Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Ocean Shores, WA

  • Published 2021/09/17

Ocean Shores is a scenic coastal city located on the Washington coast’s Point Brown peninsula.

Sitting at the Grays Harbor County, it was designated the “richest tiny city” in the country per capita in 1969, with an assessed value of $35 million and a total population of 900 during that time.

Throughout the 1970s, the town had several losses caused mostly by the state’s economic slump.

By the 1980s, the downturn had passed, and residential and commercial development had resumed its previous pace.

Ocean Shores is ideal for family activities, a romantic getaway, or a peaceful solitary retreat.

This beautiful seaside town is well-known for its long stretch of Pacific coastline and delicious seafood.

You’ll always find something new to appreciate here.

Just a 2.5-hour trip from Seattle, it’s an ideal weekend and holiday destination.

Thinking of activities to try and places to explore here?

Here are the 15 best things to do in Ocean Shores, WA:

Enjoy the Beach on Horseback

Horseback Riding

Amanda Wayne /

A seaside horseback ride is unlike anything else you’ve ever done.

Experience all those postcards and Instagram photos you’ve been seeing.

Within walking distance of the shoreline, you’ll find two entry sites to horseback riding, with the most popular being the Shilo Inn.

A temporary corral for horses is set up on a stretch of beach that can be accessed by car or foot.

Horseback Riding Near the Sea

Amanda Wayne /

A 30-minute journey down the beach and return costs between $20 and $30 per hour.

Don’t worry if you’re a novice because two guides will accompany your ride.

Due to high demand on weekends, there is a weight limit, and you must check-in early in the day.

Just take note, though, that they don’t accept reservations over the phone because they want to meet and assess each rider’s physical ability.

Visit Coastal Interpretive Center

If you want to learn more about the Washington coast’s history and ecology, the Coastal Interpretive Center is a great place to start.

A non-profit organization, the center’s volunteers will tour you around various exhibits.

Aside from the information on Ocean Shores and its history, you may also find artifacts about Native Americans, basketry, rock identification tables, shell, and whalebone collections, as well as tsunami debris from Japan.

Its natural history galleries feature marine life, including the Orca whales that reside in the waters near the San Juan Islands.

It also has a room with interactive displays for kids.

Join Local Festivities at Ocean Shores Convention Center

A block from an eight-mile-long sandy beach, Ocean Shores Convention Center is Washington’s only ocean-side convention center.

It has 29,900 square feet of space and can handle groups of 30 to 1,000 people.

With 16.900 square feet of flexible conference space, changeable room layouts, breakout spaces, catering, and food service, as well as any other meeting needs, everything you need to enjoy a great show is here.

The Center also boasts top-quality communications and audio-visual equipment.

In addition to hosting inside events, Ocean Shores’ mild temperature makes the Center a perfect location for outdoor events.

In addition to arts and crafts festivals, motorcycle expositions, and sandcastle building competitions, the Center offers numerous popular events each year.

Walk Through Griffiths – Priday State Park’s Trails

Griffiths-Priday State Park, located on the Copalis River Spit in Southwest Washington, is a favorite location for walkers and hikers.

A mile-long route that begins behind the picnic area follows Conner Creek over grass-covered dunes.

There are several perches on the dunes from where hikers may see eagles soaring overhead.

The Copalis River flows into the ocean at the end of a spit of land north of the Conner Creek exit, which has a tiny private beach suitable for strolling along the pounding surf all the way to the finish.

It is possible to view the Copalis Rock jutting out of the Pacific Ocean on a clear day.

This Park is also pleasant for picnics since picnic tables, and seats are also available on site.

Aside from beachcombing and animal spotting, the park is also famous for fishing, clam-digging, mountain biking, and whale-watching during the right season.

Take Awesome Landscape Photography at North Jetty

Sunset in North Jetty

Amehime /

Located in Ocean Shores, North Jetty is a rocky section of the beach.

It’s not the best location to spend the day lazing about, but if you want to explore tidal pools and take some amazing scenery photos, here is the place to be.

This is a fantastic spot to watch the storms sweep in and crash over the rocks in the winter.

With a calmer sea, you may explore the rocks and find all the marine life that lives here.

A Bird in North Jetty at Ocean Shores

SNC Art and More /

Whatever the case, the experience makes it well worth the effort to travel a bit farther out on the beach.

As a general rule, though, use your common sense.

The ocean’s incredible strength is a sight to behold, but it should not be taken lightly.

You don’t want to be stranded when the tide comes in.

Taste Elk Head Brewery’s Craft Beers

At Elk Head Brewery, you’ll never run out of choices.

This mountain-themed brewery features over 800 different beers in bottles and cans, along with 23 additional beers available on tap, including nitro lines.

In addition to craft beer, it also provides artisan craft cider, wine, cold-brewed coffee, and Kombucha, all of which are served from its Western redwood tap log.

The first thing you notice when you enter Peaks and Pints is its high ceiling.

The facility was used to be a movie theater in the early 1900s, which turned into a five-and-dime store came in, as shown by the wood floor.

With its antique mountain scenes and alpine decor, you will get to experience an old mountain bar vibe, where delicious food is served and where they’re likely to know a few individuals by name.

Try the Different Attractions of Pacific Paradise Family Fun Center

You can spend hours of fun activities at Pacific Paradise Family Fun Center.

In this facility, you will discover one of the most challenging mini-golf courses in the United States.

Try to sink your ball first by navigating between lighthouses, overpasses, and boulders.

It also features bumper boats, a gaming arcade, and two laser mazes that are sure to excite you.

If you’re holding children’s birthday parties or team-building activities, the center is a great choice.

