No trip to the Long Beach Peninsula is complete without venturing into greater Pacific County. In other words: Go further than Lewis & Clark.
Northern Pacific County is dotted with charming hamlets like Bay Center, South Bend, Raymond and Tokeland, all bayside towns where time ticks a little more slowly.
Our North County Itinerary boasts stops at a national wildlife refuge, two museums, a fresh seafood and oyster market and a kayak adventure. Make it a daytrip, a weekend or more!
North county touring
The North County Itinerary starts with a stop at the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge on Highway 101, about twenty minutes outside Long Beach. The Art Walk Trail takes you through a mix ofPacific Northwest habitats featuring interpretive art. Wildlife abounds as well – look for chum salmon, myriad birds, elk and more than a dozen species of amphibians.
Up the road in Bay Center is Ekone Oyster Co., where you can refuel on fresh live and shucked oysters, as well as smoked oysters, smoked mussels and exquisite canned tuna. And be sure to bring some home for friends and family! Bay Center/Willapa Bay KOA is nearby and a great place to camp.
Your next stop on Highway 101 is South Bend, home to the Pacific County Historical Society, a curator of local history. The museum tour highlights everything from cranberry farming and logging to bootlegging and shipbuilding. Enjoy a coffee or tea from Elixir Café & Floral Design, which offers the perfect perch to watch life on Willapa River. The Weekend Market on the Dock is May 29-Sept. 4.
Continue north on Highway 101 for about 10 minutes and you’ll come to the town of Raymond, historically a hub of the area lumber industry. Nowadays, attractions stretch well beyond toppling trees. Start your day at the Northwest Carriage Museum, home to one of the finest collections of historic carriages in the nation. More intrepid adventurers will want to visit Willapa Paddle Adventures, which will take you out of the ordinary and onto the water. You’ll also want to stroll the Willapa Heritage Corridor, a 2.8-mile walk lined with life-sized metal sculptures.
If you prefer indoor fun, head to Raymond on a Sunday for the seasonal Sunday Afternoon Liveperformance at the historic Raymond Theatre, which run September to May and attract nationally celebrated performers. Programming for children is featured as well.
Need something while you’re on the road in Raymond? Head to Dennis Company, the venerable general store that’s been a Pacific County staple for more than 110 years. If your stomach growls while you’re in Raymond, visit Pitchwood Alehouse for a bite and brew.