This Hidden Gem Washington Beach Holds The Remarkable Record Of The Longest In America

The Pacific Northwest is an outdoor mecca. From the ocean to the mountains and onto the desert, you'll find a wide range of activities and spectacular sights. In the middle of the coastal portion is a small area known as Long Beach, Washington, which is both the name of the town and the jutting piece of land that extends up and down the coastline. Technically a peninsula wedged between the Pacific Ocean to the west and Willipa Bay to the East, there are ample opportunities to enjoy the water and its offerings. With the title of "The Longest Beach in the USA," the drivability of the beach, wildlife viewing, and seafood are just a few of its hidden gems.


Less popular than the San Juan Islands further upstate, Long Beach has long maintained a local vibe. This is partly because it's not exactly en-route as you travel through Washington. Tucked into the Southwest corner of the state, it's 1.5-2 hours from the main thoroughfare of I-5. Then again, if you're enjoying the unforgettable drive from Redwood National Park in California up the renowned Hwy 101 coast highway, a stop at Long Beach might play right into your itinerary. 

Whether through planning or happenstance, if you find yourself in Long Beach, you'll be able to explore miles of sandy beaches along with water activities and tastes of the northwest.

What to know about Long Beach

The title of the longest beach in America is somewhat disputed. However, Long Beach wins bragging rights as the "World's longest peninsula beach," with an expanse of nearly 28 miles. Either way, it's worth a visit. While you won't find fluffy white sand or palm trees, you will find fishing, crabbing, and seashell-hunting opportunities. Then there's the week-long kite festival every August, and of course you should embrace the popularity of riding horses on the beach too. You can also drive on parts of the beach, so it's easy to set up camp with everything you'll need for a day of adventures.


Standard water activities apply here, so take a surfing lesson, grab a body board, or try your hand at digging for the delicious and popular razor clams during harvest season. Just make sure to get the proper permits from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife before heading out with your shovel and boots. On the bay side, check out the celebrated Willapa Bay oysters. If gathering them isn't your thing, you can at least enjoy eating them in many restaurants nearby, or pick some up at the Oysterville Sea Farm to make yourself.

Activities beyond Long Beach

There are several small towns up and down the peninsula, each with their own charms. For example, you could visit the working cranberry bogs at the Pacific Coast Cranberry Museum, learn about the local culture at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum, and gawk at the thought-provoking kites at the World Kite Museum. If you're into history, head down Hwy 101 a bit to Fort Columbia Historic State Park, or visit the reconstructed camps of Lewis and Clark across the Oregon border at Fort Clatsop Visitor's Center near Astoria.


Much like with any of the lesser-known spots that are ideal for family vacations, you'll be disappointed if you miss the must-see offerings at Cape Disappointment State Park. Hit the trails, take in the tale of exploration at the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center, and visit both North Head Lighthouse and Cape Disappointment Lighthouse, the latter of which is revered as the oldest functioning lighthouse on the West Coast. Grab bikes to explore the 8.5-mile Discovery Trail, a paved boardwalk that runs along the southern portion of the peninsula, where you will encounter many of these attractions along the way. 

A hidden gem of the Pacific Northwest, Long Beach is a destination full of historical relevance, natural wonders, and edible delicacies, not to mention one of the longest continuous stretches of sand in the country.