HIKING: There are numerous hiking trails available locally. Directions to trails in Fort Canby, Leadbetter State Park, and Fort Columbia, along with people who have hiked them, are available in the motel office. We can give hikers a first hand view of the difficulty level and distance each trail. For less adventurous hikers, check out the newly paved hike/bike trail through the dunes.
LIGHTHOUSES: There are two beautiful lighthouses locally. The Cape Disappointment Lighthouse was built in 1856 and still signals ships today. This is an incredible place to watch ships cross the Columbia River Bar into and from the "Graveyard of the Pacific", so named because of the hundreds of famous shipwrecks that have happened locally. The North Head Lighthouse, signaling ships coming from the north, just celebrated its Centennial in 1998. Tours are available during the peak season.
INTERPRETIVE CENTERS: The Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center in Ilwaco (360/ 642-3029) offers indoor views of the mouth of the Columbia River, as well as being an ideal spot for watching whale migrations, learning about Lewis & Clark, local lighthouses, rescue missions and artifacts. The Willapa Bay Interpretive Center (15 miles north in Nahcotta, features a collage of quotations, photographs, murals, audio and video, along with artifacts that give visitors an impression of the history of our area. The staircase from The Center to the Willapa Bay shore is one of the few public access spots on Willapa Bay. The Willapa Bay Interpretive Center is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, beginning in May.
MUSEUMS: Visit the incredible Ilwaco Heritage Museum (1 mile south). This well-done museum offers local history, including a working water table of the local area, a train layout of the entire peninsula showing The Clamshell Railroad, a Research Library, Art Gallery, Exploration Gallery. It is rich in Native history and offers seasonal displays, including an annual quilt show. Do not miss the gift shop! (360/642-3446). The World Kite Museum and Hall of Fame offers kites and kite happenings of 50 years ago, a Chinese dragon kite display, nostalgia of past kite festivals and a Hall of Fame for inventors and makers of kites. New to The Peninsula is the Pacific Coast Cranberry Research Foundation Cranberry Museum & Gift Shop. Open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, May through Mid-December, this beautifully done museum offers an education on the magical berry, as well as cranberry products and self-guided walking tours. And a true tourist wouldn't possibly miss Jake the Alligator Man, half man, half alligator, at Marsh's Free Museum, Curios, Antiques and Gift Shop in Long Beach!
KITE FLYING: While our amazing (and sometimes sudden!) winter storms cause conditions not for the kite enthusiast, we experience ideal kite flying conditions for most of the year. We are not on any regular airline routes and the expansive beach offers a place free of telephone poles and trees. There are also several excellent kite shops locally, staffed with pros, not to mention the World Kite Museum and Hall of Fame. So... Go fly a kite!
SWIMMING: Peninsula beaches are considered UNSAFE for swimming. No matter how calm the water looks, or how experienced the swimmer may be, we encourage our guests to venture no further than knee deep in the salty water. Both rip tides and strong undercurrents claim lives nearly every year. The Dunes, a professional indoor pool offers swimming opportunities and water exercise classes year round. For more information, call (360) 665-5542.
RUNNING: Ilwaco High School (1 mile south) offers an eight-lane, all weather track that is open to the public. Our more than 28 miles of hard pack sand and countless back roads offer the runner or jogger a limitless number of possibilities!
GOLF: There are two golf courses here on the Long Beach Peninsula. Both are 9 hole courses and are open to the public. The Peninsula Golf Course (360/ 642-2828) is located approximately 2 miles north of us here at The Seaview Motel & RV Park. The Surfside Golf And Country Club (360/ 665-4148) is approximately 15 miles north. And don't forget our local putt-putt course in Long Beach (1 mile).
TENNIS: Less than one block from our friendly little motel is a fenced court operated by the Seaview Community Club. Individual tennis courts are located all along The Peninsula. The Ilwaco Town Park (1 mile south) and Long Beach's Culbertson Park (1 mile north) have courts. None are lighted and there are no fees for use. Court rules are posted.
VOLLEYBALL: Beach Volleyball can be played anywhere on our expansive stretch of beach - just bring your own equipment! The City Of Long Beach also rents equipment. Volleyball courts are just south of the Bolstad Approach (1 mile). Contact City Hall to inqure about volleyball tournaments played on the beach throughout the summer and to inquire about equipment rentals (360/ 642-4421).
BOWLING: Hilltop Bowl, across from Black Lake in Ilwaco (1 mile) is The Peninsula's very own bowling alley. Call (360) 642-1440 for more information.
