(credit: Ocean Shores Tourism/Facebook)

When Seattleites crave an escape from the city, Ocean Shores is the perfect retreat away from home. Pack up the car and fill up the tank; this relaxing day trip promises everything from flying kites with the kids on the beach to strolling down the shoreline on horseback to window shopping at the local antique stores.

Getting There
Driving from Seattle to Ocean Shores takes about two hours, 40 minutes depending on traffic and weather conditions. Enjoy a few pit stops along the way to break it up and make the trek a little more exciting than most day trip treks from the city. You’ll want to take I-5 south until you see Highway 101 signs around Olympia, where you may then choose to stop off at one of several grocery stores to pack that picnic, or hit Little Creek Casino to win some cash for beach souvenirs.

Related: One-Tank Trip to Bainbridge Island

On the Way

(credit: apollos-pizza.com)

Apollo Pizza & Pasta
2302 Harrison Ave. Northwest #202
Olympia, WA 98502
(215) 638-2023

Apollo’s isn’t exactly right off the freeway, but worth the drive into town for its carefully crafted pizzas and calzones. Be sure to pop into its heavenly bar for a healthy mug of beer with your slice. In addition to the now standard white and Hawaiian pizzas, this place also promises delicious barbecue chicken, buffalo chicken and cheesesteak options.

(credit: little-creek.com)

Little Creek Casino Resort
91 West State Route 108
Shelton, WA 98584
(360) 427-7711

Located just off highway 101 in Shelton, Little Creek Casino is the perfect place to break up the drive and test your luck at the tables and slots. The casino not only has plenty of poker, slots, pull tabs and bingo to keep you busy, but also hosts a variety of entertainment acts including karaoke and live performances. The casino conveniently offers a full-service on-site gas station if you need to fill up before you get back in the car and on your way.

What to Do

(credit: Kara Tiernan)

Ocean Shores Beach
Ocean Shores, WA
Ocean Shores Visitor Information Center
(360) 289-9586

Ocean Shores offers a little more than six miles of beaches along the Pacific Ocean, as well as two fresh-water lakes within the city limits. The ocean is, of course, the main attraction for visitors, and there are six entrances to the beach, meaning you should be able to find a secluded spot no matter what side you enter from. Visitors may rent go carts and beach gear nearby for a sandy, sun-soaked playtime with out all of that boring relaxing and getting a tan.

(credit: Thinkstock)

Ocean Shores Golf Course
500 Canal Drive Northeast
Ocean Shores, WA 98569
(360) 289-3357

Price: from $24 for nine holes/$40 full course/discounts available for twilight golf

Ocean Shores is an 18-hole championship course, so don’t be fooled by the square footage; its a slightly challenging one. Par for the course is 71 due to the breezy ocean air and moderate wind in the area, and the setting is quite nice with a combination of wooded and open area. This course is fun for all skill levels, and reservations during the summer are encouraged.

(credit: honeypearl.com)

Honey Pearl Ranch Horseback Riding
Chance A La Mer 32 Humptulips Valley Road

Price: $20 per hour

As you’re approaching the beach, walk in by the Shilo Inn and you’ll find the folks with Honey Pearl Rach offering beach rides on horseback daily. They typically take beach combers out on their gentle friendly horses between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., and include guided walks for about $20 an hour. There are weight and age restrictions for rider’s safety, and Honey Pearl does not allow more than one person on a horse at a time.


(credit: galwaybayirishpub.com)

Galway Bay
880 Point Brown Ave. Northeast
Ocean Shores, WA 98569
(360) 289-2300

A great Irish pub with a family atmosphere, Galway Bay serves fun, traditional Irish dishes served to the tunes of live music every night. Galway Bay is a local haunt, and welcomes tourists popping in for a weekend or night, sharing its traditional Irish and American menu, with a little something for every palate. The restaurant is located just inside the gates of Ocean Shores on the East side of Point Brown Ave. Northeast, and has a wonderful outdoor patio for sunny evenings and pet-friendly dining.

Alec’s By the Sea Restaurant
131 W. Chance a La Mer Northwest
Ocean Shores, WA 98569
(360) 289-4026

Boasting the best clam chowder in town, Alec’s by the Sea has a great traditional seafood menu, much sought out in the sleepy coastal town. Alec’s is a great place to take out the whole family for a special evening out, and the prices are relatively cheap for the area. If you’re looking for an ocean view, you won’t find it here, but the fish and chips plate is hearty, and the fresh oysters are some of the best around.

Sandcastle Drive-In
788 Point Brown Ave. Northeast
Ocean Shores, WA 98569
(360) 289-2777

Favored by locals and those passing through, the Sandcastle is perfect to grab fish and chips and a cup of chowder to go, and bring it for lunch on the beach. Sandcastle Drive-In is located in a modest building close to the beach, offering delicious, local fast food. It uses  real cheddar cheese on its burgers, and its fish and chips are breaded to absolute perfection every time.


(credit: Canterbury Inn/Facebook)

Canterbury Inn
643 Ocean Shores Blvd. Northwest
Ocean Shores, WA
(360) 289-3317

Price: from $121

The Canterbury Inn is a pet and family-friendly hotel just a hop, skip and a jump away from the beach. Amenities include an exercise center, full kitchens and an outdoor barbecue area for summertime cookouts. Each unit at the Canterbury is actually individually owned, and are all unique in their design and style. The lawn out front hosts croquet tournaments throughout the summer, and for those overcast days, a heated indoor pool and hot tub await.

(credit: thepolynesian.com)

The Polynesian Resort
615 Ocean Shores Blvd. Northwest
Ocean Shores, WA 98569

Price: from $129

The Polynesian is a good choice for a couples getaway or a family looking for a cheaper, in-room meals cooked in its kitchenette. The resort is conveniently located close to the shore and is also pet friendly. It offers a wide variety of rooms, and connected options for family vacations or large parties any time of the year.

Related: Scenic Drives Within 60 Miles of Seattle

Besides slaving away in the newsroom and online publications, Kara Tiernan has spent the last decade traveling the globe and making a name for herself in the world of journalism. She loves to share the beauty of the Pacific Northwest and writes on all things Seattle. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.