Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Aberdeen, WA

  • Published 2022/08/05

Discover the best things to do in Aberdeen, called “Gateway to the Olympic Peninsula.”

Aberdeen, Washington, is Grays Harbor County’s economic hub.

In May of 1792, Captain Robert Gray discovered the harbor.

Samuel Benn, a pioneer dreamer who realized the potential of the land, established the city in 1884.

Aberdeen, Scotland’s fishing port, inspired the name of a local salmon cannery and, ultimately, the city.

Aberdeen lies at the confluence of two rivers, the Chehalis and Wishkah, just like the Scottish city of Aberdeen.

Aside from being an official entry point of the Olympic National Park, people also refer to it as the “Birthplace of Grunge” since Kurt Cobain grew up here.

Read on to learn more about the best things to do in Aberdeen.

Explore the Life of Music Icon at Kurt Cobain Memorial Park

A guitar statue installed in the memory of Cobain at Kurt Cobain Memorial Park

Kira Picabo, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Aberdeen locals also call Kurt Cobain Memorial Park Kurt Cobain Landing.

It is the first official monument to Kurt Cobain, best known as the lead vocalist of Nirvana, an iconic 1990s band from the Pacific Northwest.

In 2011, Aberdeen established a memorial garden near the Young Street Bridge in the Felony Flats neighborhood.

Near the Young Street Bridge, an aluminum plaque bears the song lyrics “Something in the Way” by Nirvana.

Within the park is an inscription-encrusted granite gravestone tribute to the artist.

To honor the band’s song “Come As You Are,” the city’s official welcome sign has the quote, “Come as You Are.”

Check Out the Lady Washington at Grays Harbor Historical Seaport

Founded in 1989 as part of the Washington State Centennial celebration, Grays Harbor Historical Seaport is a non-profit that manages Lady Washington.

As the name suggests, the ship’s name is a nod to the original Lady Washington, which sailed in the early 1800s.

This replica of the Lady Washington, the state’s official ship, traverses the state’s waterways along the West Coast of North America.

Sailing year-round, the ship Lady Washington visits more than 50 ports in Washington, Oregon, California, and British Columbia to deliver student educational activities.

Each year, almost 9,000 students from throughout the country visit Lady Washington to learn about our country’s rich maritime history.

Relax at Stewart Memorial Park

Aberdeen’s Stewart Memorial Park Trail follows a river from one end to the other.

It offers a laid-back and rural atmosphere.

If you’re new to running, this 1.1-mile circle at Stewart Memorial Park is a great place to start!

Walking and birdviewing are two of the most popular activities on the route.

Dogs are permitted on this trail but make sure to keep them on a leash at all times.

Even though it’s stunning, it can get a little slick if it rains and constant changes occur in the topography.

Ensure your children don’t get tripped up by roots protruding from the ground.

You may relax at any of the area’s many picnic tables, playgrounds, or tennis courts.

If you’re looking for a place to hang out with your friends or family for a few hours, this park is a terrific choice.

Have a Picnic at Morrison Riverfront Park

Since it’s the first thing you see while entering Aberdeen from Olympia or Chehalis, Morrison Riverfront Park may serve as an excellent welcome to the city.

Morrison Park lies at the mouth of the Chehalis River in Grays Harbor.

The park’s amenities include picnic tables, a fishing/viewing dock, a children’s play area, benches, historic explanatory signs, and local artwork.

The Rotary Club has also donated a 1.5 million dollar Log Pavilion to Aberdeen for its inhabitants.

Because it must be self-sustaining, a leasing charge is required to keep it running.

Making reservations well in advance is possible, and the location is ideal for various activities.

A paved 1.35-mile route follows the Chehalis River shoreline east from Morrison Park.

If you forget something during your picnic, there is a retail mall at the park’s west end.

Go Birdwatching at Bottle Beach State Park

Over one million migrating birds flock to Bottle Beach State Park each spring to feed and rest on the tide flats.

