Coos Bay, Oregon
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Coos Bay, North Bend and Charleston are known as Oregon's Bay Area. With the largest natural harbor between Seattle and San Francisco, Coos Bay is a major shipping and manufacturing center. Until the recent lumber shortages, it was also the largest timber shipping port in the world. North Bend, along with Coos Bay, forms the largest urban area on the Oregon Coast. Travelers on US 101 will see foreign vessels coming into the docks, massive wood chip piles for paper production and formerly bustling lumber mills. Charleston, nine miles west on Cape Arago Highway, is an old waterfront fishing village. It is also a premier sports fishing harbor, and one of the state's busiest commercial fishing ports.

Recreation is also a favorite pastime in the bay area. Three spectacular state parks offer many diversions to visitors. Sunset Bay State Park, located southwest of Charleston on the Cape Arago Hwy., has a small, protected bay surrounded by picturesque cliffs. It is suitable for swimming, which is unusual for the Oregon coast. Divers, surfers and boaters also enjoy the warm bay waters. Year round camping is available, as well as hiking. Watching the sunset over the ocean from the cliff side trail, which connects the three parks, is a popular activity. The park is near one of the three golf courses in the Bay area.

Shore Acres State Park is the former grand estate of pioneer lumberman and shipbuilder Louis J. Simpson. Simpson built a luxurious summer home on a scenic bluff high above the Pacific Ocean, which was later destroyed by fire in 1921. Currently, the park's attractions include beautiful gardens featuring trees, shrubs and flowering plants from around the world. The garden features year round displays of scenic and floral beauty, in addition to the annual "Holiday Lights at Shore Acres" event in December. A fully enclosed observation building was constructed on the site of Simpson's home, offering magnificent views of towering waves, rugged cliffs and glimpses of migrating whales from December through June.

Located on a 134 acre narrow coastal promontory jutting half a mile into the ocean, Cape Arago State Park offers wild vistas of the pounding sea, as well as of Oregon's sea stacks. Picnic tables are scattered about the bluffs, and hiking trails lead to numerous tide pools along the beach. This park is also a good place to view marine mammals such as seals, sea lions and whales.

Tour a myrtle wood factory and see crafts people make wooden bowls, ornamental clocks, spoons, and many more items out of this dense, fine grained wood. The House of Myrtlewood just off US 101 in Coos Bay has a large gift shop with many myrtlewood items, as well as other Oregon products such as gourmet foods.

Explore the southern Oregon coast, and discover Oregon's Bay Area.

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    Gold and Silver Falls State Park is located in the Coast Range 25 miles northeast of Coos Bay. This little known state park has two incredibly scenic waterfalls.

    Each 200 foot cataract is accessed by a half mile trail and are about a mile apart from each other. Silver Falls flows around a knob at the top, and Gold Falls is also spectacular. Many different kinds of native plants line the short hiking trail, including lacy maidenhair ferns.

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