For those hungry after fishing or boating, the Barnacle Bistro turns out casual contemporary fare including a couscous and chicken salad and an albacore tuna melt. Gold Beach Books, with its 75,000 new and used volumes and Wi-Fi–enabled coffeehouse, makes a congenial outpost on a lazy day. The shop maintains a superb section of local guidebooks and features a rich rare-volumes room upstairs where you might find, among other treasures, first editions of Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Books—dated 1894 and 1895—on sale for $2,950.
En route to Brookings, 30 minutes south near the California border, you’ll hit the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor, a 12-mile stretch of Highway 101 so dramatic it warrants special signage. The highway serves up viewpoint after viewpoint—Arch Rock, Whaleshead, Cape Ferrelo—revealing clutches of craggy sea stacks and tiny cove beaches festooned with tangled driftwood. Lone Ranch, the corridor’s southernmost turnout, has picnic tables overlooking a compact beach and rocky outcrops pocked with irresistible tide pools.
Residents of Brookings like to say that they live in a “banana belt,” a zone where air temperatures remain moderate year-round. The mild climate is just right for Easter lilies, which are farmed in plots along the highway. It likewise favors native azaleas, shrubs with fragrant pink-purple blossoms celebrated each Memorial Day weekend in 33-acre Azalea Park; some of the showy plants are more than 200 years old.
Visitors are often surprised to learn that redwood trees grow nearby, unaware that the giant conifers range into southern Oregon from their main habitat in coastal California. The Redwood Nature Trail, on national forest land near Alfred A. Loeb State Park, winds through the country’s northernmost redwood grove.