Located on the southern coast of Washington state, right above the Washington-Oregon boundary, lies the resort town of Long Beach. With Willapa Bay to the east, the Columbia River to the south, and Pacific Ocean to the west, this quaint destination is a swimmer’s dream. Glide through the water in your boat, or take up paddleboarding for a fun-filled afternoon. Book a stay at one of numerous unforgettable Long Beach vacation rentals today. Check out the most scenic spots in and around Long Beach.

1. Long Beach

Long Beach is located about midway on the peninsula. With beachfront homes on one side and rural farmland on the other, you have plenty of eye candy surrounding you. Lounge on the beach, or take in some of the local sites such as the basalt monolith, gray whale skeleton, or World Kite Museum. Marsh’s Free Museum is a curiosity shop that’s sure to delight kids of every age. Stroll down Pacific Avenue with the family for some eats at Long Beach Thai Cuisine, Captain Bob’s Chowder, or Doogers Seafood and Grill. Take a break from the waves at the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge. Hike through the habitat, and make a game of spying out the local wildlife. Bald eagles are plentiful in the area as are American kestrals, ospreys, and peregrine falcons.

2. Seaview

Head a few minutes south to Seaview, which also offers public access to the Pacific beach. Hike along the coast on the Discovery Trail, or spend an evening mingling with the locals at The Depot or Laurie’s Homestead Breakfast, the latter of which will be useful to fuel your water fun. You can pick up I-101 from Seaview and take it up to the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge or down along the Columbia River.

3. Oceanview

Oceanview lies on the south of the peninsula where Baker Bay meets the Columbia River, which meets the Pacific Ocean. This is home to the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, a visitor center that stands as a memorial to the great two explorers who first made it to the Pacific Ocean along the Columbia River in 1805. Teach your kids about U.S. heritage and inspire their adventurous side by taking them here. Hike down to the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse and then up to Cape Disappointment State Park and O’Neil Lake, the ideal place to enjoy a picnic lunch and few the river’s headlands.

4. Ilwaco

Ilwaco is a little community just southeast of Oceanview on Baker Bay. Opt for a vacation rental here in order to enjoy a little privacy and quiet as you get back in touch with yourself and family. Spend long, lazy days boating on the river you can tie up your boat at the Port of Ilwaco or kayak down to Sand Island for a day of exploration. Give your kids a unique experience by taking them to visit a lavender farm.

5. Oceanside

Head north from Long Beach and hit Oceanside, a smaller community that stretches along the peninsula and offers vacation rentals with beach access and plenty of buffer room between neighbors. Enjoy the sand and surf alone with your family, and only venture inland for a visit to the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge.

6. Klipsan Beach

Klipsan Beach lies north of Oceanside and directly west of Long Island. Part of the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge, it boasts harbor seals, porcupines, river otters, elk and black bears. You can even tour the island from the comfort of your kayak, exploring the area like Lewis and Clark of ages past. If you choose a rental in Willapa Bay, you can have a front row seat to the wetland habitat.

7. Ocean Park

Ocean Park, situated just north of Klipsan Beach, is nearly as close to Long Island with the added benefit of being more urban. You can enjoy a hot cup of coffee with a view of the water or charter a boat at the Port of Peninsula for a closer look at nature. The Pacific side of the peninsula has the beach and ocean access.

8. Oysterville

Oysterville lies on the northernmost end of the peninsula, gifting visitors with the wooded Leadbetter Point State Park, a perfect place to lose yourself in nature, complete with beach access. Enjoy hiking and sunbathing all in one place. True to its name, the area is known for its oysters. View the sea farms or settle down to some super-fresh seafood. If you have a boat, head across the Willapa Bay to the Bone River Natural Area Preserve.

9. Warrenton

Warrenton sits just south of the peninsula on the Oregon side of the Columbia River. The Fort Stevens State Park 4,300 acres of woods and beach is threaded with hiking and biking trails. Explore the area, camp for a night, and take full advantage of the picnicking areas, beach access, bathrooms, and showers. Go horseback riding or fishing, both activities that inspire a love of nature in the kids. When not at Fort Stevens, boat around Youngs Bay, or hang out at El Compadre Restaurant.

10. Astoria

If you want to enjoy an urban environment while being within minutes of nature and water, get a vacation rental in Astoria, just across Youngs Bay from Warrenton. Not only do you get a downtown experience complete with a harbor walk, artisan restaurants, and unique museums (like the Columbia River Maritime Museum), but you also get access to the Lewis and Clark national Wildife Refuge, part of which lies on the southeast side of Astoria.