Washington boasts more than 160 miles of coastline, stretching from the Columbia River to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. And whether you’d prefer to catch waves, go for a hike, fly a kite or just wiggle your toes in the sand, there’s a beach here with your name on it.
In the tiny village of La Push near the tip of the Olympic Peninsula, the Second Beach Trail, 14 miles west of U.S. 101, leads over sandy beaches lined with ancient sea stacks and tide pools packed with colorful urchins.
Tucked inside the western fringe of Olympic National Park, Rialto Beach is strewn with sun-bleached logs and cobbly rocks. An hour to the south, Kalaloch Beach, which sits directly off 101, is among the park’s most accessible beaches and a great spot for birders.
Set on the westernmost point in the Lower 48, Cape Alava is home to the popular Ozette Loop. The 9.3-mile trek reveals a highlight reel of coastal wonders, including Lake Ozette, one of the state’s largest bodies of freshwater.
You won’t confuse this sandy cove inside Cape Disappointment State Park with that other Hawaiian beach. And that’s a good thing: practically the only manmade structures around happen to be historic lighthouses. And the park’s Benson Beach offers long stretches of sandy beach tailor-made for riding the wind.
Long Beach Peninsula
In southwest Washington, the Long Beach Peninsula offers a 28-miles stretch of public beaches and state parks. Explore Long Beach, a picturesque beach town equipped with game parlors, old-fashioned amusement park rides, sweet shops and quirky museums.
Photo Credit: The Long Beach Peninsula/(c) 2013 LDELD / Flickr.com