How to Spend a Cozy Weekend in Long Beach, Washington

long beach state park
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One of my favorite places to visit on the West Coast is Long Beach, Washington. You probably have heard of California’s Long Beach, but our state has the better one in my opinion.

This area has always been a popular place to visit during the summer for families. Located in the very southwest corner of Washington, it’s about a three-hour drive from Seattle. At 28 miles long, it’s the longest beach in the United States.

Here are a few tips for visiting and how to spend a weekend in Long Beach.

Long Beach, Washington Travel Tips

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when booking a weekend in Long Beach.

  • Bring warm clothing – We can get some beautiful, warm days in Washington, particularly in the summer. However, you’ll be right on the coast during your vacation and should bring clothes in case it gets windy.
  • Allow adequate time to get there – When you look at directions from Seattle to Long Beach, it’ll say it takes about 3 hours. However, you should account for traffic in Seattle, Tacoma, and Olympia, especially if you leave on a Friday evening. You’ll also need to go much slower once you get on the road by the coast.
  • Make reservations in the summer – Thousands of people visit Long Beach in the summer, so you’ll want to make restaurant reservations ahead of time. You’ll still be able to walk up to many Long Beach restaurants and get in with a short wait, but make a reservation if you have a certain place in mind.
long beach hiking

Where to Stay in Long Beach, Washington

There are a variety of hotels near Long Beach, Washington. Here are a few I recommend.

Hotels Near Long Beach

adrift hotel pool
Heated pool at the Adrift Hotel
  • Adrift Hotel – This Long Beach hotel is hands-down my favorite, which is why I continue to stay there every time I visit. Depending on your room, you may have a view of the Pacific Ocean, and if not you’re only a minute’s walk away from the beach. The Adrift Hotel also has a restaurant, lounge, pool, sauna, and spa. (Rates start at $80 per night; book your room on Booking.com or Hotels.com)
  • Shelburne Hotel – This bed and breakfast is a cozy place to stay for a weekend in Long Beach. They have a pub with tasty food and are on the main strip so you can easily walk around to stores. (Rates start at $89 per night; book your room on Booking.com or Hotels.com)

Air BnBs Near Long Beach

  • Seagull Soiree Beach Condo – Many people love staying in Air BnBs when they travel, and this one will have you right near the beach. This one-bedroom condo comes with a kitchen, Wi-Fi, and beach essentials. Rates start at $100 per night.
  • Your Cabin at the Beach – If you want to stay in an entire house for your weekend in Long Beach, you’ll love this cabin by the beach. This two-bedroom house has an indoor fireplace, grill, and a backyard to enjoy. Rates start at $105 per night.

Read more: The Perfect West Coast Road Trip Itinerary

Long Beach, Washington Weekend Itinerary

I recommend taking all of Friday off so you have plenty of time to explore Long Beach, Washington. However, this itinerary is also doable if you can’t leave until after you get off work on Friday.

Day 1: Explore the Beach

If you love being outdoors, Long Beach is the place to go. There are miles of beach to explore with a variety of activities you can do, which is one of the best things to do outside of Seattle. I suggest checking into your hotel early so you’ll have plenty of time to be outside. You can take a walk along the boardwalk if you don’t want to get sandy.

long beach boardwalk

There’s also the 8-mile long Discovery Trail nearby to explore. You can walk in between the dunes and take in the ocean as you go. It’s fun to people watch and see kids fly kites or people horseback riding on the beach.

A unique thing to do in Long Beach is driving on the beach. That said, make sure you feel comfortable driving on the sand first. You’ll also want to stay far away from the water, as the tide will come in eventually.

driving on beach washington

Depending on the weather, you may be lucky enough to see people on surfboards, as this is one of the better places to go surfing in Washington.

When you want a break from the outdoors, pay a visit to Adrift Distillers. They are a distillery that’s open from 12-8 on Fridays and Saturdays.

You can taste a variety of vodka, gin, and whiskey and take a few bottles home. My favorites are the Spiced Cranberry Liqueur and the Rhubarb Elderberry Liqueur.

Thanks to the wind, kite flying is a popular activity in Long Beach, Washington. You can visit the World Kite Museum to make your own kite. You’ll also learn about the history of kite making and see some incredible kites from years ago.

long beach kite museum

For dinner, head over to the Adrift Hotel. Their restaurant is Pickled Fish, which is a restaurant and bar with a view of the ocean. They also have live music many nights of the week, so it’s a great way to end your evening. I recommend starting with the salmon sliders.

Read more: The Best Dog-Friendly Vacations in the Pacific Northwest

Day 2: Have an Active Day

For breakfast, head over to the 42nd St Cafe and Bistro for a hearty meal to start your day. This restaurant is known as “the original roadside cafe” and has a variety of breakfast options and drinks to choose from. I highly recommend starting with their famous New Orleans-style beignets.

42nd st cafe beignets

After breakfast, head over to the beach to go horseback riding. This is a unique way to see the beach, as you get to ride right along the water. Back Country Horse Adventures will get you set up with a horse and provide tips for handling the horse.

horseback riding long beach

You can also find the whale skeleton while you’re visiting Long Beach, Washington. This is from an actual whale that washed up on the beach in 2000. You can now see the remains of it on display.

whale skeleton washington

Another outdoor activity in Long Beach, Washington that the whole family can do is biking. Head to Black Lake to explore miles of trails that go around the lake.

