Bandon, Oregon, USA

Living in Bandon

Iyna Bort Caruso

In the southern corner of the Oregon coast about 100 miles north of the California border is Bandon, a spot Coastal Living Magazine once described as “spunky.”

Locals, on the other hand, call it the perfect mix of scenery, setting and spectacular sunsets.


Some 3,000 people call Bandon home. The economy is fueled by timber, tourism, fishing and agriculture. Cranberry production, in particular, is big business, so much so that the region’s number one crop is celebrated every September in a harvest festival that’s been running more than 70 years.


Life in Bandon is relaxed. Winters are mild, summers are comfortable and issues like traffic and crime don’t factor in.  


The perks of oceanfront living are year-round. Beaches are clean, walkable and camera-ready thanks to the curious rock formations known as sea stacks. Many have nicknames like Table Rock, Elephant Rock and Face Rock--and legends to go along with them.


Horseback riders are often seen blazing a trail from ranches to the beach. And while life is unhurried, the lifestyle is definitely active. Fishing, cycling and links-style golf at top-rated courses are popular and yet rarely-crowded activities. 


George Bennett founded the town in 1873. He not only gave it its name – Bennett hailed from Bandon, Ireland – but in local circles he is equally known as the man who introduced a spiny invasive shrub called gorse to Oregon’s south coast which turned out to be nearly impossible to eradicate. Residents, however, have a sense of humor. They built a three-day festival around it and now use it as an excuse to showcase local food, wine and beer. The Gorse Blossom Festival runs Presidents Day Weekend. 


When it comes to real estate, development has been kept in check. Space is a Bandon perk that attracts newcomers looking for secluded compounds, beachfront retreats, ocean-view villas and country estates.