Long Beach Washington is constantly being confused for Long Beach California but the two places could not be more different. Long Beach Washington is a beautiful secluded beach community on the, Long Beach Peninsula, named one of America's Favorite beach towns in 2009 by Forbes Traveler. Long Beach stretches uninterrupted for 28 miles and offers a wide variety of activities to entice every member of the family. Below are 10 great reasons your next vacation should be at the Peninsula.
1: Art Galleries and Theater
The whole peninsula, from Ilwaco to Ocean Park, has several talented local artists with year round studios and exhibits for art lovers to peruse. There are amazing water colors, beautiful hand blown glass, Drift wood sculptures and more. The local theater group PAPA (Peninsula Association of Performing Artists) puts on high quality plays in a beautiful historic theater overlooking the mouth of the Columbia River with can't-miss performances of Fiddler on the Roof, Hello Dolly, and more!
2: Beach Activities
The Long Beach Peninsula offers an expansive sandy beach prefect for sand castles, kite flying, pick nicks, horseback riding, late night fires, star gazing, and more. While the strong currents and cold water are not ideal for anything other than wringing and body boarding Cape Disappointment's Waikiki Beach is a hot spot for surfing weather you are experienced or taking your first lesson. Long Beach is also one of the only beaches that allows cars, but make sure you do not speed! 25 miles per hour is the speed limit across the whole beach.
3: Restaurants and Bars
For the Foodie in the family Long Beach offers many restaurants and bars with great local sea food, wine, and beer. Try Pickled Fish in the Adrift Hotel, they have unique food and buy from local farms. The Lost Roo has amazing food and a huge beer selection. If you want a strong local flavor visit the Long Beach Tavern, open every night until 2 AM, packed full with salty locations and some of the best pizza you will ever have. If you like to cook, stop by the Oysterville store for the freshest seafood around, you'll find fresh crab crab, oysters, clams and more!
4: World Class Clamming and Fishing
Long beach is famous for its outstanding razor clam digging. During the clamming times, the usually empty beach fills with lines of people and cars stretching for miles. The clammers quickly reach their daily clam limit and then stop to enjoy the sunset. Long Beach is also host to an excellent fishing season, the nearby town of Ilwaco is known as the Fishing Capitol of the West. Fish for beasts such as Sturgeon, Halibut, Chinook salmon, and Tuna.
Whether you want a kitschy souvenir or a one of a kind work of art, Long Beach Peninsular has something for everyone. There are several huge antique stores that are definitely worth checking out even if you've never thought of yourself as an “antiquer” before. There are specialty gift stores and clothing stores as well so you can find the perfect thing to remember your perfect Long Beach vacation.
6: Historical Sights
The Long Beach Peninsula is full of amazing sites of historical significance. There is the most northwesterly stop on the Lewis and Clark's transcontinental journey. You can retrace their footsteps on the 9 mile beachfront Discovery Trail, or take a walking tour of past restored Victorian homes and historic buildings.
For the military buff there are a couple old military forts nearby that are open for tours. There is Fort Columbia, and Fort Stevens, both with amazing buildings and miles of history to walk through.
There are two working light houses on the Long Beach Peninsula that are well worth the trip. Check out the North Head Light house built in 1898, or the Cape Disappointment light house built in 1856. Both have amazing views and stories behind them.
6: Reconnect with Nature
One of the best things about Long Beach is that you get can get that touristy beach ambiance while still feeling like you're getting away from it all. While downtown is a happening place with amazing restaurants and events, just outside downtown, in all directions, are dense beachy forests, lakes, and estuaries. On any given day you can see grazing deer, great blue heron, bald eagles, black bear, and of course there is the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge where you can boat, camp, and hike through ecosystems and see a multitude of animals like elk , river otters, amphibians, and birds of all shapes and sizes.
The Long Beach Peninsula has many museums for the cultural person in your group. There is the Cranberry museum that displays the history and contemporary methods of cranberry farming through its self-guided tour.
Do not forget to check out a few of the many working cranberry farms after your trip to the museum! Or traverse the history of the Columbia Pacific region at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum. You can check out 4 permanent collections of history artifacts, images, and stories.
8: events and farmers markets
The long Beach Peninsula offers year round exciting events. You can enjoy free admission to all Washington state parks on Spring Saturday free day, and the Long Beach Peninsula has some beautiful ones. The Tokeland North Cove Studio Art Tour, Black Lake fishing Derby, Ilwaco Saturday Market, and do not forget the Long Beach Razor Clam Festival! The Long Beach Visitor center and most stores will have copies of the year's event schedule, so pick one up and see how many awesome things you can attend!
9: Unique Accommodations
One of the greatest things in Long Beach is the diversity of accommodations. If you want a luxurious romantic hotel, a funky bed and breakfast, or a secluded cabin there is all that and more! For a romantic getaway try the Adrift Hotel, It has Beautiful rooms right on the beach with picturesque views of the Pacific Ocean. Or stay right in the heart of down town at the Shelburne Country Inn. This Historical Bed and Breakfast offers a full county breakfast and fun ambiance like stained-glass windows rescued from an English church, claw foot bath tubs, and pianos named after guests.
If you're an athletic group, that comes to the beach to be at the beach, try the Lake Lodge Bed and Barn. It is an open studio style cabin located on a working farm right on Loomis Lake, across the street from Loomis Lake State Park, and beach access, and some of the world's best clamming. Bring your whole family, dogs, and even horses to this rental and enjoy the secluded area in the over sized hot tub overlooking the lake, the basketball court, Ping-Pong, and pool table! You can even pet some calves, see a cow being milked, and if you come at the right time play with the adorable German shepherd puppies that are bread on the promises.
Funbeach.com is a very useful website for the Long Beach Peninsula that offers all you need to know about the area. It'll tell you about all the events, parks, restaurants, and places you should visit while to make your vacation a trip to remember.