Washington’s Long Beach Peninsula is one of the most popular Pacific Northwest vacation destinations, renowned for its beautiful beaches, stunning scenery, local seafood and abundant recreational opportunities.
Twenty-eight miles long and never more than 1.5 miles wide, the Long Beach Peninsula is in southwestern Washington state, bordered by the Pacific Ocean, Willapa Bay and the Columbia River. The southern end of the peninsula is directly across the Columbia River from Astoria, Oregon, and the 4.1.-mile Astoria-Megler Bridge makes it easily reachable – less than a half-hour drive – from Oregon’s Northern Coast. Cities and towns on the Peninsula include Ilwaco, a fishing village on the banks of the Columbia River, the festive beach town of Long Beach, the fishing port of Nahcotta on Willapa Bay, the seaside town of Ocean Park, historic Oysterville and the well-named Seaview.
While fishing, crabbing, oystering and cranberry farming are viable industries on the Long Beach Peninsula, it’s tourism that drives the economy. Visitors come in droves to experience nature, solitude, history, local food and distinct coastal culture away from the bustle of the mainland. A variety of restaurants, accommodations, shops, attractions and recreation are available on the Peninsula, and you can find them all on this site.
Rest and Recreation on the Long Beach Peninsula
The main attraction here is the beach, a pristine, 28-mile-long stretch of sand interspersed with rocks, dunes and cliffs. All of the beach is open to the public, and beach driving and horseback riding are allowed in many areas. Other natural areas include Willapa Bay National Wildlife Refuge, the 8.5-mile Discovery Trail, Leadbetter Point State Park on the northern end of the peninsula and Cape Disappointment State Park on the southern end, which includes two lighthouses and is a historic landmark as the westernmost terminus for the Lewis and Clark expedition.
Activities on the Long Beach Peninsula tend toward the simple pleasures: hiking, beachcombing, surfing, kayaking, kite flying, wildlife watching, fishing, digging for razor clams, berry picking, exploring museums and historic towns, playing arcade games and go-carting on the Long Beach Boardwalk and poking in and out of small shops. Explore this site for all the ways to have fun on the Long Beach Peninsula, including the many annual festivals.
Long Beach Peninsula Dining
Many people come specifically for the Long Beach Peninsula seafood. Locally harvested seafood includes Dungeness crab, tuna, sturgeon, halibut, salmon and steamer and razor clams, but it’s the famous Willapa Bay oysters that draw foodies from around the world. Our Restaurants listings tell you exactly where you need to go to taste these regional delicacies, along with the locally harvested mushrooms, cranberries and produce.