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A Popular Getaway in Washington State - It’s Ocean Shores
Nestled on a 6,000-acre peninsula 100 miles north of Tacoma, Ocean Shores is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Washington State. The attractions in this small city inspire around three million people to visit each year. Whether travelling with family or enjoying a break with friends, most guests are keen to set up camp in a beautiful waterfront hotel or vacation home before enjoying all that the area has to offer.
Beaches and Parks
One of the most popular reasons to visit Ocean Shores is to enjoy the city’s beautiful outdoor spaces. City Beach, a six mile stretch of sand along the Pacific, is one of the most well-known beaches and is easily accessible on foot. Many of the city’s hotels are found nearby, often separated from the sand only by a grassy dune. To the north of City Beach, the Ocean City State Park is popular with families while, in the south, the protected Damon Point is an excellent spot for nature lovers to enjoy birdwatching. Another protected area is the secluded Oyhut-Johns River Wildlife Area. This spot, situated within five miles of downtown Ocean Shores, it’s a great place to watch deer and eagles.
While much of the action here is found at the beach, there are many other activities to enjoy. You can choose to keep things simple with a spot of clamming or kite-flying or up the ante with activities such as horse or moped riding. Those who prefer water sports won’t be disappointed either; boat trips, as well as windsurfing and kayaking, are readily available, both in the ocean and in the city’s 25 miles of freshwater canals and lakes. And if you’d like to while away an hour or two on the fairway, you can head to the Ocean Shores Golf Course, a Par 71 course where the ocean air and trade winds can add a challenge to your round.
Shopping and Dining
Make certain you leave time in your schedule to explore the city’s shopping and dining scenes. Much of the retail offerings in Ocean Shores are found in the city’s north end. There are no big malls in the immediate area but most visitors enjoy strolling around the tourist/gift shops that are prevalent here. You might like to pick up a souvenir or two at the charming beach hut shops at the Boardwalk Shops of Ocean Shores. Dining spots are also clustered in the north end of the city. And with options ranging from budget buffet restaurants to high-end dining, you’ll find that there is something to suit most appetites and budgets.
Events and Festivals
While you wouldn’t describe the Ocean Shores calendar of events as jampacked, there is typically something to enjoy in each season. In Spring, the Beachcombers Fun Fair offers exhibits and beach walks while the Razor Clam Festival & Seafood Extravaganza plays host to the popular Clam Chowder Cook-Off. In May, the Grays Harbor County Expo comes to town, bringing with it events such as ice and wood chainsaw carving and a classic car show. Pack your patriotic spirit if planning to visit in June; you’ll need it for the grand Flag Day Parade, the only parade of its kind that takes place throughout western Washington. Also taking place in June is the annual stunt kite challenge; marvel at the high-flying tricks and attempt some of your own after taking a free kite-flying lesson.
More to Enjoy
For such a small city, Ocean Shores certainly manages to pack a punch. Visitors can also enjoy visits to the Weather Wax Forest, the peninsula’s last surviving native forest, and check out the bird and animal specimens on display at the Ocean Shores Interpretive Center and Museum. You might also squeeze in some time at the poker tables at the nearby Quinault Casino, which is just a 15-minute drive from downtown. If you don’t mind exploring a little further afield, you can enjoy a day trip to see the ancient trees in the Olympic National Park are popular. Visitors also tend to rate trips to the Quinault Rain Forest, home to some of the largest trees outside of California, highly.