Long Beach, Washington — Photo courtesy of Long Beach Peninsula Visitors Bureau (Facebook)
If you've never paid Long Beach a visit, here are ten good reasons for you to put it onto your list of places to go:
Long Beach, Washington is not only a delightful place to vacation, but it's a town that's rich in American history. 1880 marks the year that Henry Tinker bought the land claim to the area and called it "Tinkerville." Long Beach became official January 18, 1922 and the Ilwaco Railway and Navigation Company ran up the entire peninsula from 1889 to 1930 with a small gauge railroad.
2. The Beach
Did you know Long Beach has the world's longest driveable beach? That's right, 28 miles of flat sand-covered land that's just ready to be explored. Although the beach isn't safe to swim, except the southern Waikiki Beach, plenty of people make use of the beautiful shoreline by going horseback riding, razor clam hunting, kite flying and soaking up the views with a stroll. The Long Beach Boardwalk is a half-mile of easy walking if you prefer to avoid the sand.
3. Cape Disappointment State Park
This camping location is one of Washington's most popular parks and is made up of 1,882 acres of land that faces the Pacific Ocean. Within the park you will find two lighthouses, plenty of hiking trails and an interpretive center.
4. Laurie's Breakfast Cafe
This joint is a favorite breakfast spot that fills up quickly, especially on weekends. Crispy bacon, oversized biscuits, fluffy pancakes and fresh eggs are served in generous portions that will fill you up for a day of exploring. You may even find that one dish can be shared between two. Not to mention, the price point will fit into your budget and cut down on vacationing costs.
5. Razor Clams
The delicious gems are a real treat to find. Join in with the locals and scavenge for Razor Clams from October to April. The best time to dig for them is usually at night, so come prepared with a flashlight, a clam shovel and a container to put your treasures into. There are certain rules and restrictions around digging for Razor Clams and you must have a license to do so. Not to worry though, they're easy to get! Head to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife for full rules and dates surrounding Razor Clams.
Marsh's storefront — Photo courtesy of Marsh's Free Museum
Because Long Beach is such a historic town, there are plenty of museums to visit in the area. Marsh's Free Museum is full of all sorts of weird things that will fascinate. Jake the Alligator Man calls this place home. Love cranberries? Well, there's a museum and self-guided walking tour dedicated to just that. The Cranberry Museum's walking tour gives you insight to how they're grown and harvested, plus they may give you a few recipes in the museum. The Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum is also a wonderful place to visit
7. Bird Watching
There are about 164 birds that visit the area throughout the year and bird watchers will be right in their element at Long Beach. Depending on whether you're bird watching on the beach or in the forests, you'll likely find yourself with a picture-perfect moment.
This local treasure was prospering from nature's bounty all the way back in the 1800s, and though the oysters eventually became somewhat scarce for some time, it hasn't stopped Oysterville from becoming a National Historic Register. While in Oysterville, why not grab some oysters? We should also mention they've got the oldest operating post office in Washington.
Don't be surprised if this is what's left on your plate after tucking into fresh oysters — Photo courtesy of Penny Mayes
9. Bed & Breakfasts
Think of these as your home away from home, minus the fact that you don't have to make your own breakfast and do all the cleaning. These charming homes provide guests with a comforting experience that goes hand-in-hand with the character of Long Beach itself.
10. It's Beautiful
Take a look.
Long Beach at dusk — Photo courtesy of Long Beach Peninsula Visitors Bureau (Facebook)