The Audubon Society has approved the park’s ADA-accessible walk as an official Washington State Birding Trail.

Raptors, as well as more than 130 other species of birds, have been observed landing on the sands of Bottle Beach in search of food.

Bypassing Redman Slough, the boardwalk and trail take you to a charming beachhead observation shelter.

See what’s left of a pier constructed in 1890 for Ocosta, a boomtown that swiftly degraded and vanished by the 1950s, on these mud flats.

There are also pet-friendly RV sites and yurts/cabins at Twin Harbors and Grayland Beach state parks nearby if you want to stay at Bottle Beach without bringing your dog.

Go Fishing at Lake Aberdeen

Scenic view of Lake Aberdeen

Steven Pavlov, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Lake Aberdeen, in Grays Harbor County, is one of the most incredible places to catch rainbow trout because of its proximity to a public park and a fish hatchery.

Aside from particular “giant” rainbow trout weighing upwards of six pounds, Lake Aberdeen’s rainbow trout are the only notable game fish.

If you were to go fishing in an area that wasn’t a regular city park, the lake access would be a little less open.

You may also use unpaved gravel for the boat launch, which is suitable for small boats but not for bigger vessels.

However, smaller boats are the only viable option because gasoline engines are prohibited.

On the south side are two docks, although the rest of the shoreline is more difficult to fish from the bank.

Like many of Washington’s trout lakes, Lake Aberdeen is open seasonally.

Stroll through East Aberdeen Waterfront Walkway

Located on the north bank of the Chehalis River, the East Aberdeen Waterfront Walkway is a 6-foot-wide asphalt path.

Historically, this property functioned as an industrial facility.

The riverfront promenade still provides views of the historic Weyerhaeuser Sawmill on the river’s south bank.

The walk weaves through Morrison Riverfront Park, a popular Aberdeen amenity with a log pavilion, tables, and a fishing and viewing pier.

Several retail outlets on US 12 are safely and directly accessible along the route.

Morrison Riverfront Park has parking for those visiting the East Aberdeen Waterfront Walkway.

You may access the parking lot from the junction of US 12 and S. Fleet St.

Westport Winery Garden Resort

As Washington State’s most western grape facility, it is the first and only winery in Grays Harbor County.

It’s a charming family-run vineyard between Aberdeen and Westport in the Pacific Northwest.

It makes fruit wines from various organically grown grapes and organic fruits.

There are no exceptions when it comes to sustainable farming, which includes salmon-safe agricultural techniques.

Throughout the week, in the afternoons, winery visitors can enjoy great wines such as Mermaid’s Merlot, Shorebird Chardonnay, and Surfer’s Last Syrah, the winery’s hallmark.

There is also a farm-to-table restaurant on the premises, a gorgeous outdoor sculpture garden, and a culinary herb garden.

Explore Local Art at Aberdeen Art Center

Aberdeen Washington’s art gallery, Alder Grove Gallery, showcases work by Grays Harbor-based artists–it is part of the Aberdeen Art Center.

All kinds of people can find something to their liking at the Aberdeen Art Center!

It’s home to the Alder Grove Gallery, where you may find affordable modern, urban, and classic artworks by some of the best artists in Washington.

Exhibit themes change every other month, and new painting is added to the collection as it sells.

The artwork in the museum’s collection came from galleries and museums around the Pacific Northwest.

You may purchase gifts, jewelry, wall art, and more here.

Open house, artwalk, music, and snacks are part of the Art Center’s first Friday open gallery.

When you visit the gallery, you may have the chance to meet the gallery owners, who are always happy to talk about the works on display.

Visit Young Street Bridge, Where Kurt Cobain Used to Hang Out

Young street bridge over the Wishkah river at Kurt Cobain Memorial Park

Me Wise Magic 5150 /

North Aberdeen, Washington’s Young Street Bridge, is a structure that spans Young Street.

