Core memories are made daily down at the shore of Long Beach Peninsula. Our coastal town has been a popular destination for small-town family fun for over a century. The endless beaches, mom-and-pop stores, traversable nature, and remarkable beauty make a perfect family holiday. Pack up your beach bag and grab your brood (you can even bring Fido)! It’s time for quaint family fun and memory-making in Long Beach Peninsula.
The Wilderness Will Be Explored!
We’re lucky to boast seven state parks and five wildlife/conservation areas in our county. The outdoor recreation opportunities here are endless! Bring your wildlings out into our great wide open, and commune with nature while you bond as a family.
State Parks and Wildlife Refuges
In addition to our most well-known option (we’re looking at you, Cape D), we also love our other parks. Fort Columbia State Park is a must-see for military and maritime history buffs. Sandy beaches and forests teeming with wildlife combine at Leadbetter Point State Park. And Pacific Pines State Park and Loomis Lake State Park, while small, offer trailheads and that classic, grassy dune Washington experience.
Our wildlife refuges, preserves, and conservation areas are something to see for the whole family too. Visit the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge, Palix State Wildlife Recreation Area, Bone River Natural Area Preserve, Niawiakum River Natural Area Preserve, and Willapa Bay Cedar River Conservation. Grab a Discover Pass and spend the week exploring the state parks for some nature-loving, family fun.
Fun at the Beach
You can have plenty of small-town family fun on our miles of open beaches. The waters aren’t ideal for swimming due to the currents, but there are plenty of other activity options that are just beachy. Take your family clamming, build sandcastles, and go fly a kite. Bring a picnic and your pooch down to the shoreline and write your name in the sand. You’ll see eagles and seagulls leaving their own tracks on the beach. And you may be lucky enough to spot someone making a sand labyrinth. Catch the sunset as it extinguishes into the sea.
Can you picture yourself trotting down one of the world’s longest beaches on horseback? Now you can experience it! Enjoy a guided horseback ride next to the Pacific Ocean and watch the beautiful waves break along the sand. Local companies like Long Beach Horse Rides and West Coast Horse Rides offer several packages for riders.
It’s Like Riding a Bike!
You should see our town from the seat of a bike! After all, what’s more small-town family fun than a bike ride through a beach town? Many of the hotels in the area include free bike rentals for their guests. There are also several bike rental companies in the area. You can even get an electric bike for a little more zoom.
Unique Small-Town Museum
Our towns love their museums. We have an entire month dedicated to their celebration. With 11 quaint and lovingly curated gems in the area, there is plenty to choose from regarding local culture, art, and artifacts. When looking for small-town family fun on the Pacific Coast, visit one of our unique museums.
World Kite Museum
The gusty wind-swept shores of Long Beach Peninsula are a kite’s haven, which makes this the ideal town for a museum that celebrates them. Small-town family fun is at the World Kite Museum in downtown Long Beach.
The museum’s collection is astounding. Over 1,500 kites from over 26 countries are in the two-story building. Squint to see working kites that are no bigger than a postage stamp. And then stand below a three-headed dragon kite more than 200 feet long. The history buffs in the family will want to spend time in the War Room. Learn the fascinating history behind kites used during World War.
When you’ve traveled through the history of kites together, stop in their gift shop to buy your own. The beach is mere steps from the museum, so your family can try their hand at kite mastery.
Northwest Carriage Museum
It would be hard to find a more endearing small-town museum. The Northwest Carriage Museum is devoted to the history of carriages and buggies. It boasts over 60 specialty vehicles and is one of America’s best collections of 19th-century horse-drawn vehicles. Here you will see Hollywood-era curations from the movies “Gone with the Wind,” “The Little Princess,” and “Virginia City.”
In addition to the buggy cameos noted above, see work wagons, sleighs, and everyday buggies. Stroll through their replica one-room school room, blacksmith shop, and gift shop. You’re encouraged to have family fun and “come get carried away!”
Fun Family Attractions in Long Beach
Our small town is bursting with fun, family attractions. From movie houses to pickleball, we’ve got it all.
