Fill your spring break with coastal memories on the Long Beach Peninsula! It’s an easy scenic drive from both Portland and Seattle but still miles away from work, school and chores. With 28 miles of sandy beach, it’s the perfect place for kite flying, sandcastle building, beachcombing, exploring, and creating new family traditions. But there’s so much more to do than getting sand in your shoes! Here are eight family-friendly spring break ideas for an adventurous and fun week at the beach.
1. Go fly a kite!
Home to the Washington State International Kite Festival traditionally held the third full week of August, Long Beach is known for kite-flying fun! It’s the perfect way to spend a day on the beach together.
Don’t miss the World Kite Museum with an impressive collection of over 1,500 colorful kites from all over the world! From mid-March to mid-April, they provide special spring break programming. Play the kite poster trivia game, make origami cranes or create your own kites.
Didn’t bring a kite? The museum gift store has kites available, but you can also check out Stormin’ Norman’s and Wind World Kites for more options. Big or small, kites make great souvenirs and great memories.
2. Play in downtown Long Beach.
The colorful strip of shops in downtown Long Beach is well worth exploring! Find everything from kites to unique handmade items as well as souvenirs and salt water taffy.
The town of Long Beach is family-friendly with countless ways to have fun. Here are some of the best things to do in Long Beach:
Walk along the boardwalk
Ride go-karts and play mini-golf at Fun Beach Speedway
Pick out your favorite donuts at Dylan’s Cottage Bakery
Play laser tag and win fun prizes at Funland
Build a sandcastle on the beach
Enjoy some tasty ice cream at Scoopers
Bike or walk the Discovery Trail
Pick out a new kite
There are endless ways to have fun in Long Beach! Get inspired with our blog!
3. Discover the whimsical and weird side of the peninsula (and beyond).
Marsh’s Free Museum is the classic stop for all things weird on the peninsula. Come face to face with Jake the Alligator Man and a two-headed calf. Have your fortune told from an antique fortune telling machine. Listen to a self-playing violin. Marsh’s is packed with curiosities.
4. Visit a lighthouse (or two).
It’s an easy walk to the North Head Lighthouse. Built-in 1856 with an overlook, interpretive signage, and stunning views. The trail loops back through the original campus grounds where you can see the lighthouse keeper’s residency. A little bit longer and steeper hike, the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse overlooks the mouth of the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean.
5. Get to know the local wildlife.
The Long Beach Peninsula and Pacific County have countless feathered friends! Bring a pair of binoculars to spot bald eagles, owls, shorebirds, hawks, and more. You can learn more about the types of birds that call the area home as well as other wildlife by visiting the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge’s art trail just off Highway 101. Be sure to keep an eye out for deer and elk when driving anywhere in Pacific County.
Turn your eyes to the ocean and keep a lookout for migrating whales as well. Check out these whale watching tips and locations before you go.
6. Have a blast from the past.
History comes to life in Pacific County. There are 10 museums and interpretive centers in the area where you can learn about everything from cranberry farming to exploration.
Go to the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum where you’ll find a passenger car from the Clamshell Railroad and a model of the whole peninsula (tip: Thursdays are free at the museum). Learn about the Corps of Discovery’s journey and check out a lighthouse lens at the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center. Visit the Northwest Carriage Museum for over 50 historic carriages and wagons.
7. Horseback Ride Along the Coast
Horseback riding on the beach has been a favorite activity for visitors and locals for decades. There’s just something about riding a horse alongside crashing surf and breathing in the fresh, sea air. Book a horse ride at West Coast Horse Rides and Back Country Horse Adventures. Both are located on Sid Snyder Dr. in downtown Long Beach. Definitely, something that will make a Spring Break vacation unforgettable!
8. Take a Hike!
For a colorful and interesting hike, head to the Willapa Art Trail just off Highway 101. Sculptures line the trail and interpretive panels provide an opportunity to learn more about this unique environment. Or explore the end end of the peninsula at Leadbetter State Park where there are three different trails (discover pass required). Cape Disappointment also has 8 miles of hiking trails! Bell’s View Trail is leisurely and rewards you with a view of the peninsula’s seemingly endless stretch of beach. North Head Trail is a bit more challenging and connects to McKenzie Head where you’ll find an old gun battery. And of course, you shouldn’t leave without hiking to one of the lighthouses.
Whatever you do, don’t forget to take a photo and tag us @visitlongbeachwa to be featured!