October 29, 2019 5 min read

The majority of Oregon’s best surfing spots are located in state and city parks and have a variety of facilities situated nearby.

Most of them are suitable for all levels, but you should still know your limit and be careful wherever you go because all surfs are dangerous in big surf. Here are the best surfing spots in the state of Oregon.

Overall Surfing Tips

Before we go into all the amazing places you should check out for surfing, here are some general surfing tips when doing it in the state of Oregon:

  • There are a few places where you can find crowds of other surfers (e.g. Newport, Seaside, Florence) but you can find sites where you will be all alone. Choose your places wisely depending on what you are looking for.
  • There are various hazards that you may encounter including the water temperatures, strong winds, massive swells, treacherous currents, and sharp underwater rocks. Always be careful and watch out for these things.
  • Fall is perhaps the best season for surfing in Oregon. Summer is fine but you may get lost in the fog and the water may be extremely cold in some places. Winter is probably the worst season for surfing, while spring is still not that favorable with its icy north winds.

#1 Pacific City (Cape Kiwanda)

Pacific City has a very beautiful beach and some breaks to choose from. There is also free parking available as well as bathrooms and tent and RV camping. The beach is suitable for all levels, but you must remember about such hazards as dory boats, jet skis, sharks, and crowds.

You can access Pacific City through the park in the Cape Kiwanda parking lot next to the Pelican Brew Pub. There is also a webcam on the beach. By the way, you will be able to see Chief Kiwanda Rock which only adds to the atmosphere of the place.

Pelican Brew Pub is known for its beer which is loved by the local community of surfers and beach visitors alike. The pub also has warm showers to wash off the saltwater. As mentioned earlier, Pacific City is suitable for all levels thanks to its wide range of breaks to choose from.

#2 Indian Beach

Indian Beach is also suitable for all levels, just like Pacific City. The beach is sheltered from the NW wind and works on an NW-S swell. You can access Indian Beach from the north of Cannon Beach by following the signs to Ecola State Park and the past it there will be a turnoff to the beach. Don’t forget about the entrance fee (it’s just $5).

You will mostly see kayakers rather than surfers. The rip is along the north wall while the lefts and rights are mostly peaky. Some hazards you may encounter include the crowds, kayaks, and the high rate of Coast Guard rescues in large winter surf. The only facilities available are the bathrooms. Keep in mind that the currents are strong there and shifting sands are also an issue.

#3 Otter Rock

Otter Rock is located between Depoe Bay and Newport and has one of the most consistent 2-to-4-foot surf in Oregon. This is where the Otter Rock and Roll Youth Surf Contest happens and where the famous Devil’s Punchbowl rock formation originated.

This beach is perfect for beginners (it has even been rated one of the best North American Beginner Surf Spots by the Outdoor Magazine). Two miles down the road you will find some campsites at Beverly Beach State Park, so don’t worry about parking.

#4 Short Sands (Oswald West State Park)

Just like the first two surfing spots on this list, Short Sands is suitable for surfers of all levels. This is why this beach is often crowded during the summer, but everyone is still very friendly. Short Sands attracts many beginners which can be an issue for more experienced surfers.

The beach is located 10 miles south of Cannon Beach and there are three parking lots nearby where you can leave your car (but don’t leave valuables in your car as parking lot theft is a serious issue here). Bathrooms are also available next to the trailhead.

If you are a tourist from a different country, you may want to translate something when coming to surf in Oregon. You can use an online translation and localization service like The Word Point for this. Alternatively, if you are a local business owner, it can also be very useful.

Some Short Sands hazards include big crowds and dog waste. But both of them seem insignificant when you take into account the breathtaking scenery. You can also use either the north or south end walls depending on the wind direction and swell which is a nice bonus.

#5 Seaside Cove

Now we are getting into the spot reserved for intermediate and advanced surfers. One of such places is the Seaside Cove. To get to the location, you will need to turn west on Avenue U at the first traffic light you encounter when entering Seaside from the south, turn left on Sunset Blvd., and then you will see the ocean and the parking lot. There are also bathrooms available.

Seaside Cove is protected from S wind and works on an N to SW swell. Some hazards include boulders, the rip, and closeout sets known for giving a good beating which is why it is not the best place for beginners. By the way, Seaside Cove is quite popular with longboarders.

#6 Agate Beach

Agate Beach is yet another great surfing spot located on the south side of Yaquina Head near Newport. It is well-protected from the N wind which makes it ideal for surfers of all levels. Along with surfing, razor clamming is one of the most favorite activities of the people visiting this place.

There is a large parking lot located nearby where you can even park your trailer. To access the beach, you will need to go through a tunnel that goes underneath the old highway 101. Unfortunately, there are not many facilities available except for parking.

#7 Oceanside

Last but not least, Oceanside welcomes surfers of all levels. It is a very nice beach with clean waves with proper conditions. However, you may struggle with strong longshore currents while surfing. Nevertheless, it’s still a good surfing spot.

Oceanside is located only 11 miles west of Tillamook and has free parking in the park next to the beach. The surf break is a little south from the lot, but there are some spots where you can park along the way. Bathrooms are always available during the day.

Oceanside has been called cozy multiple times and it sure is. The evening walks are especially magical if you go with friends or family. There is also the Lost Boy Cave to check out as well as the tunnel going through the Maxwell Point if you are interested in such things.

Final Thoughts

To sum up, surfing in Oregon has its benefits and there are many great places where you could enjoy this sport. Check out the surfing spots listed here and get to know this side of the state of Oregon better (even if you aren’t planning to surf and simply want to see the beaches).

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