Why Ocean Shores, WA is Your Next Must-Visit Destination
Looking for a spot that combines the allure of pristine beaches with family-friendly activities and romantic getaways? From beachside camping to sunset picnics, this coastal paradise has something for everyone. Stick around as we dive into all the awesome things you can do in this Pacific Northwest haven.
- Why Ocean Shores is a Must-Visit Destination
- When to Visit
- Weather Patterns: Summer vs. Winter
- Peak Season vs. Off-Season
- Top Beaches in Ocean Shores
- Water Activities in Ocean Shores
- Land Activities in Ocean Shores
- Family-Friendly Attractions in Ocean Shores
- Ocean Shores RV Parks
- Quinault Marina + RV Park
- Oceana Campground
- Can You Drive on the Beach at Ocean Shores?
- Can You Have a Fire at Ocean Shores?
- Can You Swim in Ocean Shores, WA?
Why Ocean Shores is a Must-Visit Destination
Ocean Shores! The very name evokes images of sandy beaches stretching as far as the eye can see, waves gently caressing the shoreline, and that salty sea breeze that instantly calms your mind. Trust me, this place is every bit as idyllic as it sounds. So, what makes Ocean Shores a must-visit destination?
- Natural Beauty: First off, the natural beauty of Ocean Shores is breathtaking. It’s like Mother Nature spent extra time here, crafting each wave and molding each dune. Picture yourself taking a sunset stroll, the sky exploding in shades of pink and orange, all while the Pacific Ocean whispers sweet nothings in your ear. It’s pure magic!
- Family-Friendly Activities: But hey, it’s not just about the panoramic views and photo-ops. Ocean Shores is jam-packed with family-friendly activities. Imagine building sandcastles with the kiddos, flying kites that dance with the wind, or exploring tide pools teeming with marine life. There’s no room for the word ‘boredom’ here.
- Romantic Getaways: Looking for a romantic retreat? Ocean Shores has you covered. Whether it’s a horseback ride along the beach or a cozy dinner with ocean views, the place exudes romance. Couples can look forward to creating memories that’ll be cherished for a lifetime.
When to Visit
Alright, now that you’re sold on why Ocean Shores should be on your bucket list, let’s talk timing. When is the best time to visit this slice of heaven?
Weather Patterns: Summer vs. Winter
The climate here is pretty temperate, but each season has its own charm. Summer is absolutely sublime with mild temperatures and plenty of sunshine. Think sunbathing, swimming, and barbecues. Winter, on the other hand, offers a different kind of beauty. It’s quieter and the ocean turns a shade darker, providing a dramatic backdrop for introspection or perhaps a proposal. Wink, wink!
Peak Season vs. Off-Season
As you’d expect, peak season usually falls between June and August. It’s when the city comes alive with tourists, events, and outdoor activities. However, the off-season is equally attractive. Fewer crowds mean you get more of the beach to yourself, and accommodations are often cheaper. So, if you’re looking for solitude or are on a budget, visiting during spring or fall might be a smart move.
Getting to Ocean Shores
Okay, let’s talk logistics! You’re all pumped to head to Ocean Shores, and now you’re wondering how to actually get there. Don’t fret; I’ve got the lowdown on all the travel options available to make your journey as smooth as the sandy beaches waiting for you.
Your first stop is likely going to be an airport. The nearest major airports to Ocean Shores are Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) and Portland International Airport (PDX). Both are well-connected, offering a range of flight options.
Best Driving Routes
Love a good road trip? Me too! If you’re coming from Seattle, hop on WA-8 W and US-12 W to Aberdeen, then follow WA-109 S straight into Ocean Shores. The journey typically takes around 2.5 hours. From Portland, you’re looking at about a 3-hour drive via US-26 W and US-101 N. These routes offer scenic views that practically beg you to pull over and snap a few pics.
