Itineraries

A Day in a State Park: Long Beach Edition

The Long Beach Peninsula boasts many state parks allowing you to have a jam-packed week (or weekend) of adventuring along the coast of Washington. The peninsula is home to Leadbetter Point State Park, Pacific Pines State Park, Cape Disappointment State Park, and Fort Stevens State Park. While you’re in town, make sure to make The Lamp Camp your home base.

We’ve got your day to day itinerary for a fun-filled week (or weekend)  jumping from one state park to the next. Let’s get started:

Leadbetter Point State Park

Leadbetter Point State Park is located on the upper Long Beach Peninsula, between Willapa Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The park is a 1,732-acre natural area open for day use. It is adjacent Willapa National Wildlife Refuge which has about 5 miles of ocean beach and several miles of bay beach. Good news for all of our dog lovers, they are allowed (on a leash, of course) on the park’s southern trails and beaches. However, they are not allowed in the northern part of Leadbetter Point, which encompasses the refuge and snowy plover habitat. 

We recommend coming between March and September since this time of year is when you could see snowy plover chick which are just like energetic cotton balls. In addition to snowy plover chicks, you’ll be able to see all sorts of wildlife–the perfect place to go birding. Visitors should check ou the Willapa Bay side of Leadbetter Point as you can kayak, canoe and paddleboard when the tides and the weather cooperate. Visitors can also enjoy hiking, fishing and clamming at the park.

Pacific Pines State Park

Pacific Pines State Park, on the western side of the Long Beach Peninsula, gives you a glimpse into a southwest Washington-style beach day. 

Dune grasses and knobby shore pines drop gently down to the wide, sandy, Pacific Ocean shore. This 10-acre day-use park is ideal for playing and walking on the beach, birding, fishing, shellfish harvesting and watching the sunset.

Cape Disappointment State Park

Cape Disappointment is a 2,023-acre camping park on the Long Beach Peninsula, fronted by the Pacific Ocean and looking into the mouth of the Columbia River. Cape Disappointment was named for Captain John Meares’ first thwarted voyage to find the Columbia. For all of our history lovers, this is the place for you! Explore U.S. military and maritime legacies and experience the story of Lewis &

Clark and the effect of their Corps of Discovery Expedition on Native American tribes.

Make this a fun trip for your kiddos by stepping into the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center for interactive exhibits. You’ll also find overgrown ruins of military bunkers and coast defense batteries, and hear tales of two lighthouses and the first attempts to reach the Columbia River by sea.

Get active by going through old-growth forest or around freshwater lakes, saltwater marshes, and ocean tidelands. You’ll gape at the breathtaking views as you can watch others diggin for clams at Benson Beach. You’ll also notice that fishers love to set up on the North Jetty to catch salmon and crab. The beaches at Cape Disappointment also lure kite-fliers, sand-castle builders and those who love to walk and explore. Contrary to its name, Cape Disappointment will do quite the opposite.

Fort Stevens State Park

Fort Stevens is a 4,300-acre park offering a variety of recreation adventures but was once the primary military defense installation in the three-fort, Harbor Defense System at the mouth of the Columbia River.

Beach-combing, freshwater lake swimming, trails, wildlife viewing, a historic shipwreck, and a historic military fort make Fort Stevens a diverse park. Take a bike ride on the nine-mile network of paved bicycle trails and hike on the six miles of hiking trails. Explore a variety of habitats, including spruce and hemlock forests, wetlands, dunes, and shore pine areas.

Long Beach, Washington has endless opportunities to eat, stay, and play. We hope you enjoy your time the next time you visit!

Itineraries

Washington State Discovery Tours

It’s the perfect time of year for a road trip. Now that the holidays are over, it’s time to take some time for yourself to explore. The great state of Washington is home to some beautiful views and rich history. Join us in the exploration of the Long Beach Peninsula and Southwest Washington. 

Let’s start on the beautiful coast overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Ilwaco, WA. It is here that William Clark wrote in his journal, “Great joy in camp we are in View of the Ocian, this great Pacific Octean which we been So long anxious to See. and the roreing or noise made by the waves brakeing on the rockey Shores (as I Suppose) may be heard distictly.”

It is here where you can find the 1,882 acre state park, Cape Disappointment, that features the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center. Learn about the national significance of the linking of America from the Atlantic to the Pacific. From the interpretive center, you will have unbeatable views of the Pacific, the Columbia River, and the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse. 

As you continue your journey, learn more about the history of Lewis and Clark by stopping at the Station Camp and Fort Columbia Historical State Park. At Station Camp, Clark led a party of men over the Cape Disappointment headlands and up the beach to a mile north of present day Long Beach where they celebrated their arrival at the Pacific Ocean. Close by, you’ll come across Fort Columbia Historical State Park where you’ll see where coastal guns protected the bay during World War II and earlier wars.

After a long day of exploring Long Beach, rest your eyes at The Lamp Camp. Open year round, we offer tent sites and RV sites. 

Before heading north, make sure you check out the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge, home to an ancient grove of red cedars. 

Continue your trip by discovering Grays Harbor Historical Seaport in Aberdeen. See the West Coast’s tall ships, Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain, with your own eyes. Sail away for the weekend or lets your kids have hands-on history. 

After your day (or weekend) sailing, camp out at Ocean City State Park (a 170-acre camping park) before heading up to Lake Sylvia State Park to discover the former logging camp above the historic town of Montesano. As you head South East, you’ll come across the Lewis and Clark State Park. Here you can hike and horseback ride through a stand of old-growth trees on the historic north spur of the Oregon Trail.

Just south of the Lewis and Clark State Park, you’ll be greeted with views of Mount St. Helens. Learn about the historic Mount St. Helens volcanic eruption here at the Seaquest State Park. While you’re here, the park offers hiking and biking, as well as camping and other overnight accommodations.

As you’re rounding out your trip, you won’t want to miss Vancouver and the Columbia River Gorge. This gorge is one of America’s great natural wonders. 

End you trip with a bang, Beacon Rock State Park. It is one of the most spectacular sites on the Lewis and Clark Trail. The huge rock is actually the core of an ancient volcano. The park offers hiking, rock climbing, horseback riding, interpretive trails and markers, camping, boating, and a trail to the top of Beacon Rock.

While this would be a great trip for the end of fall, this also would be a road trip option anytime of the year. Tag us on Facebook or Instagram of your explorations through Washington, @thelampcamp.

Itineraries

What’s Happening at the Peninsula this Holiday Season? December…

It’s almost the most wonderful time of the year. With Thanksgiving a little over a week away and Christmas 5 weeks away, we thought we’d round up the top 7 events going on in Long Beach, Washington this December.  

Holidays at the Beach – November 29 to December 1, 2019

Holidays at the Beach is a free family oriented holiday event. It happens every year the weekend after Thanksgiving. All events are free to attend but donations are always welcome to help fund the event. 

Friday November 29th there are two showings of the movie “Polar Express” at the Neptune Theater. Saturday November 30th enjoy crafts, a magic show, the arrival of Santa Claus, and the city tree lighting ceremony. Sunday December 1st, celebrate the season with crafts and the holiday mermaid appearance. Learn more

Downtown Raymond Lighted Christmas Parade – December 7, 2019

Bring the family to watch lighted Christmas floats march through downtown Raymond! Learn more.

Crab Pot Christmas – December 7, 2019

The world’s largest crab pot Christmas tree made from real live crab pots. This festive event is held annually on the first Saturday of December at the Port of Ilwaco. The tree lighting is at 5 pm sharp, followed by a reading of “A Coastal Christmas” by Lynette McAdams, crabby Christmas caroling and the world’s shortest firework display. This year’s event will pay tribute to the local crabbing fleet. After the lighting, visit participating businesses along the waterfront at the Port of Ilwaco for annual traditions like Santa Claus, hot chocolate, cookies and more! Dress warm and wear your boots because this holiday tradition happens rain, storm or shine! Learn more.

Water Music Society Christmas Concert – December 8, 2019

The Water Music Society’s annual Christmas Concert, featuring world class musicians in a beautiful, festively decorated environment. Refreshments and a no-host bar including champagne. The perfect way to start the holiday season! A portion of all proceeds goes to assist the local school music programs! Learn more.

Holidays at the Jetty – December 14, 2019

Join us for an afternoon of shopping, sipping, and fun! Santa and Mrs. Clause from 1:00-4:00 and vendors from 12:00-4:00. There is never a sitting fee or purchase requirement to see Santa at North Jetty! You take your own pictures with your devices or we can take them with your camera so the whole group can get in on the fun. Learn more.

Tuba Christmas – December 14, 2019

Enjoy some rich sounds-of-the-season at the annual Tuba Christmas concert. This free concert will feature the Astoria Tuba Quartet, who will perform a variety of seasonal selections, jazz arrangements, and a polka or two at this family-friendly event. Learn more.

Fireworks at Midnight – December 31, 2019

Spectacular fireworks over the Pacific Ocean to ring in the New Year! Gather at the boardwalk at the Bolstad Beach Approach. Bring a blanket and perhaps some hot chocolate. Learn more.

Itineraries

Pacific Coastal Highway Road Trip

It’s that time of year when the leaves begin to change and reveal a rainbow of colors throughout the PNW. It’s the perfect time for a road trip to see all the beautiful colors along the West Coast. The summer vacationers have gone home, kids are in school, and traffic has slowed down. We’ve got your itinerary planned all the way from Big Sur, California to Long Beach, WA. We’ve included things to do and see, places to eat and places to stay. As always, we hope you’ll stay with us at The Lamp Camp in Long Beach, Washington as you make your way up the coast. We’ll welcome you with arms wide open.

Big Sur to Fort Bragg

While we’re not sure where you’re starting on your trip up North, we wanted to start with a gorgeous town on the coast of California called Big Sur. We’re sure you’ve heard of it and it’s picturesque views; we encourage you to stop every time you see a place to pull over because whoever is in the driver’s seat won’t want to miss the views as he keeps his eyes on the winding roads along the cliffs.

Eat: Nepenthe is a restaurant that sits perfectly on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. With a short menu, it is perfectly curated to cater to all diets in mind. While you’ll want to sit outside on the back deck, the inside of the restaurant was built with floor to ceiling windows showing off the spectacular views.

Stay: Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park towers high above the Big Sur River Gorge, where the Big Sur River enters the park. With campsites along the river, you can fall asleep to the sound of nature or take advantage of the Big Sur Lodge located in the park.

Play: There is hiking galore in Big Sur and you can pick up a map of the area at a local general store. But, while you’re in Big Sur, you’ll want to be sure to check out McWay Falls. Follow this link to learn more about it and how to get there.

Fort Bragg to Crescent Bay

Next stop, is a town north of San Francisco where you can find towering redwoods of Russion Gulch State Park, the craggy bluffs of Glass Beach, the bustle of Noyo Harbor, and the winding path of the Coastal Trail. Filled with history, this town is one you’ll want to spend time exploring.

Eat: Stop by the North Coast Brewing Company where you can find them serving delicious and healthy fare and emphasizing the pairings of their award-winning beers with stone hearth cuisine.

Stay: Once upon a time MacKerricher State Park was part of the Mendocino Indian Reservation. Now it is home to beaches, bluffs, headlands, dunes, forests and wetlands. 

Play: Ever heard and seen of sea glass? You’re just in luck. Fort Bragg is home to Glass Beach where you can walk along the beach looking for sea glass to bring home. Make sure you stop along the way and take in the expansive Pacific Ocean.

Crescent City to Newport

Coming to the end of California, Crescent City is the last stop you’ll make before entering Oregon. Located on a beautiful crescent-shaped bay, the area offers an abundance of outdoor recreational activities utilizing the proximity of the Pacific Ocean, the Smith River and Klamath River, Redwood National and State Parks, and the Smith River National Recreation Area.

Eat: Watch sea lions play and lounge from the Chart Room. If you’re in the mood for some seafood this is the place to check out. Make sure you try the clam chowder – voted the best from the Reader’s Choice Awards.

Stay: At Ramblin’ Redwoods Campground, you’ll discover the incredible majesty of the forest. They offer a terrific camping combination for lovers of dramatic natural beauty — towering forests and miles of spectacular coastline, all in one grand location.

Play: Just a couple miles west of Crescent City, an unpaved stretch of Howland Hill Road offers motorists an intimate encounter with the towering old-growth redwoods in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. The road includes numerous pull-outs and trailheads along the way. 

Newport to Long Beach

Newport, Oregon is located just south of Long Beach and is the perfect stop on your road-trip if you’re looking to stay on the coast. This scenic city is home to two lighthouses — including the tallest in Oregon — and beaches prime for spotting whales, bald eagles and agates in the sand.

Eat: There is no shortage of great food in Newport, whether you want a quick bite or enjoy a multi-course gourmet feast. However, we recommend Ove Northwest. The menu consists of New American cuisine that is vegetable forward, seafood focused in season, as local and sustainable as possible, and their dishes pull together international tastes that weave elements of one culture into the whole meal.

Stay: Stay at one of the many beach camping locations in Newport. South Beach State Park in particular offers YURTS (Year-round Universal Recreational Tents), guided hikes, rental bikes, and much much more.

Play: Looking to take nature in, in its raw form? Stop at Devil’s Punchbowl to admire how the ocean has carved a beautiful arch and hole into the coast. Or, head to Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area to look across the Pacific from the point and lighthouse.

Long Beach, Washington

As your road-trip comes to an end, you’ll wind up in Long Beach, Washington. Long Beach is home to six state parks and endless adventure. Here you will find clam digging, cranberry farms, and plenty of hiking. Plus an oceanside RV park and campground.

Eat: Take the hassle out of where and what to eat, and check out Long Beach Tavern. Located downtown, it is where you’ll find all the locals and tourists alike.

Stay: Got a tent? Or an RV? Come join us at The Lamp Camp, nestled between the coastal forest and the dunes of the Pacific. Come enjoy the world’s longest beach and explore all that the Long Beach Peninsula has to offer.

Play: If you’re lucky enough to join us in the fall after the back to school rush ends, Long Beach is bustling with all kinds of events. We have our clam digging dates set, a cranberry festival, and a wild mushroom celebration where you can learn to cook mushrooms and enjoy mushroom cuisine. 

PCH road trip… done! Driving the Pacific Coast Highway is a trip that’s definitely worth putting on your bucket list. As you plan your trip and stops, there are plenty of options – almost too many! However, keep in mind the length of your trip and how many days you’ll spend in each place and plan accordingly.

Itineraries

Seven Stop Pacific Northwest Road Trip

Our Seven Stop Pacific Northwest Road Trip incorporates must-see and unexpected Pacific Northwest  destinations. Planning your trip with Roadtripper.com will be such a breeze. 

  1. Yosemite National Park: Everyone can agree the Redwood Forest is a must-see, right? We think starting a PNW road trip around San Francisco gives you the full experience, Yosemite is just three hours east of San Francisco. The Mariposa Grove is Yosemite’s largest redwood forest, home to giant sequoias. 
  2. Crater Lake, Oregon: Known for having some of the purest water in the world. Crater Lake is famous for its clarity and bright blue color. Views are beyond breathtaking.  Be sure to stop at two of the most popular attractions, Phantom Ship Overlook and Pumice Castle Overlook.
  3. Bend, Oregon: There’s SO MUCH to do in this small town. Old Mill District, Bend Ale Trail, Roundabout Art Route Tour, jeep tours, helicopter tours. Theres’ also great restaurants and amazing views. Bend can cater to any kind of traveler, it’s a great place to stop on a PNW road trip. 
  4. John Day Fossil Beds National Monument: We think this stop is especially fun for geography and history buffs. John Day Fossil Beds are a fun stop to bring kids and take advantage of the learning opportunity. This National Park is also beautiful so charge the DSLR, you’ll be sorry you didn’t. 
  5. Long Beach, Washington: This town is truly a hidden gem. Home to the world’s longest beach. We stayed at The Lamp Camp and would recommend it to everyone! An amazing campground with amenities, right on the beach in the center of everything. Be sure to look into Camping at the Lamp at this stop. Once again, this town has something for every type of traveler. Long Beach is a little quirky and eclectic. There’s museums, golfing, pickleball, beach activities, great restaurants and breweries, live music and yoga. They really have it all. Our friends at The Lamp Camp shared some of their favorite spots in town to check out, you won’t be steered wrong. 
  6. Olympic National Park: This park has a ton to do! Wildlife viewing, day hikes, tide pooling, night sky programs, ranger led programs. Be sure to check outthe website to see all the things to do and important notes about closures. If you enjoy exploring the outdoors, you’re going to LOVE this park. 
  7. San Juan Islands: This stop is going to require the most planning, but it’s your final stop and it’s worth any trouble. Really though, the process is simple with a little coordination. You’re going to take a ferryfrom Anacortes, WA. San Juan offers whale tours, hiking, kayaking, boating, fishing, spas, wineries, brewiries, great dining and events. Be sure to check out the Visit San Juan website to be sure you’re taking in everything the islands have to offer. 

We hope you enjoy this Road Trip we mapped out. Be sure to share with us by tagging @thelampcamp! 

Itineraries

Long Beach: Itinerary

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Welcome to Long Beach, WA! Spend your stay with us visiting some of our favorite spots. We hope you love this town as much as we do! 

Whether you’re looking to walk the beaches Washington coast, to forage for tasty mushrooms, to dig for razor clams, check out some local music, or try some coastal cuisine, the peninsula has plenty of activities to offer.

When we aren’t at The Lamp Camp, you can generally find us biking the Lewis and Clark Discovery Trail, hiking to one of the peninsula’s famous lighthouses, checking out some local music or playing pickleball down the street at The Lighthouse Resort.

BEST QUICK BITES

  • Pizza – North Beach Tavern. They also have great live music
  • Burgers  – The Cove at the golf course has the best burger in town!
  • Sandwiches / Cheesesteaks – Surfer Sands bakes homemade bread daily. Enough said, right?
  • Ethnic Food – Malai Thai

BEST BREAKFAST

The best breakfast comes off the grill at The Lamp Camp!

BEST BARS

BEST BREWERY

 North Jetty Brewing has great beer and they are friends of ours! 

ACTIVITIES

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MUSEUMS

  • The Lewis and Clark Museum – Learn about westward journey of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. 
  • Marsh’s Free Museum is Long Beach staple has been around for 100+ years. They have taxidermies and oddities all over the walls, with souvenirs scattered throughout the store. We love it! Be sure to check out Jake the Alligator Man.
  • World Kite Museum – Home of the Washington State International Kite Festival | Aug. 19th – Aug. 25th

EVENTS

The peninsula has a wide range of events and festivals throughout the year. Here are a few of our favorites:List

We hope you enjoy some of our local favorites! For a comprehensive guide to the Long Beach Peninsula, check out the Long Beach Visitors Webpage.