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. 


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.


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!

Nicole Klauss

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.


  1. Avatar 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.

  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 […]

  3. Avatar 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. Avatar 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. Avatar 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.

    • Nicole Klauss 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 […]

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