Even before golf came to town and turned things around, Bandon was a little different from Oregon’s other coastal towns, equal parts practical and artsy, rustic and refined. Bandon is known for both its cheese factory (many Oregonians claim Bandon’s cheddar is superior to that made at the larger and better-known factory up the coast in Tillamook;) and its cranberries. Lots of cranberries. Bandon sits on a particularly beautiful piece of coastline littered with offshore monoliths and haystack rocks; you’ll find it’s enough to come just for the sunsets.
When the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort was built in 1999, it catapulted small Bandon into the national spotlight. Designed by Scotsman David McLay Kidd, this 18-hoIe links-style course has gained a reputation among avid golfers as one of the best and most challenging in America. It is the only oceanfront course in this state with unparalleled coastline and is known for exquisite views from every hole. Its sand hills, gorge, and windswept fairways are as much like Scotland as any place you’ll find on this side of the Atlantic. Bandon Dunes is also known for its no-carts policy—players either carry their clubs or hire caddies, which gives golfers a chance to really savor the beauty of the course. In addition to the original Bandon Dunes course, there are two other nationally ranked courses in the resort complex: Pacific Dunes and Bandon Trails.
Though it may be possible to spend every waking hour on the greens, travelers seeking a break should take some time to walk Bandon’s beaches, and then venture about 25 miles south to Cape Blanco. It’s an especially beautiful and little visited stretch of the coast. It was once famous as the westernmost point in the Lower 48 until that title was given over to Cape Flattery in Washington. It now settles for being the westernmost point in Oregon.