top of page


  • Writer's pictureChasingBuffaloesandBeyond

Weekend Getaway to Long Beach, WA

Updated: Jan 20, 2022

Looking for a great beach getaway in the Pacific Northwest? Miles of sandy beaches, a wonderful boardwalk and a great downtown full of shops and restaurants make Long Beach, Washington our absolute favorite beach town to visit along the Washington Coast.

28 mile expanse and sand along the coastline at Long Beach, Washington
Beautiful Long Beach, Washington stretches for 28 miles


DAY 1:

Illwaco & Salmon Fishing

Beach Time at Long Beach

DAY 2:

Long Beach Boardwalk & Discovery Trail

Downtown Long Beach

Watch the Sunset at the Beach

DAY 3:

Cape Disappointment State Park




Marina at Illwaco, Washington
Marina at Illwaco

Day 1: Starting our day off super early, we set out for the nearby port town of Illwaco. This fishing town is a popular hub for heading out the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean for world class salmon fishing. While crossing the Columbia Bar can be dicey as you head out into the open ocean, we were lucky and had calm waters and beautiful sunshine for our day of salmon fishing! While it was a slow day of fishing, we did catch a couple salmon and crab before it was time to head back. Our son Brecken had a blast learning to help reel the fish in and how to carefully pick up the crab without getting pinched! After returning from fishing - spend some time walking along the shops and restaurants in Illwaco. If you happen to visit on a Saturday, Illwaco runs a great farmer's market and is worth a stroll - stop and have some fresh clam chowder or fish & chips!

Little boy helping with a crab pot and looking at a Dungeness crab.
Catching a couple Dungeness crabs!
A man on a fishing boat holding up a large salmon.
Catch of the day - nice sized salmon!



After returning from our salmon fishing adventure, it was time to hit the beach! As you approach the beach, a sign welcomes you to the 'World's Longest Beach'. If you actually look into the stats, Long Beach is actually the 3rd longest beach in the world at 28 miles long, but it is the world's longest drivable beach, world's longest beach on a peninsula and the longest beach within the United States. With miles and miles of sand to choose from, drive down the beach and enjoy the views, then pick a spot to park and enjoy this wonderful beach!

Large white archway over the road entrance to Long Beach, Washington reading 'World's Longest Beach'.
World's Longest Beach welcomes you as you drive out onto the beach


Day 2: Kick off your day taking a walk along the Long Beach Boardwalk. This half mile long raised wooden boardwalk offers great views out to the ocean while winding thru the grassy sand dunes. If you are looking a bit longer of a walk, the 8.5 mile Lewis & Clark Discovery Trail runs from Ilwaco to Cape Disappointment State Park. Located along the trail are access points out to the beach as well as historical markers commemorating Lewis & Clark and other points of interest such as a whale skeleton. For us, anything having to do with Lewis and Clark is always extra special as we are related to Meriwether Lewis (on my husband's side of the family)! Walk or bike as much of this great trail as you'd like! There are numerous bike rental shops in town if you want to bike along this wonderful trail!

Little boy sitting on giant sturgeon statue next to a William Clark statue honoring the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
Giant Sturgeon & William Clark statues honoring the Lewis and Clark Expedition thru the area
Little boy sitting on whale skeleton bones with grassy sand dunes and the ocean in the background.
Whale Skeleton found along the Discovery Trail



Little boy sitting with a wood-carved statue of a fisherman in downtow
We love visiting Long Beach, Washington

After enjoying a morning walk, we headed to downtown Long Beach to explore the main drag of Long Beach. Downtown Long Beach is filled with souvenir shops, candy stores, delicious seafood restaurants, ice cream shops and some fun art work (including giant fishermen, frying pans & razor clams). Exploring this lovely downtown makes for a fun way to spend a few hours!

Little boy riding in a car carnival ride at Long Beach, Washington
Enjoying the carnival rides in Long Beach

Also fun for the kids are the carnival rides that operate on a daily basis! Stop in and let your kids enjoy a couple of these classic rides! Our son absolutely loved riding the 'race car' ride! A bit further down the street if you are looking for more kid friendly activities is the Funbeach Fun Center that offers go-karts and mini-golf. Also worth a stop is Marsh's Free Museum. This curiosity shop offers a bit of everything from basic souvenirs to the more 'strange' curiosities. The most famous site within the museum is 'Jake the Alligator Man', this alleged half man, half alligator sits on display and definitely sparks the imagination! Slightly creepy, but is a must see while visiting Long Beach.



