Just offshore and tucked around the point is Cape Arago Lighthouse. In the mid-1800's, Coos Bay had become a center for the transport of lumber from Oregon's forests. To protect ships a 25 foot wooden tower housing a Fresnel lens was constructed. Almost immediately, the elements took their toll on the lighthouse. Due to the demands of mariners for a better light, the original lighthouse was replaced in 1909. Eventually erosion threatened the second lighthouse and in 1934 a third lighthouse was built. This lighthouse remained in service until it was decommissioned in January, 2006.
Just south of the campground is Shore Acres State Park and Botanical Garden. This is one of my favorite gardens and I am constantly borrowing design and planting ideas from them. The gardens (seven acres) include a really lovely Japanese garden with a large pond. Rose enthusiasts will discover an All American Rose Test Garden.
Further down the road is Simpson Reef and Shell Island. The offshore rocks, islands and reefs provide breeding and resting areas for sea birds and marine mammals. You may see Gray Whales, Harbor Seals, Northern Elephant Seals, Stellar Sea Lions, California Sea Lions, Black Oyster Catchers and Pelagic Cormorants here. On the day this photo was take there were Sea Lions, Harbor Seals and Elephant Seals basking in the sun.
At the end of the road is Cape Arago, my personal favorite. The views are gorgeous!
Vacationing on the coast also means great seafood. If you don't mind a little mud you can go clamming at low tide; or rent crab pots to catch Dungeness crab; or you can buy shrimp straight off the boat in Charleston Harbor. YUM!