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  • Writer's pictureChasingBuffaloesandBeyond

Washington's Best Coastal Campground - Pacific Beach State Park

Updated: Jan 19, 2022

Little boy with sunset and beach at Pacific Beach State Park
Arriving at Pacific Beach

Located along Washington State's coast, Pacific Beach State Park is the ultimate in weekend beach getaways. A quick 2.5 hour drive from Seattle and you are a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city. What is there to do here? Well, that depends - nothing if you so desire or everything! Spend endless hours on the expansive beaches, fly kites, build sand castles, or just listen to the crashing waves. Or better yet, go for a drive - on the beach! Yes, the beaches here are considered state highways - super cool! It is highly recommended to get reservations early for Pacific State Park as this is a small park that books up quickly. In Washington State - camping reservations can be make up to 9 months in advance.

Golden sunset over the beach at Pacific Beach State Park
Catching the sunset as we arrived at Pacific Beach

Day 1: Arriving at sunset, we had just enough time to get our tent set up for the night. Word of warning for any tent campers though - it is very common to be extremely windy here and tents need to be securely fastened down as the wind will whip on your tent! Laying in our tent that first night, I wondered if we would have a tent come morning - but somehow it made it - but we definitely had a coating of sand everywhere inside the tent!

Little boy chasing a green tailed kite on a sandy beach
Time to fly kites!

Day 2: Spend the day at the beach! Our tent was literally right next to the beach, and didn't require having to trek thru sand dunes to reach the beach as is usual for most beaches along the Washington Coast. Our first activity of the day was to try our hand at flying kites. Nothing says 'day at the beach' more than flying a kite and Brecken absolutely loved trying to chase the kite!

Little boy playing with toys in the sand at Pacific Beach State Park
Building sand castles - we love visiting the beach!
Little boy chasing flocks of seagulls in the coastal fog of Pacific Beach State Park
Chasing Seagulls!

With Washington State beach weather, it can turn from sunshine to fog within minutes - and it did! It was amazing to watch the fog roll in and to experience the change in temperature. After a sunny morning of playing at the beach, we decided to take a drive down the beach. Driving on the beach is a super fun experience while visiting Washington beaches. When driving on the beaches, it is well marked where you can and can't drive and all rules of a public roadway should be applied, including the speed limit which is 25 mph. It is recommended after driving on the beach to spray down the undercarriage of your vehicle to help prevent any future erosion from the salt.

Man and little boy chasing seagulls into the fog at beach.
So many seagulls - so little time!

After driving along the beach and making numerous stops to chase seagulls, we decided it was time to drive into Ocean Shores. Ocean Shores is a great great little coastal town that offers numerous shops and some delicious restaurants in which to enjoy some local seafood. Our favorite shop of the day was Sharky's Gift Shop. To enter the shop you walk thru a shark's jaw and the store offers everything you never knew you needed pertaining to sharks! We came home with our own toy shark for Brecken which he proudly named 'Chompy'.

Mom & son standing inside the giant jaw of a shark that is the entrance to Sharky's Gift Shop in Ocean Shores, Washington
Sharky's Gift Shop in Ocean Shores
Mom & son trying to fly a kite at Pacific Beach State Park
Trying to fly a kite!

Day 3: Spend another day at the beach! Our focus of this trip was to get in as much beach time as we could with Brecken, and the weather did not disappoint on our last day here. As the wind finally died down a bit and the sun came out, we were able to spend the day splashing around at the beach, drawing pictures in the sand, building sand castles and flying kites.

Man & little boy walking thru the waves along the shore at Pacific Beach State Park
Perfect summer day splashing in the waves!
Father and son on the sandy beach at Pacific Beach State Park holding up a crab on a shovel
Never stop exploring!

Little boy with a drawing of a train the sand at Pacific Beach State Park
Endless sand!

At one point in the day our son Brecken who was 1 1/2 years old at the time asked 'Can we stay here forever?' - yes it was a wonderful day. Camping at Pacific Beach is just one of those trips where time slows down, where nothing matters but enjoying the sand and listening to the sound of the crashing waves.

Little boy standing in the wet sand on a blue sky day at Pacific Beach State Park
Can we stay here forever?

Interested in planning your own trip to the Pacific Beach State Park? Below is our summarized itinerary for you to follow or adjust to your own preferences. ENJOY!

Day 1: Arrive and get set up at campsite.

Day 2: Spend the day enjoying the beach (stroll the beach, build sand castles, fly kites), drive along the beach, head into Ocean Shores to stroll the shops - stop at Sharky's Gift Shop.

Day 3: Spend another day at the beach! Not much to plan for this day - just enjoy the beach!

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