Port Orford has one of my favorite beaches in Southern Oregon. You can drive right onto the beach (you need a 4WD, of course) and camp on the beach! There’s so much drift wood, you don’t need to worry about bringing your own fire wood. The only thing you need is a little flag to put on your car, to be safe, or the beach ranger, who happens to be one of the sweetest, funniest guys I’ve met, will ask you to get one! When Josh & I drove into town to buy one, the only store that sold them was out of stock, so the owner ran home to get us one of his old one’s that he gave to us for free! It was so kind and we still have it till this day! It’s a little tricky getting your car down to the Port Orford beach, you have to cross a tiny little stream and drive through two big rocks, but if I can do it, so can you!
The Port Orford beaches are long and tend to not be too windy. The first time we camped on the beach there, a baby seal was birthed 20 feet from our tent in the middle of the night. We woke up to find it crying. I swear it was saying ‘mama, mama’ and I gotta say, I was very tempted to take it home. Being good citizens though, we called the rangers who told us they are no longer endangered species so there was nothing they could do. They did, however, warn us that it’s mother drops him off on shore and leaves for up to 48 hours to feed, but it will come back for the baby. If, however, the mama see’s us on the beach, it will abandon the baby. So lickity slick, we packed up and drove off that beach as fast as you can say ‘mama!’ If you can’t handle the responsibility of a baby seal or tent camping, there’s a darling little motel overlooking the Port Orford harbor & beach that’s run by a great man named Rockney called Castaway By the Sea. They have double story condo’s but my favorite is there little house that’s slightly separated from the Inn which has 3 bedrooms and is a perfect get-away. It’s not fancy, by any means, but there’s a kitchen and you’re views are spectacular!
Port Orford is about a 4 hour drive from Ashland, but it’s a beautiful drive! There are two routes from Ashland. driving the inland route through Roseburg and hit the Umpqua Valley Wineries along the way; it’s a beautiful drive. Such scenic country roads, I just love it. This is a very cool drive because we always stop off at a gorgeous little town called Old Town Bandon, which is a darling little fishing town. My kids love this little town because there is a wonderful little Sweet Shop called Bandon Sweets & Treats, which has my favorite Dutch Liquorish ‘Coins’ which is just the right balance of salty and salty! I give the kids $5 each and they go to town. There are great seaside seafood restaurants, such as Bandon Fish Market & Cowder House where you can sit outside and a delicious seafood lunch. that is casual. If you want something slightly more formal and don’t want to sit next to my kids, especially after they’ve just loaded up on $5 worth of sugar, then you could try Bandon Bill’s Seafood Grill.
Rocky Dog has done quite a bit of camping with us over the years, but the beach at Port Orford is by far his favorite camping spot! He runs freely and he even learned how to swim in the ocean for the first time there; he was a rescue dog who originally came from (or was rescued from) Kansas but I fostered him for Lucky Day Animal Rescue of Colorado back in Aspen 3 years ago, so he had never seen a beach until his first trip to Port Orford!