Blake Walsh

25 Best Things to Do in Long Beach, WA

  • Published 2023/02/07

Located in southern Washington, Long Beach is a beach town with a unique appeal on the Washington coast.

With a wide beach and many different activities to do, like flying a kite and strolling with a pet, the town is a paradise for visitors.

As such, there is no surprise that thousands flock to this quaint little beach town every year.

If you are planning a trip to Long Beach, too, here are the 25 best things to do in town.

Play a Game of Pickleball

Being one of the fastest-growing games in the US, pickleball has many fans in the country.

Long Beach residents and tourists coming here are no different.

The town is home to pickleball courts, and many resorts, homestays, and hotels offer necessary equipment for the game to their guests.

What’s more?

You can even have a pickleball vacation, with several short-term rentals being available in proximity to the pickleball courts in the town.

On your Long Beach trip, be sure to get some paddles, an outdoor net, and balls and head to the Culbertson Park at 101 Washington Avenue or the Lighthouse Resorts.

Stroll down the Boardwalk

Boardwalk in Long Beach

Cavan-Images /

The boardwalk is a signature element in Long Beach.

Unlike the boardwalk in Oregon, littered with saltwater taffy and trinket vendors, the one in Long Beach is a serene walkway.

Spanning about half a mile, the Boardwalk is a place for you to stretch your legs while taking in the stunning views of the beach.

Mind you. This is no place for the wheels, which means no bike, no motorcycle, or skateboard.

This is a trail for you to have a peaceful walk on during your visit to Long Beach.

Walkway of The Boardwalk

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Explore the Discovery Trail

Daytime view of the Discovery Trail

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Exploring the Discovery Trail is a must if you are on your wheels or have rented out bikes at Long Beach.

This 8.5 trail is named after the Corps of Discovery, as the historic Lewis and Clark Expedition ended at the Long Beach peninsula.

Most of the trail is paved and starts from Port of Ilwaco in the Ilwaco town and ends in the Cape Disappointment State Park.

At a certain point.

The trail enters Long Beach and parallels the Boardwalk until it surpasses the wooden walkway.

Check out the Whale Skeleton

Daytime view of the Whale Skeleton

From Texas With Love, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The site of Whale Skeleton is certainly a highlight in the long Discovery Trail and worth a stop on your drive.

While the spot had an actual whale skeleton, it now has a new wooden carved sculpture of a whale.

Alongside the sculpture, however, is the remains of the original skeleton.

The story behind the skeleton goes back to 2001 when a grey whale washed up ashore dead and was buried.

In 2002, the partially decayed body was excavated, and the skeleton was put on display just off the Syd Snyder Approach in 2003.

Visit the Marsh’s Free Museum

Exterior of Marsh’s Free Museum

Kingofthedead, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Marsh’s Free Museum is yet another must-visit spot on your trip to Long Beach.

Here, you can expect to witness a lot of weird, cool, and old items.

From fortune-telling machines to shells, you will find everything in the Museum.

At the museum entrance, you will find some old machines that are worth a look along with Sasquatch.

To take things up a notch, you will also find Jake the Alligator Man here, an example of taxidermy that mixes a monkey’s upper body with an alligator’s lower body.

Jake the alligator man displayed in Marsh’s Free Museum

Imhavingfun42, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Head to Cape Disappointment State Park

Hollow beach at Cape Disappointment State Park

Dmitri Kotchetov /

Unlike its name, Cape Disappointment State Park is not a disappointment at all.

In fact, it is among the best Washington state parks.

The park offers a great view with its stunning views of Long Beach, the lighthouse perched at the cliff, the many trails, and the old military remains, now reclaimed by nature.

Located close to Long Beach, this is a must-visit place if you love nature.

View of Cape Disappointment Lighthouse

JPL Designs /

You will find several state parks in the surrounding area, including Fort Columbia Historical State Park, Pacific Pines State Park, Willie Keils Grave State Park, Leadbetter Point State Park, and Loomis State Park.

