Posted on September 16, 2013 at 1:43 PM
Wednesday, Oct 30 at 6:21 AM
This post was originally published on Actively Northwest.
When picturing Washington state, most people think about lush, evergreen forests, hiking trails and snow-capped mountains. However, there’s another side to this great state that doesn’t always come to mind. Even though sandy beaches and roaring surf may not be the first images one thinks about, that’s exactly what you’ll find at Ocean Shores on the Washington coast.
For those planning a weekend adventure in Washington, Ocean Shores is a must-visit. The small coastal town is actually a peninsula made up of more than 6 miles of sandy public beach to enjoy. Located about three hours from Seattle, Ocean Shores also offers great hiking, wildlife viewing and stiff winds that are perfect for flying kites.
To help you plan your trip, we’ve outlined a few of our favorite adventures around the area.
Head back in time as you hike through Washington’s very own rainforest. Just off highway 101, the Quinault Loop Trail
is a four mile loop that takes you along the shores of beautiful Lake Quinault and through dense old-growth forest. This hike is perfect for families looking for an easy day hike, and is dog friendly as well! Due to its low elevation, this hike is open year-round and generally snow-free.
WILDLIFE VIEWING – OYHUT WILDLIFE RECREATION AREA
Want to experience wildlife in their natural setting? Oyhut Wildlife Recreation Area
offers 683 acres of pristine wetlands and tidal flats, making it a perfect habitat for birds and bird watchers alike. This area is one of four remaining nesting sites in the state for the rare snowy plover
, so visitors should pay attention to park closures related to nesting season. If you’re passionate about bird watching, learn more about the Great Washington State Birding Trail
. There are more than 50 birding sites in the Olympic loop alone.
PICNICKING – GRIFFITHS-PRIDAY OCEAN STATE PARK
There’s no better way to wind down after a long day at the beach than with a healthy picnic dinner. From Ocean Shores, head north on Highway 109 for 25 minutes to Griffiths-Priday State Park
, a small and quiet park on the shore. Park in the lot and follow a short trail toward the water. You’ll come to a junction where you can go left to explore the beach, or cut right if you want to continue hiking along the bluff. Grab a seat in the sand and catch the ultimate view of the Pacific coast sunset, or take a walk along the Copalis River Spit
for a leisurely end to your day.
KITING – DAMON POINT STATE PARK
Widely considered one of the places for kite flying, Ocean Shores offers plenty of opportunities for kite-flying enthusiasts of all ages and experience levels. For those who want to stay in town, try heading to Damon Point State Park
. The park offers a long sand spit that is great for a breezy walk or kite flying. The park is also a hot spot for kite surfing. Don’t have a kite? Don’t worry! Ocean Shores Kites Inc
. has you covered.