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On the right track with South Coast Tours

“It’s easy to be in the moment, not thinking about what’s on your to-do list. You’re completely immersed in what’s in front of you.”

At South Coast Tours, owner Dave Lacey introduces clients to guided adventures on the Southern Oregon Coast: Choose from kayak destinations in Charleston, Bandon, Port Orford, Gold Beach and Brookings. Cruise the Coquille River on the Fun Sway. Or customize an outing with hiking, cycling, water sports and dining experiences.

Lacey started exploring out-of-the-way places as a child. His family lived in and visited many regions throughout the states, and his father was an avid outdoorsman. So, Lacey and his brother spent countless weekends exploring woods and streams with their dad.

“Almost every weekend we went somewhere to be outside, camping, doing mountain sports,” he said.


Lacey is particularly fond of kayak tours, especially the routes accessible only by water.

The sensory experience is unique. Sunlight bounces off the water. The sound of birdcall drifts through the air. Kayakers get a close-up look at native plants, birds and wildlife, and local geological features.

“You get to see places you wouldn’t get to see if you weren’t paddling, because you can’t walk there,” said Lacey. “It’s a completely different experience. It’s just pure nature, no man-made sounds at all.”

First-time kayakers often ask if they’re going to get wet or end up in the water. Lacey reassures guests that the kayaks are stable and designed for beginners to use comfortably. Paddlers can expect a little splash, but people rarely tip over, he says. And, South Coast Tours provides all the necessary gear, including wetsuits and booties.

While Lacey is careful not to over-promise– whale sightings can’t really be booked in advance– reviewers tend to wax superlative. Recent TripAdvisor posts include notes such as, “A must do,” “Fantastic,” and, “Awesome experience!”


On land or by water, South Coast Tours offers quick trips and multi-day adventures for every outdoor enthusiast.

In addition to scenic kayak tours, options include stand up paddle boarding, hiking and fat tire biking; as well as surf lessons, a motorized river cruise and kayak fishing tours. Tours such as Fat Bikes and Fat Brews combine trail and beach cycling with dining and a hearty sampling of Oregon Coast micro-brews. Each destination offers a memorable, scenic outing with experienced guides.

Check the online calendar, and make reservations online or by phone. Many tours are available for as few as two people. Enquire about outings with children younger than eight years old. Departure times and locations vary by tour. Visit, or call 541-373-0487.

Article by Geneva Miller. Photos by South Coast Tours (Coquille River and South Slough); and Urdahl/Myers (Port Orford), courtesy of Oregon Coast Visitors Association.