Marsh’s Free Museum
What do you get when you mix curious, antiques, gifts, and a crocodile man? You get one heck of an afternoon. Welcome to Marsh’s Museum! Despite its name, this spot is a curio store. Established in 1921, this Pacific Coast specialty shop is chockful of family fun.
A collection of vintage arcade games, including mechanical fortune tellers and retro peep shows, line the walls, ready for your coins. The biggest draw is the sideshow-worthy “Jake the Alligator Man.” Jake is a mummified half-man, half-alligator with pop culture status in the Pacific Northwest. The shop also features hundreds of gifts. Marsh’s houses one of America’s largest collections of glass fishing floats and thousands of seashells. Your family can spend hours picking through the baubles and trinkets.
Funland Family Fun Center
Nestled in the heart of downtown Long Beach is the Funland Family Fun Center. It sports over 60 arcade games, including a laser tag arena. This center is the epitome of small-town family fun. Win prizes, play classic games, and experience high-tech wonder with the whole gang.
Fun Beach Speedway Go-Karts and Mini Golf
Get the need for speed in this small-town family fun center! Fun Beach Speedway offers good-time go-karting and amusing mini golf, all in one spot. Race your family in one of their American-made go-karts before trying your hand at sinking a hole in one. At night the place glows with festive market lights under the brilliant coastal sky.
Neptune Movie House
The beloved 2-theater movie house is hard to miss. The turquoise Neptune Movie House occupies the corner of 9th and Ocean Beach Blvd. A family-owned operation, this is a perfect place for small-town family fun. The latest blockbusters and family classics play throughout the week.
This popular game is a pretty big dill! Pickleball has overtaken the world, and the peninsula is no exception! Rent a court at the Lighthouse Oceanfront Resort. Their Lighthouse Oceanfront Resort features six indoor courts for rain-or-shine pickleball play. And if you don’t want to pay to play, Ocean Park Pickleball offers three brand-new outdoor courts. Be sure to B.Y.O.N. (Bring Your Own Net.)
Small-town family fun must include some sweet treats. Our family-owned shops serve up just the thing for your sweet tooth.
Dylan’s Cottage Bakery & Delicatessen
If downtown Long Beach had a heartbeat, it might be Dylan’s Cottage Bakery & Delicatessen. This scratch bakery has been an institution in town for over 50 years. Their story is a beautiful one of family, which makes it an ideal spot to bring yours. Deliciously delectable donuts line the glass display cakes, nestled next to tarts and turnovers. Choose between a sticky cherry pastry or a maple-slicked bar. Or grab a bag full of warm cookies. They also offer savory homemade bread and rolls. And their deli counter serves breakfast items, fresh sandwiches, and chowder. You may stop here more than once on your family vacation to Pacific County.
The Candy Man Sweet Shoppe
This nostalgic sweet shop is a sweet tooth’s paradise. Your family can stock up on saltwater taffy, homemade fudge, retro candy, and sentimental treats.
Sweet Phee’s is a family spot where you can get all your favorite foods in one place! The small shop next to Marsh’s Museum features all your favorite seaside treats. Enjoy pizza, hot dogs, frozen yogurt, and floats. Tuck into one of their famous cinnamon-sugar-dusted Elephant Ears as your family strolls down Pacific Avenue.
Scooper’s Ice Cream
Scooper’s is a hometown ice cream joint inside a small market. You can smell the homemade waffle cones and kettle corn as soon as you walk in the door. Get a scoop of one of the many flavors of their Cascade Glacier Ice Cream offerings. Pick from Cookies and Cream, Marionberry Pie, or Maui Wowie. Their menu changes with the seasons, so you can have family fun by trying a new flavor every night.
Small-Town Family Fun, Big-Time Family Memories
Our collection of towns has been the backdrop for small-town family fun for multiple generations. The main-street memories made on our beaches, cafes, and sweet shops are more than snapshots. They are moments that will create your family scrapbook of core memories.
By: Danelle Dodds
Danelle is an international traveler, road tripper, writer, and artist. She firmly believes in testing the limits of word count, mileage, and AYCE sushi.