Sunset Bay State Park near Charleston, Oregon is a beautiful Oregon Coast setting surrounded by rocky cliffs on two sides, a large beach area in the center and picnic grounds and facilities. Seagulls hang out scavenging lunch leftovers. Seals and Sea Lions occasionally wander in. This is a great place to go tide pooling also, and we have done so discovering Turban Snails, purple Sea Stars, Sea Anemones, Muscle Clams and more. The Bay is a fun place to visit, swim, picnic and hike around.
One outstanding adventure happens in the Bay every January 1, New Year’s Day. That is the Polar Bear Plunge. Enthusiasts flock to the beach in all kinds of garb to take the plunge in celebration of the New Year.
This year will be the 29th Annual Polar Bear Plunge in the Bay starting at precisely 9:00 am on New Year’s Day. The one rule dictates that you must completely immerse yourself. “Spend one to 5 minutes here in the water and you’re sure to start your New Year off right,” the promotional information tells us!
Is it cold? You bet! The average summer temperature of the Pacific Northwest Ocean is 55 degrees. Surfers wear wetsuits to insulate themselves from the cold, summer waters when they are riding the waves here. It has to be pretty darn hot in July for many to venture into these waters to swim.
This event can be a bit crazy, but mostly it’s fun for those who venture out here to dip in the ocean or just to watch. A great way to celebrate the coming New Year! You can watch some of the fun from 2012 in the following video.
We are just about an hour from Sunset Bay so do stop in to see us on your way to the Polar Bear Plunge, or stay with us for a night or two at www.umpquahaven.com
Happy New Year From Sunset Bay, Oregon!