Washington state’s central coast offers a wealth of barely touched ocean front. Some of the best oysters you will ever eat. And plenty of breathtaking hikes.
The coastal cities of Pacific Beach, Westport, Seabrook and Ocean Shores compromise Washington state’s central coast. These four coastal towns are nestled to the west of the Olympic National Forest.
Follow this weekend itinerary of Washington state’s central coast for the perfect activities to fill your wanderlust bucket list!
Whether you are starting this trip from the north near Seattle or from the South near Portland, Oregon all roads will lead you through the town of Aberdeen.
Aberdeen is an inevitable town you must pass through on your way to the coast. Aberdeen is a quiet sleepy logging town just 20 minutes from the pacific coast.
As you enter Aberdeen you can’t miss the welcome sign that reads: “Welcome to Aberdeen, Come As You Are”. Ring a bell?
Well, Aberdeen just happens to be where Kurt Cobain, lead frontman of the 1990’s grunge band Nirvana grew up.
Whether you loved Nirvana or not, one can surely appreciate the nostalgia that the 1990’s grunge music scene had on pop culture.As you enter Aberdeen you can't miss the welcome sign that reads: 'Welcome to Aberdeen, Come As You Are'. Ring a bell? Well, Aberdeen just happens to be where Kurt Cobain, lead frontman of the 1990's grunge band Nirvana grew up. Click To Tweet
The town of Aberdeen, is actually a top destination for die hard Nirvana fans.
In 2014 the city made an official Kurt Cobain day reported by The Seattle Times newspaper. Fans will also come to see some of the homes that Cobain lived in growing up. There are a plethora of official and unofficial monuments dedicated to him.
Sadly in early June 2018 the small museum dedicated to all things Kurt Cobain had a fire where many items were destroyed, according to reporting from NPR.
As you pass through Aberdeen you will travel through small communities for about twenty miles before reaching the quaint vacation community of Seabrook in the town of Pacific Beach.
Seabrook, is a planned vacation community along Washington state’s central coast. It was established in 2004. I stayed here for three nights as the “base camp” if you will, during my long weekend stay on the central Washington coast.
The best part about the community of Seabrook is that it has many of the fun amenities you would normally enjoy at a hotel, but instead you are staying at a rental home.
For example, there is a community indoor pool and hot tub as well as a small community gym called The Rusty Anchor. There are a handful of walking trails, bike rentals, and a few delicious restaurants.
Both restaurants are delightful, Mill 109 and Frontagers Pizza are the only games in town…for now. The Seabrook community is still growing and has plans to expand their culinary options to soon include a brewery in 2019. But the best part of having a rental home as opposed to a hotel is that you are able to cook food at home if you are so inclined.
We set out for the day heading south to check out the beach communities of Ocean Shores and Westport. Along the way we stopped to pull off at Bay City Sausage Co. Now, it doesn’t look like much from the outside, but this place has a plethora of smoked sausages, jerky, cheeses and more! A highly recommended spot along the route to the beach.
The first town we stopped at was Ocean Shores.
I don’t think I have ever seen as much deer as I had during this road trip down the coast. They were everywhere, just walking around eating grass and enjoying life!
Ocean Shores has a pretty beach that allows travelers to actually drive their vehicles right up on the ocean sand! Thankfully I wasn’t driving otherwise I would have probably gotten us stuck in the sand. However, we were in a big truck and it was no problem to drive right up on the beach and take in the sights of the waves crashing up on shore.
A friendly reminder that even in the late summer, the Washington coast is very cold.
Be sure to dress in layers. This isn’t your typical jersey shore, bikini wearing kind of spot. The pacific northwest in general is colder and more rugged than the east coast beaches, in my opinion.
If you are traveling with little ones, they will love some of the fun activities Ocean Shores has to offer, such as go-kart racing, flying kites on the beach and building sand castles!
We decided to just dip our toes in the ocean water briefly before driving further south onto the community of Westport.
On our way we stopped at an oyster farm called Brady’s Oysters. We decided to buy a dozen oysters to eat as a nice appetizer before dinner later that evening.
The town of Westport is very walkable. There is an adorable pedestrian friendly walkway along the boat docks where sea lions play. Westport is also known for it’s fishing charter boats. If you are interested in some deep sea fishing, this is the place to do it. Boats head out with fishing instructors on multiple excursions throughout the day.
It was just about lunch time so we all got some chowder from Marino’s and ate outside in the sunshine at one of the picnic tables.
Before heading back to Seabrook we stopped at Blackbeard’s Brewing Company to sample some of the local brews and watched some college football!
Today it’s all about the mountains! Just 50 minutes from Seabrook and you will be in the Quinault National Rain Forest, part of the Olympic Mountain Range.
Stop at the Quinault Lodge, a great jumping off point for nearby hikes, renting kayaks and grabbing a meal in the lodge’s onsite restaurant.
The lodge itself is a destination in it’s own right. Built back in 1926 and completed in only 53 days, this lodge is stunning and magical. President Theodore Roosevelt even visited the back in 1937.
When you enter the lodge your eyes are immediately drawn to the crackling fireplace that warms the entire lobby.
Even though it was late summer, at just 60 degrees outside, I really enjoyed the warmth and smell of the fire!
I didn’t partake in a hike, but highly recommend doing so if you have the time. There are hikes for every level of difficulty and some that even have waterfalls along the way!
The Park Rangers in the nearby information building are so helpful with explaining routes to suit your needs.
If you are so inclined to keep on exploring the area a bit further than I recommend heading to the town of Forks, WA.
Just a little over an hour north west of Quinault, this town’s claim to fame is that it’s home to a lot of the filming for the Twilight movies! So whether you’re team Jacob or team Edward you can enjoy the quirky ode to Twilight that Forks has totally embraced.
We decided to travel back to Seabrook and enjoy wandering on the beach, sans shoes, feet in the water, sun on our face and relaxing for the evening.
All in all we very much enjoyed our long weekend on the Washington central coast with good company and good food!