I can’t confirm it, but I’d venture a guess that the Garden of Surging Waves is the only public venue in Oregon where you are invited to “Bring your paper, crayons and make rubbings over Confucius’ quote!” Tucked amongst aged buildings of colorful brickwork in downtown Astoria, sided by tight streets and one-ways lined with vehicles, at this outdoor homage to Astoria’s Chinese heritage you are also encouraged to “Listen to your echo” under a Moon Gate.

More a sculpture garden than a foliage display, every aspect of this compact city park has poignant significance.  Scenic arcs, guardian lions, dragon columns, and timeline benches are just a few of the meaningful structural elements.

The migrant cannery workers of yesteryear would not have needed to read the informative sign at the garden’s edge to interpret the rich symbolism, but for those of us with different customs, the written legend serves to deepen our understanding and consequently augment the enjoyment of the garden’s contents.  The result: the Garden of Surging Waves a unique location to stroll and reflect.


Stroll Wheels:

Enter the Garden of Surging Waves near the colored glass donor wall or next to a large cast bronze lantern.  After inspecting exquisitely carved marble dragon columns, reading quotes from well-known Chinese philosophers inscribed on bronze scrolls, and strolling by several other creative pieces, you can rest at one of 39 seating blocks.  A sign advocates, “While seated at these blocks, relax and contemplate the Garden’s wish that you be blessed with prosperity and longevity!”

Walk Details for Garden
Terrain: Three stairs with rails or a ramp provide entrance to level sidewalk throughout the garden.
Seating: Seating blocks throughout the garden.
Fee: No fee
Restrooms: No
Directions: From West Marine Drive in Astoria, head east until after West Marine Drive becomes 8th Street, then turn left on Commercial Street. Turn right on 12th Street, then right again on Duane Street. The Garden of Surging Waves will be on your left. Find street parking as you are able.