Ocean Shores is the perfect destination for fun with the family, a romantic weekend or a relaxing solo getaway. This charming beach city is known for its long Pacific beach and fresh seafood. I’ve been to Ocean Shores several times for gatherings with friends, and I always find something different to enjoy. With it only being a 2.5-hour drive from Seattle, it’s a winning choice for the weekend.
When visiting Ocean Shores please follow all recommended physical distancing and masking guidelines. Be respectful of the community so we can all continue to enjoy the area!
On the Beach
If you’re headed to Ocean Shores for a weekend the beach is probably at the top of your list of things to do. There’s nothing like watching the waves crash against the shore or feeling the sand between your toes as you stroll along the waterfront.
I like to get up early and look for interesting seashells and beach finds before anyone else is out there. This time I was lucky enough to find five complete sand dollars! Just don’t pick up the fuzzy ones — those are still living and should be put back in the water.
One cool thing about the beach is that you can drive your vehicle up on it and park, making it the perfect place to take in a sunset.
For the Family
If you’re traveling with kids you might want to step up your beach activities by building sandcastles, flying kites or actually getting in the water if it’s not too cold. If you didn’t come prepared, Ocean Shore Kites sells easy kids kites, frisbees, sand toys and more. Check out Electric Beach Bike Rentals to rent a motorized fat tire bike, which will easily cruise the beach or nearby trails.
Another fun option is Playtime Family Fun, which has go-karts, indoor bumper cars and ice cream.
Where to Eat
I asked several locals where to eat, and they pointed me to Bennett’s Fish Shack for seafood. Their menu features seafood classics like clam chowder, fish and chips and their famous crab cakes. I opted for the Dungeness crab cocktail, which had a generous portion of crab with lettuce, avocado and spicy cocktail sauce. They were open for both to-go and sit-down service.
There are lots of shops in town where you can pick up beach themed home decor items, yard art and tourist trinkets.
If it’s shark memorabilia and a fun photo you want, then head to Sharky’s, a shark-themed shop right by the beach. You’ll have to walk through the jaws of a shark (the building is shaped like one!) to get into the store, and inside you’ll see a real shark jaw on display. Their shelves are filled with books, clothing, mugs and other trinkets featuring sharks and the beach. There are a couple of fake sharks hanging from the ceiling, and you can even watch a video about sharks on a screen while there. Don’t forget to pick up some saltwater taffy on your way out!
Another store I enjoyed visiting was Soapworks. They specialize in small-batch handcrafted soaps made with essential oils. I picked up a pineapple scented bar that was topped with a little gold pineapple, also made of soap. Some of their other products include shampoo bars, body butters, clothing and all-natural surface cleaners.
Where to Stay
There are tons of hotels, condos, bed and breakfasts and beach camping spots to stay at for a weekend in Ocean Shores.
On my most recent trip we stayed at the Shorebirds Villas, which has four unique themed vacation villas — pirate, Hawaiian, medieval and Egyptian. We stayed in the Hawaiian themed “Hakuna Matata” villa. The villas have an A-frame structure and are completely themed. The spiral staircase to the second floor was decked out in grass skirting, and there were murals featuring a hula dancer, palm trees and sea turtles. The villas are just a short walk from the beach.
I woke up early and headed for Weatherwax Trail,so I could enjoy a short walk before most people were out and about. On the drive to the trail I saw two raccoons crossing a street, half a dozen deer and a coyote. It was truly a score for wildlife sightings. The trail is close to town, so it’s a great free activity if you need a break from the beach. Park for free right across the street from the trailhead.
Hiking the Weatherwax Trail was by far one of my favorite things I did while visiting Ocean Shores. It’s more of a walk than a hike, as it’s a very mild short loop trail at just 1.2 miles, making it perfect for the family. It has a low elevation gain, and I only encountered one small area that had any real challenge, climbing over a little hill with some roots.
It was lightly raining when I went, but the tree coverage protected me from getting wet. I saw a variety of plants along the trail including ferns, mossy trees and mushrooms. If you look closely you’ll see salmonberries hiding under leaves, ranging in color from orange to red. Yes, I ate a few and they were delicious. I don’t recommend eating random berries or plants if you’re not familiar with them.
Horseback riding on the beach is one thing I was hoping to do, but didn’t have the time to get to on this trip. Honey Pearl Ranch is currently operating daily, weather permitting. Whether you’re a complete beginner or an experienced rider, they have a horse for you. This is definitely on my bucket list for my next Ocean Shores trip!