Has it really been six months since my first visit to the Long Beach Peninsula? It seemed like only a few weeks have passed, as my recent trip felt much like going home. We decided to stay in a different area – Klipsan Beach – just 9 miles north of Long Beach, Washington. The drive isn’t particularly impressive until the last 40 miles, but the destination sure was! We rolled in just as the sun was going down to an impressive sunset over Willapa Bay.
The duplex rental where we stayed was nothing short of charming. Originally, the property was opened in 1889 as part of the Pacific Coast Life Saving Service. In 1912, the name was changed to Klipsan Beach (with the native jargon ‘klipsun’ meaning “setting sun” – which was apt!). Original buildings from the station remain, along with the newer duplex, picket fences and WWII watch tower. The accommodations were dog (and kid) friendly and boasted a full kitchen and deck which made for a very comfortable stay. The enormous fenced yard was perfect for pug-romping, but it was easy to imagine a gaggle of kids playing kickball or baseball, too. And our hosts? June and Allan were absolutely charming and went out of their way to ensure that we enjoyed our stay thoroughly. The place was loaded with movies, books, games, toys and (much to our pleasure) clamming gear.
A short walk to the street-end was an outlet to the Pacific beach. Although razor-clamming was open for the weekend, my prowess is more in cooking than (apparently) capturing these elusive bivalves. Fortunately, Ole Bob’s seafood market in Ilwaco offered plenty of frozen clams to return home with.
As before, finding delicious food was not an issue as it can be in other small communities. An early-morning trip to Bailey’s Bakery brought delicious coffee cake and a latte that’d hold muster even in Seattle. Our gracious hosts, Bill and Suzie, at the Boreas Inn where we’d stayed in August invited us over for a a delicious breakfast with their guests on our second day. The Pickled Fish – as expected – did not disappoint. Their locally cured meats and carefully purveyed cheeses made a delicious first-night’s dinner.
Our biggest culinary surprise? Dinner at The Depot restaurant in Seaview. Opened as a platform shed, and later a depot for the Oregon Railroad and Navigation Company in the early 1900s, this restaurant is loaded with charm! Owners Nancy and Michael are friendly ambassadors for the area, and more modest about their own contributions. Michael’s soulful southern roots blend seamlessly with his midwest upbringing and marry flawlessly with the peninsula’s fresh fare. My salmon was perfectly grilled and nestled on a delicious bed of sun-dried tomato risotto. And of course, it couldn’t have been fresher!
We happened to have been at the Peninsula over the weekend of the 2014 Superbowl – which, of course, involved our incredible Seattle Seahawks. Initially worried about finding a good local spot to watch the game, I contacted the Long Beach Peninsula Visitors Bureau. Andi Day, their fearless leader, was able to not only recommend a fabulous local, Aussie-owned sports bar called The Lost Roo, but also buttoned-up our reservations there. It was no wonder tickets sold out within the first day – this place was the epitome of community and cameraderie! We were warmly welcomed by the locals, and enjoyed a feast of football snacks, local beer and friendly conversation.