It’s summertime and the living is easy. We in Washington are blessed with miles and miles of beautiful, pristine beaches. But, how to decide which ones to visit? For truly supreme and secluded coastline, take a trip to the North Beach area of Grays Harbor. While this entire area offers fantastic vistas, great razor clam digging (in season), fishing, bird watching, excellent hiking and a variety of aquatic sports, each area is unique in its own special way. Here is a guide to get you started, but don’t forget to branch out and explore. You’ll be happy you did.

Moclips and Pacific Beach

In addition to its gorgeous beaches, Moclips is well known for the Museum of the North Beach. This local treasure is chock full of an eclectic assortment of historical items and fascinating curios. Here you’ll find records from the 1964 tsunami, a fully restored 1910 wedding dress from the region’s first “royal” family and a train room showcasing an assortment of memorabilia from the Northern Pacific Railway Company. Perhaps most popular of all is a growing exhibit of Japanese tsunami debris collected from local beaches.

Pacific Beach
The Sandphifer Gallery in Pacific Beach is a working gallery with a rotating display local artists. Photo courtesy: Sandphifer Gallery

While you’re in town swing into the Sea Gate Restaurant & Lounge for an informal and surprisingly delicious meal you won’t forget. The pizza is a great option and burgers are big and juicy. Be sure to take some time to wander around this quiet little seaside town. Unexpected treasures await including newcomer Sandphifer Gallery, located across from the Naval Recreation Center up on the bluff. Owners Karin and Stephen Phifer have a large array of local artists and mediums including beautiful driftwood sculptures. You can check out their Etsy shop, too.

If you’re looking for a great place to stay, check out the Ocean Crest Resort, a local gem that’s been family owned for three generations. This resort is perfectly situated between forest and sea, offering its guests the best of both. Its clifftop location offers breathtaking views sure to make an impression. Ocean Crest Resort also offers the best in comfort with an indoor pool, spa, health club, fine dining restaurant and cocktail lounge.

summer grays harbor
Miles of wide open beaches are ready for your family at Pacific Beach and Moclips.

For lodging right in town and nearly beachfront, try the Sand Dollar Inn located in Pacific Beach. Stand-alone cottages, a romantic penthouse and suites with kitchens make this a great option for any sized family. And, it’s location adjacent to Pacific Beach State Park is perfect for those travelling with camping friends, but looking for a “real bed”. 

If you’re looking to expand your trip, a short thirty minute drive to the northeast will introduce you to the breathtaking natural landscape of Olympic National Park. This area treasure is chock full of lake-shore beaches, waterfalls, scenic glacial peaks, the beautiful Lake Quinault, and the only temperate rain forest in North America. 

Seabrook

This unique coastal community has something for everyone with a variety of amenities for those staying including a pool, horse barn, tennis courts, parks, playgrounds, dog parks and more, all within easy walking distance. In addition, the town offers many quaint boutiques, delicious restaurants and the luxurious Spa Elizabeth.

Seabrook
This quaint crushed shell path leads visitors from Searook to the beach. Photo courtesy: Seabrook.

Seabrook was built around principals of new urbanism with an emphasis on walkability and connectivity and it shows. This town is so great, in fact, that it was featured as Sunset Magazine’s original Idea Town. It was also named one of Seattle Magazine’s Best Pacific Northwest Vacations in 2017 and one of Coastal Living magazine’s Best Places to Live in 2017.

Seabrook is the ideal town in which to spend your carefree summer days. Rent a bike from Buck’s Bikes for a leisurely cruise through town or rent a wetsuit and surf board and hit the waves. Take a meandering stroll through the town’s shops, grab a savory slice from Frontager’s Pizza Co. and indulge in a little creativity at Imagine That! Pottery Painting Studio. Be sure to take in the elegance of The Stowaway Wine Bar and Cheese Shop and grab a little something sweet at Red Velvet Bakery by the Sea or Sweet Life ice cream parlor and candy store. If you’re accompanied by a four-legged friend, be sure to stop by the dog park and The Salty Dog which hosts “Yappy Hours” and other dog friendly events. All town activities, shops and restaurants are open to those just stopping in as well as visitors staying in one of the many rental homes found throughout.

Buck's bikes seabrook
Buck’s Bikes offers bike rental and repair in addition to paddle board and surfboard rentals (and even wetsuits for the chilly Pacific). Photo credit: Douglas Scott

Seabrook is surrounded by a series of environmentally conscious trails weaving through beautiful spruce forests and preserved coastline. Visitors can follow a winding trail of crushed oyster shells and reclaimed cedar to the beach where they can stroll for miles, search for the perfect shell or simply sit in a beach chair and relax.

Visitors to Seabrook can book one of the town’s many attractive vacation rentals through seabrookwa.com which donates one percent of profits to the Seabrook Community Foundation. This foundation supports local organizations and provides scholarships for local students.

Roosevelt Beach

Roosevelt Beach is just shy of three miles south of Seabrook. This beach is flat, spacious and conveniently allows vehicles. Abundant sea life including crabs make strolling along this beach fun for the whole family. Little lagoons offer places to jump and wade safely for little ones, far from the pounding of the breakers. Beautiful cliff-side views make this beach particularly memorable. Bring the cooler, the blanket and chairs and a picnic lunch and make a day of it. You’ll find plenty of space to run or fly a kite, but no crowds in sight.

Copalis Beach

A quaint coastal community has sprung up where the Copalis River meets the sea. This scenic area is laced with hiking trails and offers excellent razor clam digging (in season), bird watching, beach combing and fishing.

ghost forest
The Ghost Forest is located less than a mile up river in Copalis. Photo courtesy Brian Atwater.

If you’re looking for a real treat, bring a canoe or kayak and paddle to the Ghost Forest. This fascinating red cedar and spruce forest was killed and turned into a salt marsh by a large earthquake over 300 years ago. While you’re in town, be sure to stop into the Green Lantern Pub for some great food in a delightfully unique environment. The new owners are dedicated to making this long-time local hangout a family-friendly gathering spot for the community.

Nearby Iron Springs Resort offers completely renovated cabins with new kitchens, enlarged bathrooms, fireplaces or wood burning stoves, flat screen satellite TVs and DVD players. Guests enjoy private beach access and restored hiking trails. From here you can also take a relaxing stroll along Copalis Beach or head over to Pacific Beach State Park. Enjoy a beachside fire pit as the sun sinks into the Pacific.

A summer vacation at Iron Springs is one your family will remember for years.

Iron Springs Resort is also pet friendly. They offer dog bowls, towels and a washing station in each cabin. Plus, you get a free tennis ball with a treat at check in.

The North Beach of Grays Harbor is teeming with beautiful and awe-inspiring sights. There is plenty to keep busy for an afternoon, a week, a month or more. The deeper you explore, the more fascinated you’ll become. Don’t miss this spectacular area of Grays Harbor County.

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