The Washington State Peninsula area may only be 28 miles long, but it’s jam packed with fun things to do, white sandy beaches, and outdoor recreation. Sure, it’s world renown for its fresh seafood, including amazing shellfish, but it also has a rich history and scenic beauty that beckons visitors from around the globe. If you’ve never been to the Long Beach area of Washington State, put it on your list. These are four fun things to do on the Washington Peninsula.
I’m not sure who Cape Disappointment once disappointed, but it certainly wasn’t me. Perhaps it was the cloudy weather. Regardless, the picturesque area, located just outside the charming town of Ilwaco, near the town of Long beach, where the mighty Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean, offers an array of recreational activities. There are four scenic trails to hike that meander through mossy forests, or bike along the park’s paved paths, or try your luck at beach-combing. Cape Disappointment Lighthouse towers above the pristine waters and is a must see for any visitor.
Razor Clam Digging
Razor Clams have a unique, rich, delicious flavor perfect for clam chowder, and each person can gather up to 15 at a time during each dig. Razor clam digging is a way of life on the Washington State Peninsula. Many families have been razor clam digging for generations. They anxiously watch the Washington Fish and Game website for announcements of upcoming digs, they track the tides, clean their gear and plan their clam eating feasts. They look forward to the first time they can take their kids, or even grand kids, out on their first dig, and when they do, pictures are proudly posted and happy new memories are made.
A visit to the world famous Marsh’s Museum is always entertaining and free of charge. The museum, which is also a store, has been intriguing victors since 1935. Every nook and cranny is full of fascinating things, from fossils to antiques, to Jake the Crocodile Man, and a crazy taxidermy collection with a two-headed sheep. Don’t forget to fill a bag full of some of their fresh saltwater taffy that comes in over thirty mouthwatering flavors.
Leadbetter Point State Park
Leadbetter Point State Park is a beautiful nature area available for day use. The park provides Pacific Ocean beach frontage on Willapa Bay. If you’re a morning person, try to catch a breathtaking sunrise as it colors the clouds and reflects gold and orange off the gleaming ocean waters. Willapa National Wildlife Refuge has approximately five miles of sandy beach and several more miles of bay beachfront to explore. It’s a bird watching paradise, so charge your camera and take your binoculars because you’re going to need them.
The Washington Peninsula is normally quiet, and a great place to relax, but when there are certain events, such as the annual Rod Run or a clam dig, it can get pretty busy. There is plenty to do, so give yourself lots of time to enjoy it all, and reserve your accommodations in advance.