Hanging out on a narrow peninsula off the southwestern coast of Washington State, Long Beach is indeed very long — 28 miles to be exact. It is one of many tourism destinations that claims a stake at the “world’s longest beach.”
Regardless of whether the claim is true or not, Long Beach offers a quiet Pacific Northwest getaway full of good food, luxurious accommodations, and a handful of attractions both indoor and outdoor. Here’s a quick peek at a weekend getaway to Long Beach, Washington.
Where is Long Beach, WA?
Long Beach is located just north of the Oregon/Washington border along the Pacific Coast. It’s about 2.5 hours from Portland, and about 3 hours from Seattle. Because of it’s fairly remote location, you really feel like you’re getting away from it all here.
Although along the coast, the peninsula has its own microclimate, making it a haven for travelers because it’s always a bit cooler (but never cold) than the cities in the summer, and it doesn’t dip too frigid in the winter. You can’t escape the rain, however — when packing, bring wet weather gear.
Exploring the Long Beach Peninsula
What’s nice about Long Beach is that you can be as busy or as relaxed as you want to be. The main avenue in Long Beach has a handful of your typical coastal town shops: souvenirs and whimsical buys, salt water taffy and ice cream, local jewelry and artwork.
If you’re looking to go walk a trail and get some fresh air, Cape Disappointment and Leadbetter Point State Park are both options that have well-maintained and well-marked trails. But if the weather isn’t cooperative, you’ll find plenty of spa and massage options, as well as performance art and movie theaters. Or just relax in your room!
As you drive and wander the peninsula, you’ll find lots of unique landmarks, which run the gamut from the World’s Largest Frying Pan (yes, really) to stunning lighthouses. Jacks’ Country Store up in Ocean Park is one example of an unexpected find — it’s a grocery store that also serves as antique shop and good-value housewares. (It will be our little secret if discounted cast iron is your idea of a hot travel souvenir.)
Good Food and Drink in Long Beach
Despite the remote location, Long Beach has plenty of good eats (something not always true along the Washington coast). Benson’s By the Beach in the heart of Long Beach is a must for breakfasts and brunch. The Depot Restaurant and The Pickled Fish (in the Adrift Hotel) are the higher-end dining options, worth it especially for seafood dishes. If you want something more along the lines of cheap-n-cheerful, there are numerous pizza parlors and comfortable pubs all over the peninsula.
One strange aspect of life in Long Beach: There are coffee roasters everywhere. On our drive up to the tip of the peninsula, we even saw coffee carts miles from anything. I guess people like to keep it caffeinated here.
Where to Stay in Long Beach, WA
While there are numerous options for B&Bs, AirBnBs, and hotels in Long Beach, there are two standouts that any Plum Deluxe traveler would love. The Adrift Hotel is an affordable but upscale spot located right on the ocean. The Adrift is unique; when I first walked in, I thought perhaps we’d mistakenly arrived at Pinterest’s headquarters, the walls adorned with upcycled wood and sea objects. The rooms have a similar upcycled, simple feel. Despite the perfunctory decor, the hotel also has a top-shelf restaurant on site, as well as a spa, which unfortunately seems to be closed more often than open.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is The Shelburne Inn, whose only modern feature is the availability of online booking. Considered the oldest continually operating hotel in the state of Washington, the Shelburne exudes class and charm of the era in which it opened: 1896. The hotel has its own on-site bakery, pub, and does an excellent tea service (check website for schedule).
Long Beach. It’s worth the drive for the hospitality and, of course, the views.