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Places Welcoming You

gs logo Friends Landing RV Park
Montesano, Washington
gs logo Toutle River RV Resort
Castle Rock, Washington
gs logo Elwha Dam RV Park
Port Angeles, Washington
gs logo Lake Pleasant RV Park
Bothell, Washington
gs logo North Spokane RV Campground
Spokane, Washington

Grays Harbor/Long Beach/Ocean Park

Clamming, wildlife and wild parties await

Washington State’s Southwest corner is a seaside getaway that calls to seafarers, beach lovers and nature enthusiasts. A temperate climate and dozens of welcoming communities make Grays Harbor County a delightful destination year-round.

Wade on the Wild Side

Wildlife is abundant in the region, and most prominent are the avian species that make Grays Harbor a birdwatcher’s paradise. Whether you chase after sea birds on a boat tour from Westport or track migrating species through the marshes near Ocean Shores, you’ll be pleased with the sheer variety of feathered inhabitants here. Rare species such as mottled petrel, Eurasian dotterel, curlew sandpiper and yellow wagtail have been seen in the area as well.

The town of Hoquiam holds the nationally known Shorebird Festival, welcoming visitors to watch as hundreds of thousands of shorebirds make their way through Grays Harbor, traveling from Central and South America during the spring migration. The Grays Harbor Wildlife National Refuge welcomes these birds to rest and refuel among the tidal mud flats before continuing further north to the Arctic.

If you’re headed to the seashore, roll up your pants and grab a shovel, because Grays Harbor beaches are prime clam-digging spots. Razor clams are the prize here, and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife shares open dates for harvesting each season. Spring and early summer bring Dungeness and red rock crabs that can be caught using dip nets.

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Joe Mabel

Have a Sporting Time

Few things give sportsmen a bigger rush than bouncing over waves while trying to reel in a prize catch. Saltwater fishing off the southern Washington coast brings anglers into waters run by tuna, halibut, rockfish and salmon.

Away from the shores, you’ll find just as many water recreation opportunities. Freshwater fishing means steelhead, trout and salmon, as well as bass, crappie and bluegill. Lake Aberdeen boasts a pleasant shallow area for wading and swimming, and boats are allowed out on the water as well. Fishermen and women are encouraged to cast a line here or in any of the numerous lakes, rivers and creeks, and see what bites.

Party Like a Local

There’s no party like a West Coast party, and the cities of Grays Harbor County know how to throw a party—several a year, in fact. No matter the season, you’ll find a reason to enjoy music, arts and crafts, good food and fun here.

Celebrate ShellFest in June and enjoy the bounty of the ocean courtesy of local restaurants, which come together to serve a community seafood lunch.

Further inland, you can enjoy the sights and sounds of the midway and its heart-pounding rides during the Grays Harbor County Fair in Elma. This annual fest comes around every summer to entertain crowds with headlining performers and local acts, as well as games and traditional fair concessions.

Nearby, Ocean Shores loves to celebrate all summer long, from a exuberant Flag Day Parade in June to its annual Beach Blast and Bikers at the Beach weekends in July.

Discover Grays Harbor History

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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Rain or shine, a trip to learn local history is always in season in Grays Harbor. The port cities of Aberdeen, Hoquiam and Cosmopolis invite explorers to learn about the logging history and maritime traditions of the region at the Aberdeen Museum of History and aboard the Tall Ships Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain.

Climb the Grays Harbor Lighthouse steps in the South Beach area and enjoy the expansive harbor views, and travel north to learn about the early Quinault people at the fascinating Coastal Interpretive Center.

Love for Long Beach

About an hour’s drive south on U.S. Route 101, the Long Beach peninsula is Washington’s most commercial stretch of coast. Flanking 28 miles of beach, dunes and forests, a scattering of seaside towns cater to holiday makers of every generation, with resorts, motels, amusement parks, trinket shops, museums, galleries, lighthouses, restaurants and a lively festival calendar. When the sun shines, active Washingtonians take to the beaches for kite flying, horseback riding, fishing, razor clam digging and beachcombing.

The wild and rugged Long Beach coastline may not lend itself to gentle swimming, but wide swathes sands blasted by gusty winds create perfect conditions for kite flyers. A handful of kite stores in Long Beach make it easy to get in on all of the high-flying fun.

One of the few beaches on the west coast where you can ride horseback on the sand, Long Beach fulfills every equestrian’s desire to gallop along the shore.

Head north along the peninsula for the low-key community of Ocean Park, which is worth a stroll for its handful of evocative structures and homes that speak to the town’s origin as a station on the narrow gauge Clamshell Railroad.

Ocean Park hosts a vibrant retail community, with a variety of retail shops, restaurants, fuel and grocery stores. Home to the annual Northwest Garlic Festival and the Rod Run to the End of the World, Ocean Park also commemorates Independence Day with an old-fashioned parade.

For More Information

Grays Harbor Tourism

800-621-9625

www.visitgraysharbor.com

 

Long Beach Peninsula

800-451-2542

www.funbeach.com

 

Ocean Park Area Chamber of Commerce

360-665-4448

www.opwa.com

 

Washington State Tourism

800-544-1800

www.experiencewa.com