“we travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.”–anonymous
last weekend, greg surprised me with an overnight stay in long beach, washington. his mom grew up in oysterville, a quaint 80-acre historic district on the long beach peninsula. as a child, greg and his family frequented long beach during school breaks, and we’ve talked about visiting on numerous occasions. on sunday, we packed our bags—and galoshes—for a fun getaway!
our trip coincided with 2019s inaugural razor-clam dig. participants are invited to dig on pre-determined dates but limited to bringing home 15 clams. we joined greg’s uncle, a retired oysterman, on our clamming adventure. to be honest, i wasn’t nearly as excited about digging for (and touching) clams, but happily joined in exchange for a photo on the beach!
with the help of a trusty aluminum clam gun, greg found and dug up his allotment within 30 minutes. this was fortunate for me, as it was quite chilly at the beach. (i wore a sweatshirt, down jacket, greg’s down jacket, leggings, wool socks, and rain boots.) #alwayscold
after clamming, we were eager to check into our hotel. greg reserved a room at the adrift hotel, a block from downtown. it’s women-led with a business model that promotes social justice. the adrift hotel is committed to providing equitable wages for all staff, using sustainable products, and promoting local entrepreneurs and artisans. (they sell food, drinks, and souvenirs that are locally-sourced in the hotel’s lobby.) it’s an affordable, minimalist hotel with comfortable rooms and amenities. they offer a complimentary tea and coffee service, distillers tasting room, bike rentals, and ample games! our room was ocean-facing with a large window seat. i enjoyed reading my book while greg explored nearby dining options.
one of our favorite parts of staying at the adrift hotel was the on-site restaurant, pickled fish. we popped by for dinner and enjoyed a tasty meal and drinks! the crab cakes were quite possibly the best i’ve had, and the quinoa salad bowl, fish and chips, and mac + cheese was equally good.
on monday morning—while greg slept—i picked up coffee and explored the boardwalk. it stretches a half-mile along the pacific ocean. the boardwalk is handicap accessible, with scenic platforms scattered throughout. additionally, it is home to several iconic events held in long beach! the fourth of july fireworks and international kite festival are both viewed from the boardwalk.
in addition to clamming and dinner (or drinks) at the pickled fish, i rounded up a few nearby attractions you won’t want to miss—
unfortunately, i didn’t have time go inside banana books (pictured above)—i’ll have to visit again soon! i couldn’t help but take a photo of their charming outdoor space. the owner is a pet lover—pets are welcome inside—and knowledgeable about books from various genres. the bookstore features a coffee bar and is said to make delicious beverages!
long beach is home to marsh’s free museum, established in 1935. this museum is eclectic and entertaining; it’s unlike anything i’ve visited. instead of traditional art or relics, it features taxidermy, wonders of the seven seas, and oddities for sale. and let’s not forget the infamous tabloid king, jake the alligator man! (he has his own fan club.) you’ll want to pose for a photo with him once inside.
the world kite museum was steps from our hotel. this two-story museum introduces kites as a multicultural art, while highlighting modern-day designs and energy-efficient replicas. the displays are incredible! long beach celebrates the international kite festival each year in august, and the museum helps facilitate this iconic cultural event.
weather-permitting, you can also visit the rides, play a game of miniature golf, or schedule horse-riding lessons!
twenty minutes outside of downtown long beach, nestled into the willapa bay, is oysterville. this historic community was a “boomtown” in the mid-nineteenth century. when the oyster supply began to wane, however, the town sadly declined. the homes, church, and school house are worth visiting. (the area is loved by locals, too.) greg even showed me the darling house in which his grandparents and mom grew up!
if you have a sweet tooth, long beach is your ideal destination. whether you need donuts, cookies, ice cream, or cotton candy, there’s a sweet shop nearby to satiate your craving! with a mere 24 hours in town, greg and i were somewhat limited in terms of food options. (unfortunately, a girl can only consume so much ice cream.)
for lunch, we visited the corral drive in for burgers and tots. greg ordered a bacon cheeseburger, and i chose the chicken sandwich. both were delicious! if the corral is busy, greg recommends hungry harbor grille for burgers, corn dogs, or fish and chips.
if clam chowder is your snack of choice, swing by captain bob’s chowder on pacific avenue. (in addition to your traditional clam chowder, they feature rotating favorites—salmon chowder, tuna chowder, crab chowder, scallop and mushroom chowder, and/or a tomato-based seafood medley chowder.) decisions, decisions!
before leaving town, we visited the cottage bakery and delicatessen. (warning: if you’re trying to limit dessert consumption, enter at your own risk.) i could tell you greg and i walked out with a cookie apiece, but that would be dishonest. and i’ve been telling myself this little fib, “calories don’t count on vacation.” we purchased two donuts, two cookies, one scone, and one bear claw. the cakes and pies were equally enticing!
the shopping in long beach is typical of a small, coastal town. it’s primarily comprised of gift and vintage shops! unfortunately, greg and i didn’t have time to shop on this trip, but i know we’ll return.
i recommend stopping by the long beach hobo junction and niva green for souvenirs!
greg and i had a wonderful time on our overnight. a mere three-hour drive from seattle, long beach is the perfect getaway! i look forward to visiting again in the near future. have you visited long beach? what were your favorite activities?
**all photos taken on my iphone
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