The Long Beach Peninsula on the southern coast of Washington is a string of the most darling little sea towns you’ve ever seen and a utopia for seafood lovers. I got to visit here recently and it was hard to leave, the Washington Coast is a very special place with a mystical allure I can’t seem to break hold of. Long Beach is a simple town that revolves around the Pacific ocean where one goes to disconnect and take in it’s stunning beauty, detached from all the worries of the world. They’ve also got a happening little food scene and I loved eating and drinking my way through it for four days.
WHERE TO NOSH
Located in Ilwaco, The Salt Pub is a fantastic eatery that overlooks the Port of Ilwaco and serves a variety of local beers and fresh, seasonal food. Simple food done well, and that’s always the best kind. If you get here early you can score a seat overlooking their stellar view of the marina. Pictured are their Steamed Clams: fresh Willapa Bay steamer clams served with garlic toast. Yes, please. They came in a simple, but flavorful, white wine butter sauce that made my tummy happy.
Seriously some of the best pizza I have had, and you should definitely try their pizza – but I’m here to talk about their Mac and Cheese Rolls. Yes, you heard me right – Mac and Cheese Rolls. This creamy mac is wrapped in mung bean paper and then fried and served with cheese sauce. I have found my version of heaven, y’all.
This place is an adorable little inn with a funky clutteredness that I found charming. We enjoyed our dinner in their quaint dining room and had the honor of being served by owner David himself. I know, I know, I ordered steak and I was on the coast, usually a no-no in my book. What can I say? I just love red meat and this rib eye did not disappoint. (And to be fair I had about two dozen fresh picked oysters for breakfast that morning.)
The DEPOT should be at the top of your list when you visit the Long Beach Peninsula. Located in the historic Seaview train depot, this restaurant has more than stood the test of time. At the DEPOT Restaurant you’ll enjoy fine dining, world class wine, local micro-brews on taps and an open air kitchen. Their menu features a healthy mix of both meat and seafood and I’m going to highly recommend the Dungeness Mac and Cheese. Local Wild Crab and Cavatappi Noodles simmered in Garlic, Cream, Wine and Lemon Juice blended with three Cheeses (mozzarella, parmesan and provolone) and topped with Toasted Bread Crumbs.
WHERE TO SIP
I spent entirely too much time at this bar. Also a full service restaurant located inside the Adrift Hotel, Pickled Fish boasts stunning views of the Pacific, a kick ass happy hour and live music every night. Pictured was my favorite thing on the happy hour menu (served daily from 2:00 to 4:00): the Pickleback, which was a shot of Old Overholt Rye and a shot of house pickle brine. Who knew bourbon and pickle juice went so well together?
Okay, this isn’t technically on the Long Beach Peninsula but it’s on your way if you’re coming from Seattle and very much worth a stop. Located in South Bend about 50 minutes outside Long Beach, this adorable coffee shop is a floral shop too! They had gorgeous bouquets, potted hydrangeas and lovely succulents for sale alongside their stellar coffee. And you get a view of the Willapa River while you sip; what could be better?
As previously stated, the food here is stellar but the drinks are on point too. Sip on one of their finely crafted cocktails and take in the stunning beauty of the Port of Ilwaco. This Sea Cucumber signature cocktail was refreshing with a kick, just my style: Effen cucumber vodka, muddled cucumbers and lime, club soda, Sprite and a chili salt rim.
This was the view from my room at Adrift, need I say more? This hotel is ultra modern and sleek with a minimalist, hip feel to it. Steps away from the beach and the boardwalk, Adrift is perfect for those wanting the Pacific at their fingertips. Adrift offers a spa and full service restaurant, Pickled Fish, and are currently putting in a distillery on site, set to open in July.
The cutest and quaintest bed and breakfast you’ll ever see, the Boreas Inn is just a short walk to the beach. This is a magical little inn where deer and other critters roam the yard so close you could pet them (if they’d let you). There’s also a fabulous hot tub to to relax and sip champagne in so you can relax to your heart’s content. The real star of Boreas Inn though is Susie’s fabulous northwest breakfast. A delicious breakfast berry soup, crumb cake, pastries, a smoked salmon asparagus scramble, potatoes, coffee and fresh juice was the lavish way I started my day here.
Who wants to stay in a vintage trailer?! This place was so cool, y’all. Cabins, trailers, suites and campsites make up this funky, beloved lodge and if you’re feeling adventurous for something unique, this is where you want to be. One of the trailers at Sou’Wester is actually a spa; you can get massage treatments here during your stay.