Bye Bye Beautiful Bandon, OR…For Now…

One of the many steps to the gorgeous Bandon beach
Tony’s crab shack has good, casual seafood

We’re down to our very last day here at Bullards Beach State Park which also means our very last day by lovely Bandon. We’ve been totally swept away by this place, not just for its natural beauty but also for its soul. Call it a good vibe, a homey coziness or just plain cuteness, this little town of just over 3000 has fast become one of our favorite on the Oregon coast.  It’s the kinda town is just the right bit of in-between -> it’s got the whole basket of a small-town feel yet still boasts a wealth of restaurants and cafés, miles of stunning beach, an artsy boardwalk, old-fashioned downtown, weekly farmers market and so, so much more. Whether you’re tide-pooling by the sea-stacks, horse-back riding on the beach, crabbing in the river, sampling local chocolates, enjoying the local cranberries, hunting history at the museum (the best $2 deal in town!), eating fish taco’s at Tony’s Crab Shack or dressing up for a gourmet dinner at Alloro there is really something for everyone.

Paul poses on the Bandon river boardwalk

We’re not the only ones who think so either. In 2010 Budget Travel named Bandon one of  top 10 “Coolest Small Towns in America” and our RV buddies Lu & Terry definitely agreed when they rolled through last week (and that’s not just because they got to spend time with us….although I admit our company is particularly charming). Everyone who comes here seems to fall for the vibe and the more time you spend here you more cool little corners you discover.

Polly plays on Bullards Beach….she’s ready for golf too!

Oh and did I mention the golf? With Paul’s back issues he’s not been out hitting balls, but has been drooooling at the opportunity. There are no less than 3 great golf resorts right here including the top-rated Bandon Dunes, relaxed Bandon Crossings and the cherry ontop of the gooey chocolate cake Old Bandon Golf Links where you can bring your dog to play. YES, golf with doggie!! Paul fluttered and swooned in heavenly love when he discovered that one, and we’ve sent several of our RV neighbours out there to enjoy the fun.

We’ve LOVED this job!

And our month here? It’s been awesome! Not only do we love this area, but our lighthouse job was fun, interactive and ever-stimulating. We’ve met folks from all over and all kinds of interesting characters -> a real (honest-to-goodness) lighthouse keeper from the Alaska boonies, locals who’ve lived in the area for generations, a Mormon family from Utah who spoke Danish, a lighthouse-lover who travelled all the way from India, a guy who survived a near-fatal accident (and was told he would never walk again…he made it up the tower BTW). Oh, the list goes on. I’m always fascinated and inspired by these folks. It’s like seeing a slice of life each and every day, and I get to absorb a piece of this wonderful human spirit just by being here!

Yup, we’ve been seduced and fallen hard, so much so that we’ve already decided to come back. We signed up to host again next year same job, same time, same place. So although we may be saying bye bye Bandon, it’ll really be adieu because baby…we’re most certainly coming back!

A view of mosaic on the artsy boardwalk
The cute Bandon port
Old town Bandon street-light
Horse-back riding by the beach sea stacks on Bandon beach
Cranberries are a local speciality…and you can taste at least 50 versions in here
A great sunset out the RV window at Bullards Beach State Park
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We LOooVE Comments, So Please Do

  1. says

    Boy where did June and July go? So glad you two had a wonderful time and great experience. I am sure they are thrilled you have signed up for another year.

    • libertatemamo says

      Yup, time has flown and we were happy they agreed to accept us again next year even after I threatened to throw the ICR (idiotic cash register) into the river…hehe. looking forward to our next post at Cape Blanco tomorrow. Should be fun!

  2. Lee and Shelia says

    Wow how time fly’s, it seem like it was just last week we were at Brookings and driving up and down the coast. It is obvious to me that we did not spend enough time up there. Enjoy your next adventure and perhaps we can make up it up there next year while your hosting again.

    Our 2013 travel plans are to visit our son in Germany (he is at Ramstein AFB) and do a European Tour at the same time Just not sure if we want to go in July or wait and go in August after the Tour d France. Next year will be the Tours 100th anniversary so it may be a zoo there.

    • libertatemamo says

      A European tour sounds fabulous. Will you rent an RV or just stay at hotels on the way? We did a bunch of driving tours around Europe and Eastern Europe when we lived there and enjoyed them all. So much history and beauty there.

  3. The Good Luck Duck says

    Something about a town that respects its own aesthetics. I unexpectedly felt that way about Ajo, AZ, and Flagstaff, in its own way. Also Port Aransas, TX.
    Sounds like we’d like Bandon, too.

  4. Mike says

    Glad you enjoyed your stay at Bullards. Hope we will do the same as we are lighthouse hosting there this coming October. One question- can you tell me where the lighthouse hosts campsites are located? If in the campground which sites are lighthouse host sites?


