Charleston and the nearby parks and beaches must rank among the most overlooked attractions on the Oregon coast, probably because they lie a few miles off U.S. 101. At Charleston are canneries, fish-processing plants, boatbuilding and repair facilities, and one of the largest commercial fishing fleets on the Oregon coast. The area is also popular with sport fishermen, crabbers, and clam diggers. For boaters Charleston has a large launch ramp, moorage, fuel, and repair services. The busy harbor offers several shops worth a stop, and restaurants serving up everything from hearty fishermen’s breakfasts to fine seafood dinners.
One of the best-kept sight-seeing and photography secrets in Oregon is the Coast Guard lookout at Charleston, which commands the best view of the bay, jetties, and Coos Bay bar—a place to watch fishing boats and freighters come and go. Take Boat Basin Drive off Cape Arago Highway almost a half mile to an unmarked road on the left and a small sign for Coast Guard Tower. That road, not recommended for trailers, leads to a small parking area atop a high bluff overlooking the bar.
© 2006 Kathy Strong (Editor)/Insiders' Guide. All Rights Reserved.