Surf's Up on the North Oregon Coast

By Cheri Brubaker | Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Along the North Oregon Coast you'll find miles of untouched, remote beaches. Not beaches like the East Coast’s – with lounge chairs, crowds, suntan lotion and lifeguards. This is Oregon's North Coast. The beaches are public. It's windy and sometimes a little chilly. The views are unparalleled. The water is cold, but the weather has been fantastic. Most importantly, the surf's up.

Photo Credits to EO Media

If you're new to surfing, Washington’s Long Beach Peninsula is a great place to learn how. With 26 miles of beach, you're sure to find a perfect spot to hang ten. Skookum Surf Co. can set you up with surf gear and lessons. You'll need a wetsuit for sure. Their website also offers important information about where to surf, surf conditions and safety tips.

Once you get your gear, head to Seaside Cove, a popular surf spot. Farther south Oswald West State Park and Indian Beach at Ecola State Park are both good places for beginners.

You can find high-end gear, surf accessories and hand-turned boards at Cannon Beach Surf. For lessons and rentals, Clean Line Surf Co. has everything you need with locations in Cannon Beach and Seaside. If you're not up for the fast-paced challenge of surfing, they can outfit you with gear to try kayaking or standup paddle boarding.

The surf in Pacific City is more challenging, but the wave of surfers who frequent the area keep a cool scene going on. Always be safe, and know your limits. If you want to both talk the talk and walk the walk, Moment Surf Company not only outfits you to look like a pro, but their surf and standup paddleboard lessons will have you taking to the waves like one too.

Photo Credits to Moment Surf Company

While I like to consider myself adventurous, the ocean is too big and cold for me. I prefer the slower pace of paddle sports and warmer, upriver temperatures. SUP Manzanita offers standup paddleboard lessons and tours. If you've never tried standup paddleboarding, don’t be intimidated – it’s much easier than it looks. Most people are up and going within an hour, so there's no reason not to try it! It’s a peaceful and alternative way to explore the North Coast’s pristine waterways.

For a guided eco-tour check out Kayak Tillamook. They offer tours not only in Tillamook’s waterways but also for those in Manzanita through Lincoln City. Choose from lake and river tours, kayak clamming excursions and even moonlight paddle trips.

Those seeking to add a bit of depth to their aquatic adventures can swim deep beneath the surface with Astoria Scuba and Adventure Sports in Astoria. You learn the essentials for scuba diving, and they can set you up with gear and equipment for fishing and exploring too. With this sort of foundation, you’ll be ready to check out the Graveyard of the Pacific on the ocean floor.

Perhaps, like many visitors to the North Coast, you came for the fishing. And the fishing scene here rivals that of anywhere. Garibaldi Charters will take you out into the ocean where you can catch tuna, salmon or halibut. Whale-watching tours are another option. If you’re  after those famous Dungeness crabs, they’ll take you to top spots for dropping crab pots.

However, if you're more inclined to be your own captain, Kelly's Brighton Marina in Nehalem Bay offers boat rentals.

Whatever you like to do in the water, on the water or underwater, you can find it on the North Coast. For activities out of the water, see North Oregon Coast Events page. For after-dark happenings, check out what’s going on in North Oregon Coast Nightlife. Drive safely and have fun!

About the Author Cheri Brubaker
Cheri Brubaker is a writer living on the Oregon Coast. She enjoys sharing her favorite places to dine, hike, shop and explore this beautiful, rugged place she is so fortunate to call home. Join Cheri as she guides you along Oregon's spectacular North Coast.