Cape Arago Highway runs from Empire (west end of Newport Avenue in Coos Bay / North Bend) all the way to Shore Acres state park at Cape Arago. It's an out-and-back road that is relatively flat to rolling, with a few steeper pitches to the southwest end. Pavement is relatively good and this is a great way to get off of Hwy 101 to head south or north (via Seven Devils Road / Beaver Hill Road)
It's a nice ride southward from Empire (one of the oldest communities on the west coast) as it provides nice views of the bay and of the mouth to the ocean.
Just before arriving in Charleston one could take hilly Libby Lane back east to Hwy 42 or continue over the bridge to Charleston where the fishing fleet and Oregon Institute of Marine Biology (OIMB) is located. Charleston has a couple of restaurants, and a restroom at the docks. At the north end of Charleston one can walk to the old Coast Guard station for great views of the bay, now part of OIMB.
Just past Charleston is the turn south onto Seven Devils Road and up the twisty hill road. Further out the Hwy is Bastendorf Beach, Shore Acres state park, Sunset Bay and campgrounds, and Cape Arago and reef. The road to the lighthouse is now closed, but can be glimpsed from a few spots further out at the Cape.
Lots of sea life to view at times, and the Cape is a favorite spot to view storms. Shore Acres hosts an annual holiday lights worth taking in too. The state campground at Sunset Bay is a good secluded spot. There are restrooms at the Bay and in the campground.
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