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Long Beach Highlights
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Long Beach Highlights
  Washington State Travel Tip

The following information received from Long Beach Peninsula Public Relations

long_beach_sunset.jpg Washington's Favorite Long Beach Peninsula Offers Outdoor Sport and Creature Comforts

LONG BEACH March 19, 2001 -- Rich in history and modern conveniences, the Long Beach Peninsula, on Washington's southwestern-most coast, offers a range of year-round activities and amenities for families on vacation, couples looking for a romantic getaway or retirees exploring the scenic and historic countryside.

long_beach_dock.jpg Among its many charms, the peninsula boasts one of the longest beaches in the world a 28-mile stretch of continuous, public sand beach and a half-mile long oceanfront boardwalk, complete with seating, picnic areas and interpretive signage. The peninsula is also home to the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge, 19.5 square miles of protected habitat encompassing the northern limit of the Snowy Plover's breeding range, and two state parks, Fort Canby and Leadbetter Point.

Dining is legendary on the peninsula with notable eateries ranging from fine dining restaurants to oyster bars. The concentration of awarding-winning restaurants is somewhat of a phenomena. Within a 20 mile radius are four acclaimed restaurants The Ark in Nahcotta, The Sanctuary in Chinook, and, in Seaview, The Shoalwater and Cheri Walker's 42nd Street Cafe. Each has tremendous character. In fact, the Sanctuary is situated in a century-old church. Gourmet fare often features Northwest Regional Cuisine, distinguished for its use of seasonal, locally-gathered ingredients an abundance of fresh fish and seafood, game, wild berries of all kinds, wild mushrooms, cranberries, and more.

long_beach_oysterville_church.jpg The Peninsula's historic landmarks are equally appealing. They include two nineteenth century forts, the Cape Disappointment and North Head lighthouses, the town of Oysterville, the Shelbourne Inn, and several turn-of-the-century Victorian homes, many of which have been restored and are maintained as bed and breakfast establishments. For history buffs, the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center and the Ilwaco Heritage Museum offer insight into the area's past. Tracing Lewis and Clark's 28-month voyage of discovery (1802-1805) which culminated on the Long Beach Peninsula, the state-of-the-art center brings the expedition to life while the Heritage Museum focuses on local history: the Chinook way of life, early settlers, and early industry on the peninsula. In the town of Nahcotta, the Willapa Bay Interpretive Center's focus is oysters, the history of the industry and present day ecology. The Center is situated on a pier overlooking oyster beds, which are still farmed.

long_beach_benson_beach.jpg Those who enjoy shopping will find the peninsula equally rich. Antiques and collectibles, fine art and photography, locally-crafted goods, toys, kites, and nautical gear are among the many wares sold on the peninsula. Shopping culminates in downtown Long Beach, home to the World Kite Museum & Hall of Fame, boardwalk-like amusements, and, just north of Long Beach, The Cranberry Museum and Gift Shop.

long_beach_waikiki_beach.jpg For the more adventurous, the Long Beach Peninsula has many options. These include hiking in the parks or on the beach; kayaking in Willapa Bay; fishing in the Columbia River, the bay or the Pacific Ocean; horseback riding on the beach (horse rentals are available); and excursions to the old growth forest on uninhabited Long Island. From March into May, whale-watching charters can be arranged out of Ilwaco to see the friendly gray whales as they pass during their annual migration from Baja. Fort Canby State Park has a number of easy and more challenging trails: a one third-mile trail to popular Waikiki Beach and three others that meander through mammoth Sitka spruce and driftwood piled coastline. Hiking trails can also be found at Leadbetter State Park and near the Long Beach boardwalk. Two PGA-rated, nine-hole public golf courses and some of the best winter storm watching on the coast complete the mix of activities.

For more information on lodging, dining and activities, access the Long Beach Peninsula Visitors Bureau website at www.funbeach.com.

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