Ocean Shores is one of Washington State’s top coastal destinations. This six-mile long peninsula, sits comfortably between Grays Harbor and the Pacific Ocean. It offers expansive, drivable beaches along with a series of fresh water canals that are fun to explore by boat.
There are plenty of shops and restaurants in town and even a Beachfront Casino Hotel. The next time you’re in the area, makes sure to stop into Ocean Shores and make some memories!
Experience the Beachlife
When summer is in full swing and you just want to spend a day at the beach, Ocean Shores is a perfect destination.
Ocean Shores is a refreshing beach experience. It lacks the intense heat and humidity you would find in Southern California or Florida, and isn’t as crowded. You really get to connect with nature and take it all in.
Once again, be aware of shifting tides and keep all children close at hand. While fun and beautiful, the waters off Ocean Shores can be dangerous if not respected.
Visit a Family Fun Center
Playtime Family Fun and Pacific Paradise are two great spots to take the whole family out and do something different. These fun centers offer go-karting, mini golf, and classic arcade games.
Pacific Paradise has bumper boats available on its man-made lake and Playtime has a slick track to race cars on plus a section for virtual reality section and a classic ice-cream parlor!
Go for a Boat Ride
It’s one thing to enjoy Ocean Shores from land, and it’s a completely different experience to out on the water.
Luckily you don’t have to brave the waves of the Pacific Ocean. Ocean Shores Boat House offers a wide selection of rentable watercraft. Tour the freshwater canals of Ocean Shores in style! From a standup paddle boards, kayaks and hydro bikes to 10 passenger electric boats.
If you’re up for a bit more adventure, hop aboard vessel out of Westport, and have a coastal fishing experience!
Check Out The Shops!
There is shopping available for all ages. Sharky’s is the quintessential Ocean Shores gift shop, welcoming guests with the open jaws of a giant shark! This is a great spot to pick up a souvenir and get a pic in the entrance.
If you are looking to shop and eat without going to far, check out the Galway Irish Pub and Gift shop as you come into town. This is one of our favorites spots in town, featuring a whiskey bar, cigar room and live music In October, Galway plays host to one of the largest Celtic Music Festivals on the west coast.
Ride a Horse
Have you ever imagined riding up and down the beach on horseback? Have you ever ridden a horse at all? Horseback riding on the beaches of Ocean Shores is a fun option!
These gentle creatures have a special way of connecting with their rider. Staff aim to pair riders with right horses allowing both experienced and rookie riders a pleasurable experience.
Being on horseback by the sea is unlike any other riding experience. This is your time to experience those postcards and Instagram posts you’ve seen.
Horses await you just beyond 2 access points to the shores, with the most popular being beside the Shilo Inn hotel. Drive or walk out onto the beach, and you’ll see the horses to your right, standing on the beach in a temporary corral. The cost is about $20 – $30 per hour, and you’ll ride down the beach for 30 minutes and back. All the while being kept by a watchful eye of 2 guides for your group. There is a weight limit, and you must check in at the beginning of the day because spaces get booked quickly, especially on weekends. You can’t call and make a reservation, they literally want to meet and see the physical abilities of every person who is planning to ride.
Explore Ocean City State Park
Just north of town is Ocean City State Park. This 170-acre park sits along the shore, and is a goldmine of activities for the young and old alike. Visitors are welcome for a day use or overnight camping.
It’s uniques location allows its guests access ocean beaches along with wetlands, treed hiking trails and more.
Ocean City State Park offers lake fishing and kayaking as well as snorkeling, diving, and clamming in the ocean. There is hiking along the beach and within the park, plus tons of sightseeing and prime photo-taking opportunities.
Ocean City is not too far from town, so stocking up on last minute provisions or dinner at a restaurant should not be a problem.
Take a Walk on North Jetty
North Jetty is a rocky part of the Ocean Shores beach. It’s not ideal for laying out and spending the whole day, but it’s the place to be if you want to explore tide pools and get in some awesome landscape photography.
When the water is rough the waves crash on the rocks in a beautiful dance. When the sea is calmer, it’s easier to walk from rock to rock and discover all the ocean life that sits on the shore. Either way, the experience is a real treat and well worth going a little further out on the beach.
Do use common sense however! The amazing power of the ocean is beautiful to watch, but is not to be taken lightly. Don’t get stuck as the tide comes in!
And if you’re looking for something a big calmer, check out Damon Point for sand, surfing (even in winter) and a great walk out over the dunes and down the peninsula.
Climb Washington’s Tallest Lighthouse
Across the channel from Ocean Shores and you’ll find yourself in Westport, A quaint, fishing village perched on a peninsula between Grays Harbor and the Pacific Ocean.
Westport Light State Park offers some of the same features as Ocean City park with one rather large difference. An historic lighthouse!
The Grays Harbor Lighthouse is over 100 years old and stands at 107 feet tall. It offers amazing views from top. On a clear day you can even see as far away east as Mt. Rainier in Washington’s Cascade Mountain Range.
Lighthouses are a special family-friendly experience, and are an iconic experience for folks who don’t live by the water. Every lighthouse has its own unique story worth discovering. Learn more about the lighthouse and the surrounding maritime culture at the Westport Maritime Museum.
Although Westport sits just across the channel from Ocean Shores, it takes a good hour to drive there. Thankfully local leaders are banding together to bring back ferry service between the two Coastal Cities.
Check Out the Local Art
Save some time in your schedule to discover a few of the galleries around town and check out art by local Ocean Shores artists and regional favorites:
The works include paintings, photographs, and handmade goods. Walk around for a bit of extra inspiration for your own creative interests or take a few pieces home to really enjoy them.
Discover the Best Things to Do in Ocean Shores
It’s one thing to read about the best things to do in Ocean Shores and another to see what this cute little beach town is really like.
If you’re a Washington State resident, book a staycation here the next time you want to get away. If you’re coming to Washington to explore Seattle or get lost in the mountains for a few days, squeeze Ocean Shores into your itinerary.
For more Ocean Shores insights, click here for a guide to Ocean Shores.
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