who have this place on their bucket list.
"The scenery, the Pacific Ocean and the natural foliage on the South Coast is really what rounds out the experience and just makes this an appealing opportunity," said Michael Chupka, with the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort.
Whether it's the golf, the fishing, the clamming or the beach, the South Coast has it for thousands of tourists every year.