Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Port Orford, OR

  • Published 2023/03/13

The small city of Port Orford, Oregon, is in Curry County on the southern coast of Oregon.

It’s probably one of the best places to visit in Oregon because it’s got everything you could want in a vacation spot, beautiful scenery and great weather.

The ocean is just a short drive away, and there are plenty of things to do in Port Orford while you enjoy the stunning views.

The area offers plenty of activities for visitors, from hiking and exploring tide pools to whale watching and fishing.

Here are the best things to do in Port Orford, OR:

Tour the Cape Blanco Lighthouse

Exterior of the Cape Blanco Lighthouse

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The 59-foot lighthouse is a historical landmark that has operated since 1870.

It stands on a stretch of land that became the Cape Blanco State Park in 1971.

You can see it from over 22 miles away.

It helped sailors navigate some of the planet’s most dangerous waters.

Lens of the Cape Blanco Lighthouse

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Travelers from all over the country visit the cape year-round to witness the Pacific Ocean crashing into its cliffs.

You can go hiking, picnicking, and sightseeing.

Likewise, you can learn about the lighthouse’s history.

It’s a fun place to visit even if you don’t know about its history or its fame.

It’s pretty enough to be worth a drive.

Silhouette of the Cape Blanco Lighthouse during sunset

TFoxFoto /

Meet the Dinosaurs of Prehistoric Gardens

The Prehistoric Gardens boasts a plethora of life-sized sculptures of dinosaurs.

This unique attraction has drawn visitors since 1955.

See enormous sculptures set among lush green forests and beautiful coastal landscapes.

You can travel back 65 million years ago and walk among triceratops, T-rexes, and all kinds of dinosaurs.

See the stegosaurus, pterodactyls and more.

It’s a unique experience that allows visitors to immerse themselves in another world where dinosaurs roam free.

You can have a self-guided tour and roam around to see the 23 sculptures of prehistoric animals and the natural rainforest around the garden.

Enjoy the Outdoors at Tseriadun State Recreation Site

Tseriadun State Recreation Site is an excellent example of the state’s natural beauty.

There is no camping or lodging at Tseriadun, so ensure you have somewhere else to stay before heading there in your RV.

The park offers a quarter-mile of coastline that all visitors have access to.

Still, there are plenty of trails to explore if you’re interested in a full-day hike or backpacking without driving far away from home.

Its beautiful, secluded setting makes it a great place to enjoy pristine coastal views and a relaxing nature walk.

Unwind at Port Orford Heads State Park

Scenic view at Port Orford Heads State Park

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One of the must-see destinations in Port Orford is the Port Orford Heads State Park, a small park with a rich history.

A favorite activity for locals is simply finding a place to sit on a rock near the water and enjoy an unobstructed view of waves rolling in over sea stacks.

You can also get active by climbing around on rocks, exploring tidal pools, or taking serene walks.

Hidden trail leading to the ocean at Port Orford Heads State Park

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The park is also an excellent spot for bird-watching enthusiasts.

You can look down at the birds along the coast from the overlook above the beach.

It’s where you can see wild animals in their natural habitat and watch them have their own little adventures.

There are plenty of hiking trails in the park, leading to sweeping vistas.

Beautiful waters of Port Orford Heads State Park

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Admire the Artworks in Hawthorne Gallery

The Hawthorne Gallery is a small, charming space with an eclectic collection of artwork and furniture.

This world-class gallery features the work of regional artists and artisans.

There are many paintings and handmade items to choose from, including jewelry, ceramics and other decorative pieces.

The best part about the art here is that they’re all from local artists.

You’ll see the work of people who live here in the area.

Every piece shares a little bit of its creator’s personality and perspective on life.

You can bring home genuinely one-of-a-kind pieces.

It’s interesting to see how each new artist has made their work unique yet still captured the charm of this place.

Support Local Businesses in Port Orford Farmers Market

The Port Orford Farmers Market is a wonderland of local produce and handcrafted goods.

Buy everything from fruits and vegetables to prepared meals and baked goods.

This year-round market gathers community members who come together to sell their wares, share their stories, and discuss local happenings.

There’s sure to be something at the market for everyone, from organic produce and baked goods to crafts and healthy living products.

Fill Your Belly with Seafood in Redfish

Port Orford’s local culinary scene is a perfect intersection between tradition and innovation, and there’s no better example than Redfish Restaurant.

Opened in 2010, Redfish specializes in seafood dishes, emphasizing a modern take on traditional coastal cuisine.

The menu changes seasonally to highlight locally sourced ingredients caught fresh from the ocean or nearby farms.

