Bastendorff Beach, Oregon – Lesser Known Beach Guide Series

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Bastendorff Beach – General Information

Open: Year-round, dawn to dusk
Type Of Beach: Bureau of Land Management
Approach: Easy
Main Activities: Beachcombing, Surfing, Fishing, Cave Exploring
Popularity: Low to Moderate
Services: Toilets, Picnic Benches
Accommodations:  On-site Camping, Coos Bay (lodging)

Bastendorff Beach near Coos Bay is one of the more popular beaches in the area, but relative to the rest of the Oregon Coast, it still qualifies as a hidden gem. It’s certainly much less well-known than Cannon Beach or Tillamook Head, for example.

Since it’s over a mile long, you should have no problem finding a place for you and your family to relax in the sun. There are also a good number of activities here as well.

What to Expect

The site itself is part of the larger Bastendorff Beach County Park, which stretches over 90 acres. The beach itself is a little over a mile long, making it a perfect place to hang out for a while without having to sit five feet away from the next group.

I think it deserves to be more popular because it’s one of my favorite places to go when I’m in the Coos Bay area. There’s just so much to do here!

Look hard and you can spot the lighthouse in the background

The main reason that it doesn’t see more visitors is that it’s 1.3 miles north of Sunset Bay State Park, a larger and much more popular beach that has views of Cape Arago Lighthouse. I love lighthouses, too, so I understand!

Where is Bastendorff Beach Located?

The beach is considered part of Coos Bay, although it is a little over ten miles from the city center and is actually closer to the town of Charleston.

To get there, you’ll want to take Oregon Highway 540 (also known as Cape Arago Highway) until you get about a mile and a half past the town of Charleston. On your right, you’ll see a sign for Bastendorff Beach Road.

In about half a mile, you’ll see a decently-sized parking lot and some bathrooms, which means you’ve arrived at your destination.

Getting to the Beach

This is one of the easier beaches to get to in this series, as it’s just a few feet away from the parking lot and on relatively flat ground.

It’s a decently-sized parking lot and the beach is over a mile long, so you may need to plan ahead if you’re taking a lot of things out to the beach and don’t want to make multiple trips.

I recommend backpacks for smaller items, which will free up your arms to carry chairs or smaller children. I have seen people use wheeled carts and other things, though, so that’s also a good option if you don’t mind pulling them on the sand.

The 8 Best Things to Do on Bastendorff Beach

Cave Exploration (Low Tide)

At the end of the beach, there is a cave that was once used as part of a railroad line. (For information on the train line itself, visit the railway museum in Coos Bay!) At low tide, you can walk through one end of the tunnel and out of the other.

Dog Walking

Dogs are allowed everywhere in the county park (except inside the rental cabins at the campground), so if you’ve come to walk your dog, you probably won’t be alone. If your dog loves making new friends, the odds are pretty good that you’ll both find one here.


This beach is one of the best places to enjoy a picnic on the entire Oregon Coast. You can either lay a blanket down in the sand, use one of the picnic tables nearby, or reserve either of the two gazebos found just above the sand.

Children’s Playground

If your children have more energy than you do and you’d like to relax for a few minutes, there is a children’s playground with swing sets, a merry-go-round, and those bouncing animals on springs.


Both board surfing and windsurfing are common activities on the beach and the odds are pretty good that you’ll see at least one during your visit. If you’re like me and not quite brave enough to go out yourself, it’s always fun to watch others do it, too.

Beachcombing and Tidepooling

The Oregon Coast is considered a paradise for people who love seashells, rockhounders, and tidepoolers, and Bastendorff Beach is no exception! Check out our tidepooling guide here and don’t forget to check the daily state limits to make sure you aren’t taking too much.

Whale Watching

This beach is one of the best places on the Oregon Coast mainland to see humpback whales during their migration periods (December to March, then March through May on the way back).

Beach Sports

In the park, located near the beach, there are areas for volleyball, softball, basketball, and horseshoes, making it a great place to get some exercise and have some fun before going down to relax in the sun for a while! Just don’t forget the sunscreen.

Where to Stay

The spacious Bastendorff Beach Park Campground is located next to the beach and has 74 hook-up spots for RVs and 25 non-hook-up sites for tent campers, as well as two cabins equipped with three beds (two fulls, one twin). Reservations are available on the beach’s website.

Lodging is available in Coos Bay, less than five miles from the beach. It’s a city of just under 16,000 people, so there will be plenty of hotels and activities if you’d like to use it as a base of operations for your trip.

If you prefer to make camp farther away from the beach, immediately north of Coos Bay you’ll find the Siuslaw National Forest, which permits dispersed camping in addition to its nearly 40 established campgrounds.

Other Activities in the Area

Harbor Entrance to Coos Bay at Bastendorff Beach

If you’d like a break from outdoor activities on a hot summer day, there are two excellent museums in Coos Bay: the Coos Art Museum (CAM) and the Coos Bay History Museum. The art museum is a $5 entry for adults and the history museum charges $7.

The Sunset Bay Golf Course is an excellent place for both amateur and experienced golfers alike. The course has two sets of tees, allowing visitors of all skill levels to have a wonderful time.

Speaking of Sunset Bay, the state park of the same name is just over a mile south and is the best place to see the Cape Arago Lighthouse.

It’s also a great area to go fishing, with the South Jetty located next to the southern end of the beach. There are also several fishing charters nearby that offer both saltwater and freshwater fishing, which is rather rare.

Final Thoughts

Bastendorff Beach is an amazing hidden gem beach where you can enjoy plenty of activities and then head over to a campsite or drive for 15 minutes to a hotel in Coos Bay.

No matter how long you plan to stay or what your favorite beach activity is, you’ll be sure to have an amazing time here. Start planning your next trip to the amazing Oregon Coast today!