Just south of the exquisite Heceta Head and lighthouse, Highway 101 sweeps inland to bypass some 50mi (80km) of coastal sand dunes, interrupted in only a few places by major rivermouths. The northernmost of these is the Siuslaw, and the nondescript town of Florence perches on its final bend before emptying into the Pacific between massive rock jetties. The South Jetty juts out and angles to the south, creating a sheltered nook to ride S and SW swell waves on small N-wind summer days. On big W swells at lower tides, there’s a good left that peels between the jetties (breaking off the south jetty), which can be about a third the size of the outside swell. To get to the south jetty, cross the river to Glenada and turn into the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. Follow the narrow blacktop for about 5mi (8km). When it disintegrates into a moonscape of giant potholes, you’re getting close. Walk out on the jetty and check both sides.
Moderate shark worries. Die-hard locals confuse this place as a world-class spot and may be unfriendly. If you’re surfing between the jetties, use caution. A lot of water drains through here, and an outgoing tide can transport you from the break out past the bar, no matter how fast you can paddle. Check the tide charts. The Coastguard charges a lot of dough to pluck you (and not your board) out of the water.