Horseback Ride at the Beach

Horseback ride at the beach

Dmitri Kotchetov /

Like most beach towns, Long Beach has horseback rides at the beach.

You can easily book 1- to 2-hour long rides and enjoy the beautiful beach.

On a clear day, this is an activity that will stay in your memories for a long time.

Kids who are not yet ready for a steed are offered ponies to ensure safety and comfort.

Don’t miss this one on your trip!

Visit the Neighboring Seaview

A hotel at Seaview

Ian Poellet, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

As the name suggests, the little town offers you a beautiful view of the ocean and a wonderful opportunity to study the turn-of-the-century Victorian architecture.

In this small town, you will find houses and buildings with varied architecture, including survivors from the 1800s.

This is a great place to visit when you’re just about done exploring Long Beach.

Visit the World Kite Museum

A trip to Long Beach is incomplete without flying a few kites or at least spotting them.

The kite game is strong in the town, with a steady wind that Long Beach is blessed with.

The town is also home to the World Kite Museum, where you can learn everything about a kite—from its history and origins to its productive and leisurely uses.

You will also find interactive exhibits about kite mechanics along with a wonderful gift shop, where you can buy a kite for yourself.

Attend the International Kite Festival

Colorful kites during the Kite Festival

Bob Pool /

If you’re a kiting enthusiast, then the third week of every August is your time to take a Long Beach trip to attend the International Kite Festival.

It is the town’s highlight and a crowd-puller, as people from all over the US and the world visit the beach town for this occasion.

During this time, when in the town, be sure to visit the beach to see hundreds of colorful kites just adorning the sky.

Fish-shaped kites at the Kite Festival

Bob Pool /

Get Beach Souvenirs

Long Beach is home to a strip of shops where you can buy beach souvenirs, get ice cream, and even ride some carnival rides.

You will find all these and more at Pacific Avenue, located behind most beachfront hotels.

Here, you will also find several souvenir stores filled with shells, toys, kites, as well as a full kite store and candy store.

While you can expect peak times, a visit here is worth it.

Indulge in Games and Rides

Long Beach is not just about the beach.

You will also find plenty of places for your kids, such as the FUNLAND at Pacific Avenue and Fun beach Fun Center.

You will find several fun games and carnival rides at these places like a merry-go-round, bumper cars, Tilt-A-Whirl, among others.

You can also go for a quick golf game or a go-kart race with your family.

Throw Airplanes at Astoria Column

Daytime view of Astoria Column

B Brown /

Astoria is Long Beach’s neighboring town and a must-visit during your trip to the Washington beach town.

Sitting atop a hill overlooking the Columbia River in Astoria Column is a 125-foot tower.

At the column, it is a tradition to fly or rather throw biodegradable balsa wood planes from the tower and see how long it flies.

People usually buy the plane, which costs about $1, head to the tower’s top, and throws the plane into the air.

You’ll be surprised to see just how far these planes can fly.

Comb the World’s Longest Beach

Beachcombing is a fun activity, and there’s no better place to do it than Long Beach.

You’ll be surprised to see what all the tides wash onto the shore.

The best time to go combing at the beach is after a high tide.

So, if you wish to go beach-combing during your visit, you should check out the tide times when planning your trip.

Try Out Surf Fishing

When visiting a beach town like Long Beach, missing out on surf fishing is the last thing you should do.

The town and its neighboring areas like Seaview and Beads Hollow are great locations for surf fishing.

Local shops mostly have permits and the necessary equipment.

So, on your trip to Long Beach, be sure to go on a fishing expedition at the Pacific Ocean and Columbia River.

Take in All the Historical Sights

View of Fort Columbia

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Aside from the beach and fun beach town sights, Long Beach is home to several keys and noteworthy historical sights.

Relive the Corps of Discovery’s expedition at the Middle Village – Station Camp, where Clark mapped the mouth of Columbia.

Just a drive away are the small villages of Seaview and Oysterville with their historic houses, buildings, and churches.

History buffs will find delight in discovering the military ruins being reclaimed by the forest at the Fort Columbia and Fort Canby state parks.

