Often touted as Oregon’s Banana Belt, Brookings has weather patterns that deliver some of the warmer temperatures along the Oregon Coast; it’s not uncommon to encounter a 70-degree day in January or February.
This pleasant climate has been a catalyst for the rebirth of Brookings as a center for the nursery industry. Nearly all of the lilies marketed in the U.S. are cultivated in the Brookings area. A prime spot to take in the floral bounty is Azalea Park, which has 33 acres of native azaleas, some growing here when Lewis and Clark wintered on the Oregon Coast in 1805 and 1806. The revitalization of the park, with the addition of walkways and a charming “Kidtown” play area, was a robust community-led volunteer effort. In springtime the park is replete with blooms, but you’ll likely find flowers year-round. The park is also the site of the annual Azalea Festival and Parade, held each Memorial Day weekend.
During the third weekend of July, the Southern Oregon Kite Festival takes place. It’s known as one of the premier kite-flying events in the country. Art lovers can browse the galleries— including Burtonique Art & Photography, Manley Art Center and Signatures Gallery — or enjoy the monthly Second Saturday Art Walk.
The Chetco Valley Historical Society Museum is housed in the 1857 Blake House — the oldest standing building in the Chetco Valley — and features artifacts of 19th-century Oregon pioneer life. The largest Monterey cypress in the state, towering at 130 feet (40 meters), lives on the museum grounds.
The Brookings area boasts numerous outdoor diversions, including Harris Beach State Park. Named for George Harris, a Scottish pioneer who raised sheep and cattle here, it features sizable offshore sea stacks, including the largest island on the Oregon Coast. Bird Island is a breeding ground for a variety of species, including the tufted puffin.
Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor — a long, narrow park with 12 miles (19 kilometers) of rugged coastline — is named for Oregon’s first parks superintendent. Featuring one must-stop scenic viewpoint after another, the park is also home to pocket beaches and offshore sea stacks, including the dramatic Arch Rock and Whaleshead. The beach at Thunder Rock Cove is considered one of the best of the sheltered beaches on the Coast. Walk the Indian Sands Trail through the unusual sculpted sandstone for views of the coastline and rocky islands. Don’t miss the stunning view at Cape Ferrelo, named for a Spanish explorer who skirted this area in 1542.
For a historical detour, travel 18 miles (29 kilometers) east of Brookings along Forest Service Road 1205, which winds through an old-growth redwood forest, to the site that was hit by two Japanese incendiary bombs during WWII. Inland hiking and river access are available at Alfred A. Loeb State Park on the Chetco River. Just up the road is the 1-mile (1.6-kilometer) Redwood Nature Trail, which connects with Loeb’s own Riverview Trail.
South Coast Tours LLC
Let South Coast Tours take you on an adventure paddle in the Wild Rivers Coast estuaries and out into the Southern Oregon near shore ocean. Go fishing, wildlife viewing or just simply enjoy the experience of gliding across the waterways of the banana belt coast of Oregon. The south coast holds much of Oregon's near shore reefs and some of the best fishing, photography, wildlife viewing and wildest rivers on the west coast. South Coast Tours offers a variety of fully equipped 2-18 person tours as well as custom overnight kayak tours. SCT offers kayaking, stand up paddle boarding and kayak fishing from the Coos Bay area down to the California border and Brookings Harbor. We also rent kayaks and sups out of our base camp on the docks in Brookings.
Travel Curry Coast
Curry County, nestled in the far southwest corner of Oregon and bounded by the majestic Pacific Ocean, offers premier camping, hiking, and biking opportunities. Scenic recreation areas abound in and around forested mountains and spectacular ocean views are punctuated by breathtaking sea stacks. As part of the Wild Rivers Coast, Curry County’s scenic rivers are ideal for kayaking, canoeing, guided boat tours and fishing. County cities and hamlets of Brookings, Gold Beach, Port Orford and Langlois also provide excellent visitor experiences and accommodations. With easy air access from North Bend, it’s a beautiful drive to internationally known Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, California redwoods and all points in between. Check www.travelcurrycoast.com for the unmatched beauty of Curry County and to plan your visit!