"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to." Bilbo Baggins

PNW 2023 Part 5 – Washington Coast, Pacific Beach

After 4 weeks exploring the Oregon coast it was time to say “til next time” to Oregon and drive north into Washington.  We had not explored much of the far western Washington coast, so we decided to check out some new areas.  There are two choices we found on the west side, a southern peninsula, the Long Beach area, and a northern peninsula, the Pacific Beach area.  We had toured the Long Beach area back in 2020, so we decided to check out the Pacific Beach area of “North Beach”.  Plus after four solid weeks of exploring, hiking, and eating we were also looking for a more remote spot to rest and recuperate.

The beach peninsula which is home to Pacific Beach is a mid-twentieth century resort area comprised of Ocean Shores, Copalis Beach, and Pacific Beach.  There is a small state park at Pacific Beach with a campground, but we opted for a Navy Recreation Facility called Pacific Beach Resort & Conference Center.  The name makes it sound a lot fancier than it really is.  It is an old WWII defense site the Air Force ran as a radar station and then the Navy took over and used it as a gunnery training site and submarine monitoring station until the mid 80s.  There is a small RV park along with a hotel and some cabins.  Perfect for our goal of a quiet, remote spot.

Remote it was!!  There were a couple of very small town which used to be summer recreation areas in the 50s and 60s. The nearest grocery store was located in Ocean Shores.  Restaurants were few and far between, probably a good thing for us after our eat-feast in Cannon Beach.  We made a day trip drive to Ocean Shores and explored the southern edge of the beach peninsula.  Ocean Shores appeared to us to be a planned community and after reading about it discovered it was a big vacation spot in the 60s.  There are a couple of small state park beaches in the area but mainly it is a community planned around boat access canals for vacation homes.  We did find a nice coffee house there.

One of the more unique places was the Museum of North Beach.  A small local organization displaying some very interesting history.  Back around the turn of the 20th century, the town of Moclips was also a big resort area with razor clam digs, a train depot, lots of beach vacation homes and a large hotel.  A big winter storm around 1911 destroyed most of the hotel and many of the homes.  By then, the railroad industry had moved on and they did not rebuild.  An interesting side fact was John Wayne filmed a lot of scenes for the move “McQ” in Moclips and Ocean Shores.

Just a couple miles south of Pacific Beach is a planned community called Seabrook.   It reminded us of “The Truman Show” movie.  So we did some research.  It was inspired by the village of Seaside, Florida. No wonder it looked familiar as Seaside WAS the location for the filming of “The Truman Show”.  Very upscale, with individual homes and small townhouse complexes.  They have a small business district with shops and a few restaurants.  We walked and explored the area.  They have nice beach access as well.

We did find some time to check out the large beach just down a hill from the RV site.  The beaches nearby are wide, flat, long, and open for vehicles. They seemed to be more dirt than sand.  Craig gave his kite a try, but of all the times for the wind to be calm, why did it have to be during the kite flying attempt?!

We had a few days of rest and lazy touring in the Pacific Beach area. It provided just what we were looking for.  We did enjoy our time there, but also pretty sure we did most everything there is to do in the area and we will look to add a different section of the Washington coast on our next PNW excursion.  Next stop, The Mountain.

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