What happens when you take Oregon’s wildest, most rugged coastline and the nostalgia of beach camping, and infuse it with modern design? You get Bay Point Landing.
Just south of Coos Bay and a few minutes north of the small fishing community of Charleston sits Bay Point Landing. Situated within a lively estuary and an active but not too active shipping route, the modern camping resort is a refuge for Portland city dwellers, Bendites and beyond.
Carving out your own unique niche in a coastline saturated with 3-star hotels and thousands of vacation rentals that blend together is no small feat, but Bay Point Landing delivers a true sense of place that’s distinctly different from what I’ve come to expect on the Oregon Coast.
Bay Point Landing affords its guests so much more than a place to stay. It gave us a chance to pause and the freedom to explore the coastline, ourselves and each other.
The choices for lodging are varied and interesting — meticulously kept RV sites overlooking the bay, rows of retro Airstreams, and the pièce de résistance: modern luxury cabins. Each cabin is equipped with a private bedroom, kitchen, living room, full bathroom, deck and fire pit. A row of cabins line the bay front and another row sits just behind them.
The cabins are true originals, not just architecturally stunning but just as well executed inside. Even so, the resort amenities might be what really sets this experience apart from other vacation rentals and hotels on the Oregon Coast.
The modern camping resort has at its center large communal buildings facing the bay. One houses the front desk and general store, another offering inspired meeting space with picture windows, yet another a game room. Around the corner, the other two buildings house the floor-to-ceiling windowed salt water pool, the fitness center, and a kid’s club. Personal gas grills, high chairs, and pack and plays can be brought to your room upon request. Clamming gear, including waders, boots and nets are also available for use right off the bay. There’s also a playground, large fire pit, pavilion and plenty of lounge-worthy deck space to enjoy.
After we checked into our room, having driven four hours from Bend, we decided to stay put. We’d picked up groceries in Coos Bay on our way to the resort, and I for one was ready to stay in that cabin with the two guys I love for the next two days. It was so cozy. But then again, when you arrive on the Oregon Coast, you’d be hard pressed not find a few adventures outside your door.
That afternoon, Steven took Reu out for a wander while I got organized. The boys spotted plenty of birds, crabs, and sea shells as they walked along the bay.
With time before dinner, we decided to swim in the heated salt water pool. Reu splashed around and laughed gleefully as Dada jumped in again and again, both for his own and Reu’s entertainment. We worked up an appetite, wrapped ourselves in plush, soft white towels provided by the resort, and practically floated back to our cabin for the night.
Steven held court in the kitchen and the outdoor grill while I took my turn exploring the grounds with Reu. We admired a group of storks passing by and clouds moving through the sky. Steven caught up to us then because the food had a few more minutes to cook, and did we see those birds? Yes my love.
We saw the birds, we ran our fingers through the wildflowers, our toes through long grass, we laughed, we kissed, we lingered, and before long it was time for supper.
After our last trip, I was beginning to think that a real vacation wasn’t possible with a little one. The truth is, we’d struggled for the past year trying to hold onto our sense of adventure. We were trying to travel the world like we used to and I was beginning to think that vacations had changed forever. Trips seemed like a better term than vacation, after all we were parenting a baby with a better backdrop. We’d arrive in a new place with high hopes and leave happy but exhausted, at best learning from our mistakes and at worst second guessing our time together.
Yet here we were, all of us falling into our groove: laughing, smiling, at ease, present. We were on vacation again. We had the time, the place and the space. Our needs were met but minimally so, giving us time to focus on each other and the unspoiled coastline that stretch out before us. Damn, it felt good.
We sat on our outdoor patio overlooking the bay, Steven and I in two Adirondack chairs and Reu in the high chair provided by the Resort. We noshed on burgers and roasted potatoes, drank mojitos, and made loose plans for the next two days.
Steven was eager to explore the coastline, having grown up in Oregon with fond memories of family trips to Coos Bay when he was just a little one himself. As a teenager, Steven’s dad had taken him out on the beach to learn to drive. Returning to Coos Bay with our one year old son, who himself was just learning to walk, made our trip even more special.
We’d visit Sunset Bay, Shore Acres and Bastendorff Beach Park over the next two days.
At Sunset Bay, Reu played in the sand, Steven explored the tide pools, and I splashed in the waves.
At Shore Acres, we followed a forest trail up along cliffs overlooking secluded beaches, watched seals sunning their bellies, and spotted turkey vultures plotting their next meal.
At Bastendorff Beach Park, we found the sun after a rainy afternoon, walked along the water and wandered through grassy dunes.
We‘d also explore Charleston just south of Bay Point Landing—admiring the ships docked in the port, witnessing two young boys from Montana crab to their hearts’ content, picking up lunch from the local cannery and fish market and chatting up local fishermen.
Best of all perhaps, we’d spend a lot of time right here on property, enjoying the amenities, the scenery and time together.
The evening wasn’t over yet. I put Reuben to bed in the pack and play crib provided by the Resort while Steven started a fire. I organized a lavish plate of s’mores for four and sat just the two of us to devour their sticky, sweet, roasted goodness as the sun kissed the horizon during one of the most beautiful sunsets we’d shared in recent years.
Lost and Found
It’s not every day that you experience a transformation while on vacation, rarer still when kids are involved. Yet here we were and something magical was happening.
Free from every day life, unbound by the nondescript hallways of hotels past and instead granted space to breathe and focus on the important stuff, I found myself again.
I had an inkling that I’d been missing. After all, I’d dedicated the last few years to a battle with infertility we eventually won, IVF pregnancy and after that motherhood: caring for the baby I’d dreamed of for so long. I give myself grace for all of that wanting, wishing, trying, growing, nurturing, protecting—all of it. But somewhere along the way, I lost myself.
I’d begun to piece this all together days before our trip to Bay Point Landing. I knew that this trip was important for our little family. Not only did I need to regain my sense of self, I also needed to tap back into my relationship with my husband.
I am so in awe of my husband, his boundless energy, his wit, beauty, charm and intellect. His ability to build something from nothing and build a life for us. He is the adventurer to my nurturer. Together we have traveled the world and built a home. Our greatest adventure — parenthood together — has been our most challenging. Yet here we were, stripping down our vacation to the simplest pleasures, finding our way back to each other.
At Bay Point Landing, we found each other. In playful splashes in the salt water pool, in wishful gazes over our kindling fire, in watching birds take flight along the edges of the property. In putting our son to sleep and having precious time together to roast the perfect marshmallow, in documenting our love for each other in a series of self-timer photos, and in staying up late because for the first time in a long time, we couldn’t get enough time together.
Thank you, Bay Point Landing for giving us the time and space we needed.
Whether you opt for R&R or adventure, if a change of pace is what you seek you’ll find it here. Breathe in the salty air, listen to the soothing sound of waves, stare out in awe as the sun takes its sweet time turning the sky a rainbow of colors before kissing the horizon. The only question is who’s coming with you?
IF YOU GO….
Port, dining, fish markets, shops, souvenirs.
Sunset Bay State Park, Coos Bay, OR 97420
Half moon shaped bay, sandy beach, calm tide, boat rentals, restrooms.
Shore Acres State Park, Coos Bay, OR 97420
Miles of trails through thick forests with scenic ocean and beach views from above.
Bastendorff Beach Park, 63377 Bastendorf Beach Rd, Coos Bay, OR 97420
Long stretch of soft sand, open coastline, picnic areas.
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This post is sponsored by Bay Point Landing, but the views expressed are my own.