A Whale of a Weekend

Last September, on a whim to buy tuna fresh on the dock, we found ourselves in Charleston, Oregon. It had been a long time since I had been in Charleston and I realized that it was a place that deserved more time and attention. So earlier this month we created a 4-day weekend and explored Charleston, the Coos Bay area, and down into Bandon.

There is something special about the Oregon coast which speaks to me, and I know it does to many others as well. For four days we put aside work and other concerns and relaxed at the Coast. With views of the Charleston marina from our apartment and beautiful spring weather it was easy to relax and explore.

Charleston Oregon

Left: Lunch on the deck at the High Tide Cafe in Charleston. Right: Our patio with a view of the Charleston harbor and bar.


I don’t know why, but I was surprised by the number of animals we saw. We saw at least one bald eagle every day, including this juvenile looking for a free snack at Simpson’s Reef amongst the harbor seals.

Juvenile bald eagle and harbor seals at Simpson's Reef.

Juvenile bald eagle and harbor seals at Simpson’s Reef.


The highlight, even though it doesn’t look like much from a photo, were the whales spotted from an overlook at Horsfall Beach along the North Spit.

I know it doesn't look like much in a photograph, but seeing these whales was certainly a highlight of our weekend.

I know it doesn’t look like much in a photograph, but seeing these whales was certainly a highlight of our weekend.


I don’t generally have the patience to stand on a windy bluff with binoculars trained to the ocean looking for whales, so luckily these came to us! We parked in the lot, walked up to the overlook, looked out to the ocean, and almost immediately saw a whale spouting. It doesn’t get any easier than that. 🙂 Fortunately, this overlook is very close to the shore line and so were the whales, so no binoculars were necessary. We watched as they made their way north. I was so excited to see them that I didn’t think to take photos of the overlook or the beach even though it was a pretty good view.

The North Spit Overlook isn’t someplace we would normally visit. It is in the midst of a big ORV staging area, with two large parking lots designed specifically for loading and unloading Off Road Vehicles. Since we prefer our beach trips to be more tranquil than that, we were lucky that only two rigs were in the lot at that time.

More about our adventures in future posts.

J. Scott Cellars: Eugene
Construction Along the Row River Trail


  1. D Avery says:

    Important to note: the North Spit Overlook includes a ramp for accessibility!

  2. Mrs Random says:

    Nice deck! And great pictures. That looks like a good destination. Thanks!

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