Fill your spring break with coastal memories on the Long Beach Peninsula! It’s an easy 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, beach combing, exploring and creating new family traditions. But there’s so much more to do than getting sand in your shoes! Here are seven 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 in the summer, 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 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.
Funland has all your favorite arcade games with plenty of new ones as well. Earn tickets and redeem them for fun prizes at the front counter. Then, head upstairs for a game of laser tag. The high score winner receives a free pass.
Enjoy classic rides like a carousel, tilt-a-whirl and bumper cars at The Rides. You’ll have everyone grinning ear-to-ear!
Head down the street to the newly renovated Fun Beach Fun Center for a round of mini-golf, then race around the go-kart track together. Drop by their Pit Stop for ice cream, sweets and snacks if you work up an appetite.
3. Enjoy sweets on the boardwalk.
Spring break wouldn’t be complete without a special treat!
Choose from dozens of ice cream flavors at Scoopers or eat some of the best donuts you’ve ever tasted at Cottage Bakery. Downtown Long Beach has plenty of treats for the kids or for your inner-child.
Once you pick out your favorite treats, stroll along the boardwalk between the Sid Snyder and Bolstad beach approaches. The views are breathtaking! You’ll come across picnic tables and interpretive panels along the way. Stair steps and paths winding through the dunes might tempt you to explore more.
And did we mention it’s a great place to watch the sunset?
4. 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 fact 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.
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.
5. Visit a lighthouse (or two).
The North Head Lighthouse is an easy walk. Even though it’s currently undergoing renovations, you can still enjoy the trail and see the lighthouse. Requiring more of a hike, the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse overlooks the mouth of the Columbia River.
6. 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.
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.
7. 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 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.