Named one of America’s Favorite Beach Towns by Forbestraveler.com, the Long Beach Peninsula is a fantastic summer destination. Wander the city, fly a kite on the beach, or explore the historic towns and attractions that dot the area. So slap on some sunscreen and explore Washington’s Southwest Coast!
Long Beach is a sprawling 28 miles of sand and surf and the perfect place to spend a sunny weekend. Go horseback riding down the beach, drive onto the sand and watch the sunset, or channel your inner 5 year old and build a sandcastle! Walk along the Long Beach boardwalk that meanders through the grassy dunes with views of the ocean, where you can take a detour along the 8 mile Discovery Trail. This trail, created in commemoration of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, moves north to the end of Long Beach and south to downtown Ilwaco.
Take a day trip to Cape Disappointment State Park, where you can wander old military bunkers and take in the views. Explore the two lighthouses in the park, both built to save ships from this area known as the ‘Graveyard of the Pacific.’ Take a quick jaunt over to the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge, a great place to get back to nature. For the more hardy, canoe or kayak out to Long Island, part of the refuge, where you can dig for clams, wander the forest, and camp under the stars. But make sure to take note of the tides so you don’t get stuck (and the fact that there is a definite lack of bathrooms)!
There are many unique attractions throughout the peninsula. While in Long Beach, don’t forget to stop by and peak at Jake the Alligator Man, one of the many resident oddities at Marsh’s Free Museum. Or head to the beach to dig for razor clams or drop a crab pot (check for regulation requirements here). If you’re visiting the area in July, make sure to check out the annual Sand Sculpture Contest, which features beginners to serious competitors and truly amazing sand creations. The annual Washington State International Kite Festival is in August, where you’ll enjoy kite flying competitions and choreography. You can even swing by the local cranberry museum! Get all your vacation information HERE.