Oceanfront Hotel with Clam Digs, Indoor Pool, and Onsite Restaurant
Each winter during low tide at Long Beach, Washington, clam diggers head to the ocean with lanterns and shovels. The goal is to fill their buckets with Pacific razor clams, which the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife website calls “one of the most sought-after shellfish in the state of Washington” for their 6-inch length and meaty interior. The clamming tradition is popular with both locals and tourists in this port town, and you might be able to nab some of the clams yourself during a stay at the oceanfront Chautauqua Lodge.
Chautauqua Lodge was named after a Native American phrase that means “a place where the fish was taken out,” a nod to Long Beach’s fishing culture. Each of the guest rooms faces the sea and has a balcony or patio where you can soak in the Pacific sunset.
When you’re not at the lodge’s heated indoor pool and spa, it’s hard to stay away from the beaches just steps away. You can walk to the beautiful Discovery Trail, which connects Long Beach to nearby Cape Disappointment; it was explored by the Lewis and Clark expedition.
Long Beach, Washington: Clams, Kites, and Cranberries on the Pacific Coast
About 115 miles northwest of Portland, 28 miles of uninterrupted shoreline stretches across the Long Beach Peninsula. Crowds flock to the area all year round—even in the winter months, when average temperatures are in the 40s. The main draw during that part of the year is clamming. On certain government-approved dates, you can take to the sands to dig for fresh razor clams, which locals enjoy battered and fried in butter.
Come spring, warmer weather brings out swarms of colorful kites. Kite flying is something of an obsession in Long Beach. The town is home to an annual kite festival as well as the World Kite Museum, the only museum in America dedicated to the art, history, and science of kite making. Another local obsession is cranberries—their bright-red bogs line the coast from Oregon to British Columbia. At the Pacific Coast Cranberry Museum in Long Beach, you can learn about the history of cranberry farming, arrange a bog tour, and enjoy a cup of tart cranberry tea.