To end the day, head back to the beach to enjoy some more sand, surf and sun! Channel your inner child and spend some time building sandcastles, looking for seashells, chasing seagulls and dipping your feet in the water! Bring a picnic dinner and watch the sun go down on another beautiful day along the Washington Coast.

View of the golden rays of sun setting over the Pacific Ocean at Long Beach, Washington
Watching the sunset over beautiful Long Beach, Washington


Day 3: For our last day in Long Beach, we headed a bit south to Cape Disappointment State Park. This wonderful park includes campgrounds with cabins and yurts, beautiful beach access, two lighthouses, the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center and old military ruins and can easily fill up an entire day of exploring! Starting off our morning, our first stop was at the North Head Lighthouse. Built in 1898, this lighthouse provides navigational aid at the mouth of the Columbia River. Today the lighthouse is still actively used (although now automated) and can be visited during the summer.

View of a the North Head Lighthouse atop a grassy cliff side looking out over the Pacific Ocean in Cape Disappointment State Park
Visiting the North Head Lighthouse in Cape Disappointment State Park

Our next stop was to explore the bunkers of Fort Canby - start by wandering thru Battery Harvey Allen. The battery was built in 1904 to overlook and help protect the Columbia River. Last operational in 1945, it is now an interesting yet slightly creepy area to wander thru. The concrete hallways and rooms can be explored - just make sure to have a flashlight on hand!

Located right next to Battery Harvey Allen is the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center which is perched on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The views alone from here are worth the stop - look out at the crashing waves below and in the distance you can also see Cape Disappointment Lighthouse. Inside the Interpretive Center, stop by to learn a bit of history about the area and how it was first explored by Lewis and Clark!

Mother and son standing near the entrance sign to the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center
We really enjoyed visiting the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center

Also worth a visit are Deadman's Cove and Cape Disappointment Lighthouse - but you will need to either sneak in or watch for updates as to their access status. Currently both are closed down due to hazardous conditions along the trail and are being evaluated as to their future. Either way, the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse can be viewed from the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center or you can still view Deadman's Cove from up above without venturing down to the beach.

Looking across the cliffs towards Cape Disappointment Lighthouse looking out over the Pacific Ocean.
View of Cape Disappointment Lighthouse from the bluff at the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center
Looking down at waters of Deadman's Cove in Cape Disappointment State Park
Looking down at Deadman's Cove



As we wrapped up our time visiting Long Beach, we also made a stop out at the historic town of Oysterville. Once a prosperous town back in the 1880's due to the oyster trade, today this historic town seems as though time has passed it by. Taking a stroll through this downtown feels as though you have stepped back in time. Today the original one room school and church are still used for community events and the post office is the oldest continuously used Post Office in the state of Washington.

Looking down the historic street in Oysterville, Washington filled with old historic homes and white picket fences.
Looking down the street in Oysterville
Looking out to the oyster beds in the water off the coast of Oysterville, Washington
Some of the oysters beds at Oysterville

Interested in planning your own trip to Long Beach, Washington? Below is our summarized itinerary for you to follow or adjust to your own preferences. ENJOY!

Day 1: Start off early with a salmon fishing trip out of Illwaco, after returning enjoy the Saturday Ilwaco Farmer's Market (if you're there on a Saturday), then spend the afternoon enjoying the beach at Long Beach

Day 2: Take a morning stroll along the Boardwalk or Lewis & Clark Discovery Trail, explore downtown Long Beach - wander the shops, ride a couple carnival rides, stop at Marsh's Free Museum & see 'Jake the Alligator Man', then spend the rest of the day out at the beach, take in a sunset out at the beach.

Day 3: Spend the day exploring Cape Disappointment State Park - stop at the North Head Lighthouse, Fort Canby & Battery Harvey Allen, Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center, enjoy views of Cape Disappointment Lighthouse and Deadman's Cove. If time, drive out to Oysterville - wander the historic downtown.

75 views0 comments

Related Posts

See All
bottom of page