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Florence to Bandon-by-the-Sea

We stayed at my (100 year old) great aunt Zelma's last night in Florence, Oregon and visted with her, her daughter Dolores, and my mom. It was a short but nice visit. The neighborhood where Zelma lives (gated, near the water in Florence) has a few nice RV spots for visitors and when we're visiting we always have a great spot that's just around the corner from Zelma's house:


There's a huge rec center area right next to these RV spots where there are two pools, tennis courts, some kind of long skinny game you play in the dirt or sand with some balls (?) and a rec room with pool tables and ping pong. I let Kevin beat me at 5 or 6 games of ping pong.

We headed out around noon today aiming to go about an hour and a half south toward Cape Arago. We've stayed in this in this area before and felt like we'd like to explore it more. Since we were already this far, what's another hour or so south? (Remember, this is how our 1 month trip turned into 4…good thing I said I'd be home for Mother's Day!)


We'd mapped out Oceanside RV Resort because it looked like it had good Wi-Fi and was the closest to the beach, but then when we got there, the vibe was just so-so (totally fine, path to the beach, nice people, but it just didn't grab us), so we opted to head a bit further and check out the state park at Sunset Bay. It's in a great location with tons of hiking trails along the rugged coastline, and it sounded more like what we were after. We found a great campsite in D loop and pulled in and went back to the Airstream to see if we could get decent internet with our regular in-Airstream system (before we committed and paid the fees), and after quite a bit of trying with no luck, we thought maybe the A loop might fare better since it was closer to the main road. Nope. Dangit. No AT&T. No Verizon. No Sprint. Even with external antennaes and booster amplifiers. This campground is in a little cove/canyon though, so it's not that surprising.

We tried the only other campground out here (besides the marina/parking lot at Charleston, OR) called Bastendorff Beach Park (a county park next door) and we had better service there, but no beach access and still kind of a so-so vibe. Oh heck. Let's just go a half hour further and stay at Bullards Beach State Park in Bandon. We can drive up in the afternoon one day after we get some work done and do some of the hiking back at Cape Arago that we hoped to do.

So that's where we are now. We're parked next to another Airstream (a 19' Bambi from Quebec). The couple is on an 8 month trip around the U.S. (started in March of this year) and it sounds like they're having a blast so far.

We set up camp, did some work, and then headed into Bandon to get some dinner and some groceries. We stopped at Tony's Crab Shack for their delicious fish tacos, and picked up two dozen fresh oysters, two pounds of Manila clams, and two fresh Dungeness crabs. That oughta keep us busy for the next few days!



  1. We moved from Sunset Bay to Bastendorff for the same reason. If you’re there again, there’s free boondocking just down the hill in Bastendorff State Beach, along the water. We stayed for one night right by a crashing cove, and it was a great location (it was stormy in the middle of winter, so our battery/solar only got us through one night), but otherwise it was a really cool free spot (if you’re not too creeped out with people driving up and leaving at all hours).

  2. Kerri,
    We’ll definitely check it out when we go back there to hike! Great tip…thanks!!

  3. The game with “some kind of long skinny game you play in the dirt or sand with some balls” is probably bocce. They played this in my South Philadelphia neighborhood, always on dirt and sand. There is another similar game palyed on grass which looks like a golf green. Here’s a reference:

  4. Jim Baldwin Jim Baldwin

    You are staying at our favorite place in the world. Even though it’s two days (for us) from Boise to Bandon, we usually get over there once a year. Tony’s is the best and there’s usually good crabbing right in the state park down by the boat ramp. Don’t forget the shops in town and the lighthouse is must see too. You need to get a Bocce set too 🙂

  5. Jim,
    Every time we’re here we get fish tacos at Tony’s and fish & chips at the Bandon Fish Market. So good! We’ve been out to the lighthouse a few times as well…and today I came home with a pocket full of rocks from the beach. Again. Time to bring out the polisher!

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