The Adventures of Our Chowder Bounty Travel Correspondent

Back in December, we put a call out to find our first ever Chowder Bounty Adventure Correspondent by launching a contestThe winner of the contest would receive the ultimate Oregon’s Adventure Coast Getaway in exchange for their written account of their experience to share with our readers.

We were simply overwhelmed with the responses we received- but we narrowed down our choices and decided to award the task to a young lady from the California area who demonstrated great creativity and a passion for travel and adventure.   You can also learn more by following her blog: Super Duper Fantastic and see some of her previous posts from her Oregon Coast Experience.

Here is Suki’s experience:


Almost 500 miles from the Bay Area that I grew up and live in today sat another one I’d not yet explored, at least not until late January 2011. Armed with thicker jackets, a duffel of clothes, and all of our electronic devices, we were ready for the weekend.

Oregon's Adventure Coast

Driving began on Thursday evening. We [Technofisher and I] took Friday off to make the most of our time. Into the night, we drove, stopping briefly for naps and snacks. Upon crossing the Oregon border, we noticed that gas was at least 20 cents cheaper, AND we didn’t have to get out into the cold to refuel!

Visiting for the very first time, we knew not exactly what to expect, but we knew we were in for a treat when we saw these signs welcoming us.

welcome sign

Excited for the adventures ahead, but exhausted from the long drive, we checked into our hotel early for a nap. Throughout our weekend in Coos Bay, the Mill Casino and Hotel provided a comfortable, clean resting spot when we were done with romping around for the day. The parking lot of the hotel provided some of the best photo ops for the weekend!

Coos Bay

Coos Bay

Napping revived us, and we were ready to get on our way. The map Katherine provided us led us to High Tide Cafe in Charleston where we would enjoy a delectable meal, as well as our first bowl of Oregon chowder!

Chowder Bounty

Tasty! Well-seasoned [a little on the peppery side, but delicious], creamy, and had lots of clams! We wandered out to the South Jetty for some photos before heading back towards downtown Coos Bay. For dinner on Friday evening, we had reservations for The Chef’s Table, the externship program at the Oregon Coast Culinary Institute.

Umbrellas weren’t necessary for the weekend because after the gloom of Friday had passed, we were greeted by sunshine and fantastic weather for the rest of the weekend. We spent the first half of Saturday hiking through Cape Arago State Park.

Cape Arago State Park

Rather than make the trek back to downtown Coos Bay for lunch, we decided it was a good time to check out the crabbing situation on the docks of Charleston. I borrowed crab rings from Katherine who was also out on the docks for the day and tried my luck, while Technofisher used a snare that he had brought from home. Dungeness crab season is pretty big in San Francisco, so we weren’t sure what we would end up catching. Unfortunately, I was only so lucky as to catch a rock crab, some smaller Dungeness crabs, and a not-so-pretty kelp crab.

Kelp Crab

Even with our crab luck down in the dumps, we were able to score some fresh Dungeness crab at Fishermen’s Wharf down on Dock D. They have a tank full of lively crab for the picking! Water is pumped into the tank from outside to keep ‘em fresh. The Dungie we picked out was still fighting and pinching on its way to the crab cooker. There were clean tables in the back for enjoying the crab.

Crab on the Docks

Crab on the docks – there’s nothing like it! With crab-filled bellies, we wrapped up the day checking out the tide pools at Sunset Bay State Park.

Sunset Bay State Park

On Sunday, we woke up bright and early to catch the sunrise. It’s rare that we wake up early enough to see the sun come up, but the sun didn’t seem to come up until after 6am. We grabbed breakfast at Pancake Mill Restaurant situated across the street from the hotel, and then we spent our morning wandering around Shore Acres State Park. Since we were on the early side, we left our $$ with the machine at the front entrance. We first went for a stroll along the cliffside [gorgeous crashing waves], and then checked out the gardens.

Crashing Waves

Shore Acres Garden

ATV/dune buggies out on the sand dunes would be our next adventure. We drove up the 101 to Spinreel Dune Buggy Rentals after 10am. A quick informational video later, helmets were handed over to us, and we were ready to go! Of course, not even ten minutes into our dune buggy adventure, I had us stuck on the incline of a dune – oops! At first, I freaked out, but after a few minutes, we were able to “unstuck” ourselves and enjoy the rest of our hour in the beautiful dunes.

Stuck on a slope

On the dunes

Sadly, the adventure weekend had to come to an end. After our hour was up, we stopped by Yeong’s Place in North Bend for a quick last meal before the long drive home. 9.5+ hours long, but well worth it.

Burger from Yeong's Place

Thank you for the opportunity as your Chowder Bounty Adventure Correspondent. What a blast! We truly enjoyed our experience on OREGON’S ADVENTURE COAST!