The Long Beach Peninsula is a 28-mile stretch along the Pacific Northwest in the state of Washington. The area is as beautiful today as it was when the famous Lewis and Clark Expedition first arrived. Book a stay at a Long Beach vacation rental, and spend quality time with your family by exploring sandy beaches, scenic nature trails, and intriguing historical sites. There’s never a dull moment when you and the kids hang out at the boardwalk, tour lighthouses, go horseback riding, attend festivals, and visit cool museums. Check out these fun family activities in Long Beach.

1. Build Sandcastles on the Beach

Source: Pixabay/congerdesign

With miles of beaches with lapping coastal waters, your family has access to the perfect place to build sandcastles. Clatsop Spit is a section of beach where the Columbia River joins the Pacific Ocean, creating some awesome views. Spend some time crafting castles from sand and water. After the kids complete their masterpieces, take a break and climb up the observation tower near the jetty, and snap amazing photos of waves rolling against rocks, birds, and local wildlife.

2. Play Exhilarating Games

Source: Pixabay/ant2506

Kids are always up for playing games, and Funland Arcade is packed with games galore. A cross between a video game arcade and amusement park midway, Funland has games for individual players, and large games the whole family can play together. Younger children may need you to explain some of the games, but the miniature carousel needs no explanation to enjoy. Older kids have plenty of choice games to spend time on, and everyone can win cool prizes to take back to the rental home.

3. Ride Horses Along the Beach

horseback riding on beach
Source: Flickr/Guy Courtemanche

Riding a horse on the beach is an amazing experience that the whole family can enjoy when going on outdoor excursions near your vacation rental. Back Country Horse Rides and Skippers Equestrian Center offer riding tours that typically last one hour. Courteous staff is available to help you choose horses, and all riding levels are accommodated. The ride takes you along a stretch of beach, and you can gaze out at the blue horizon near the water‘s edge atop your trusty horse.

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4. Attend a Clam Festival

clams on ice
Source: Flickr/Jazz Guy

Time your vacation to coincide with the annual Long Beach Razor Clam Festival for a unique family experience. Razor clams are native to this region, and digging for clams on the beach is a long-time tradition. During the festival, the entire family can learn how to dig for clams and observe how the pros clean and prepare fresh clams. Eating as many clams as possible in all sorts of delicious ways is a worthy goal, and you‘ll be tasting chowder, fritters, and much more. Kids get a kick out of strolling pirates, languishing mermaids, live music, and various clam-themed competitions.

5. Check Out the Alligator Man and Other Oddities

Jake the Alligator Man sculpture
Source: Flickr/Avi

Enter the world of unusual oddities when you and your family visit Marsh’s Free Museum. Kids gaze in awe at Jake the Alligator man and a stuffed two-headed calf. The museum has a wonderful collection of rare corals from the ocean and a few eclectic items such as vintage machine fortune tellers. While there, pick up some souvenirs for the kids to take home for their show and tell collection.

6. Go Chowder and Seafood Tasting

chowder in bread bowl
Source: Flickr/Simon Shek

Long Beach has some of the best seafood restaurants, and visiting local restaurants is a great way to indulge your love of seafood. Taste and compare clam chowder, fish, and seafood platters at establishments such as Castaway’s Seafood Grille, Doogers Seafood Grill, and Captain Bob’s Chowder.

7. Go on a Lewis and Clark Adventure

Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center
Source: Flickr/AllAroundTheWest

Despite its name, Cape Disappointment is anything but disappointing for kids. This is where you‘ll find stunning views of the ocean, and the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. Perched on a cliff 200-feet above the water, the center helps children learn about these famous explorers through interactive exhibits, including maps, exploration gear, and a life-sized canoe that resembles the one used by the adventurers. Children six and under gain access for free.

8. Learn About Kites

kite festival
Source: Flickr/Mark Hogan

It‘s fitting that a town known for hosting the Annual Kite Festival has a museum dedicated to kites. Introduce your children to the wonders of kite flying with an afternoon visit. You and the kids get an eye-opening historical education about the cultural significance of kites around the world. Upstairs is a cool collection of vintage WWII and Asian kites, which may inspire kids to take up kiting. The small paid admission helps keep the museum afloat, and kites are available for sale at the gift shop.

9. Catch Fresh Fish and Crabs

fish under water
Source: Flickr/Bureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington

A family that fishes together during vacation is sure to have enough fresh fish to enjoy a tasty home-cooked meal. Whether you enjoy fishing for leisure, or want to make fresh fish recipes at your home away from home, renting a charter boat for family fishing is easy to do. Fishing charters take your family for a day of sublime fishing on the Columbia River. Catch salmon, sturgeon, and crabs while experiencing fresh air and stirring views.

10. Enjoy Saltwater Taffy and Fun Sweets

candy shop
Source: Flickr/Bob Snow

Saltwater taffy is an old-fashioned treat that kids of all ages enjoy, and stopping by The Candy Man store is a must during your visit. Rows of delicious saltwater taffy in all sorts of traditional and non-traditional flavors are on display. Have a taffy tasting party at the vacation rental, and pick up a selection of delectable chocolates, and other treats for good measure.

11. Learn About Cranberries

cranberry bogs
Source: Flickr/Elaine Ashton

Kids have an opportunity to learn more about how the cranberry sauce they enjoy at holiday time came into existence. A delightful educational experience awaits your family at the Cranberry Museum. The cranberry industry is big in these parts, and the self-guided walking tour includes a museum and a visit to real cranberry bogs filled with red berries. Visit during September to see ripening berries and October for the harvest.

12. See a Lighthouse

North Head Lighthouse
Source: Flickr/Lodian

Get ready to snap pics of gorgeous Pacific coastal views as you make your way to the iconic North Head lighthouse. Located in Cape Disappointment State Park, the light house sits on a cliff overlooking the waves below. Curious kids enjoy seeing both the light house and learning about the crucial role it plays in helping guide boats of all sizes to safety.

 
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