Its combo packages are customizable, allowing you to pick the activities you want to do and create a package that works for your group.

Engage in Different Water Activities at Ocean City State Park

Ocean City State Park in Washington

ECTran71, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you’re in Ocean Shores, you can’t miss Ocean City State Park, just north of town.

Overlooking the water and with 170-acres of space, this park is a treasure trove of activities for all ages.

In addition to coastal beaches and wetlands, the Park’s unique position allows guests to enjoy tree-lined hiking paths and more.

Water sports at Ocean City State Park include fishing, kayaking, diving.

Walking along the beach and in the park is also a popular pastime, and there are also plenty of sightseeing opportunities and photographic landscapes.

The Park also features a camping site for those who want to spend the night near the ocean.

Dine at Galway Bay Irish Pub

Galway Bay Irish Pub in Ocean Shores, Washington, is a unique and colorful vintage tavern.

This is a popular meeting spot and drinking hole with a pub, a full-service restaurant, and a Celtic-themed gift store.

Additionally, it serves Irish and American bar cuisine and drinks while also hosting frequent live music performances.

You may dine in a family dining room, a semi-circular bar, a function hall, a well-equipped sports and gaming area with dartboards, pool tables, and TV screens.

You may enjoy al fresco eating in a lovely, covered garden.

The pub also holds an annual, week-long Irish music festival where you can meet friends, drink, and be merry!

Buy Souvenir and Take Photos at Sharky’s Gift Shop

This gift shop is a head-turner.

Sharky’s Gift Shop’s entryway alone will make you pause, as it’s surrounded by enormous shark jaws.

Go inside and buy everything shark-related after taking a couple of pictures of yourself in here.

It has everything from apparel to toys to swimwear at reasonable prices.

If your kids love “Baby Shark,” bring them home shark toys and a cozy sweater for chilly evenings.

However, if you don’t want to spend any money, it’s a worthwhile visit to Ocean Shores.

Stroll Along Damon Point

View of the Sea in Damon Point

SNC Art and More /

On the Ocean Shores Peninsula lies Damon Point, a 61-acre day-use park.

This elongated, half-mile broad peninsula extends into the sea to form the park.

It is one of the few surviving snowy plover nesting sites and a typical example of accreted land.

Located at the southernmost extremity of the Ocean Shores Peninsula, this park offers a one-mile walking strip of land that extends to Damon Point.

Grays Harbor, the Olympic Mountains, and Mount Rainier can all be seen from here.

Old dock pilings in Damon Point in Ocean Shores

Loren L. Masseth /

Aside from walking along the shore, agate rock collection and bird viewing are typical pastimes at this famous spot.

During low tide, you may also fish here.

Among the rocks, there are a variety of tidal pools.

If you’re traveling with children or a dog, you won’t have to worry about exploring the beach because it does not allow vehicles inside the premises.

Play at Ocean Shores Golf Course

Ocean Shores Golf Course opened its doors in 1961 to locals, tourists, and celebrities alike.

This club once catered to singer Pat Boone’s Celebrity Golf Classic, including Clint Eastwood and many other celebrities.

On the back nine, which is the original portion of the course, there are tight, forested fairways.

However, on the front nine, there are wide, open links-style fairways, making the course appealing to players of all skill levels.

Its rental shop has everything you need for a fun day on the fairways, including rental clubs and golf carts.

Eat Local Seafood at Bennett’s Fish Shack

What’s the best thing about going to a coastal city?

Trying its local seafood delicacies!

Bennett’s Fish Shack offers both indoor and alfresco seating.

It also features a bar if you’re traveling alone or just want to relax while watching a sporting event on television.

We strongly recommend the crab and cheddar melt for one of your meals during your Ocean Shores weekend.

Aside from that, they have a variety of alternatives on their menu to choose from.

Check Out Local Masterpieces at The Gallery of Ocean Shores

Make some time in your itinerary to visit The Gallery of Ocean Shores and view artwork by local Ocean Shores artists.

The North Beach Artists Guild, a non-profit organization, is responsible for the operation of the Gallery.

The Gallery of Ocean Shores, the neighboring Workshop, and the Studio 6 Learning Center serve as the hub for the guild’s outreach activities, which are now focused on art workshops and exhibitions.

Meanwhile, its gallery, workshop, and clay studio are all situated at 849 Point Brown Avenue in Ocean Shores, Washington, and are open from 10 am to 5 pm every day.

Working at the gallery is a way for the artists to enrich their guests’ experience as well as to explain their creative process as they create the artwork on exhibit.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Climb Grays Harbor Lighthouse

Grays Harbor Lighthouse in Washington

Loren L. Masseth /

Westport Light State Park’s 107-foot-tall Grays Harbor Lighthouse is almost 100 years old.

From the summit, you’ll be able to enjoy breathtaking views of the ocean as well as Mt. Rainier in Washington’s Cascade Mountain Range.

Visiting a lighthouse is a great family activity, and it’s a must-do for anybody who doesn’t live near the ocean.

Every lighthouse has a distinct narrative to tell, and it’s well worth exploring.

The Westport Nautical Museum has further information about the lighthouse and the local maritime culture.

Final Thoughts

It’s one thing to know that you need to visit this picturesque seaside town, but another thing to experience what it’s like to be here.

Why spend time and money on traveling when you can just go away in your city?

Washington State residents may do just that by taking a staycation.

If you’re coming to Washington to explore what this state has to offer, make sure to stop by Ocean Shores and build some memories!

See also: Best Restaurants in Ocean Shores, WA

Discover More of Grays Harbor County, WA

Things to Do in Aberdeen, WA

Things to Do in Westport, WA

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