LIVE IT UP on the Long Beach Peninsula

What to do while visiting the Long Beach Peninsula

We recently spent a weekend at the Long Beach Peninsula, in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.  We really enjoyed our summer of social distancing, dispersed camping, and beach outings but this fall was unusually hard for us. Virtual learning, working from home, and missing family and friends seemed to hit us a little harder once the sunshine went away. We needed a change of scenery and this mini vacation was the best thing that we could have done for our family. 

The Long Beach Peninsula offers so much. There really is ‘something for everyone’ when you go there.  We only had a weekend and wanted to do as much as possible- while also relaxing.  We knew that it would be a fine balance, complicated by three children, but we were up for the challenge!

Here is our itinerary for making the most out of your trip to Long Beach!  There is so much more information that we want to share, so keep an eye out of for upcoming articles. This article will focus on what we did and how to make the most of your time there and see as much as possible. The next articles will give more specifics of each location.

Friday – The Breakers Resort and Holiday Lights

Friday evening, we checked in at The Breakers Resort. We got two attached rooms, complete with a kitchen, living room, dining room, balconies and large soaking tub. The Breakers came highly recommended by a few friends, and I couldn’t have been happier with it. The location is a little farther away from town, but it was quiet, had trails to the beach, and was perfect for social distancing.

We ordered dinner from The Cove.  It was conveniently right across the street from the hotel and was very good. It was so nice to be able to sit at a table (room for 6) and have a nice meal after our drive.  Bonus, we had a wood burning fireplace stocked with a Duraflame log. Talk about ambiance! Their attention to detail was amazing.

After dinner we went into town and took photos with all of the Holiday Lights. It was so magical. We walked around a bit and talked about what we would do tomorrow. The kids were still excited about the hotel and really wanted to get back there to watch a movie and hang out.

Saturday – Bakeries, Museums, and

Saturday morning, we slept in (which is very rare) and got donuts from Dylan’s Cottage Bakery. Dylan’s is such a cute place with a wonderful story. I highly recommend going there and supporting this amazing small business.

After eating, we drove to Marsh’s Free Museum. The kids were window shopping there the night before and we told them we would go there right when they opened up. They explored, found a few special treasures, and probably could have spent three hours in there looking at all of the oddities.

We decided to head to Cape Disappointment and then check out Ilwaco. At Cape Disappointment we hiked to a lookout and explored around the North Head Lighthouse. While we were there, we could see whales off in the distance. If you go, please remember your Discover Pass and binoculars.

Before heading back to Long Beach, we stopped in Ilwaco to explore.  We were very surprised to find out that it was the annual lighting of the Crab Pot Christmas Tree. We saw a parade of cars lined up and decorated, fire trucks full of lights, and Santa patiently waiting for the lighting of the “tree.”  While we waited, we went into Time Enough Books. This bookstore was so charming. We picked out a few books, pet the store dog, and chatted with the owner for a long time. She was the sweetest person and you could tell that she really takes pride in her store and her book selections.

After getting a candy cane from her, we walked outside to watch the lighting of the Crab Pot Tree. All of the cars were honking, it was streaming on Facebook Live and they even had a car decorating contest going on. But the best surprise was the fireworks at the end. We had never heard about the Crab Pot Christmas Tree. It is an annual tradition that was modified this year due to Covid. It was really touching to see the community come together to find a way to continue the tradition.   

After all of the excitement from the day we were hungry and tired. We decided to order a “fancy” dinner from The Depot Restaurant and relax at The Breakers. For dinner we ordered crab mac’n’cheese, oysters, a ribeye and salted caramel brownies a ’la mode. That dinner table at our condo was so quiet. We were all stuffed and happy. The night ended with a fire, wine and kids going to bed early. Our staycation couldn’t have been more perfect!

Santa waving to cars passing by the Crab Pot Christmas Tree.

Sunday – Kites and Wildlife

The next morning, we got up early, packed up the car, checked out of the hotel and then went to the World Kite Museum and Gift Shop. We picked out a kite and headed to the ‘World’s Longest Beach.’ We played for hours! The sun was shining, the wind was mild, and the kids were so content.

After the beach, we drove up to the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge. We wanted to get another hike in before we left, and I’ve always wanted to explore this area more. I am so glad that we made the decision to go there. The first part of the walk is on a beautiful boardwalk filled with artwork and gorgeous views. We decided to take the Cutthroat Climb, a 2/3-mile loop. The first section was all uphill. The kids did great, but I was thankful that the trail wasn’t super long.

While we were walking, we had fun looking for mushrooms, photographing cool trees, and enjoying the artwork and interactive question boards. The trail was very well groomed, but it was little muddy from the rain. We didn’t have any issues, but I wouldn’t wear slippery shoes this time of year. 

Tiny Mushroom at the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge.

Before the drive home, we ordered food from the Lost Roo.  It was hard to decide what to order though. They have such a great variety of dishes on their menu.  The kids were happy with their kid’s meals and we enjoyed every bit of ours. Corey got a burger with fries and I had the Thai Peanut Chicken. The restaurant was really cute on the inside and it would be a lot of fun for drinks and a Hawks game.

We had a busy weekend, but it was perfect. We laughed, made memories and felt “normal” for a bit. Everyone in Long Beach was kind and appreciative. They went the extra mile to make sure that everyone had masks, sanitizer and plenty of space to be distant. We are so happy that we were able to enjoy this wonderful town and cannot wait to go back!


Written by Heather Dembeck

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Cutthroat Climb at the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge.

A Serene Picture