It’s worth a trip off the main strip, offering its fair share of eateries that are just as good as Redfish.

However, there’s something special about this place that separates it from the others.

If you’re looking for a great meal, you can’t go wrong with the Redfish Restaurant.

Visit the Hughes Historic House

Exterior of the Hughes Historic House

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The Hughes Historical House in Port Orford, Oregon, is a historical landmark and one of the oldest buildings in town.

Built in 1898 for a pioneer dairy farmer, the Hughes Historic House is now one of the finest examples of Victorian architecture on the south coast.

This masterpiece combines elegant design and durability; its owners have preserved it well over the years.

The museum has preserved many period-appropriate details that help tell the story of its original owners, the Hughes family.

Aerial view of the Hughes Historic House

Victoria Ditkovsky /

Many of its furniture pieces are original.

You can also find them in their original spots.

Likewise, check out their antique kitchen equipment.

The house also sits on northern Cape Blanco, offering panoramic views of distant vistas.

Learn History at Port Orford Lifeboat Station Museum

The Lifeboat Station Museum offers a fascinating look into the past.

This museum is home to a lifeboat station built in 1934 to save lives at sea.

Touring the Lifeboat Station Museum is like visiting an art gallery.

Spend hours staring at the murals, wondering about their meaning and story.

The Lifeboat Station Museum houses numerous pieces of equipment the rescuers used themselves.

The museum also displays historical information about how they used the lifeboats.

Climb aboard some of them and see what it would have been like for their crews.

You can also tour the building, filled with historical photos from many eras.

Ride Down the Wild Rivers Coast Scenic Bikeway

The Wild Rivers Coast Scenic Bikeway is a 60-mile stretch of coastal highway from Port Orford to Gold Beach.

It offers a great way to experience some of the best parts of the Oregon Coast, including accessible beaches, rugged coastline, and small towns.

Start at the Battle Rock Park and begin your journey through Port Orford’s natural wonders, passing through a protected habitat for marine animals: the Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve.

The bike path has plenty to offer.

Watch for wildlife, gaze at the view, and take photos.

You can also stop at some beaches along the way to take a break on their soft sand or rocky shores.

Check Out the Wooden Nickel

It’s easy to walk into The Wooden Nickel, a Myrtlewood gifts shop in Port Orford, and admire the beauty of each item.

The owners have developed Myrtlewood for more than 38 years.

They’ve mastered their craft and have a seemingly endless supply of beautiful items to sell.

Each piece is hand-crafted with love, attention to detail, and a keen understanding of what makes it unique.

You can find handmade gifts for your favorite people in various styles, from casual and natural to polished and elegant.

For example, you’ll find gorgeous jewelry boxes crafted from chunks of Myrtlewood with intricate inlays.

You can’t help but be surprised by the variety of items on display in the crowded shop.

Explore the Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve

Scenic view of the Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve

Ian Poellet, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve is a slight stretch of protected coastline, a sanctuary for many fish and marine species.

The glittering blue ocean and the bright orange sand make for a beautiful sight, but there’s much more to do than admire the scenery.

The offshore reef system is home to fish and invertebrates, including abalone, mussels, octopus and sea stars.

Since it’s a marine reserve, it’s only accessible by boat.

You can also dive into the deep waters of Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve and see the marine animals and plants under its protection.

Travel the Boardwalks of Wetlands Interpretive Walkway

The Wetlands Interpretive Walkway will lead you through the marshes and into an old-growth forest, where you’ll see some of the abundant wildlife in the area.

The Wetlands Interpretive Walkway allows you to learn about the area’s history, ecology and culture.

There are wooden platforms built over the water, allowing visitors to look closely at the birds and the fascinating scenery.

You’ll find tall grasses, ditches full of water, and animals and plants that will entertain you no matter the season.

The walkway is a great place to stop during your trip up or down the coast.

Bask in the Sun at Agate Beach

Agate Beach is one of those rare places where you can enjoy nature’s beauty in its raw form.

Taking up a good mile of the coast, Agate Beach presents a treasure trove of tide pooling opportunities.

The beach is home to impressive rock structures, including an arch and a cave.

But the real magic starts when you set off on a walk along this endless stretch of sand.

If you walk around the beach for some time, you’ll reach a section where you’ll find boulders and rock formations partially submerged in water.

Like many beaches, this one attracts swimmers during warmer months.

On a clear day, you can enjoy views of the Pacific Ocean from the shoreline.

If you want to get more involved with nature while you’re here, there are plenty of other things to do.

The beach is known for its hiking trails that lead up into the surrounding forest and hills.

