Meanwhile, the Dungeness Spit on the north coast of the Olympic Peninsula near Sequim is the country’s longest natural sand spit at 5.5 miles long. View a multitude of wild creatures, including bald eagles, harbor seals, and more. Hike or paddle along the driftwood-strewn spit for glorious views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the majestic Olympic Mountains.
Want to get up close? Poke around at low tide and find starfish, sea anemones, crabs, and other sea life in the tide pools at Salt Creek Recreation Area in Port Angeles. Keep an eye out for fowl as well as marine mammals—Salt Creek has a prime location on the National Audubon’s Great Washington State Birding Trail, as well as the Whale Trail.
La Push, located within the Quileute Indian Reservation, is known for three beaches, simply called First Beach, Second Beach, and Third Beach. First is popular with surfers and storm watchers year-round. Second and Third require easy to moderate hikes in, but the stellar views of the Pacific Coast, sea stacks, and wildlife are well worth the extra effort.
Further south you’ll find the coast’s most popular beach towns: Ocean Shores, Westport, and Long Beach. Ocean Shores’ six miles of sandy beach are perfect for lounging, kite flying, sand combing, and clamming. Westport offers up Washington’s biggest surf scene, but if the sport isn’t for you, there’s plenty of beachy fun to be had. Meanwhile, the aptly named Long Beach Peninsula (28 miles of sand) is a beach-lover’s paradise with everything from surfing to horseback riding.