Bikes and Antiques on the Beach – Long Beach, WA
A weekend at the beach on the Long Beach peninsula offers a wide array of fun getaway ideas. There are several options on getting here – and all of them scenic. If you head west out of Longview, you’ll follow the Columbia River along a flat, easy-to-drive route perfect when the sun is out and the windows are open. There are several wayside stops you’ll want to take advantage of including the old covered bridge at Gray’s River, and the Julia Butler Hansen Wildlife Refuge just north of Cathlamet. You’ll soon find two options – follow Hwy 401 south or continue on Hwy 4. Both are great choices, so we recommend going one way there, and take the other back to get the full experience. Hwy 4 takes you near Willapa Bay Wildlife Refuge around a scenic lake and a place to get out and stretch your legs. Hwy 401 follows more of the Columbia River bringing you out to the base of the Astoria bridge. Again – wow. Both routes take you to the main road that spans the entire Long Beach peninsula. Long Beach, the larges town in the area, is actually at the southern end of the peninsula. There is so much more to explore! Here are a few of our favorites:
Stop by one of the most unique antique shops around – the Long Beach Peninsula Trading Post at 22604 Pacific Way in Ocean Park is a huge building filled to the brim with treasures. All their displays are grouped together by theme making it easier to find what you are drawn towards – whether you are into western, Asian, European, colored glass, antique books, vintage clothing, or Americana, you will find a room dedicated to that look. The variety here is crazy and you’ll find there is something for everyone here.
Go for a stroll
Continue on northwards to the town of Oysterville and take a leisurely walk around this pretty little village. Follow the tree-lined main street past the old church and take a left onto the grass “street” that leads you towards the estuary. Sit on the bench overlooking the water in the distance and soak in all the peace and quiet. Follow the path through the meadow towards the only shop in town and crushed oyster shell road. It feels like a step back in time.
Ready for more action? Rent some bicycles and go for a spin taking advantage of this perfectly flat terrain. The paths take you right past an old whale skeleton as you ride through the tall grasses along the edge of the shoreline. The elevated boardwalk is perfect for a morning walk, or ride the paved bicycle trail that parallels it. If you want to walk out to the oceanfront, it is a level and very wide beach – plenty of room to roam out there, but not a lot to see. The city here does allow cars on the beach which can be a strange experience for visitors used to having the beach a place of quiet solitude, but gives it a unique character in a way. Surprisingly, the long, flat beach is not the biggest draw to coming here unless you like long walks on the beach at sunset. And who doesn’t?
After your ride, stop for a treat at Long Beach’s long-time favorite, Dylan’s Cottage Bakery right in the heart of downtown. The interior looks like it hasn’t changed in 50 years, but their incredible variety of baked goodies will have you spoiled for choice. The Lost Roo is a surprising choice for seafood, but has amazing fish and chips in their full service restaurant. For an elegant dinner out, try The Depot in Seaview for great farm-to-table food or The Pickled Fish at the Adrift Hotel for great views. Breakfast is fun in the coastline quirky Laurie’s Homestead Breakfast in the little yellow house in Seaview where homestyle is done right.
There are several options on where to stay and everyone has their favorite. Like a hip and modern hotel? Try the Adrift Hotel and Spa where you can purchase a wagon full of everything you’ll need for a campfire with s’mores on the beach complete with wood and matches and all in an easy-to-pull wagon. They also have free bicycles for you to use while staying there. But if you like a traditional bed and breakfast in a historic inn, try the Shelburne Inn, part of the Adrift family, so you can still get that fun smores kit, or opt for a sampling of local beers waiting for you when you arrive.