THEATRES: The Neptune Theatre one mile north of us in Long Beach offers 2 theatres of first run movies. For what's showing, call (360) 642-8888.
SOFTBALL: There are 6 locations for softball fields locally. The closest are all about a mile away: at the Ilwaco Town Park, Culbertson Park in Long Beach, The Long Beach School, and our Little League Field adjacent to the Long Beach Fire Hall.
HORSEBACK RIDING: Our beautiful beaches are a magical spot for horseback riding. A variety of horse adventures await you! In addition to daily guided rides along the beach, you can take a faster paced ride into Beard's Hollow, a half-day trip over a hillside, a back country packing trip, a sunset ride by horseback, a hay wagon ride along the beach or an elegant carriage ride through historic Seaview or downtown Long Beach. And you haven't really experienced the beach the old fashioned way unless you take part in a cowboy's cream can dinner amongst the rocks at Beard's hollow. Pony rides are always available for youngsters, and little tykes can ride double with adults on most other activities. Back Country Wilderness Outfitters offers $2 off coupons to our guests. Be sure to ask us for some at check-in. The folks at Back Country can also help you with a "motel" for your horse if you want to bring him or her along on vacation.
CANOEING AND KAYAKING: There are small lakes throughout the Peninsula, as well as some spectacular inland waters on Willapa Bay. Access is available from a number of local and state parks, including Black Lake (1 mile) and Loomis Lake (10 miles). We caution guests to take great care, especially on Willapa Bay, where weather can change with little warning and strong tides have been known to give even experienced boaters unwanted trips to the sea.
RENTALS & CHARTERS: Available for rent within a mile radius of us here are surreys built for multiple riders, bicycles, bicycles built for two, mopeds, horses, horse-drawn buggy rides, volleyball equipment, hay rides on the beach, paddle boats and helicopter rides. Of course, you can always visit the local carnival, ride the carousel, drive bumper boats or bumper cars, play video and arcade games, play putt-putt golf, or lazer tag. Stop by Anybody's Fitness (1 mile) for a work out on a multitude of equipment. Out of the Port of Ilwaco, you will find countless opportunities for chartering fishing and leisure boat trips. Allow us to help you find the experience you are looking for!
FISH HATCHERY: The first salmon hatchery in the State of Washington lies in Chinook, just 10 miles south of us here in Seaview. Established in 1885, and taken over by the state in 1895, it is a valuable educational experience and is a focal point of a major watershed restoration effort on the Chinook River. Open to the public every day from 9am to 5pm, the best time to visit is in September when the salmon are large and jumping from the river. For more information, call (360) 777-8229.
CLAMMING: Razor clam digging is a passionate sport locally. Clam digging days open in both fall and spring and we eagerly await the announcement of the season. You will need a Personal Use Shellfish License, which you can buy one block from the motel. Whether to use a shovel or a gun is a debate that will go on forever, but rest assured that if you forget yours at home, they are for sale and rent where you purchase your license. Where do you find the clams? Look for a crowd of people on the beach. How do you dig them? Ask nicely, and the locals will guide you!
FISHING: Charter fishing from the Port of Ilwaco (1 mile) offers adventure for people of all ages! Sturgeon, those prehistoric beasts, offer exciting sport that level the fishing playing field. In fact, many of the fish brought back to the motel last year were won by women and children! These beasts are fished May through September. We will gladly connect you with charter boats at your request. Boat owners, we suggest you use a charter until you are familiar with the area. Swift currents and the mouth of the river to the ocean cause some dangerous conditions. Sightseeing boats as well as deep sea, bottom fishing trips and salmon charters are also available from the Port of Ilwaco. Fresh water fishing is available at Black Lake, Island Lake, Loomis Lake and in the Naselle River. Shore fishing is available off the jettys at Fort Canby (3 miles) and also along highway 101, just south of Chinook (12 miles). .
ANTIQUE SHOPS: There are nearly 2 dozen antique stores and malls here on The Peninsula. A map directing you to local dealers is available in the motel office. We will help you find even the most obscure shops!
BOOKS & ART: There are many fine art galleries and studios here on The Peninsula, as well as several excellent book stores, open to the public throughout the year. Drop in and speak with local artists and authors. Watercolor classes are offered locally by several prominent artists. Timberland Libraries offer branches in both Ilwaco and Ocean Park. Labor Day weekend is special for our local libraries as they offer a book sale to the public. Book donations are gladly accepted, and while the prices are fantastic on Saturday, they are downright unbelievable on Sunday!
