Stretching into the horizon, disappearing into hazy morning fog, we have the white sand beach entirely to ourselves. Cruising the coastal highway, the old Suzuki Samurai engine gently hums over the soothing sound of nearby rolling waves. We park the car, unload our boards from the back, and sip up our wetsuits while watching as the tide roll in; mentally preparing for the first body-freezing sensation of entering the ocean waters of Westport.
A short three-hour drive west of Seattle awaits this slumbering coastal town. Unlike the packed beaches of Oregon, Westport has been cruising under most tourists’ radar, managing to keep its charm and local-vibes. Surfing is a year-round activity in Westport, but conditions tend to be best in the fall. Just come prepared with thick wetsuits and warm jackets for the after-surf sipping.
With its ideal location and rising hospitality scene, Westport is becoming one of Washington’s most popular surf destinations! From award-winning wineries to authentic Hawaiian BBQ, catching some waves and then warming-up with incredible meals makes a trip to Westport an idyllic weekend getaway.
So if you’re ready, here’s our guide to the best spots to Surf ‘n’ Sip in Westport:
Where to Surf:
There are two main spots to catch the best surf in Westport. For beginners, you’ll want to head to Westhaven State Park. Also known as “The Jetty”, this maintained area offers bathrooms, heated showers, and a sprawling coastline of waves that are (often) newbie-friendly. Just remember; as a State Park, you need either a Discovery Pass or to pay a day-fee.
Another option for the more experienced surfer is to hit-up The Groins. These three fingers of jetties are nestled near the marina on the northern edge of Westport and offer exceptional surf. However, the riptides and current in this area can get mighty strong, so be aware and stay within your abilities.
Half Moon Bay used to be a picturesque spot for beginner surfing. However, after years of dredging, the spot is no longer suitable. The good news? A deal has been struck and companies will be filling the Bay with sand again over the next five years, so soon the surf shall hopefully return!
Need to rent or buy gear? Hit up Westport Surf Shop! This small-run business is friendly, welcoming, and offers a roaring wood-burning fire inside the shop to warm you up before or after a long day in cold water!
Where to Sip:
Westport may only have a handful of dining options, but they’re nothing to raise your nose at!. These establishments offer some of the food and beverages you’ll find on the entire Washington coast, if not in the state!
Aloha Alabama BBQ – Fantastic location right across from the marina! Makes for an ideal post-Groins visit.
- What to drink: If it’s in season, you hands-down have to try the Cranberry-Rosemary Martini. The made-from-scratch cocktail uses locally-grown cranberries and is more festive-feeling than Christmas in a glass! If the berries aren’t in season, then go for the cucumber margarita which truly captures the refreshing taste of vacation.
- What to eat: Known for authentic Hawaiian BBQ meats, the sampler plate (especially with the Hawaiian pig) is heavenly. However, the locals who eat here often are going to argue the Fish Tacos with garlic aioli is the real champion of the feast.
Cranberry Road Winery – Located on the corner of Highway 105 and Forrest St., this spot is where you want to go for an upscale meal that rivals even Seattle’s food-scene.
- What to drink: Using only locally-sourced Washington grapes, any pour you choose is going to exhibit the vibrant flavors of the state. However, if you want the full family-run experience that Cranberry Road has cultivated, try a bottle of their Merlot. Not only is it a full-bodied pour exhibiting exception depth, the label was drawn by the owner’s 7-year-old daughter, and it’s never too early to support a young artist!
- What to eat: Declared the “best pork chop I’ve ever tasted,” the Pork Chop with cranberry chutney and cornbread stuffing is a choice you will not regret. Pair that with the house-made chocolate molten-lava cake and you’ll be leaving full in rosy-cheeked-delight!
Westport Winery – Awaiting just beyond the town of Westport, this massive winery is decorated in over 500-medals, as well as their Sea Glass Grill recently earning the name of the #2 Best Winery Restaurant in the Country by USA Today!
- What to drink: While any decision here is going to be incredibly, consider trying one of their signature “Float” cocktails. Float is a high ABV wine which flirts with the line of becoming a spirit, so the winery often tops off the pour with a Fruit Wine, creating a sweet-and-boozy union. Or, if you’re more into “real” cocktails, check-out their brand new Distillery! Opening in November 2019, this tasting room is going to be offering an exciting and creative flight experience, including pours such as Maple Chai Whiskey and Green Apple Vodka.
- What to eat: Here’s the secret combo to an unforgettable meal at Westport Winery – start with the Mermaids on Horseback (a.k.a. Bacon-wrapped shrimp!), then proceed to devour the locally-caught crab mac n’ cheese, and finish it off with the housemade raspberry pie! If Heaven could be served on a plate, this combo is the gates to bliss.
Need a Place to Sleep? Check-out the Chateau Westport!
This centrally-located property offers beach-front access through a maintained nature trail, an on-site disc golf course, and community fire pits plus sand volleyball! Not to mention if you choose to partake in any local clamming or crabbing when visiting Westport (which you totally should), the property offers a free-for-guests cleaning station with a commercial-grade sink as well as a massive pot with propane for boiling your fresh seafood!
Chateau Westport image by Brooke Jackson