Closer to Long Beach, you have the North Head Lighthouse, a historic site in the Long Beach peninsula that’s worth a visit.

Daytime view of North Head Lighthouse

Martin Szczepaniak /

Hike to Your Heart’s Content

Trail to Benson Beach in Cape Disappointment

Dmitri Kotchetov /

At Long Beach, you will find dozens of trails waiting for hikers.

From Cape Disappointment State Park to the Discovery Trail, the options for hiking trails are plentiful in this quaint beach town.

At the Cape Disappointment State Park, you will find forests, ocean, saltwater marshes, and much more as you hike through.

However, the highlight in the park is the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, a unique museum on the Corps of Discovery.

Exterior of Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center

melissamn /

The pet and family-friendly Discovery Trail is yet another option for hiking in the town.

You are all set to see wetlands, dune grass, pine forests, and wildlife during your hike.

Other hiking options in the town include Fort Columbia Historical State Park and Willapa National Wildlife Refuge.

Far view of Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center

CL Shebley /

Dig Out Some Clams

Every year, people from around the world flock to the Long Beach Peninsula to partake in the Long Beach Peninsula’s razor clam season.

Spanning from Early Fall to Early Spring, the season witnesses the annual Razor Clam Festival, held in April.

During the festival, people come together to celebrate the tradition of digging clams on the beach.

On your visit to Long Beach, be sure to join the community in this unique activity.

Moreover, you can purchase fresh and canned razor clams from the local market.

Alternatively, you can try the best clam chowder at one of the many seafood restaurants in Long Beach.

Go Out Golfing

Love your golf?

Use your Long Beach trip to get some golfing time.

Aside from playing golf at Pacific Avenue, you must explore some golf courses in the peninsula.

Located just a mile off downtown Long Beach is Peninsula Golf Course, where you can spot the local wildlife as you play the 9-hole course.

A bonus is that it is friendly to any skill level.

Yet another golfing spot is the Surfside Golf Course, located just under 20 minutes from Long Beach.

Enjoy the nearby coastal breeze as you play the 3206 yards (ca.3 km) nestled in the coastal pines.

Take Your Dog to the Beach

Dog in Long Beach

Maria Elena Willms /

Your dog likes the beach more than even you do.

Give your pawed friend a treat by taking them to the 20+shoreline at Long Beach.

With the availability of several pet-friendly rentals in the town, you can easily bring along your dog on your trip to the beach town.

Dog in Long Beach

Dmitri Kotchetov /

Once here, go for a walk along the beach and play fetch with your pet as the waves kiss the shore.

Later, you can even take your pet with you to explore the Discovery Trail or any number of trails the town offers you.

Take a Tour of The Cranberry Museum and Gift Shop

Curious about cranberries? You’ll get to know more about this crimson-colored berry at the Cranberry Museum and Gift Shop.

You can visit this attraction at Pioneer Road from Friday to Monday.

When you arrive at the farm, pick up a brochure at the start of the sidewalk and take a self-guided tour of the farm bogs.

If you visit around September, you’ll enjoy seeing the berries as they start to ripen; likewise, you can watch the crops harvested during October.

Visit the museum and learn about cranberry history from the time Native Americans used the berry to preserve their food up to the developments of the industry.

You’ll also know more about the bog preparation process, planting, and how cranberry products are marketed.

Drop by the aromatic gift shop, purchase assorted and unique cranberry products to take home, and try some cranberry blends at the recipe corner and some delicious Cranberry Ice Cream, too.

You’ll surely have a fantastic visit to The Cranberry Museum and Gift Shop.

Satisfy Your Sweet Cravings at Dylan’s Cottage Bakery & Delicatessen

If you have a sweet-tooth craving, you better visit Dylan’s Cottage Bakery and Delicatessen right on Pacific Avenue South.

The bakery shop was formerly named Cottage Bakery until original owners Bob and Judi Andrew transferred ownership to Jeff and Casey Harrell and Mark and Lindy Swain.

It was named in honor of Jeff and Casey Harrell’s daughter Dylan who loved to visit the bakery before she passed away.

