History Brought Forward
Located at the southern-most tip of Washington's Olympic Peninsula, Long Beach has a history thoroughly grounded in two economies, timber and fishing. Although neither is a predominant pastime for the area today, there are still 1,000 year-old trees and a booming charter boat business for visitors who want to try their hand at catching the salmon in the Pacific Ocean and the Columbia River.
Cape Disappointment and Leadbetter Point State Parks
A day-use park, Leadbetter Point State Park offers outdoor enthusiasts more than seven miles of trail (a half mile of which is ADA improved) and a mix of ocean-front and inland terrain. Pay attention to tidal charts since, especially during the winter months, getting wet is part of the thrill. Visitors can also saltwater fish and clam, subject to posted health restrictions.
Cape Disappointment State Park allows overnight camping within its 1,800 acres, including more than 200 sites (some ADA approved) and the rental of park cabins, yurts and two historic lighthouses.
Willapa National Wildlife Refuge
At more than 15,000 acres, the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge offers visitors multiple ecosystems, including tidelands and salt marshes, old growth forests, fresh water streams and an estuary that's a migratory "home" for some 100,000 shorebirds. Wildlife enthusiasts and birders can look forward to observing everything from great blue herons and bald eagles and pelicans to harbor seals at the shoreline, and the occasional bobcat, elk or bear farther inland.
Best Time to Visit
Winter months are wild and unpredictable along the Long Beach Peninsula, but allow for great storm watching and some of the best (of the last) bird migrations. Late summer months are breezy and great for kite flying.
For out of area visitors, Portland International Airport is the closest airport and only 30 minutes away.
The Long Beach Peninsula is famous for its seafood and restaurants--ranging from roadside stands to elegant sit-down--and features the area's clams, oysters and salmon.
The Washington State International Kite Festival, held the third week of August each year, is the largest kite festival in the country.