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Ocean Shores, Washington
Visiting Ocean Shores, Washington
One of the stops that I made on my vacation with my kids was Ocean Shores. I had been there many times over the years, but since I currently live in Arizona, we don't go very often any more. If you live in Washington, you might want to take a trip there. Ocean Shores is not my favorite beach to visit in Washington State, but it does offer some things that my favorite beach (Kalaloch) does not.
Photo copyright 2009 Brookelorren.
What I Like about Ocean Shores
Ocean Shores has a lot going for it. The beaches are flat and the waves are fairly calm. This makes it safer than many other beaches to let your kids go in and jump over the waves. On a warm day, I have actually gone swimming on this beach (although I wouldn't recommend it for poor swimmers). The winds are often strong, which makes the beach nice for kite flyers.
In town, there is a lot of good shopping going on. You can find kites for sale, and there are often flea markets and garage sales going on, where you can find some pretty good deals (at least in the summer). There is shopping available at Ocean Shores and in nearby Ocean City.
You can drive on the beach, which is safe for cars (most of the time). Ocean Shores is a great place to drive along the beach, find a nice spot to park, and spend the day, splashing in the ocean, flying kites, and building sand castles.
Photo copyright 2009 Brooke Lorren.
Get to Ocean Shores
What Else to do at Ocean Shores
There are plenty of other things that you can do at Ocean Shores. These are some of the items that were recommended at Ocean Shores.com and from personal experience:
- Shop for antiques. There are lots of antiques to purchase at Ocean Shores, and if you really like antiques, you can visit during the second weekend of February, for the Antique and Collectibles show.
- Biking. On a nice day, Ocean Shores is a beautiful place to ride bikes. There are bike lanes in many places. It's also a great way to get some exercise!
- Rent a bike or a moped. You can rent a bike or a moped to drive down the beach. Rentals are made in 30 minute increments. You have to have a driver's license to rent or drive a moped.
- Bumper and Go-Karts. If you want to take a break from the beach, bumper and go-karts can be a lot of fun.
- Miniature Golf. This used to be a fourth of July tradition for my family.
- Bird Watching. You can see a lot of birds at the ocean here. The Audubon Society has even written books about birds in the area. If you go to Damon Point State Park, you might even be able to see the Snowy Plover.
- Camping. There are lots of camping spots in the area. They range in price as well as amenities and location.
Where to Camp
Ocean Shores can be quite a drive from Bremerton, Seattle, or other locations in western Washington, so you might want to stay the night when you get there. There are plenty of camping spots at Ocean Shores. On busy weekends during the summer or on holidays, you might want to make reservations.
- Ocean City State Park - this park is located off of Highway 115. The state is located on the coast. There are bathrooms, and leashed dogs are allowed. 360-902-8844.
- Screamin' Eagle Campground - I stayed at this campground years ago when I was a kid. It's a fairly open campground, but it's easy to get to and you can walk to the beach from here. It's located at Beach Acess Rd (2nd Ave). 360-289-0223. Email email@example.com.
- Yesterday's RV Park - There are RV and tent spots here. Short walk to the beach. There are also showers. Located at 512 Damon Road. 360-289-3459
- Echoes of the Sea RV Park - There are tent sites, RV hookups, and motel rooms here. Campers can take advantage of hot showers and restrooms, the motel users have cable television. Reservations are recommended. 1-866-999-ECHO or 360-289-3358. firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.wa-accommodations.com/nw/echoes.htm.
- Driftwood Acres - there are both RV sites and tent sites. Every spot has a fire pit and picnic table. Get a bundle of firewood gratis with a night's stay. Located at 3209 State Route 109. 360-289-3484. email@example.com
Photo by fgreen70.
Ocean Shores Stuff at Amazon
If camping isn't your thing, you might want to stay at a hotel. There are plenty of places to stay. Like camping, if you want to stay at a hotel at Ocean Shores over the holidays or on summer weekends, you might want to get reservations.
- Quality Inn - located at 773 Ocean Shores Blvd. NW. Has a heated indoor pool and a hot tub. 360-289-2040. http://www.oceanshoresqualityinn.com/
- Shiloh Inn - located at 707 Ocean Shores Blvd NW. Heated pool, hot tub, internet access, laundry for guests, and an in-room refrigerator. 360-289-4600. http://www.shiloinns.com/.
- Judith Ann Inn - located at 855 Ocean Shores Blvd NW. Suites include a full kitchen, jetted tub, and balcony with an ocean view. 360-289-0222. http://www.judithanninn.com/.
- Grey Gull - located at 651 Ocean Shore Blvd. NW. All units have kitchens. Condos range from studios to suites. 360-289-3381. http://www.thegreygull.com/.
- Polynesian Resort - located at 615 Ocean Shores Blvd NW. Heated indoor swimming pool, indoor spa and sauna, hot tub. Game room. 1-800-562-4836. http://www.thepolynesian.com/.
- Best Western Lighthouse Suites Inn - located at 491 Damon Road NW. Every room is a suite. The inn is located right next to the beach. Has an indoor pool, jetted spa, and steam room. Exercise and game room. 360-289-2311. http://www.bestwesternwashington.com/.
- Comfort Inn and Suites - located at 829 Ocean Shore Blvd NW. There's an indoor pool and hot tub, and exercise room. 360-289-9000. http://www.comfortinn.com/.
Photo of Polynesian Resort.
Be Careful when Beach Driving!
When you're visiting Ocean Shores, you can drive on the beach. Many cars do it, and there is often a makeshift road in the damp sand. However, even because you can drive on the beach, doesn't mean that you don't have to watch out.
It's hard to tell in the photo, but those lights are stuck cars. When I visited Ocean Shores over the fourth of July (it's a great place for fireworks), the tide came in. While trying to leave after the fireworks, my car got stuck in the tide about four times. After the third time getting stuck, we decided to drive up the beach away from the tide and wait it out. I was afraid that I might lose my car to the surf. Trucks were towing other cars, and they were getting stuck. While most of the time, driving is safe, just be careful.
For more information, check out my article on keeping safe in the surf.
Fourth of July Fireworks
One of my favorite things to do at Ocean Shores is to attend the fireworks display on the Fourth of July. There is a large fireworks display that is put on every year, and everybody else brings their fireworks to the beach as well. If the weather is nice, you can see tons of fireworks. Going to Ocean Shores on the fourth of July was an annual tradition when I was a kid.
Photo copyright 2009 Brooke Lorren.
Cons of Ocean Shores
Despite the fun that people can have at Ocean Shores, it is not my favorite place to go at the ocean. The beach is not the cleanest beach in the world. The water and the surf are a little brownish. If you're looking for a secluded beach, this is not the beach for you either. Ocean Shores is easily accessible, and as a result, gets many visitors, especially during the summer. Ocean Shores does not have a lot of marine wildlife, like starfish, either.
Photo copyright 2009 Brooke Lorren.