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Top Stops on the Long Beach Peninsula
Published: 09/06/2010
 
North Head Lighthouse near Ilwaco, Washington
North Head Lighthouse near Ilwaco, Washington
photo by Gary Hayes

There are attractions aplenty to be found on the Long Beach Peninsula. Here is a collection of some of our favorite stops.

Cape Disappointment
Whether you're looking for scenic views, a hike through the rainforest or exploring regional history, Cape D has it all. Cape Disappointment Lighthouse – at 154 years old, this is the first lighthouse built on the Northwest coast. View it from the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center or from below on the north jetty. You can also take a short hike to the lighthouse through the rainforest and past military fortifications dating back to the Civil War. The interpretive center traces the journey of the Corps of Discovery through interactive exhibits, journal entries and film. The viewpoint offers views of the ocean at the mouth of the Columbia River.

North Head Lighthouse
Just two miles north of Cape Disappointment, the North Head Lighthouse sits at the top of a cliff nearly 200 feet above the surf. It's a short walk from the parking area, past the lightkeeper's house to the dramatic viewpoint.

The Boardwalk & Discovery Trail
Drive west through the arch labelled "World's Longest Beach" on Bolstad Avenue to find the nearly half-mile oceanfront boardwalk that traverses through beachgrass-covered dunes offering panoramic viewpoints with interpretive signs and picnic areas. The 6.2-mile Discovery Trail intersects with portions of the boardwalk, leading the hiker through dunes and forest between Long Beach and Cape Disappointment.

Port of Ilwaco
Enjoy the sights and sounds of an active fishing village harbor. Discover fish markets, art galleries, interesting shops, casual cafes and fine dining.

World's Largest Frying Pan
Actually used in 1941 to make the world's largest razor clam fritter using 200 pounds of clams. See it at South Fifth and Pacific in Long Beach.

Marsh's Free Museum
Prepare to gawk at Jake the Alligator Man, a shrunken head and other weird stuff. Play baseball on a 1937 World Series machine or listen to mechanical musical instruments.

Leadbetter Point State Park
At the northern tip of the peninsula, this is a natural area with both Pacific Ocean and Willapa Bay beaches. Look for more than 100 bird species that have been spotted here.

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