Surfing Smuggler Cove in Nehalem, OR! 

Surfing Smuggler Cove in Nehalem, OR! 

Surfing Smuggler Cove in Nehalem, OR! 

5 Jul 2022

The Oregon Coast is not often thought of as a surfing destination. Most of the year, the coastal shoreline can be rugged, rough, and rainy, but with a sense of adventure and the right gear, you can experience the thrill of catching some waves at a hidden spot located within Oswald West State Park called Smuggler Cove. Surfers of all skill levels gather here year-round to enjoy the waves and stunning scenery.  

How to get there. 

Located 10 miles south of Cannon Beach, the parking lot is right off HWY 101 with plenty of parking, a bathroom, and a drinking fountain. We recommend not leaving any valuables in your car, and filling up your water bottles before making your way down to the beach. The scenic hike through old growth forest takes you under the freeway, down a well-groomed trail for about half a mile. We guarantee the views alone are worth the visit! 

Need to rent some gear? 

Cleanline Surf Shop in Cannon Beach or Seaside can get you geared up for an action-packed day on the water. If you don’t surf, but still want to enjoy the water, you can rent a skimboard, bodyboard, paddle board, or kayak.  

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Prefer to start out with a lesson? 

Cleanline Surf Shop has two great local instructors who provide lessons for all ages and skill levels. NW Surf Lessons also has knowledgeable and encouraging instructors that will teach you everything you need to know to catch a wave safely and successfully.  

What’s the best time of year to learn to surf? 

Surfing the Oregon Coast is a year-round sport, but summer is the best time to learn how to surf, because the northwest winds are blowing and the waves are small. 

Already a pro? Conditions are in their prime in the fall with warmer waters, less wind, and consistent surf. Winters are great too, if you can brave the heavy rainfall and cold Pacific Ocean temperatures. Check out daily and weekly surf forecast here.  

How cold is the water?  

Most of the year water temperatures hover between 45- and 55-degrees Fahrenheit, so we recommend wearing a thick wetsuit, booties, gloves, and a hood. Remember – “There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.” 😊 

What to bring. 

In addition to sunscreen, a towel, and your surfboard and wetsuit, we recommend bringing a picnic lunch or snacks with you, so you don’t have to hike back to the parking lot when hunger strikes! Also, you won’t find any water fountains on the beach, so pack plenty of water to stay hydrated.  

Helpful Tip:

There is not a lot of shade on the beach, so if you have kiddos, or plan on spending the day at the beach, we recommend bringing an umbrella.  

Hungry post surf? 

Cannon Beach has some great restaurants to choose from. We recommend warming up with a hot bowl of clam chowder from the Wayfarer, or an order of fish and chips from Ecola Seafood Restaurant. Make sure to take one last stroll on the beach to capture the sunset with majestic Haystack Rock in the background. Cheers to an unforgettable day on the Oregon Coast! 

Surf and stay with us! 

Meredith Lodging has an impressive collection of Manzanita vacation rentals and rentals throughout the Oregon Coast. Many of our rentals are beachfront, or have easy beach access. We also offer a wide selection of pet-friendly rentals, too! You can browse our complete Oregon Coast vacation rentals collection online, or call our reservations team at 877-778-9055 to book your stay. We hope to see you out on the water soon!  

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