Harbor Campground Review – Winchester Bay Marina, OR
A superbly located (and inexpensive) water-front dry-camping area in the Winchester Bay Marina on the central Oregon Coast.
- Site Quality = 2.5/5
Very, very basic, but well-located sites here. The marina camping area is separated into 6 different sections (B through G) which vary slightly in location and price. All sites are basically on a large concrete parking lot separated by lines. No privacy here, but site size is spacious, mostly flat and views are fully open. Sites in sections B, C, D are waterfront sites costing $14/night (or $18/night for the larger “prime” end sites designated by red lines). These are definitely the best-located sites with full (excellent) water views, picnic tables and grills. Sites in E, F, G are interior sites costing $11/night with more limited views and no extras, but still good space. No hookups and all sites except the “prime” end sites are first-come-first-serve. You can see a MAP of the camping locations HERE.
- Facilities = 3/5
Basic, but very nice facilities here. There are several flush toilets in the marina plus shower stalls (pay only, unfortunately). There is also an on-site fresh water & dump station (the website says it costs $5 for campers, but we got a coupon to dump for free from the camp host).
- Location = 5/5
The best part about this camping area is location. You are parked literally right ON the waterfront with relaxing views of the marina boats, and walking/biking distance to downtown Winchester Bay. The marina itself has pleasant waterfront pavement, a crabbing dock and several green areas including a large park (Ork Rock Park) at it’s northern tip. Lots of interesting attractions around here including the locally-grown oysters, the sand dunes, Umqua River Lighthouse and Ziolkouski Beach Park .
- Pet Friendliness = 5/5
Great location for doggie. There is spacious areas to walk pooch in the marina, including the green Ork Rock Park at the north tip. Short drive to Ziolkouski Beach Park for off-leash beach-play.
Overall Rating = 3.9
BONUS ALERT = Camp ON the waterfront at Winchester Marina!
Summary: I had a hard time “grading” this campground since I wasn’t quite sure how to classify it. This is not really a campground, nor is it a boondocking site. It’s a completely unique and very cool Marina dry-camping area! The campsites themselves are definitely not what you come here for. They are ultra-basic, concrete spots with not much in the way of privacy or “extras” except for a good deal of space and a basic grill + picnic table (B, C, D sites only). BUT…and here’s the big secret…they are RIGHT on the waterfront with full, gorgeous 180-degree views of the marina and docks, and all this for only $14/night. I don’t know anywhere else on the coast where you can get this close to water for that low a price! Plus you are walking distance to downtown Winchester Bay and a short drive to exploring the awesome coastal dunes, Umqua River Lighthouse and the beach. There are 166 “sites” in the marina, but it always seems mostly empty, even on summer week-ends. All sites are first-come-first-serve except for a select few on the end of C & D sections which may be reserved by phone. We found camping by the water ultra-relaxing and totally loved our view. We expect this to be a regular stop on our OR travels, and definitely recommend it for others.
Extra Info: Full 4G LTE signal. Sites cost $11/night ($66/week, $198/month) for “interior” sites (sections D, E, F), $14/night ($84/week, $252/month) for “waterfront” sites (sections B, C, D) or $18/night for the larger end “prime” sites. See MAP of camping area HERE. No reservations except for “prime” sites. On-site dump station and water.
Extra, Extra Info: OTHER CAMPING? FHU SITES? For those of you wanting hookups Winchester Bay RV Resort lies just across the water from the dry camping area and offers gorgeous hookup sites and the same excellent water views for $39-$42/night. For those looking for a cheaper option next-door Windy Cove offers FHU sites for $23/night. No water-views here and sites are not nearly as nice, but it gets you on location for a cheaper price. For dune riding lovers head over to Discovery Point RV Park located RIGHT next to the dunes. I wouldn’t recommend it for non ATV’ers, but it’s the perfect spot for those who like to ride.