Long Beach, WA
Time from Seattle: 3 hrs 18 min
What do you do on a cold rainy weekend in Washington? Go to the beach!! I know it sounds counterproductive but one thing Washingtonians don't take for granted is the beauty of a rainy day.
Jeans (2 pair)
Boots and 2 pairs of socks! (combat or rain boots)
Camera (50mm lens)
We booked a night at the trendy, rustic Adrift Hotel and walked into the lobby to find complimentary coffee, tea, and hot chocolate, wooden crates stacked to the ceiling filled with a selection of wine and snacks, and a similar area housing a collection of movies and games to choose from. After settling into our room (again with wooden-crate shelves and piping), we set out to get drinks and listen to live music at the hotel's ocean view restaurant and bar called the "Pickled Fish" (409 Sid Snyder Drive, pickledfishrestaurant.com). A few "Ginger French 75's" later and you might find yourself walking along the beach regardless of the weather. Life could be a lot worse.
The next morning we woke to what might just be my favorite sound ever: waves crashing on the beach. Take advantage of Adrift's free bike rental and ride along the Discovery Trail (named after Lewis and Clark's exploratory trek) if you have the time. If you're really feeling bold, go the distance (8.3 miles to be exact) through grassy dunes and forests with exquisite views of the ocean, terminating in Cape Disappointment State Park (which is anything but disappointing). You'll pass by the old fishing village of Ilwaco and two historical lighthouses (both over 100 years old). Don't forget to stop at the Beard's Hollow Overlook for an excellent view of the beachy landscape.
Brunch at Benson's by the Beach (504 Pacific Ave S) has everything from seafood benedict and omelets to biscuits and gravy. A little pricey but it doesn't disappoint.
And of course, Pickled Fish, which might just be the best restaurant in the area. Their newest Harvest Menu is an incredible four-course meal (drink pairings available) all while taking in the refreshing ocean view.
Course 1: Arancini of wild mushrooms.
Course 2: Mushroom consumme.
Course 3: Wood oven roasted procini.
Course 4: King salmon.
If you have some time to kill and want to do a little more exploring and/or activities other than relaxing, visit Astoria, Oregon; the first permanent US settlement on the Pacific Coast and just 50 minutes south of Long Beach at the mouth of the Columbia River.
Make sure to check out the events page before you go because there's always something going on in this tiny, charming beach town! (funbeach.com/events/main-events). >>