By Alexa Meisler for 52PerfectDays.com ~ Gold Beach is a coast community in Southern Oregon located at the outlet of the famous Rogue River as it meets the Pacific Ocean. Comprised of only 2.5 square miles, it’s hard to believe this sleepy town offers plenty of eclectic shops, delicious restaurants and some stellar tide pools and beaches.
Start your day by heading south of town about seven miles on picturesque Highway 101 to Myers Creek. Just after the road to Cape Sebastian you will find the turn out that offers access down to the beach at Myers Creek.
Walk the beautiful uncrowded beach and admire the massive rock formations scattered along the shore. If it is around low tide explore the tide pools located around the edges of the large coastal rocks where you will see sea creatures such as green anemones, red sea cucumbers, purple sea urchins as well as mussels, limpets, snails and crabs. Take time to quietly observe the area. It’s amazing how much more comes into view when you slow down.
To experience the flavor and character of this coastal town head to the Port of Gold Beach. While exploring the area, take a few photos of the historic bridge where the Rogue and Pacific meet.
For lunch try the Port Hole Café, a ‘hole in the wall’ with a nautical theme and pirate décor. Known for their fish n’ chips and clam chowder, they claim to be the busiest place in town. With a weekly consumption of 600 pounds of fish, I venture to guess they are right.
Spend the afternoon exploring some of the shops on Ellensburg Avenue. You’ll find the Rogue River Myrtlewood Factory and Gift Shop with beautiful handmade items made from the myrtle tree which is only found along the Southern Oregon-Northern California coastline. If you visit during the week, head to the back of the store to watch the artisans at work creating cooking utensils, plates, bowls, carvings and more, all made from myrtle wood.
Across the street and up the block a bit is Gold Beach Books, Biscuits, Coffeehouse and Art Gallery. Here you’ll find everything specified in their name as well as an in-house piano player in the 12,000-square-foot, two-story space. The store features 50,000 books, rare and first editions, an art gallery that features artists from around the state and a coffee shop offering great brews as well as teas, smoothies and muffins, scones and sweet treats.
To round out your Gold Beach shopping experience stop at the Rogue Outdoor Store. Offering fresh and saltwater fishing tackle & supplies, sporting goods, camping gear, guns and ammo as well as rod & reel repair this is a fisherman and hunter’s jackpot. It’s also a great spot to buy an Oregon coast t-shirt or sweatshirt.
As the dinner hour approaches head to the Riverview Restaurant. Boasting beautiful views of the Rogue River make sure to ask for a window seat. The food is good and the river panorama is perfect, but it is the wild raccoons that come to the window in the evening that just might be the star attraction. The waitresses will bring out left over rolls to feed the cute creatures.
Accommodations tend to be beach casual here beside the one high end hotel, the Tu Tu’ Tun Lodge where children under 10 are not welcome during the busy summer months. Most other choices are in the motel or camping category.
One option is the Gold Beach Resort. Located in the middle of town, it offers views of the coast, a path to the beach and large rooms with balconies.
For a fun stay in a sleepy small beach town, Gold Beach definitely fits the bill.
What & Where:
Port Hole Café (234 Harbor Way; 541-247-7411)
Rogue River Myrtlewood Factory and Gift Shop (29750 Ellensburg Ave; 541-247-2332)
Gold Beach Books, Biscuits Coffeehouse and Art Gallery (29419 Ellensburg Ave; 541-247-2495)
Rogue Outdoor Store (29865 Ellensburg Ave; 541-247-7142)
Riverview Restaurant (94749 Jerry’s Flat Rd; 541-247-7321)
Tu Tu’ Tun Lodge (96550 N Bank Rogue River Rd; 541-247-6664)
Gold Beach Resort (29232 Ellensburg Ave; 541-247-7066)