All tagged Beach

Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area: Our Recommendations for Places to See

The river canyon known as the Columbia River Gorge on the Washington/Oregon border is one of only nine National Scenic Areas within the United States. Stretching from Portland and Vancouver in the west, all the way to Wasco and Klickitat counties in the east is the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. Passed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1986, this became the second scenic area of its kind. The 292,500-acres of land contain a wealth of history, gorgeous landscapes, and interesting places to see and explore. This is one road trip you do not want to miss!

Camping at Saltwater State Park

Saltwater State Park is a park that is easy to access. Close to city and highway, it is an oasis in the midst of urbanity. Trails wind through lush patches of forest, creeks, streams, beachfront, views of the Olympic Mountains, interpretive paths, and camping is just a handful of the possibilities here. As an adult, the noise of air and ground traffic can be a significant annoyance, but as a child....... As a child, you are surrounded by wonder and adventure. 

A Hike and A Treasure Hunt On Glass Beach

Port Townsend boasts a multitude of interesting places to visit, stay and explore. Not our first trip to Port Townsend, but it was our first hike to Glass Beach. The beachfront below McCurdy Point Road is the stretch of sand known as Glass Beach. Glass Beach has gained this moniker, as it is a treasure trove of what we combers call sea glass. Sea glass is a polite term for discarded bottles, glass, and various pottery broken to bits, tumbled and polished by the to and fro of sand and wave. This narrow, rocky beach lies between the waters of the Strait of Juan De Fuca and a cliff of some 100 feet high.

A Weekend on the Olympic Coast of the Pacific Northwest

We recently spent an extended weekend on Washington's Olympic Coast. Before heading out, we searched for overnight accommodations. After reading many of the positive reviews, 52 of them averaging out to 4.7 of 5 stars, we decided that the Miller Tree Inn Bed and Breakfast was going to be our home away from home for the next couple nights. The scenic coastline and forests of Forks and La Push certainly demanded more than one day of our attention!

Fort Worden Historical State Park

Constructed between 1898 and 1917, Fort Worden was one of three posts collectively known as “The Triangle of Fire”. This triangle was strategically located to protect the Puget Sound and its surrounding cities from attacks by sea. The post never saw action and the state purchased the property in 1955 to turn it into Fort Worden Historical State Park. Hiking trails, historic lodging, a lighthouse, old batteries, and even a castle all make up the interesting parts of this 433-acre park. The location was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1974.

Saltwater State Park

Saltwater State Park is located halfway between Seattle and Tacoma, in the city of Des Moines, Washington. When the park was dedicated in 1926 the two cities symbolically buried a hatchet within the park to end bad feelings between them. The majority of the park was built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC). Throughout the park there are signs describing the CCC's work. Though air traffic from nearby SeaTac Airport is pretty constant, this remains one of the most popular parks within the Puget Sound region.

Camping at Pacific Beach State Park

Some of our trips require well thought out plans. Sometimes though, we just need to get outdoors. The work week had been hectic and we miraculously ended up with a free evening. We seized the opportunity and found a campground with open spots. It's been awhile since we paid a visit to the Pacific Ocean, so over the weekend we made a drive west to Pacific Beach State Park. The park is adjacent to the beach and is surrounded by the town of Moclips. It's a 10-acre park with 2,300 feet of sandy shoreline, which makes great for beach combing.

Visiting San Juan Island

Sometimes you need a place to get away. San Juan Island is the perfect escape! It's a beautiful rocky island surrounded by the swirling waters of the Pacific Ocean. Sightseeing, wildlife, shopping or just lazing about are all perfectly acceptable options. It's your time, use it the way you choose!

Hiking in Cama Beach Historical State Park

Native Americans fished and hunted for centuries in the Cama Beach area before logging took over in the mid-1800s. After that, cottages and fishing resorts were built and Muriel and Lee Risk operated one such resort between 1934 and 1989. Around 1990 Washington State Parks began to acquire land through family donations and purchased other parts of it. Today the park offers visitors a restful and relaxing getaway. It also includes learning the history and culture of native people from the area. There's a Center for Wooden Boats where you may learn about boat building. The park includes numerous cabins for overnight stays along the waterfront with a park store nearby that offers groceries, snacks, supplies, and much more.

Exploring Bay View & Deception Pass State Parks

This past week we headed north again. We've seen many people share photos of Deception Pass and we also noticed the signs for it on the drive to Oyster Dome from the previous week. We decided it was time to check it out. We wanted to stay the night but we felt that it was still a bit cold for a tent so we started looking for cabins. The only available cabin at Deception Pass State Park was out on Ben Ure Island and required a kayak or canoe to reach it, which we don't have. So we looked around nearby and found one available at Bay View State Park.

A Bit of Urban Exploration

Here in the Pacific Northwest we have a lot of gray days. Winter isn’t particularly severe in the lower elevations, it’s just gray. Gray and damp. On the rare occasion that the sun makes an appearance, we find it important to maximize our outdoor time. While yes, we absolutely love our outward bound trips, sometimes we need to stick closer to home to enjoy that bright thing in the sky. This weekend was a prime example. Instead of driving an hour or two or four to go hiking in the mountains we chose to explore a couple areas of Tacoma.

Exploring Cape Disappointment State Park

As we started our 3 hour drive towards the state’s most south western point, where the Columbia River opens to the Pacific Ocean, we were getting hammered by the rain. The closer we got, the harder it came down. We planned on setting up our tent and camping for one night. Thank goodness we opted for only the one night instead of two like we originally planned. We still knew this single, wet, windy, and stormy night would be pretty uncomfortable.

Shi Shi Beach & Trail

Shi Shi Beach is one of those hidden gems that most people are unaware exists. It’s located in the upper northwest portion of the Olympic peninsula. It consists of a 2.5 mile coast line with tide pools, archipelagos, caves, sea stacks, wildlife, perfect sunsets, pristine stargazing, and more. The journey there is a long one as it’s roughly a 4–5 hour drive by car from the Seattle/Tacoma area. Once at the trailhead it’s about an hour hike to the beach and then another hour or so walk to the south end of the beach to the Point of the Arches. It’s all worth it as this is the best wandering experience we’ve had so far!