If you’re like most visitors, you live in California or somewhere in the southwest, you’re healthy, active, and ready for a change. Adventure beckons and Oregon keeps coming up in conversation.
Noted real estate expert and Shark Tank TV star, Barbara Corcoran, has written: “Bandon is one of the last unspoiled and undiscovered coastal towns out West.” The air smells good, filled with the scents of nature and new beginnings; pungent and earthy, of the ocean and life as it was meant to be. There’s a terrific feeling of being in touch with pristine nature, and a burgeoning sense of self sufficiency.
But what about all the bad weather you hear about in the Pacific Northwest? Okay, so there’s lots of rain in the winter, but it’s not as bad as you’ve heard. Storm fronts move in, interspersed with sunshine, hail, and puffy clouds. The water cleanses and keeps everything lush and green. Summers are relaxed, long, dry and balmy. It’s never swelteringly hot and never frigidly arctic either.
“Isn’t Oregon awfully rural?” you may wonder. It is, in many pleasing ways. It’s a healthy environment for adults and kids of any age, physically and emotionally. And, by the way, it’s easy to practice safe social distancing.
“Will I feel socially isolated?” some will ask. Probably not. Most people feel right at home after they’ve met a few of their neighbors. They’re surprised how many residents are transplants from California, with similar life journeys and experiences. It’s remarkable, also, to hear the similarities of their first inclinations that led them to explore Oregon.
“But what’s it really like?” The New York Times said it best: “Bandon is shifting from a ‘West Coast Appalachia,’ … to an increasingly sophisticated haven for retirees.”
So much of the food is fresh and direct from local growers. Being a rural area, family farms abound, with fresh fruits and vegetables for much of the year. Locally grown beef, lamb, pork, chickens, turkeys, eggs, etc. are here. The fish and crab are as fresh as can be, often pulled from the waters the very same day. Local cheeses, wineries, chocolates, are readily available.
Shopping? You’ll find all the essentials and more. There are books, crafts and galleries. A variety of terrific restaurants. Much is ordered online. Costpro Direct delivers some 4,000 Costco items weekly to Bandon customers.
What about horseback riding on the beach? Or a hike through the wilderness, across blue-green mountain creeks, and rivers filled with salmon and steelhead? A mountain bike run down long trails through tall forests? Anyone for wind surfing or kiting at Floras Lake or Pistol River?—camping at Bullard’s Beach? -whale watching, birding, kayaking?
There’s a terrific library and the Sprague Theatre. More theaters in nearby Coos Bay/North Bend and Coquille. More great restaurants in these towns as well.
Of course there’s Bandon Dunes Golf Resort as well, described by Golf Odyssey Magazine as follows: “It is here, on this remote stretch of the wildly stunning Oregon coast, where the finest golf courses in the whole world quietly await you.”
Ashland, of renowned cultural repute, is an easy three hour drive, offering even more theaters, restaurants and galleries. Shakespeare, the Oregon Cabaret, Camelot, Market of Choice, Trader Joe’s, Harry & David’s.
Anyone up for a tour of fine vineyards and estate bottled wines as they wander through lush Oregon valleys?
Or a three day rafting/kayaking trip down the mighty Rogue River, stopping at lodges each evening for hearty meals as dusk descends?
There are a multitude of opportunities to volunteer, help out, and make a difference in someone’s life.
What about the people? Like anywhere, there’s a diversity of interesting people to meet. Educated, professionals, artists, writers, people from all walks of like, who decided that Bandon offers a lifestyle more in keeping with their sensibilities.
There’s a stillness and peace of mind that comes with living on the Oregon Coast, a sense this is what life is supposed to be. There’s time and opportunity for introspection and consideration, far from the rat race we all at one time or another have put up with.
Some will complain that Bandon is hard to get to. The knowing response: those who value their sanity know it’s well worth it.