The sandy shoreline of Long Beach, Washington, is a captivating coastal haven where time always seems to slow down, and nothing seems to matter except for the comforting lull of crashing waves and the refreshing, salty sea breeze touching your skin.
This picturesque seaside town in Pacific Country also offers a treasure trove of experiences, from the gorgeous beach itself to the idyllic Downtown Long Beach.
It’s also charmingly quirky! Ask any of the families who return every year to its shores, and you’ll hear stories about Jake the Alligator Man, amongst other unique museums. They’ll also tell you about the legendary Scooper’s ice cream parlor, hours spent on rainy days at the downtown arcade and days that turn into long nights on the Long Beach Boardwalk.
Easily accessible for a getaway from Seattle or Portland, Long Beach is a gorgeous little slice of the Pacific Northwest to book a vacation home rental. This is your guide to one of Washington State’s most beloved coastal treasures.
The History of Long Beach
The history of this West Coast stronghold starts with the Chinook Tribe. In the very early 1800s, the land was explored by European settlers, including Lewis and Clark of the Corps of Discovery.
Unlike other nearby areas in Southern Washington, fur traders had no interest in Long Beach, as there weren’t many mammals here. However, in the 1840s and 1850s, traders searching for berries, which were difficult to find at the time and a crucial source of Vitamin C, would venture into Long Beach to trade with the Chinook Tribe.
In the late 1800s, more and more travelers and vacationers sought out the coastal reprise of Long Beach, Washington, and the area quickly grew into the idyllic Washington Coast resort town it is today.
The main attraction of Long Beach, which has drawn tourists here for hundreds of years, is the beach, of course! Long Beach, aptly named, stretches for about 28 miles. Its claim to fame is that it is the longest, continuous stretch of beach on the Pacific Ocean side of the US!
Nestled between rolling green hills and the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean, Long Beach has been hosting travelers at beautiful beachfront rentals for decades.
Whether it’s the stunning views or the invigorating salty sea air, the beach at Long Beach beckons families for summer fun, festivals, and year round ambling down its lengthy stretch of sand. From relaxing beach walks to hiking along the Discovery Trail, there’s something for everyone to enjoy on this breathtaking shoreline.
Downtown Long Beach
All along Pacific Avenue you can browse antique stores and boutiques, marvel at the World’s Largest Frying Pan, and walk under the World’s Largest Beach Arc.
Downtown Long Beach perfectly walks the line between small beach town charm and having more than enough activities to keep your family entertained. You can’t miss the Funland Arcade, the iconic oddity that is the Marsh’s Free Museum, or Carnival Gifts.
During your trip to Long Beach in between enjoying the beach and amenities at your cozy beach house rental, take at least a few hours to walk around and explore Downtown Long Beach. It’s a great place to grab a bite to eat, do a little sightseeing and souvenir shopping, or simply get out and stretch your legs.
Events Hosted in Long Beach
Throughout the year, Long Beach hosts several anticipated events and festivals. Here are some of the beloved events that bring visitors from near and far.
Razor Clam Festival
Razor Clams are an integral part of the Long Beach coastal and cultural communities. Every year, the Razor Clam Festival offers an opportunity for residents and tourists alike to come together and learn all about the clams, along with enjoying samples of some delicious razor-clam made fare. Clam fritters, anyone?
The multi-day festival includes a clam chowder taste-off, a beer garden courtesy of North Jetty Brewing, food trucks, live music, and Razor Clam digging lessons.
A colorful kite fluttering around in the wind is a quintessential sight in Long Beach, Washington. The Washington State International Kite Festival (Kite Week) is a week-long kite festival, and competition held every summer, where you can witness the magic of hundreds of kites in the sky and some of the best kite fliers in the world in action- right in the heart of Long Beach.
Rod Run to the End of the World
The Classic Car Rod Run, sponsored by Beach Barons Car Club, is one of the biggest vintage car shows around. The car show includes parades and thousands of unique vintage cars, food, and music. If you want to experience the fun, come to Long Beach during Labor Day weekend, when the event takes place.
Black Lake Fishing Derby
If you love fishing, you won’t want to miss the Black Lake Fishing Derby. This fun, family-friendly event happens every year on the opening day of trout season at Black Lake, just a 10-minute drive from Long Beach.
Beach to Chowder Run
If you’re a running enthusiast scouting out your next competition, look no further than the annual Beach to Chowder Run in Long Beach! You can participate in the 5k or the 10k and enjoy running along the hard-packed sand adjacent to the gorgeous Long Beach.
Columbia-Pacific Farmer’s Market
The Columbia-Pacific Farmer’s Market is a summer staple of Long Beach. From June to August, every Friday from noon to 5 pm, you can indulge in wholesome, healthy foods, sample locally baked treats, and shop for artisanal goods.
Things to Do
There is no shortage of things to do in Long Beach! Here’s a quick guide to some of the must-do’s on your coastal getaway.
Clamming is a quintessential Long Beach activity, and if you’re in town during the clamming season (October-April), be sure to hit the beach and dig for those delicious, protein-rich Razor Clams. Razor Clams are a true Long Beach delicacy!
Fly a Kite
With year-round steady coastal breezes, Long Beach has ideal kite-flying conditions. You can pick up your own kite to fly at Wind World, Stormin’ Normans, or the World Kite Museum.
