Historical Inn in Coastal Washington
The Shelburne Inn, which dates back to 1896, has undergone a long-term restoration to accentuate its old-fashioned elegance. The Inglenook, a onetime dining room, has been transformed into a lounge adorned with 19th-century art-nouveau stained-glass windows rescued from an English church before it was razed. Anchoring the Inglenook is a piano named Gloria after a longtime guest.
At the acclaimed Shelburne Restaurant, seasoned chefs whip up entrees made from local seafood such as mussels-and-clams marinière and dungeness crab cakes served alongside artisan breads and desserts made at the inn's bakery. For a more casual meal, head to the adjacent Shelburne Pub for mussel chowder, a 30-year staple at the inn.
Each of the guest rooms and suites is decorated with antiques such as claw-foot bathtubs and period glasswork. Don’t sleep in too late, or you’ll miss the inn's renowned complimentary breakfast. Of this gourmet morning meal, a St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter once wrote, "The Shelburne is to breakfast what the Louvre is to art.”
Long Beach Peninsula, Washington: Scenic Beach Getaway on the Pacific Coast
Named one of America's Favorite Beach Towns in 2009 by Forbes Traveler, Long Beach Peninsula is a narrow, 28-mile stretch of sand dunes, beaches, and forests on Washington’s west coast. Its setting along the Pacific Ocean makes for spectacular views, albeit poor swimming—with the exception of Cape Disappointment’s Waikiki Beach, riptides and undertows mar the cold water. But that doesn’t stop people from hitting the beaches to take surf lessons, fly kites, and comb the shores for treasures such as smooth driftwood. Walking the dunes is another favorite pastime.
Long Beach holds the distinction of being the most northwesterly stop on Lewis and Clark’s transcontinental journey. You can trace the explorers’ footsteps on the nearly 9-mile Discovery Trail. The beachfront path re-creates the scenes Lewis and Clark described in their diaries, replete with an 18-foot gray-whale skeleton and a bronze statue replica of a beached sturgeon.
A handful of small towns offer an assortment of antique shops, museums, and art galleries. In Seaview, where The Shelburne Inn is located, you can take a walking tour past restored Victorian homes and historic buildings.