Shopping with Kids at the Rogue River Myrtlewood Shop in Gold Beach, Oregon

Gold Beach's motto carved onto myrtlewood

Gold Beach’s motto carved onto myrtlewood

I’m not much of a shopper.

Okay, I’d rather be sick in bed for a week than go shopping for anything but food.

But every once in awhile, usually while I’m traveling for work, I happen across a place that inspires my inner consumer.

The kids and I had so much fun at Rogue River Myrtlewood Shop in Gold Beach on the southern Oregon Coast that we closed it down.

I think we were there for more than two hours.

The shop sells locally made myrtlewood items, like salad bowls, lighthouses, statutes, games, toys, and furniture.

They have a viewing area at the back of the store where you can watch the woodworkers using their machinery to make stuff. The staff is friendly–we got to talk to a woodworker who just came back from the doctor and we got to pet two kitties that the clerk’s daughter brought into the store–and each child gets a myrtlewood leaf when they come inside.

Inside the Rogue River Myrtlewood Shop in Gold Beach

Inside the Rogue River Myrtlewood Shop

6-year-old Etani figures out a puzzle while his older sisters look on

6-year-old Etani figures out a puzzle while his older sisters look on

Doesn't everyone need one of these myrtlewood ducks to organize recipes and mail?

Doesn’t everyone need one of these myrtlewood ducks to organize recipes and mail?

The baby liked the Rogue River Myrtlewood Shop too

The baby liked the Rogue River Myrtlewood Shop too

Here’s what we bought: Etani picked out a rubber band gun ($6) made out of cedar wood (oh well). Athena chose a small turtle for her turtle collection ($6) made in Peru (oh well). Hesperus bought a myrtlewood hair clip ($15) and picked one out for my best friend Sue as well. I bought James a myrtlewood plate for gentlemen to put the contents of their pockets (keys and change) in at night for Father’s Day ($15) and I bought Baby Leone a little toy car made of myrtlewood ($15). Finally, I couldn’t resist the duck for myself ($7)… I could tell you all the things I didn’t buy but that list would be longer than Santa’s.

If You Go: Gold Beach, Oregon is on U.S. 101 about 300 miles south of Portland (a 5 1/2-hour drive).

The Rogue River Myrtlewood Shop:

29750 Ellensburg Ave (Highway 101)

Gold Beach, OR 97444

541-247-2332 Call ahead for store hours (they’re seasonal).

Where to Stay: On this visit we stayed at the Pacific Reef Hotel & Resort, which has spacious condos with washing machines and ocean views, just a short walk from the ocean. Like most of the accommodations in Gold Beach, this place is surprisingly affordable. The condos are great for families because they have fully equipped kitchens and lots of space, plus when it’s too windy on the beach your kids can bump their butts down the carpeted stairs for hours.

What else is there to do in Gold Beach? The biggest draw to this quaint little drinking town with a fishing problem is Jerry’s Rogue River Jet Boat Excursions (more than 30,000 people come to ride them each year), which are both educational and fun. There are also spectacular hiking trails, sea lions and harbor seals to visit, whales to watch, feral cats in their own homemade houses that we haven’t had a chance to see even though we’ve been there twice now, beaches to comb for agate and sand dollars and shells, and some cool shops and restaurants.

I wrote this article in the Oregonian about Gold Beach and I plan to write about the town for some other print publications (though probably not on this blog).

Readers, have any of you been to Gold Beach or do you have a favorite kid-friendly town on the Oregon Coast? What are your plans for summer excursions with the rugrats? Do you have any tips on how to make shopping with children fun and enjoyable? Come back tomorrow to read my suggestions!


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