Public Transportation Options
Not keen on driving? You’ve still got options. Grays Harbor Transit offers routes that connect Aberdeen to Ocean Shores, and you can easily reach Aberdeen by bus or train from major cities. It’s a budget-friendly way to travel and lets you kick back and enjoy the ride.
Top Beaches in Ocean Shores
You’ve made it to Ocean Shores, and now it’s time to hit the beach! But with so many sandy stretches to choose from, which one should you go for? Fear not, my sun-loving friend, I’ve got you covered. Here’s the scoop on the top beaches in this coastal paradise.
- Ocean City State Park: This is the quintessential Ocean Shores beach experience. Miles of sandy shoreline, dunes as far as the eye can see, and an atmosphere that’s perfect for family picnics and flying kites. It’s what you picture when you close your eyes and think, “beach day.”
- North Jetty: Looking for a slightly rugged beach experience? North Jetty is your spot. It’s a fantastic place for beachcombing, and the rock formations by the water provide a unique setting for photos. Plus, the shipping lanes in the distance offer an ever-changing backdrop of boats and cargo ships.
- Chance A La Mer Beach: This beach is like the local hangout spot but for everyone. Chance A La Mer Beach is easily accessible, close to local shops and restaurants, and it’s great for beach volleyball or just lounging around. It’s the sort of place where you can pack a picnic basket, set up camp, and let the hours drift by.
Water Activities in Ocean Shores
Alright, now that you know where to spread your towel, let’s talk about the liquid part of your trip—water activities! Ocean Shores is an aquatic playground, and you’re invited to dive in.
- Surfing and Kite Flying: Surf’s up, dude! If riding waves is your thing, you’ll find ample opportunities here. Don’t worry if you’re a beginner; there are plenty of surf schools that offer lessons. Not a surfer? How about flying a kite on the shoreline as the winds sweep off the ocean? It’s harder than it looks but twice as fun.
- Fishing Opportunities: If you’re more of a “sitting by the shore with a fishing rod” kind of person, Ocean Shores is still your jam. Dig for razor clams, cast a line off a jetty, or even charter a boat for deep-sea fishing. Whatever your angler’s heart desires, you can probably find it here.
- Whale Watching: Ever seen a whale breach while you’re casually sipping on a cocktail? Well, you just might in Ocean Shores! Whale watching is a popular activity, especially between March and May when the gray whales migrate. It’s one of those “I can’t believe I just saw that” experiences.
Land Activities in Ocean Shores
Okay, so we’ve covered the sea and the sand. But guess what? Ocean Shores is more than just a beach destination. For those of you who prefer terra firma—or just need a break from the surf and sun—there are plenty of land-based activities to keep you entertained.
- Horseback Riding: Ready for a unique beach experience? How about horseback riding along the shoreline? Yep, you heard me right. You can trot along the water’s edge and feel like you’re in a scene straight out of a movie. It’s an activity that’s as romantic as it is fun.
- Golfing: Fore! If you’re a golfer, you’ll be happy to hear that Ocean Shores boasts a well-maintained public golf course. Picture yourself swinging your club with the ocean breeze on your back—doesn’t get much better than that!
- Biking and Hiking: Prefer to power yourself? Ocean Shores has a multitude of biking and hiking trails that offer breathtaking views of the landscape. Whether you’re pedaling through scenic routes or hiking up a nature trail, the experience promises to be both invigorating and tranquil.
Family-Friendly Attractions in Ocean Shores
Okay, moms and dads, this one’s for you. When you’ve got little ones in tow, you need activities that are fun for the whole family. And you’re in luck, because Ocean Shores is practically a playground for kids and adults alike.
- Miniature Golf and Go-Karts: How about a round of mini-golf? Or perhaps some go-kart racing? These classic family-friendly activities are a hit with kids and can bring out the competitive side of any parent. It’s good, clean fun that promises lots of laughter and maybe a little bragging.
