A Weekend in Ocean Shores

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!

Ocean Shores Beach with seagull on sand
Ocean Shores beach with surf

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.

sand dollar on beach in Ocean Shores Washington

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.

Playtime Family Fun Ocean Shores Washington

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.

crab cocktail

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. 

Shopping

There are lots of shops in town where you can pick up beach themed home decor items, yard art and tourist trinkets. 

Sharkys Ocean Shores Washington

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. 

Shorebirds Villas Ocean Shores Washington

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.

Weatherwax Trail in Ocean Shores view from the trail

Weatherwax Trail

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.

deer

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.

salmon berry

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

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!

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Nicole Klauss

Nicole Klauss is a journalist-turned-marketer who is passionate about storytelling across platforms. She lives in Ellensburg, Washington and plays roller derby in her spare time.

25 Comments

  1. wendyk on August 19, 2020 at 2:21 am

    Next time visit Damon Beach. Damon is a double sided spit. 3 mile total trip from start to end & back. There is driftwood in the middle piled thick from the tide. Snowy White Owls nest in there. Damon is a Agate stone hunters paradise. While at the end look for Sea Lions playing.

    • Gary on November 17, 2020 at 12:10 pm

      Wow thanks Wendy I have a house in Ocean Shores Australia. It looks quite a bit more tropical and hotter than your O.S. The US singer Pat Boone promoted the Australian development in the 60s and I think we are named after your town with a beautiful golf club at the centre. I love the sound of owls nesting and sea lions in your OS might have to check it out someday and put it in the bucket list.

      • Bill Beyer on June 14, 2021 at 2:20 am

        Interesting! Pat Boone promoted our Ocean Shores in WA as well.

    • Mary Harms on April 12, 2021 at 6:00 pm

      Yes, we live a mile From Damon Beach, & love to beachcomb along its waters edge. Also take kids to the Interpretive Center, when restrictions allow. It’s like a museum for shells, rocks, flora & fauna from the area. Children are allowed to take a few rock or shells as remembrance of their time in our sweet town!

  2. […] walk along the water. Alki Beach in West Seattle, down at the waterfront in Tacoma, ocean side in Ocean Shores, or along the Columbia in Wenatchee — it doesn’t matter where, they are all gorgeous and […]

    • Wynn on June 4, 2021 at 5:51 pm

      Thanks for sharing your highlights. Our family has been going to Ocean Shores and Moclips for more than 30 years. It’s always memorable and tnis year we will definitely visit the Weather Wax trail.
      I was surprised and disappointed that you promoted the horseback riding. Scorching sun, blowing sand and salt air is neither healthy nor safe for those animals. Numerous times i have witnessed the horses standing, not able to graze and without water. Sorry to cast a shadow on your review. Silence is complicity.

      • Ziggy on June 14, 2021 at 2:59 pm

        Contrary to your comments, parking and driving on the beach is not ok. There are plenty of places to view the sunset, get your lazy self to one of a zillion park benches. Silence is complicity!!

  3. Victor on September 4, 2020 at 8:28 am

    Spend last weekend in Ocean Shores ! Weather was perfect ! People were kind…and really even the Days Inn motel, folks were awesome !
    Been 20 years, or so, visiting Ocean Shores…..promise to do it again soon !

  4. Roxanne on September 4, 2020 at 10:48 am

    I love ocean shores. But booking a room was very misleading. I specifically requested an ocean view. I double checked . Yes. We got to our room, they knew we were bringing a 4lb dog. They put us in a 1st floor room. There was very obviously no ocean view. All we could see were very tall bushes,thick. I talked to the young lady running the place and asked for a discount. She was polite but said all their rooms were the same price. They also were in the process of remodeling and things weren’t even completed. We paid well over 400.00 for 2 nights . We will never go back and would not recommend The Sands to anyone.

  5. Michelle on September 12, 2020 at 9:16 pm

    As a local we worked very hard to contain covid-19 out here on the coast our cases were down to 5 before the start of summer. We have One Hospital for the whole County. I urge you to advise your audience about the importance of mask wearing during an active pandemic.
    Thanks!
    M.L.

    • Nicole Klauss on September 15, 2020 at 8:12 pm

      Thanks, Michelle. I appreciate the feedback, and added a note at the top about following local health guidelines. While I was there everyone was super respectful and masked up!

  6. […] first stop was Ocean Shores, WA. We were having a day where we just wanted to be by water. We wanted to hear the waves crash […]

  7. […] is a fishing town located between Ocean Shores and Long Beach on the Washington coast. Often overshadowed by its bustling neighbors, Westport is a […]

  8. […] Ocean Shores.  Where I first attempted to fly kites.  Great place to go and fly a kite and enjoy the beach. […]

  9. […] • Day use only. • How to get there: If you’re on State Highway 115, go to the entrance of Ocean Shores. Drive south down Point Brown Avenue until you get to Marine View Drive. Turn right, and you’ll […]

  10. […] to be Washington State’s Favorite Beach Getaway, Ocean Shores is the place for fun. Whether you want a relaxing vacation, or are looking for a fun-filled day […]

  11. […] are a common sight on the beaches of Southwestern Washington. I remember staying at Ocean Shores with family many years ago and being fascinated by the stunt kites being flown in the mornings and […]

  12. […] and most importantly coffee. OBR is located on Point Brown Road NW which is the main drag in Ocean Shores. The clientele looked to be a mix of tourists and locals.  Since Ocean Shores is a very popular […]

  13. Lannie Forgeron Meagher on March 13, 2021 at 11:20 am

    I had a wonderful time in Ocean Shores a truly amazing place
    From Ontario Canada hope to visit again sometime

  14. Shawnyta on April 24, 2021 at 10:53 pm

    I love going to Ocean shores Me & my children just spent 2 days out there last weekend. They also love it. We’re going back in 2 weeks again,its so much stuff to do out there

  15. Steve S. on June 5, 2021 at 6:32 pm

    We go every summer but go via a RV. The town of OS is an overpriced tourist trap. There are a couple good eateries but expect to pay up. The beaches are really nice. They allow vehicle access so you can find good separation. There are areas that don’t allow vehicles and there is great she’ll hunting to be found.

    • Cinda on July 13, 2021 at 9:43 pm

      We usually buy our food at Safeway and take a cooler when we stay in a hotel.
      And eat out mabey once for breakfast.
      Alot cheaper.

  16. Phil on July 5, 2021 at 3:32 pm

    I love living here and I’m okay with the tourist as long as they pick up their trash from the beach. :{)

  17. Cinda on July 13, 2021 at 9:39 pm

    Must eat at Our place great food for breakfast.
    And there is a bbq restaurant in the main road soo good.

  18. Daisy on July 20, 2021 at 2:44 pm

    Ocean shores if ok, very very flat. Bennetts is ok too but it has to be, it’s the Only restaurant around!

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