With nearly 50 years of sharing delicious baked goods with the community, no wonder even visitors to Long Beach enjoy the tasty treats along with other additions on the menu.

Drop by in the morning and grab some Biscuits and Gravy, assorted Breakfast Sandwiches, bagels, or an oatmeal bowl to start your day.

Try their Clam Chowder or Soup of the Day, and bite into filling sandwich varieties like the Bogger, their most popular Gobbler, or a Reuben sandwich.

Delight your palate with fresh Deli Salads like Caesar, Spinach, and Deli Deluxe, and order coffee, tea, or beverages on the menu.

Choose from their wide selection of delicious breads, pies, donuts, cookies, cakes, and other specialty snack desserts.

You can also purchase cool Dylan’s Cottage Bakery & Delicatessen Gear like shirts, mugs, aprons, and more to take home as tokens or gifts.

Try Artisan Spirits at Adrift Distillers

Taste artisan concoctions byAdrift Distillers located at Sid Snyder Drive on Building #3.

This craft distillery offers distinct handcrafted spirits you’ll enjoy from grain to your glass.

You’ll get to try brew samples made from combined traditional and modern distilling techniques bringing out the unique Washington spirit flavor.

Have toast over vodkas or gin varieties like Love Warrior Gin or Old Tom Gin.

Likewise, they have whiskey choices like Straight Bourbon, Triticale and Wheat Whiskey, and Cranberry and Spiced Cranberry Liqueur.

Try the one-of-a-kind Rhubarb Elderflower Liqueur or take a sip of other cocktail recipes like Moonshine Mojito, Spring Rhubarb Sipper, or Bog Social.

Bring your friends and have some drinks at Adrift Distillers.

Get Fresh Produce at Willapa Bay Heritage Farms

For fresh organic produce, drop by Willapa Bay Heritage Farms on Sandridge Road.

This nine-acre farm lies on the edge of the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge and is owned and managed by Deb Howard, also known as “Farmer Deb”.

The hobby farm was founded in 2017 and promotes sustainable living, organic farming, and animal welfare.

Book an appointment for a farm tour with your family.

On your visit, you’ll see over 500 plant species at the orchards, greenhouses, vineyards, gardens, plant beds, and forest areas.

Play “name that plant” or go treasure hunting to win prizes; likewise, have fun meeting the “chicken of the day” or petting the friendly goats.

You’ll even get to try milking a goat, enjoy a goat cart ride, and have lunch at the picnic areas after the activities.

Among the fresh goods you can buy at Willapa Bay Heritage Farms include organic eggs, heirloom tomatoes, Crimson Red Rhubarb, lettuce, chards, and kales; they also have aromatics and herbs like rosemary, garlic chives, oregano, pineapple sage, and parsley.

Seasonal blooms like Oriental lilies, hydrangeas, daffodils, dahlias, and rhododendrons are also available at Willapa Bay Heritage Farms.

View Artistic Creations by the Peninsula Arts Association

Spend time for some art appreciation and see the wonderful pieces made by the Peninsula Arts Association members.

You’ll get to view some of the works of local artists at the Old Long Beach Train Depot on 3rd Street NorthWest.

The institution has been around since 1970 and continues to promote and celebrate the local artistry in the region.

See the fascinating art shows like the PAA Spring Art Show featuring stained glass art, paintings, photography, pottery, 3-D art items, and more.

You can also catch the Open Studio Tours and see the creative talents of artists along the Peninsula from Ilwaco to Willapa Bay and Surfside.

The Peninsula Arts Association hosts several art shows, exhibits, and activities so you can visit any time of the year.

Final Thought

Long Beach offers more than pristine and relaxing beaches.

You’ll enjoy plenty of sights to visit, restaurants to enjoy mouth-watering fares, and plenty of family-friendly activities you can do together.

Whether it’s outdoor fun or something laidback, you’ll definitely have a memorable stay at this beach town.

Pack your bags and don’t forget to try the best things to do in Long Beach, Washington.

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