The new LOGE at the Sands is an upbeat, welcoming haven in the otherwise sleepy fishing town of Westport, Washington (population 2,099). While Westport draws visitors for fishing charters and fresh seafood, it's also one of the closest surf breaks to Seattle, which is clearly the main draw for many who pass through.
We stopped in at Westport as part of our tour of the Northwest coast, and it was the perfect location for a stay. Westport is located on the tip of a peninsula leading from the open Pacific Ocean into Grays Harbor – about a two hour drive from Seattle. The trio of local surf spots long enjoyed by a small tribe of local cold-water surfers and weekend enthusiasts includes The Cove (Half Moon Bay), the Finger jetties along the northern edge of the marina and, most popular, the beach breaks and adjacent jetty break of Westhaven State Park.
Nestled into the heart of it, LOGE (pronounced lodge) at the Sands opened in May 2017 as a successful Kickstarter project by Seattle-based founders Johannes Ariens and Cale Genenbacher. This was the first LOGE project, which now includes a location in Leavenworth, Washington – a popular mountain bike destination – plus new locations opening in Snoqualmie Pass, Washington; Bend, Oregon; and Mt. Shasta, California. The Northwest retailer evo also joined in as a partner, bringing retail as well as rental and demo amenities.
LOGE, which stands for Live Outside Go Explore, is built around the tenets of adventure, camping, surfing and community – and the realization of these tenets is readily apparent in Westport. We scored sunny conditions for our stay during the peak season, which extends from mid-July through the fall. The hotel is a remodeled motor inn lodge, located bay side on the south end of Westport – not beachfront as you might expect, but that's not a deal breaker. The first thing you see as you turn in is the stocked rental center full of surfboards, lined up with rows of soft-topped Wave Bandit longboards, mid-sized Lib Techs and SUP boards.
We checked into our room using the keycode provided over email, a nice techy Airbnb-style touch. As you would expect, the LOGE at the Sands is unapologetically surf-themed, with surfboard-shaped tables, headboards, coffee tables and peeling-wave wall art. It's all very tasteful throughout with custom-crafted wood tables, cheery blue walls and bright accessories.
The rooms are also decked out with LOGE branded goods for sale, including beanies, hats, coozies and Miir insulated cups, as well as necessities that you might have forgotten (think: iPhone chargers and beach blankets). Plus, fun stuff like firewood and smores kits are aplenty, tempting guests to take advantage of the available fire pits.
First stop was the Sands Café, which doubles as the lobby, bar, coffee shop and rental shop. It being a weekday evening, things were pretty quiet. We met up with the LOGE manager, Randy, who was checking in the last of the day's rental boards, while his wife Charlie manned the café bar. We opted to head straight for the beach, a short drive or bike ride down the road to have a look at the conditions.
Surf can be found year-round in Westport; it was a little hectic during our stay, with strong winds and quick intervals along the beach break at Westhaven State Park beach. The conditions didn't seem to deter the novice crowds from suiting up and heading out into the whitewater with foam-topped longboards.
A handful of more experienced surfers were catching waves further out off the jetty. Surfing is well-established here in Westport, with the Clean Water Classic pro-am surf competition now in its 17th year and the Westport Surf Shop going 30-plus years strong.
We indulged in excellent fish and chips at Bennett's Fish Shack at the harbor, then headed back for the night. The LOGE offers eleven surfy suites ($125-150) plus a budget-friendly hostel-style bunkroom ($45-55). The bunkroom is attached to a living room stocked with board games plus a fully equipped kitchen.
In addition, the LOGE stands out with a trio of outdoor lodging options – behind the main lodge is an open grassy common area surrounded by small RV hookup sites ($55), hookup camp sites ($45) and rustic camping sites ($45) tucked back in the trees along the fence line. The hotel and campsites began filling up Friday afternoon with max occupancy reached by evening. We chatted with visitors who had booked six-months out and saw a couple of washed-out surfers roll up in a classic VW bus to score a last-minute weekend camp site.
It's in the outdoor common area that the sense of community is really stoked. The courtyard lawn is anchored by a stage where events including Friday night movies and Saturday live music are hosted. We watched a freestyle mountain bike movie around a campfire, chatting with a family from nearby Olympia who had booked out a series of spots for a mini-reunion.
The crowd was a mix of families, friend groups, Patagonia-clad surfers, toddlers running in circles and latecomers just setting up camp. Just set back from the courtyard is a community outdoor kitchen equipped with a pair of Traeger grills. The lodge stocks the kitchen with everything you could need to whip up a mean grilled meal including seasonings and rubs.
Thanks to the collaboration with evo, visitors can easily rent surfboards, wetsuits, booties, SUP boards, kayaks and bikes. The LOGE at the Sands also rents the necessary cold water Xcel 5/4 suits and booties. At the end of the day, you can rinse off your suit and booties and hang them to dry in the wetsuit drying room – much like with the damp Northwest winter snowboarding and skiing conditions, cold-water surfing almost requires this drying amenity… or at least it's very, very welcome.
We encountered a friendly crowd in the lobby of Sands Café in the mornings fueling up on local Tinderbox coffee and hot egg sandwiches (egg and cheese with your choice of meat on an English muffin). Boards are rented and loaded up (the LOGE has soft racks for transporting), and everyone takes off for the beach.
Besides hanging at the beach and surfing, we also biked along the paved oceanfront path through the grassy dunes of Westhaven State Park. Other asides included checking out the harbor businesses and sampling the local brews on the outside deck at Blackbeard Brewery. Although we didn't get a chance to, locals suggested picking up fresh seafood at the harbor and grilling it up on the Traeger’s at the LOGE – a great suggestion for our next visit.
We departed with plans to head north along the Olympic peninsula to explore more of the Washington coast with some welcome tips from our fellow travelers at the LOGE. It was a great experience both for exploring Westport's surf scene and for meeting new, like-minded people.
Some additional local surf tips to know before you go: Your best bet for surf lessons or to chat about surf conditions is at the local shops. Westport Surf Shop is a must stop in to meet Al "Big Al" Perlee, a classic transplanted Cali surfer who founded the shop some 30-plus years ago. Steepwater Surf Shop also offers rentals and lessons. You'll drive right past the shops on your way to the break at Westport State Beach. You'll need a Discover Pass ($30 annual or $11/day) to park at Westport, pick one up at the local Shop 'n Kart grocery store.
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