We're just a short distance from parks along the water, and they all have magnificent views. From Devil's Kitchen State Park, the view through the shore pines to the lagoon is pretty neat:
|Devil's Kitchen State Park|
A short walk around the corner brings you to the surf, where you can see the "sea stacks" in the distance.
|Devil's Kitchen State Park Beach|
One of our favorite viewpoints overlooks Elephant Rock, where you can picture the head and ears and where the surf blasts through the rock on each side of his trunk.
Even in December, many of the trees still retain their leaves and some areas remind us of autumn in the Midwest. We visited Humbug Mountain State Park, where we volunteered back in 2014, and took a walk along the Fern Trail, where the scenery was a contrast between dark pine forest with ferns covering the ground to colorful, sunny areas where the ground was covered by Maple Leaves.
|Humbug Mountain SP Fern Trail|
|Humbug Mountain Fern Trail|
On a walk at Floras Lake State Park, we surprised these two River Otters on a quiet stretch of the creek:
On Sundays, we enjoy the brunch at Lord Bennett's restaurant in Bandon. The second-story dining room and large windows give diners a great view of the offshore rocks:
|Pookie in her Browns Gear|
It's the Christmas season, and Bandon does its best to get everyone into the spirit. The welcome sign is decorated with lights and we attended the town Christmas tree lighting, although it was a bit difficult to see during the driving rain.
|Bandon Welcome Sign|
Small town events are some of the most rewarding and enjoyable. The Bandon Electric Light Parade is always a must-see for us. Starting with a "nog-walk" and visit to the area merchants, the parade drew a large crowd even in the rain. Seven minutes after starting it was over.....but it was colorful, fun, and we even had a glimpse of Santa!
|Electric Light Parade|
Each year Shore Acres State Park in Charleston decorates their extensive gardens in thousands of lights and displays. Volunteers decorate the seven acres with over 325,000 lights, erect displays, and turn the gardener's cottage into a Christmas wonderland. Each year between 50 and 70,000 people make the journey to visit the park - it is truly magical and one of the most amazing sights you will see at Christmas. Some of the sights:
|Shore Acres State Park|
Looking through the window of the gardener's cottage:
|View from the Gardener's Cottage|
As we walked the park, each new view brought another amazing display:
|The Blue Blue Whale|
At the pond, the still water reflected the trees - it was difficult to see which was the real image:
The Tree in the Pond
And finally, more images of the lights around the pond: