Monday, August 1, 2016

Long Beach, Washington: Enjoy the Beach Year 'Round

There's always something going on at the beach. Washington's Long Beach Peninsula, in the southwest portion of the state, was named one of ‘America’s Favorite Beach Towns’ by ForbesTraveler.com and voted ‘Best Beach’ by the viewers of Seattle’s KING-5 TV. The Long Beach Peninsula offers visitors colorful shops, great locally sourced seafood, unusual museums, horseback riding, and miles of oceanfront dunes and beaches.

Long Beach is known for kites and the sea breezes that hold them aloft. Each August kites from all over the world are found at the annual Washington State International Kite Festival. You'll see colorful mass ascensions, sport kite events and trick flying. For one glorious week, kites are king in this beach town.

Year ‘round you can enjoy the beauty and sport of kites by visiting The World Kite Museum in Long Beach. This two-story building displays different shapes and uses of kites ranging from the Kites of WWII to the beautiful display of Asian kites. These hand-painted and beautifully constructed works of art caught my eye on a recent visit.

Throughout the museum you'll constantly be looking up to see what's flying. A tall-masted pirate ship kite fascinated us. Videos display the kites in action. You can even make your own kite to take with you. The beach is close-by. (Admission charge)

In fall, thoughts turn to the bright red cranberry. Early October is harvest time. You can see the bogs being flooded and the cranberries floating to the top of the water, being scooped up. 

The annual Cranberrian Fair, held in October is a good time to sample cranberry cuisine, tour bogs and travel by Cranberry Trolley. The Cranberry Museum is worth a visit. You can learn about the history of cranberry production in Washington, see cranberry-related machinery, take a self-guided bog tour and buy a locally produced cranberry product in their gift shop.

Although these are great times to visit the Long Beach Peninsula, I enjoy the beach year round. Storms can batter the coast and make cozying up to a fireplace a real treat.

This month, I'll be taking a little fishing trip out of Ilwaco. I'm sure to have some fish tales to tell!

The beach is always great for walking. Long Beach has the Discovery Trail and Boardwalk to enjoy. And the local chefs do wonders with the locally sourced cuisine.