- Interpretive Center: The Ocean Shores Interpretive Center is a hidden gem where kids can learn about local history, geology, and wildlife. It’s like a classroom, but with touch tanks and interactive displays. Yep, this is learning the fun way!
- Funtasia Family Fun Park: For the ultimate family adventure, you’ve got to check out Funtasia Family Fun Park. Think bumper boats, batting cages, and an arcade full of games. Trust me, your kids will be talking about it for weeks, and let’s be real—you’ll have a blast too!
Ocean Shores RV Parks
So you’ve decided to embark on a camping adventure in Ocean Shores—awesome choice! The salty air, the crash of waves, and a campfire flickering under the stars; what could be better? But hold your horses, we’ve got a critical decision to make: where to pitch that tent or park that RV?
Quinault Marina + RV Park
If “close to the beach” is your primary search criterion, then Quinault Marina + RV Park is your go-to. It’s steps away from the beach, people! You can practically smell the ocean from your RV or tent.
Besides the killer views, this RV park is fully equipped with potable water and RV hookups. It’s got the basics covered so you can focus on fun, sun, and relaxation.
Situated near Damon’s Point, the park offers a unique blend of beach and natural beauty. It’s the only campground on the Point Brown Peninsula, so you’re in for something special.
Rain or shine, summer or winter, this park is open year-round. Plus, they accept reservations, so you can plan your getaway in advance.
Located just north of Ocean Shores, Oceana Campground serves as a wonderful home base for exploring the area. It’s also open year-round. This campground offers a range of facilities like a clubhouse, playground, and restroom/shower facilities. It’s got the little extras that can make a camping trip feel like a holiday.
Can You Drive on the Beach at Ocean Shores?
The thrill of driving on the beach—windows down, the fresh salty breeze swirling through your car, and endless horizons ahead! Yep, at Ocean Shores, this dream becomes a reality. You can actually drive right onto the beach, and let me tell you, it’s every bit as exciting as it sounds.
There’s something special about watching the sun dip below the ocean’s horizon, especially when you don’t even have to leave your car to experience it. We drove out onto the beach for this celestial spectacle and trust me, it’s a memory for the keepsake box.
Another advantage? You can escape the crowds by driving farther away from the beach access points. Your beach experience just got a personal upgrade—more space, more privacy. Just be aware, some drivers can get a bit zippy, so keep an eye out for other vehicles.
If you’re new to the whole ‘driving on the beach’ experience, a word of caution—stick to the hard-packed sand. Dry and soft sand can trap your vehicle faster than you can say, “Wait, what just happened?” And oh, the speed limit is a chill 25 miles per hour.
Can You Have a Fire at Ocean Shores?
Who doesn’t love a good beach bonfire, right? At Ocean Shores, this is totally doable. You can have a fire, as long as it’s smaller than 3 feet in height and width. The rules also state that your campfire should be at least 100 feet west of the dune line.
Ocean Shores can get windy, and while that’s great for flying a kite, it’s not so great for open flames. So if the winds are picking up, maybe save that campfire for another day.
Can You Swim in Ocean Shores, WA?
Yes, you can swim in Ocean Shores, but let’s just say it’s an invigorating experience. The water here can get, um, pretty chilly, averaging around 55 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. If you’re planning on surfing or boogie boarding, a wet suit or dry suit isn’t just a suggestion—it’s practically a necessity unless you want to turn into a human popsicle.
And remember, there are no lifeguards at these beaches. Plus, the ocean currents can be deceptively strong. The city recommends wearing a life jacket if you’re going to be playing near the water. Also, keep an eye out for rip currents; they’re not just a plot point in beach movies, they’re real and can be dangerous.
So, we’ve surfed the waves, explored the trails, reveled in romantic moments, and even got a taste of the local camping scene. To sum it up, Ocean Shores, WA is not just a destination—it’s an experience! Whether you’re into land activities, water sports, or simply soaking up the sun, this place has got a little bit of everything.