Take a Hike
The area surrounding Long Beach has several scenic hiking trails that cater to all different levels of hikers. The Discovery Trail is an 8.5-mile walking and biking trail that takes you past interesting historical landmarks and a wooden statue of an enormous gray whale skeleton.
You can venture into nearby Cape Disappointment State Park and the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge for more hiking opportunities.
Explore the Quirky Museums in Long Beach
Dive into Long Beach’s rich history at the Cranberry Museum, Marsh’s Free Museum, and the World Kite Museum. These peculiar museums depict a unique slice of Long Beach’s culture and history.
Horseback Riding on the Beach
One of the most memorable things to do in Long Beach is to go horseback riding down the coastline. Whether you go for a romantic sunset ride or a seaside cruise with the whole family, it doesn’t get much better than galloping down the beach surrounded by nothing but sand, the waves, and the tall, swaying grasses.
Long Beach really packs a punch when it comes to fun activities for the whole family. For an epic movie night, head on over to the historic Neptune Movie House. Or, play round after round of mini golf (in between go-kart laps) over at the Fun Beach Speedway.
Where to Eat
Surrounded by an abundance of oysters, Pacific razor clams, and crab it might not shock you that Long Beach has some pretty phenomenal seafood restaurants.
However, in addition to clam chowder galore, Long Beach also has delicious pub food, steakhouses, and even tasty Mexican and Australian fare. Here are just a few of the many delicious restaurants in Long Beach.
The Depot Restaurant
Housed in a beautifully restored historic train depot, The Depot Restaurant is a must-visit in Long Beach. This farm-to-table restaurant showcases locally sourced, seasonal ingredients and offers them at a reasonable price point.
Some popular menu items include the pan-seared Willapa Bay Oysters, Clamshell Railroad Clam Chowder, and the mouthwatering Chef’s Special Cut of the Steak Killian. Seafood lovers will also appreciate the fresh catch of the day, while vegetarians can enjoy a delicious Asian Noodle dish.
At The Lost Roo, you can enjoy everything from chowders, salads, and burgers, to a Columbia River Steelhead Filet and several variations of Dungeness Crab dishes.
42nd Street Cafe & Bistro
42nd Street Cafe & Bistro is the original “roadside cafe” on the Long Beach Peninsula and has been dishing out tasty breakfasts and dinners with fresh, local ingredients since the ‘90s. Try their Chicken Fried Steak, Smoked Salmon Scramble, and famous New Orleans Style Beignets.
Weather and Climate
Long Beach has a mild maritime climate with cool summers and mild, wet winters. While the summer months are ideal for beach activities, the off-season months offer their own charm, with fewer crowds and the opportunity to witness dramatic coastal weather and moody sunsets.
However, no matter when you visit, be prepared for the possibility of rain and pack accordingly. It is the Pacific Northwest, after all!
Temperatures in Long Beach:
- Summer: From the low 70s to mid-50s.
- Fall: From the high 60s to the mid-40s.
- Winter: Late November to February is the coldest time of year in Long Beach with average daily highs in the low 50s, and average daily lows in the low 40s. On the rare occasion temperatures dips into the 30s.
- Spring: In March, average highs are in the 50s, and lows can be in the 40s. However, by May, average highs have climbed up to the 60s.
Day Trips from Long Beach
Between the beach, festivals, and activities in Long Beach, there is more than enough in this charming coastal city to keep you busy. However, if you find yourself taking a longer trip to Long Beach and wanting to explore the surrounding area, here are some of the best day trips to take from Long Beach.
Cape Disappointment State Park
Just an 8-minute drive south of Long Beach, Cape Disappointment State Park is wonderful for hiking, surfing at Waikiki Beach, visiting the historic Fort Canby, lighthouses, and more. Between May and September, you can even visit the historic Cape Disappointment Lighthouse and climb to the top of the tower.
Situated just across the Columbia River, Astoria is one of the best day trips you can take from Long Beach. This historic town is riddled with Victorian-era homes, tasty seafood, fun breweries and brewpubs, and a whole lot of small-town charm. Astoria is also a popular filming place for several hit movies, including The Goonies and Kindergarten Cop.
Oysterville is another historic town that makes an excellent day trip from Long Beach. This small waterfront village offers visitors a glimpse into the past, with wonderfully preserved homes and buildings dating all the way back to the 19th century. Learn about the once-thriving oyster industry and stop by the Oysterville Sea Farms to taste some fresh, locally harvested oysters.
Willapa National Wildlife Refuge
To catch a glimpse of what the PNW looked like 100 years ago, head over to the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge. This untouched, vast refuge is full of habitats for wild salmon, migrating shorebirds, and many more plant and animal species.
The Ilwaco Fishing Village
Ilwaco is a colorful waterfront fishing village located just an 8-minute drive south of Long Beach. The fishing village is a great place to charter a fishing boat, enjoy the Saturday Market, and explore the town’s many art galleries.
A Magical Coastal Destination
From the infinite shorelines to the intriguing museums and charming local shops, Long Beach is a great choice for a coastal getaway. The beach isn’t the only highlight to this dynamic beach town, our luxurious vacation rentals come equipped with entertainment options and all the amenities to make you feel at home. Book your Beachhousewa vacation home rental today!
Featured Image Credit: FlipMyLid Photography