Washington Coastal Highlights

With 157 miles of coastline, there’s a beach—and beach town—for everyone in Washington.
  • Long Beach
    This peninsula stretches like a pull of taffy along the coast. Walk the Discovery Trail past wetlands, forest groves and a gray whale skeleton, then explore eccentric picks, such as Marsh’s Free Museum, home to Jake the Alligator Man.
  • Westport
    Local Native American tribes set up summer camp here for hundreds of years. Join a Pacific Ocean fishing excursion, hike stairs up the tallest lighthouse in the state, watch an antique Fresnel lens play with light or cheer surfboarders riding watery plumes.
  • Ocean Shores
    This peninsula is six miles of sandy beaches and 23 miles of interconnecting freshwater lakes and canals. Walk the beach, golf, kayak, go horseback riding or stop by the Ocean Shores Interpretive Center to see a cast footprint of a native Northwesterner: Bigfoot.
  • Ruby Beach
    Only a half-hour from Forks, these storm-battered sands at the edge of Olympic National Park have solitude. Hike a quarter-mile trail to the driftwood-blanketed cove to see giant sea stacks looming just offshore.
  • Neah Bay
    At the edge of Makah tribal land, where the Pacific Ocean and the Strait of Juan de Fuca meet, this bay’s harbor launches fishing excursions for lingcod, salmon and halibut. The Makah Cultural and Research Center museum’s exhibits demonstrate how the Makah used native coastal plants and wove western red cedar into skirts and baskets.

—Lora Shinn