Most of the trails are fairly flat and easy. However, some of them are surprisingly steep, so advanced bikers will like the challenge. Locals maintain the trails several times a week to help the community safely enjoy them.

biking in long beach

I was delighted to find Long Beach had a brewery with a variety of beer on tap. North Jetty Brewery was exactly my kind of place – a casual place with games for adults and they were kid-friendly. The Yellow Boots Kolsch and The Milkman Knocks Twice Milk Stout were my favorites out of my samplers.

north jetty brewing

My favorite Long Beach restaurant is The Depot, so I recommend stopping there on your second night. You’ll need to make reservations in advance, as this place is constantly packed. Once you try the food, you’ll understand why.

The restaurant is set on an old train depot, giving it a cute and cozy vibe. They always have seasonal specials, and I always end up ordering one of these dishes. You’ll want to save room for dessert too, as they are all amazing.

Day 3 – Hike at Cape Disappointment

For your last day in Long Beach, you’ll head south to spend a day hiking and learning about the history of the area. Stop at Cottage Bakery first to grab a coffee and pastry to fuel you for your day.

cottage bakery long beach

The hiking in this area is some of the most scenic in Washington, which is saying a lot. Head up to Cape Disappointment State Park to hike a variety of different trails. You’ll need a Discover Pass or have to pay $10 for a day pass.

One of the shorter, more popular trails is the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse. This is the oldest operating lighthouse on the West coast.  

long beach lighthouse

Its purpose is to protect mariners from the rough and constantly changing Columbia River Bar in the dangerous area known as the ‘Graveyard of the Pacific’. The hike is a bit steep at the end, but worth it for the views of the Pacific.

When you’re ready to come indoors, visit the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center. There are a variety of exhibits that explain the history of the area, which I always find makes it more fascinating. Admission costs $5 per person, and kids under 7 are free.

lewis and clark interpretive center

There are several hikes nearby that are less than a mile long and relatively flat. They were great to take my young son on so he could explore nature without needing to get our hiking backpack out.

north head lighthouse hike family

You’re probably ready for lunch at this point, so head to the nearby town of Ilwaco. The Waterline Pub at At The Helm Hotel is a cute place to have lunch while having a view of the water. There’s a variety of local seafood to choose from for your meal.

After lunch, you may start to think of heading back home depending on how far your drive is. You can always stop in a few local shops on your way out and grab a snack for the road. Enjoy your drive home while you talk about how soon you want to come back!

long beach coast
Planning a Pacific Northwest vacation? Here's how to spend a weekend in Long Beach, Washington. #longbeach #washington #pacificnorthwest #westcoast
Planning a Pacific Northwest vacation? Here's how to spend a weekend in Long Beach, Washington. #longbeach #washington #pacificnorthwest #westcoast
Planning a Pacific Northwest vacation? Here's how to spend a weekend in Long Beach, Washington. #pacificnorthwest #westcoast #longbeach #washington
How to Spend a Cozy Weekend in Long Beach, Washington

31 thoughts on “How to Spend a Cozy Weekend in Long Beach, Washington

  1. Nicole says:

    Gosh, Long Beach sounds so inviting right now, and there is quite a bit to do I see! I have never visited the west coast but it’s definitely on my bucket list.

  2. Postcards To Seattle says:

    Thanks Nicole! If you make it out to the West Coast, you should add Long Beach to your list!

  3. Postcards To Seattle says:

    Thanks Fatima, Long Beach is great for families, couples, or even solo travelers!

  4. Mimi Rose says:

    I’ve never heard of this Long Beach (only the one in California) and I didn’t know it was the longest beach in the USA, that’s so cool! It looks absolutely beautiful and I love how many outdoorsy things there are to do there. Horseback riding on the beach sounds like such a fun (and slightly majestic) experience. 🙂

  5. Postcards To Seattle says:

    It’s an amazing beach! I don’t know if you’ll have time to visit before you move, but I hope you get to visit it!

  6. Jen says:

    I’ve never been to Long Beach either and have been wanting to go. Thanks for all the recommendations of places to try – we’ll definitely have to check it out!

  7. Valerie Hansen says:

    I have only been through Long Beach..once on my way to Seaside..such a beautiful spot! Your pictures are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing…

    Valerie
    Fashion and Travel
    #pnwbloggers

  8. Adria | The Emerald Palate says:

    Ooo I love the idea of horseback riding on the beach! I was in Long Beach for only a short trip. When I go back this will definitely be on my list!

  9. Postcards To Seattle says:

    Oh there’s so many restaurants to choose from Maegen, I could go back and do a culinary tour alone!

  10. Mark says:

    Born and raised in Washington and I’ve never been to Long Beach. I love Astoria, the Astoria-Megler Bridge, and that part of the coastline too. Going to seriously have to get there soon. Great photos!

  11. Katy Shaw says:

    I love Long Beach! I’m a Washington native and I’ve been to Long Beach lots of times. One of my favorite activities is going to Marsh’s Free Museum and seeing Jake the Alligator man. It’s a little cheesy but hey, what can I say, I’m a cheesy gal ;).

    -A Rambling Unicorn

  12. Dauniele says:

    I used to live there and it’s amazing. Some of the best memories are from Long Beach! The kite festival, the sand carving competitions, all the different hikes one can go on, cranberry fields, fishing, clams, some of the best clam chowder, wildlife, old barracks, driving on the beach for miles, light houses, kite flying, the history in and around,…. I could go on. It’s truly a wonderful place to make memories.

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