CHURCHES: Churches of all denominations are located throughout the Peninsula. Please ask us to point you in the direction of the church of your choice!
STATE PARKS: The Long Beach Peninsula is host to several State Parks, including:
Fort Canby State Park
Two miles southwest of Ilwaco, Washington, off U.S. Route 101 on loop road 100, Fort Canby State Park is located at the start of the Jetty. It is comprised of more than 1,700 acres of trails, beaches, ocean, the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, and the Cape Disappointment and North Head Lighthouses. The state park has 250 campsites, a trailer dump, and hot showers in restrooms which can accommodate people with disabilities. Also located on the site is a boat launch on Baker Bay with two ramps and ample parking nearby. A concession store near the park entrance sells fishing and camping supplies, groceries, and souvenirs during tourist season.
Four trails of varying lengths offer opportunties to explore the forests and headland of the park.
The jetty road follows the North Jetty to a parking area at Benson Beach. Both North Head and Cape Disappointment lighthouses, the river, and the ocean, can all be viewed from this point. Visitors can hike on both beach and park trails, fish in the surf, or enjoy the beauty of an ocean beach sunset. There is also whale watching in season, kite flying, bicycling, and bird watching.
Although dedicated as a start park in 1957, the area's recorded history begins years earlier. In 1788, English Explorer, Captain John Meares, in seeking the Columbia River, wrote of missing the passage over the bar, and in his discouragement named the nearby headland Cape Disappointment. In 1792, American Captain Robert Gray successfully crossed the river bar and named the river after his ship, the Columbia Rediviva. The Lewis and Clark Expedition traveled west, arriving at Cape Disappointment in November 1805. The Cape Disappointment Lighthouse began operating in 1856 and is now the oldest lighthouse still in use on the West Coast. The lighthouse at North Head was built in 1898 to help guide ships coming down the coast from the north. To protect the mouth of the Columbia River from enemies, the Cape was armed in 1862 with smoothbore cannons. Named Fort Canby in 1875 to honor General Edward Canby who was killed in the Modoc Indian War, the Fort expanded and improved until the end of World War II. At that time, the Fort was deactivated and not used again until it became a state park.
April 1 - October 15 6:30 AM to Dusk
October 16 - March 31 8 AM to Dusk
For More Information Contact: Fort Canby State Park (360) 642-3078
Ft. Columbia State Park
At the West End of the tunnel on Hwy 101 between Astoria and Chonook, Ft. Columbia has a commanding view of the Columbia River mouth. There are gun emplacements here for walking through as well as Officers Barracks, complete with museum during the summer months. Hours are limited to daylight hours during the summer months, with only volunteer staff to answer questions and guide small groups.
For More Information Contact: Fort Columbia State Park (360) 777-8221
Long Beach State Park
Long Beach State Park is located just off Bolstad Avenue in downtown Long Beach and has only parking and restroom facilities. It offers excellent beach access and wonderful viewing for the various fireworks displays during the year.
Loomis State Park
North of Long Beach on Hwy 103 about 6 miles on the Ocean Beach side of the highway. The facility houses restrooms and beach access, but no driving on the beach. 1/4 mile North on the highway on the other side of the road, is a public fishing launch during the summer months only.
Pacific Pines State Park
North of Ocean Park, just above 280th St. on the Ocean Side of Vernon Avenue is the park. Restrooms and beach access, but no driving on the beach. During summer months only,
Leadbetter State Park
Following highway 103 all the way North from Ocean Park to Oysterville, toward the Ocean to Stackpole Road, North to the end of the paved roads on the peninsula is a nature conservatory where walking is the only way to see the area. Open most of the road, but definitely out of the way and fullof wildlife and viewing of the Willapa Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Daylight to Dusk only.
FREE STUFF TO DO: Stroll the boardwalk (it's lit at night!), go beach combing, take a stab at romance, build a beach bonfire (please keep them a safe distance from the highly flammable dune grass), take a drive on the beach, hike through the dunes, check out the tide pools at Beards Hollow, watch a storm, hike, bike or blade the newly paved Dunes Trail, watch some wild waves, paint a picture, run your dog on the beach, take photographs, visit a library, gallery, church, lighthouse or museum, ride your bike, go bird watching, go catfish fishing, seek the garage sales, read a book, look for glass floats, wander the docks, people watch from the gazebo, browse an antique or book store, gather mushrooms and berries in the woods, stroll through historic Seaview and see the many homes built in the 1800's, seek one of the many shipwrecks off our coast, discover why we are a bird lover's paradise.