Brookings is the self-proclaimed “Banana Belt” of Oregon. With its border location, this southern gateway to the splendid Oregon coast enjoys many geographic advantages of a California climate. While bananas are not actually grown outdoors in Oregon, Brookings can be proud of its orange and palm trees, daffodils blooming in January, and most of the world’s Easter lilies, coupled with natural Northwestern delights like azaleas and rhododendrons. Unlike much of Oregon, Brookings typically experiences moderate weather year-round (even winter, between major rainstorms). The Port of Brookings Harbor shelters pleasure boats as well as commercial fishing vessels near the mouth of the picturesque Chetco River. Beaches are memorably punctuated by rock monoliths, mounds of driftwood and tidepools.
Settlement began in the 1850s with logging. Later, commercial fishing, agriculture and tourism added balance to the local economy. In a historic footnote, near Brookings was the only U. S. mainland bomb-site (by Japan in 1942). While traditional industries continue, more and better restaurants and lodgings reflect the increasing importance of tourism.
Hiking on scenic natural beaches, in Azalea Park, or in wilderness settings, plus ample fishing opportunities, attract visitors year-round. Brookings is also becoming a popular retirement destination (including many former Californians!). The profusion of early spring flowers, lush vegetation and natural grandeur of the adjoining coast and river, and great weather, suggest why people are visiting and moving to this favored locale.
For more information, go to Brookings Harbor Chamber of Commerce.
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