It runs along the Wishkah River for a short distance, connecting Aberdeen with the North Aberdeen area and other surrounding towns.

On multiple occasions, the bridge was allegedly Kurt Cobain’s temporary residence.

Something in the way’s lyrics alludes to this fact.

Graffiti under the Young Street Bridge

Bri, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Graffiti honoring Kurt Cobain and the members of Nirvana adorns the bridge’s pillars and beams.

Today, the bridge is a popular hangout for grunge enthusiasts, teenagers, or the homeless.

Wooden piece placed on the river beneath the Young Street Bridge

Stavros Papavasiliou /

Catch a Production at Driftwood Players Theater

One of the best things to do in Aberdeen is to experience its local art scene, including its theater.

In the late 1950s, actors of the Civic Choir production of Pajama Game formed Driftwood Players.

It was the oldest theatrical group in the area.

It produced a few melodramas in the Westport region near the coast, where the term originated.

Driftwood Theatre, founded in November 1959, also provided summer theater in more isolated locales for the influx of summer tourists.

The Drunkard was the first play performed.

As a follow-up to it, they produced Lily’s Daughter.

They were tremendously successful with the audience, and many people returned for more.

The First Driftwood performance, See How They Run, opened on February 24, 1960, in Cosmopolis’ old theater.

In 1981, it moved Driftwood Players Theatre to E 3rd St., where it stands until now.

This local theatrical group has staged over 295 plays.

The production of Auntie Mame featured 29 actors playing 39 characters, plus a production team of 19 individuals for the initial show.

There are 183 seats available at Driftwood Players Theatre.

Have a Blast at Extreme Fun Center

There is no better place to throw your party than the Extreme Fun Center, Aberdeen’s ultimate entertainment zone.

The almost 7,000-square-foot entertainment complex was completed in 2016 and is now accessible to the public.

With so many options to choose from, we’re sure to have the perfect party for you, your school, youth organization, or even your corporation.

Bumper car rides, laser maze adventures, mini-bowling, arcade games, laser tag, and racing are all available.

Visit Extreme Fun Center at S Boone Street, featuring heart-pounding, thrill-riding, and laser-blasting activities for everyone in your family.

Taste Local Beer at Steam Donkey Brewing

In March 2017, Steam Donkey Brewing became Aberdeen’s first local brewpub since the 1940s.

Located in the heart of the historic logging area, the family-owned and run craft brewery is named after a critical innovation that changed the region’s traditional logging business.

The company’s innovative flagship options include Burro de Vapor Mexican Lager, Pickup Limes Pale Ale, Kalaloch Kölsch, Currant Situation Fruit Beer, and Gypsy Head Brown Porter, all available by the pint at the pub.

The family-friendly microbrewery welcomes visitors of all ages.

The taproom does not provide food, but guests are free to bring their own.

You may also try Bend & Brews, an intoxicated yoga session the brewery offers.

Indulge in Fresh Seafood from Breakwater Seafood & Chowder House

Breakwater Seafood’s history goes back to the 1940s, when a group of fishermen decided to set up a market to sell their catch.

An investing group led by local restaurateur Sonny Bridges bought their firm in 1987.

Redeveloping F Street, steeped in Aberdeen’s industrial past, was the driving force behind the decision.

After moving the market a block north on F Street to its current position, Bridges and his other investors built a restaurant.

You may recognize this establishment with its distinctive bright colors and a simple menu – fish, chips, and chowder.

Breakwater Seafood is known for its wide variety of seafood.

You can get all kinds of fresh local seafood here: crabs, shrimp and other shellfish, lingcod and other fish, halibut, petrale sole, and more.

Final Thoughts

Aberdeen is a fantastic place to visit any time of year since it is not as overrun with tourists as many other cities.

If you’re looking for anything to keep your creative and adventurous side alive while traveling, try the best things to do in Aberdeen.

It’s the ideal getaway not only for those who enjoy a more active lifestyle but also for grunge music fans.

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