Home » 2021 Pacific Northwest - Escaping the Smoke

Bandon Beach, OR

Tuesday, August 10, 2021 - 11:15am by Lolo
240 miles and 5 hours from our last stop - 2 night stay


Coquille Point staircase to Bandon BeachCoquille Point staircase to Bandon BeachI was pretty excited about Bandon. The photos of its uniquely shaped sea stacks were a definite draw. Unlike many of the sea stacks along the coast, which are large mounds with trees sprouting from their tops, these were distinct enough to have names, like Face Rock and Wizard’s Hat.

So, before leaving home, I booked a night at the Lighthouse Cove Inn near Bandon’s historic Old Town. I have to admit I am a sucker for names that imply coziness, so I was a bit disappointed that there was not a lighthouse in sight except on their signage. However, the location was great, and to their credit, there actually technically was a Lighthouse out in the cove beyond the Old Town.

Bandon Beach during sunsetBandon Beach during sunsetDespite the extremely windy conditions, we decided to head out to the beach anyway. The sea stacks are located between Coquille Point and Face Rock, both of which have parking lots and wooden steps down to the beach. We parked at the nearer Coquille Point next to the Bandon Beach Motel, which had an incredibly good location, perched on the bluff above the beach.

Being the planner I am, I am always plotting where we will sleep the next night, so I walked into the Bandon Beach Motel to inquire about availability for the following night. They had one opening, so I grabbed it. Now, I could relax and enjoy the evening. Tomorrow, however, I would be back to worrying about the next night. I think I definitely need some serious mindfulness practice to learn to be more in the moment.

Bandon Beach during sunsetBandon Beach during sunsetWe headed down the wooden steps to the beach where we were pelted with sand from the 25+ mph winds. Otherwise, conditions were perfect in that it was a receding tide, which allowed for photographing stunning reflections of the stacks in the puddles left behind, while not getting swept out to sea.

The sand was hard, which made for easy walking, so we walked the mile or so to Face Rock. Except for a few dedicated photographers, the beach was pretty deserted - I imagine due to the fierce winds. Despite that, it was an absolutely beautiful sunset and we enjoyed ourselves immensely. It was very exhilarating.

The next morning, I convinced Herb to go for a run with me, so we set off through the Old Town, running along the waterfront, past Coquille Point and onto Face Rock - not on the beach this time, but along the road.

Circles in the SandCircles in the SandFrom the overlook above Face Rock, we looked down at a spectacular labyrinth created in the sand, with dozens of people wandering its intricate weaving paths. These labyrinths, which are created on 2 sets of 3 or 4 consecutive days each month during super low tides, are the brain child of Denny Dyke, who has been doing this for over a decade. His intention in creating these “Circles in the Sand” is to share love, joy, and kindness and provide a place for peaceful meditation.

It takes him about 2 hours to create his labyrinth and then the waiting crowd is allowed to enter and wander its twisting paths. He personally greets each person entering the maze and allows them to select one of the many moonstones he has in a basket.

Bandon Beach Night 2Bandon Beach Night 2Each afternoon, the tide comes in and washes it away.

For now, we would continue our run, but vowed to come back tomorrow morning to experience it first hand.

We couldn’t check into our 2nd Bandon motel until 4:00, so after showering and checking out of the Lighthouse Cove Inn, we wandered the Old Town and looked for a place to have lunch. Some very positive Yelp reviews led us to the Bandon Fish Market, where a long line extending out into the parking lot confirmed its popularity.

Bandon Beach during sunsetBandon Beach during sunsetIt was a bit of a wait, both to place our order and for it to be ready, but it was no hardship wandering along the lovely waterfront during our wait. Bandon is a very artsy town with beautiful wood-carved benches and sculptures to enjoy during a stroll. Also, along the waterfront fence were dozens of original paintings done by both the school children and adults of Bandon. Visitors were encouraged to vote for their favorites.

Finally, our name was called and we sat on one of those beautiful benches to enjoy our Fish and Chips and Dungeness Crab sandwich - the crab was for me as Herb is allergic to shellfish (poor guy).

Bandon Beach Night 2Bandon Beach Night 2After lunch, we headed over to the Bandon Beach Motel to check in. What an incredible location!! Besides being just a stone’s throw from the wooden steps leading down to the beach from Coquille Point, there was the lovely ½-mile Coquille Point loop trail atop the bluff with interpretive displays about the ecology of the region.

That evening, we strolled back down to the beach to once again enjoy the sun setting over the sea stacks. Conditions were perfect - low tide and low winds. Pretty perfect. It was an absolutely lovely evening.

Bandon Beach Night 2Bandon Beach Night 2The next morning we set out once more down the Coquille Point steps, this time to wander over to and hopefully wander through the Circles in the Sand Labyrinth, about a mile walk along the beach.

Somewhere along that stroll, I left Herb behind to photograph the stacks and entered the maze myself, first collecting my chosen moonstone from Denny Dyke, the creator of this incredible labyrinth. Although the maze was probably smaller than a football field, it took quite a bit of time because of all the twists and turns along the way.

Bandon Beach Night 2Bandon Beach Night 2When I exited the maze, I stopped to add a heart with “Herb + Lolo” to the large collection at the end of the labyrinth.

I scanned the beach for Herb and finally spotted him in the labyrinth. He was so close but yet so far from finishing due to the growing crowds and twists and turns.

What a wonderful stop Bandon had been and we were so so lucky that our visit took place during one of its super low tides so that we could experience both the sea stack reflections at sunset and the Circles in the Sand labyrinth.


Bandon Beach location map in "high definition"

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