A Weekend in Ocean Shores, Washington

Ocean Shores, Washington State is the perfect destination for fun with the family, a romantic weekend, or a relaxing solo getaway. This charming ocean city is known for its long Pacific beach and fresh seafood. I’ve been to the city of 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, WA 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, WA 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 Washington coast is that you can drive your vehicle up on it and park, making it the best 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 and do fun things like 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. The Ocean Shores Convention Center is also a perfect place to go if you’re looking for a spacious area for special events.

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, WA.

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.

31 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!

    • Kelly Cooney on September 18, 2021 at 12:26 pm

      We stayed at the sands.
      And I wish nobody go there.
      2 outlets in the rundown room we paid over 200.00 per night.
      No locks on windows or screens, or fans for room.
      For the price we paid and stayed 1 night.
      Had 3 days booked.
      I would rather sleep in my car than that fire place.
      2 outlets and let’s see.
      1 had. 1 small refrigerator,
      Microwave, t.v. ( old ) like 90s
      2 lamps.
      On 1 outlets

  2. 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 !

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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. :{)

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

  11. Aubrey on August 4, 2021 at 1:28 pm

    Just returned from ocean shores with my family and let me tell you…. This place is a ghost town. We couldnt even find a restaurant that was open and the couple that were open were so busy we couldnt get in. If it werent for the grocery store we wouldnt have ate the whole time. Sure, the beach was nice but this town is DEAD and there are plenty of other beach towns to enjoy that arent shut down. Do yourself a favor. Do not book an ocean shores vacation ✌

  12. Maurice B & Nitashia P on August 9, 2021 at 12:43 am

    My parents lived here for 10 years and I loved to go visit them on the weekends. They both passed away. So surprisingly my boyfriend of 15 years booked a night to take me since he knew I go every year on Aug 18th which was my parent’s anniversary. (First time he EVER planned a trip for us!)
    This is for Days Inn experience the night of August 6th 2021

    My boyfriend booked a hotel room through Travelocity for Fri, Aug 06 – Sat, Aug 07. Arrived and checked in. Went into room and it was run down for the price he paid. However I’m battling thyroid cancer and just wanted to enjoy the trip he planned for us at the Ocean. We went into the room. Didn’t even bring anything in the room. He closed the blinds because the view was a boat & broken down cars in someone’s backyard. We left for the local casino. We get back at 1:30 a.m. no parking at all every spot filled. We called the phone number that was posted on the door 5 times to cancel our room and got no answer. There was no other designated parking and we were not going to park at the business across the street for risk that my vehicle would be impounded. We were charged over $314 for a room that we never even slept in. We both made attempts to get a refund. They offered an “IOU” for a stay only between a Mon-Thu at their availability which is at a $80 rate not what stiff price gouging we received. I really don’t want to stay there knowing the situation with the parking because what will guarantee me a parking even if I did stay Mon-Thu? The manager explained to my boyfriend that we paid for a “room” not parking! Seriously? They charged over $300 for a basic room. It wasn’t even worth that. When we drove up even there was a guy outside smoking a cigar/blunt. We wouldn’t have had any issue honestly but there wasn’t no attendants available to help us. A phone number on the door that stated to call if we needed anything but no one answered. We ultimately had no choice but to drive the 90 miles back home. We weren’t going to risk our vehicle getting impounded for improper parking on someone else’s property! Not to mention it was practically a ghost town. We couldn’t eat at the casino and we wound up finding a gas station in town and spent $26 on junk food. I can’t believe that this hotel can operate like this knowing that the parking situation was not our fault and we had no other option other than to drive home. If you have a designated phone number to call it should be answered no matter what time of morning it is we wound up driving home at 1:57 a.m. and did not get home until 4 a.m. because we had to stop at our local Jack in the Box to get something to eat because we were so starving! I think they are thieves. We should still get an IOU for a Friday night since that’s what we booked instead they want to offer us a Monday through Thursday (which is cheaper rates) when my boyfriend has to work. But honestly if they were decent owners and operators of their business they would just give us our money back especially knowing the fact that my parents used to live in that town for 10 years before they passed away!

    • Jg on September 2, 2021 at 11:09 am

      If your hotel was so bad why aren’t you leaving the name of it here for us to avoid also?

    • Jg on September 2, 2021 at 11:11 am

      If your hotel was so bad why aren’t you leaving the name of it here for us to avoid also? Sorry if this posted already I just saw it is the Days Inn

  13. The shamkhi on September 9, 2021 at 3:01 pm

    Very nice friendly and all amenities are within walking distance. …..,one bad experience when the town Mexican restaurant did not allow my family to dine in because we did not curry our vaccination cards. Our kids are under 10 of age they where not vaccinated.

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