If the weather outside snowy and cold, but you can’t stay inside a minute longer, it’s time to head out for some winter fun. Enjoying the great outdoors, and the things your community has to offer can be just as fun in the winter as it is in the summer. You just need to know where to go and what to do and be prepared to leave the heat of your home behind. Winter in Bandon, Oregon is a little bit different than the traditional idea of winter. Bandon often sees cool, stormy days during winter. However, thanks to its location in the “banana belt” of Oregon’s coast, Bandon can see days in the 60s during January, giving a welcome respite to the cold. Even though the days are shorter and the weather is cooler, there are plenty of winter fun activities for an enjoyable season in Bandon.

Hiking

Enjoy the winter scenes by taking a hike during one of the warmer days of winter. While rain is frequent this time of year, sunny days give you an excellent opportunity to enjoy one of the many scenic trails the area has to offer. The majestic Oregon Coast Trail bends along about 382 miles of coastline. Cross sandy beaches, feel the cool breeze in the forests and explore picturesque headlands. Make sure to discover the beauty of the trail from North Bend to Bandon.

Look for Wildlife

Going for a hike in the winter season allows you to catch glimpses of different types of wildlife compared to the spring and summer, like the American Tree Sparrow, which visits in the winter time. You’ll also experience winter foliage that you might not be accustomed to. Visit the Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge to see shorebirds, sea ducks, and waterfowl. You may spot Common and Pacific Loons, Surf, Buffleheads, and other birds. Beyond the Coquille River delta westward, gray whales might be visible as they migrate along the coast from December through January.

Whale Watching

While whale watching is typically considered a spring or summer activity, you can spot whales year-round along the coast. Every year, Winter Whale Watching Week in Bandon kicks off a couple of days after Christmas. Gray Whales start heading south to Baja, California from their feeding grounds near Alaska from mid-December through January. On the way to Baja, the whales typically stay about five miles offshore and move quickly along their course. In the peak times, about 30 whales pass by the coast each hour. Starting in late February, you may even see some non-breeding males and females headed back north. Consider taking one of the incredible local whale watching tours by sea or by air.

Tips for an Amazing Whale Watching Experience

Here are some tips for a great whale-watching experience.

– Find an ocean view during the morning with the sun at your back.

– Locate the spouts with your naked eye.

– Using binoculars, focus more closely on the passing whales.

– Consider using a charter boat for a closer view.

– If you prefer a view from above, airplanes and helicopters are available.

Coffee Shops

After your whale watching or hiking adventures, you may be ready to warm up with a good cup of coffee or hot chocolate. Fortunately, Bandon has a number of excellent coffee shops to serve you. The smell of roasting coffee beans, the sound of a shot of espresso being pulled, and the sight of hot steam dissipating in the air all add to the ambiance of a coffee shop and invigorates your senses before even taking a drink.

Get a Snack, Too

Many of the coffee shops in Bandon also offer baked goods or small meals. The Bandon Coffee Cafe has a full selection of desserts and teas. Enjoy the convenience of a drive-thru at The Human Bean Bandon along with kid-friendly beverages. Check out vegetarian options at Brewed Awakenings.  Experience the bottomless coffee cup and freshly made baked goods at the Bandon Baking Company.  Appreciate fresh cuisine, including homemade chowder, at Sea Star Bistro. For a hearty meal, imbibing, and live music, check out the Broken Anchor Bar. Consider stopping in before your scheduled activities for the day, or afterward to relax and unwind. Take a few minutes to check out a book from the Bandon Public Library and bring it into a coffee shop or bistro for a cozy winter activity.

Community Events

Winter time in Bandon is full of fantastic events for the whole family. The City of Bandon Chamber of Commerce website features a calendar detailing all of the events online. Add a variety of art exhibits, a sand labyrinth, various learning opportunities, and culinary events to your winter calendar that are taking place in Bandon.

Get Involved

Community events are a great way to meet new people, get involved with the place you live, and connect with neighbors and other members of your community. Unlike other parts of the country, you don’t have to face the bitter cold in Bandon, and there are many fun and enjoyable winter activities that take place in town.

Take advantage of the unseasonably warm days in January, thanks to the town’s location along Oregon’s coast, to enjoy outdoor activities like nature walks, hikes, whale watching, and bird watching. Whether you prefer the indoors or outdoor; seclusion or congregation, there are plenty of things to keep you busy in Bandon during the winter. Are you looking to relocate to the Southern Oregon Coast? If so, Beach Loop Realty can help you find the perfect home in Bandon and the surrounding areas.

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