Overlooking The Mill Casino exterior and bay

Local Tips

Tulip garden at Shore Acres

Enjoy Spring on the South Coast

Everybody loves spring, but perhaps nobody loves the season more than Oregonians who, year after year, endure long winters. For them, spring is the time of year when all of Oregon seemingly makes its annual weekend migration to the coast, to play outdoors and take in the wonder that is the state’s coastline. And while there are plenty of choices along the Oregon Coast that are well worth the drive, Oregon’s southern coastline—especially in the spring—has quietly become a destination for day trippers and weekenders in search of adventures that its northern neighbors don’t offer.

Hand holding a crab

Right now, Shore Acres State Park is already in full springtime bloom, as perennials like tulips and daffodils have come alive in the park’s botanical garden. A stroll through this garden can be sharply contrasted by visiting the park’s ocean-side observation deck where, if you’re lucky and go on the right day, you can watch the ocean at its most dramatic, as 100-foot swells crash against the park’s rocky shores.Spring is also a great time to go crabbing along those same rocky shores in the nearby town of Charleston. Just stroll down to the docks with a bucket and some bait, and wait for your trap to fill — often as quickly as a cup of coffee. Then take your haul to any of the many nearby crab shacks dotting the town and watch as their kitchens cook up your catch to your particular liking.If you prefer more galvanizing outdoor activities, you can always mountain bike the newly opened Whiskey Run single-track trail; just know beforehand that this mountain bike route is not for novices. Or you can rent ATVs and ride the Oregon Dunes which, soaring 500 feet above the coast line, offer some of the best ocean views Oregon has to offer.

Whether you prefer passive or active outdoor activities, you’re going to eventually need to call it a day, which means taking things inside. The southern coast has you covered here, too.

5 beers of varying color on a bar

If you’re an aficionado of beer and music, a trip to 7 Devils Brewing Co. public house in Coos Bay is requisite. And dinner at the Tokyo Bistro, known for making its own sake and turning fresh coastal fish into culinary works of art, is a dining experience like no other in the area. Of course, if you plan to stay the night (or the whole weekend), we are an entertaining place to hang your hat.

In addition to fielding a friendly staff, we offer food and drinks from five distinct on-site dining establishments, headlined by the Plank House Restaurant, which features delicious locally sourced cuisine and spectacular bayfront views and Whitecaps, the casino’s elegant bay-side lounge, which features small plates and hand-mixed cocktails.

Woman placing sausage on a BBQ with other meats

And if you’re the type that likes to plan ahead, be sure to make your plans for May 26 and 27, when we’ll host the 7th annual BBQ, Blues and Brews festival, which draws as many as 10,000 visitors to the coast for two sunshiney days of brisket, craft beer and blues music from some of the state’s finest players. If the latter sounds appealing, know that the every one of the area’s hotels get booked up fast, so you should make your reservation now. But also know that if you’re looking for a coastal adventure this weekend, The Mill Casino is as affordable now as they are any time of year.