    • libertatemamo says

      Oh excellent! It’s a great spot to host and sure hope you enjoy it as much as we did. The full time lighthouse host sites are C6 and C8 at Bullards Beach State Park. both are nice, but C8 has satellite access if that’s important to you. You can always call the park and ask which site they’ll assign.

  5. says

    Drats! We’re on our way to the Oregon coast. We’re currently at Lake Tahoe, and are moseying our way west and north. Looks like we’ll miss you but we’re still coming back to the area that we fell in love with 10 years ago. Maybe we’ll still catch you on the Oregon coast before we head back to our San Diego area home.

    • libertatemamo says

      We’ll be in Cape Blanco just south of here all Aug and then prob heading to Crater Lake in Sept, so if you’re in the area then let us know.

  6. Brenda says

    I really enjoyed reading your blog while you were in Bandon. Be safe and maybe we will catch up with you guys in the future.

  7. says

    Hi Nina, Loved your posts on the area, mirrors our feelings about the OR coast. Hans and I hope to have our RV by end of Sept/early Oct. We’ll hang out in SW OR to settle in and work out any kinks before we head south for the winter (to show off our new home to friends/family in San Diego!). We’ll try to hook up with you two if you are still in the area in the fall. Our domicile will be in the Roseburg/Myrtle Creek area where ny daughter lives. Leaving San Diego on August 8th…the metamorphosis has begun!

    • libertatemamo says

      Sounds fabulous. We expect to be around Crater Lake in Sept, so if you’re in the area, let’s meet up!

  8. Susan Crofoot Davis says

    I just found your blog! I moved from my home town of Jacksonville, Oregon to Bandon in 2008. I am age 70 and have lived in my fifth wheel RV full-time since then. Bandon is my forever home, it offers so much to do for a retired old lady, and I love the weather for the most part. It is Oct 2012 and we had a fabulous summer. Friends come to Bandon to stay in my RV Park each summer (Bandon RV Park at the top of the hill from Old Town, not far from Ray’s Food Center) took me surf fishing for perch (yep, I caught two!), taught me how to crab off the dock (limited out several times), and took me to Charleston to dig for clams (limited out there, too). We go to the Barn for community theater and eat at many of the local places. I don’t recall you mentioning the new Face Rock Creamery for which ground was broken a few weeks ago. They will be building the new creamery and offering many of the type of cheeses the old Bandon Cheese factory made years ago, with milk provided by “organic” dairy cows that pasture along Hwy 42S. It was later torn down and the new building will be on the same lot, across the street from the Station Restaurant. I heard rumors that a micro brewery might be coming to Bandon, just a rumor.

    • libertatemamo says

      How wonderful to “meet’ you on the blog and hear your story. I totally agree that Bandon is “the place to be” and could definitely see this becoming a longer-term stop for us. I heard about the Creamery, but didn’t mention it so thanks for bringing that up…I’m looking forward to (hopefully) sampling those cheeses next year when we come back to the area. Do let me know if you are around when we come back next July/Aug.

  9. Debra Linn says

    We too love Bandon. We spend our Summers here and Winter at home in Northern CA. We have been here since June 15, and our going home time is fast approaching. But knowing that we will be back next May is a consolation.
    We stay at Bandon RV Park, in town. The management is like family.
    Time for me to go now, I have some shopping to do downtown!

    • libertatemamo says

      Lovely to “meet’ yet another fan of this wonderful town. I must take a trip to Bandon RV Park when we go back next year. If you’re in town DO come by and see us at the lighthouse. We’ll be hosting again July/Aug 2013.


  1. […] Location = 5/5 Outstanding natural location here. You come to Cape Blanco to see the lighthouse and revel in the fabulous and wild nature of the cape. This is natural beauty in its’ rawest form with lots of empty hiking trails, 2 enormous (endless) beaches, tidepools, forest and all kinds of weather. There are several jaw-dropping view overlooks, picnic areas, and historic Hughes House. You are only ~10 miles from Port Orford which is a lovely old town with lots of historic interest and grocery/eating/shopping/RedBox etc., plus you are ~1/2 hour south of fabulous Bandon. […]

  2. […] In some ways it was our most extreme year. We slowed waaaay down completing a mere 2,700 miles of total travel yet managing to fit in our longest EVER drive on one day (400 miles) as well as our shortest (30 miles). Early in the year we spent a longer-than-usual winter in San Diego for personal reasons that turned into heart-break (perhaps my darkest time RVing), but followed it with a summer in Oregon that was one of our best ever (a true highlight). Paul suffered a back injury that stopped our travels short, but opened up an unexpected opportunity to stay longer in a city we came to deeply love. […]

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