A Beautiful Visit to Washington’s Long Beach Peninsula
When you hear ‘Long Beach’, do you think of the California city here in Los Angeles? You might even recall I lived there myself for a few years. Well, what if I told you there’s another Long Beach up on the coast in Washington, borderline to Oregon? I’d never heard of Long Beach Peninsula until I had the pleasure of meeting Carol Zahorsky, the town’s Director of Public Relations. Carol and I connected on my trip to Washington for the IFWTWA Conference and I knew instantly I wanted to work with her. When plans were in place for my fall trip to Oregon, I thought what better a time than that to see what Long Beach Peninsula was all about.
Famous for their cranberries and kites (I’ll explain), Long Beach Peninsula offers such a unique mix of activities for their visitors. A haven for those who enjoy the outdoors, the town proudly has the longest stretch of beach on the West Coast. Coming in at 28 miles, I fell in-love with Long Beach Peninsula and its tight knit community during my 2 day trip. Read on to discover why Long Beach Peninsula should be on your radar when you visit the Pacific Northwest.
Stay at The Boreas Inn
After my road trip up the Oregon Coast, I arrived to Boreas Inn, my home sweet home for the next few days. A 6 bedroom beach front home, this beautiful bed and breakfast has to be one of the most welcoming I’ve had the pleasure to stay at. Operated for nearly 25 years by Susie Goldsmith and Bill Verner, Boreas Inn combines the best of both worlds with amenities in select suites like a King bed with feather comforter, electric fireplace and a hot jetted tub to make for a luxurious getaway while special touches like a homemade breakfast, living room and pantry makes it feel like “home.”
With the beach outside my door, I loved being able to step outside my patio and be by the water. After a morning of walking and exploring, I returned to a gorgeous breakfast prepared by Glenna, one of Boreas’ lovely innkeepers. From farm-fresh eggs to gluten-free lemon pancakes, the staff at Boreas go above and beyond to take care of their guests and create such a unique experience for all.
From now through the new year, book online with Boreas Inn and request their “Hibernation” discount for $40 off per night. Need a getaway for New Year’s? Ring in 2019 with Susie and Bill and enjoy crab cakes and champagne!
The World Kite Museum
Who grew up singing Let’s go Fly a Kite from Mary Poppins? I loved that song as a child and so many memories came back to me when I visited Long Beach’s famous World Kite Museum. Elaborate and colorful kites are celebrated from over the world in the museums Hall of Fame. History buffs will appreciate the collection of kites from World War 2, and I was especially in awe at the massive kites used for celebrations in China and Japan.
Several events take place throughout the year with the finale being their annual Washington State International Kite Festival. A week long event held each August, over 100,000 kite enthusiasts from around the globe gather in Long Beach to watch the strong winds carry the kites away. Going strong since 1996, one of the most beloved parts of the festival is the poster contest. Local artists are invited each year to submit their portrait for a chance to be the face of the festival. You can see the winning posters from each year at the museum. Some are also available to purchase.
Speaking of purchases, no visit to Long Beach Peninsula is compete until you fly a kite for yourself. If you left yours at home, the museum has a gorgeous selection for everyone.
Cranberries in Long Beach
You know those events that will forever stay with you? Little did I know one of those moments would happen to me in Long Beach. After my wonderful breakfast at the Inn with Carol and Glenna, Carol took me over to see the cranberry bogs. Long Beach Peninsula has been the home to harvesting the tart fruit for over a century. Fall is when they’re harvested and I was in for a treat when I visited the bogs and farm. While it was a brisk morning with some light drizzle, the farmers were busy at work as they picked and plucked the berries to ship off to such notable brands like Ocean Spray. I even got to ride on the edge of a truck while they loaded the berries in!
Around the corner from the farm is the Pacific Coast Cranberry Research Foundation. Here, the history of the cranberries in Long Beach is documented in a fascinating museum and gift shop. Learn about the humble beginning for cranberry farmers that dates back to 1877. In a time when cranberries were only looked at during the holidays and growing was considered an East Coast “thing”, farmers and settlers knew of the potential for growing here in Long Beach. One of the best climates in the world for harvesting cranberries is right here in Washington.
Since the museum and tour is free, you can show your support for the foundation by grabbing a few trinkets in their gift shop. Wines, candies, holiday ornaments and more fill the space in their shop. Make sure to chat with their lovely volunteers to learn more about cranberries and the town, too.
Dining in Long Beach Peninsula
Fantastic cuisine certainly isn’t lacking in town. Carol and I decided on a light lunch at the Shelburne Hotel, a historic landmark any Pacific Northwest enthusiast must visit. The Shelburne Hotel is Washington state’s longest operating inn and was recently acquired by Brady and Tiffany Turner. Most locals and visitors are already acquainted with the Turners, who also operate Long Beach’s Adrift Hotel and Inn at Discovery Coast.
At the Shelburne hotel, step back to another era and enjoy exquisite furnishings, accents and decor like their stained-glass windows while you sip a cocktail in their pub. I was pleased to see several ‘gluten-free’ symbols on their lunch menu and settled on their black garlic fried rice. A unique dish that was full of savory essences like black garlic aioli and a scrambled duck egg. The Shelburne’s pub goes far beyond your typical “bar food” and the same could be said for their drink list. Concoctions like their hot buttered rum and salty dog make the Shelburne a fabulous option for your mid-day grub and post-work drinks.
For my 2nd night on the peninsula, Carol took me to the Pickled Fish, located within the Adrift Hotel. A lively restaurant with a killer ocean view, Pickled Fish serves up farm-to-table plates with live music nightly. Start off your evening off with a cranberry margarita and an order of their steamer clams. For your main entree, consider the maple soy glazed salmon or vegetable cassoulet. Rustic, wood features give the Adrift property that laid-back, beach vibe that makes you want to order up a drink, good food and enjoy the music.
Visit Long Beach Peninsula
The Pacific Northwest has become my new favorite place to visit. Washington’s Long Beach Peninsula is a clear reason why. With Christmastime upon us, make sure to check out all of their exciting events coming up and plan your visit HERE.
(*Disclosure: I was a guest of the media on behalf of this review. All opinions are my own.)