Five miles from where the mighty Umpqua River joins the Pacific Ocean is Reedsport, the historic port that ushered out the immense bounty of logs cut in the wide Umpqua River drainage. Today Reedsport is a small town getting smaller, but it still boasts a few area attractions. Its location in the middle of the Oregon Dunes makes it an ideal base for exploring the region.
Take the kids to Umpqua Discovery Center to explore the area's cultural and natural history through colorful murals and a few interactive displays. A free platform offers good views of the Umpqua River, and there are casual eateries nearby.
A herd of about 120 Roosevelt elk loiter at Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area, a roadside wildlife refuge 3 miles east on Hwy 38. These elk are Oregon's largest land mammal.