You’ll also find plenty of spots to stop and admire the view or take a break from walking.

Book a Room at Wildspring Guest Habitat

WildSpring Guest Habitat is a shining beacon of sustainable tourism in Port Orford, Oregon.

It’s an absolute must-see for anyone who values the tremendous natural environment on the Pacific coast.

The property itself feels like a charmingly rustic retreat from the world, but with all the modern amenities you could want.

This isn’t just because it’s in the woods; it’s also because of its focus on green practices and efficiency.

This property is one of the country’s most eco-friendly and sustainable resorts, committing to the environment and its guests far beyond a green initiative.

Each of the suites at WildSpring is unique and has a different view.

You’ll enjoy all of the amenities that WildSpring offers.

Whether celebrating an anniversary or planning a special surprise, this resort offers privacy and an intimate atmosphere.

It’s also a good option if you want to get great views of Oregon’s coast but don’t want to drive too far inland.

Enjoy the Sunset at Paradise Point State Recreation Site

Another scenic spot in Port Orford is Paradise Point State Recreation Site, found along its namesake road north of the city proper.

Because of this location, Paradise Point State Recreation Site is a lot less visited compared to Tseriadun State Recreation Site—perfect if you want a bit more privacy or isolation.

The sunsets here are some of the most amazing in the city, offering you not only gorgeous views but also cool breezes and unique rock formations.

Because there aren’t many people around, you can bring your pooch with you to enjoy the beach without much trouble, too.

If you haven’t had your fill of rocks yet at Agate Beach, you can also collect some interesting rocks here at Paradise Point State Recreation Site.

Chow Down at The Crazy Norwegian’s Fish & Chips

If you’re looking for another seafood restaurant that’s renowned in Port Orford, The Crazy Norwegian’s Fish and Chips is a no-brainer to visit.

One of the most-visited restaurants in the city, this is a popular place to get your fix of deep-fried seafood such as fish n’ chips and calamari.

They also serve other complementary dishes to go along with these, such as pasta, sandwiches, and even fish tacos.

Located near the coast, the vibe and aesthetic of The Crazy Norwegian’s Fish & Chips makes it also a welcoming place.

You can find this awesome seafood shack along 6th Street.

Take a Stroll and Learn More History at Battle Rock Wayside Park

Scenic view of Battle Rock Wayside Park

Randy King /

Battle Rock Wayside Park is a scenic place located along the southern coast of Port Orford, along Jefferson Street and Oregon Coast Highway.

It’s a beautiful spot where you have access to the beach along with sweeping views of the ocean, but it’s best known for its historical relevance.

Sprawling with historical markers and information boards, you can easily spend an hour or two strolling along the place as you learn the heritage behind Battle Rock Wayside Park.

Its historical relevance dates back to the mid 1800s, when a bloody fight occurred in the area because of the conflict between white settlers and the native indians.

With so much to see in terms of history and nature, don’t miss out on this beautiful park in Port Orford.

Do Marine Observation at Port of Port Orford

Port of Port Orford at night


No trip to Port Orford would be complete without visiting its official port area, found along Dock Road near Battle Rock Wayside Park.

Port of Port Orford is a beautiful spot lined with tons of rocks along the shores, giving this a unique aesthetic compared to other coastal attractions in the city.

However, the most exciting part here is that it’s a place to observe birds and even whales; this easily makes Port of Port Orford one of the must-visit locations in the city.

Port of Port Orford is also a nice spot to observe local fishermen, as they’re usually all over the place catching fish and crabs.

A great spot to just relax and appreciate the lifestyle in Port Orford, don’t miss out on visiting this beautiful place.

Do Recreational Activities at Buffington Memorial Park

Buffington Memorial Park is your go-to place if you want a little bit of something for everyone, be it your friends, relatives, or family members.

It’s one of the most popular city parks in Port Orford, brimming with amenities such as a skatepark, baseball field, basketball court, and even a disc golf course.

There’s also a scenic appeal to this park, as it has a butterfly garden and sprawling nature trails that takes you to wooded areas around it.

If you’re bringing your pooch with you, it even has a dog park as well.

Situated near Garrison Lake along 14th Street, Buffington Memorial Park is also a nice spot to take the family for picnics and relaxation.

Final Thoughts

Port Orford, Oregon, is one of the most serene and delightful little you’ll ever visit.

It’s a historic destination that offers an unforgettable look into the past, with many buildings still standing and operating in their original locations.

It’s got everything you’d expect from a small coastal city: picturesque views of the ocean, great seafood, and friendly people.

Book your Port Orford trip today!

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