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When planning your vacations, if you opt for a beach location Long Beach is the perfect choice! Long Beach is the quintessential beach town. Whether your traveling with a family, yourself, your significant other or a group, it’s a great spot. The town is very family friendly, plenty of restaurants, shopping, beach play, and hiking. If you’re familiar with the Pacific Northwest, I’m sure you’ve heard and probably visited Ocean Shores, and Astoria (Goonies) – well Long Beach is right along that area. We love the Long Beach Peninsula; it has something for everyone from go-karting to a boardwalk on the beach, it’s very stroller accessible and places to stay right in the heart of the town.

Getting to Long Beach

It’s fairly easy to get to Long Beach and a beautiful drive. We found plenty of free public parking when we went, along the town and near the beach. You can easily park your car and walk downtown, including along the beach. That’s what I really appreciated and it was very accessible with a stroller.

  • By Car
    From VisitLongBeach “Just a short distance from the Portland and Seattle, as well as the I-5 Corridor and 20 miles north of historic Astoria, Oregon, the drive to the Long Beach Peninsula is beautiful.”
    From Tacoma, WA it’s 2 hours and 45 minutes and from Portland, OR it’s 2 hours and 25 minutes. Give some time if you want to stop of look at the beautiful scenery or check out something on the way.

Where to Stay

There are actually quite a few options to stay in Long Beach; whether you’re looking for a rv/camp site, a hotel, motel, bungalow or cottage. And if you’d like to stay in the heart of the town or surrounding. We decided to stay right in the middle of town, so we could just park our car at the hotel and walk everywhere and be close enough for nap/rest time. It was a great spot! There are a lot more lodging options then the ones listed below, I’ll focus on the family-friendly places and you can always check out vrbo.com and airbnb.com.

  • Best Western Long Beach Inn we stayed here last summer and we were very happy! newly renovated, in the middle of town, great continental breakfast, pet friendly, fresh cookies in the afternoon, very comfortable bed, the only downside our room didn’t have much space for a stroller so I don’t know how we would of set up a playpen/crib! Other than that we would definitely stay again.
  • Adrift Hotel newly renovated, ocean front, pet friendly.
  • Ocean View at the Arch another one conveniently located in the middle of town, pet friendly, continental breakfast, ocean front.
  • Boardwalk Cottages located in the center of town, close to beach, pet friendly, 1 or 2 bedrooms, hot tubs available and kitchenettes.
  • Akari Bungalows also located in the center of town, close to beach, pet friendly, newly renovated, 1 or 2 bedrooms fully equipment kitchenettes.

Where to Eat

There are plenty of food options in Long Beach; formal dining, fast food, take out, coffee shops, sweet shops. We only visited a few places during our trip as we had breakfast at the hotel, we didn’t go to any formal dining because of a one month old and a couple of the places I wanted to eat at were closed on a weekday. This summer we’ll definitely check out a few new places and update this list. Below you will find only a portion of what’s offered in Long Beach.

  • Streetside Tacos – closed Monday & Tuesday so keep that in mind but supposedly they are very good tacos! Located right on the main street
  • Captain Bob’s Chowder – closed Wednesdays (summer) and Tues/Wedn (winter), located on main street right next to Marsh’s Free Museum
  • Hungry Harbor – we ate here twice as they were conveniently located on main street, very family-friendly with the menu and outdoor and indoor seating, dining outside is pet-friendly
  • The Depot – in Seaview which is a few minute drive from town, family-friendly but pricey, deck seating available during summer, get your reservations in as this place was fairly busy
  • Castaway Seafood Grille – conveniently located in the town, serves lunch and dinner, kids menu and full service bar, this seemed like a popular place
  • El Compadre – authentic Mexican food
  • Cottage Bakery & Deli – find all your favorite baked goodies including donuts that are baked on the premises
  • Crab Pot – tasty seafood, dine in or visit the seafood market to prepare yourself.
  • Pickled Fish – located at Adrift Hotel is supposedly very hip and fun, family-friendly but families have mentioend service can be slow sometimes, over looks the ocean
  • Lost Roo – located downtown, family-friendly
  • Serious Pizza in Ilawco – a short drive outside of Long Beach, eat there or take to go a delicious wood-fired thin crust pizza
  • Scoopers – get yourself a huge ice cream cone from Scoopers, you won’t be disappointed
  • The Candy Man – find something to satisfy that sweet tooth

There were also a few places we didn’t have the best experience at and I’ll list those out below.

  • Malia Thai – we decided to grab food from here because it was conveniently located and everyone was tired so we got dinner. I won’t be wasting my money here again, although the staff were extremely friendly the food wasn’t good at all – I took one bite of the pad thai (if that’s what you want to call it) and spit it out, it was disgusting!
  • Blue Collar Eats – I believe this place is closed now. They had amazing sausage and all though they claim they’re kid-friendly I did not get that vibe.

What to Do

There’s so much to do and see in Long Beach, family-friendly and adults only. You could easily just spend the whole day checking out the town or stay a week, go on a budget or splurge. The ideas are endless, I’m just sharing some great ideas of what you could do in Long Beach.

  • Beach play – known for it’s long beach 28 miles worth! Collect treasures on the beach, fly a kite, build a sandcastle, have a picnic, barbecue, take a stroll, horseback riding and so much more. Wading and swimming are not recommended as the surf is unpredictable and currents strong.
  • Take a family photo in front of the World’s largest clam pan and World’s longest beach arch
  • Walk the 1/2 mile boardwalk – wheelchair/stroller accessible, there benches to sit along and check out the gray whale skeleton. Walk it in the morning and look for bald eagles
  • Take a surf lesson
  • Many shopping opportunities for everyone
  • Go go-karting at Fun Beach Speedway right in town
  • Go Putt Putt Golfing located in town right behind Stormin’ Norman’s Kites
  • FUNLAND Family Entertainment Center has tons of arcade games, lasertag, birthday parties
  • Take a ride on the Carousal located right in the center of town and maybe some of the other Rides will be operating
  • Watch a movie at the small Neptune Theater
  • Can’t go to Long Beach without a visit to Marsh’s Free Museum and check out the oddities including the world famous Jack the Alligatorman and check out the souvenir shop which I found the prices to be very reasonable. But no need to buy anything to check out all the oddities
  • Visit the World Kite Museum
  • Bring a cooler and load it up with fresh caught seafood to bring home
  • Take the short drive to Cape Disappointment State Park, this is my absolute favorite thing to do while in Long Beach! You could easily spend a day or two exploring the state park. From beaches, two working lighthouses, trails, an old military fort, camp, visit the Lewis & Clark Interpretative Center, storm watch, Waikiki Beach, and Dead Mans Cove. Just remember to bring your discover pass if you have one, otherwise it’s a small fee to use the state park.
  • They hold a lot fun Events in Long Beach so when planning you’re trip you want to plan accordingly. They have 4th of July festival, Sandsation, Summerfest all summer long on the weekends, Washington State International Kite Festival and so much more!

Remember to;
Bring your Discover Pass for the state parks
Bring appropriate clothing as it can get very windy and chilly even during summer
Bring a cooler to bring home fish and seafood

If you’ve been to Long Beach, what is your favorite thing to do? If you have yet to visit, what would be the number one thing you’d want to do? We can’t wait to visit again this summer and am already planning a few more things that we never got to experience, like a couple of the restaurants, Lewis & Clark Interpretative Center and Waikiki Beach – we saw it from a distance but never hiked the trail down!

Check out the Long Beach Peninsula in Washington state. It's the perfect beach vacation!

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