14 Jan 2019
Before the warm weather returns and the clouds finally cease their deluge of precipitation, the Pacific Coast of Washington State experiences a flurry of activity. Each spring, when we start to dry out from a winter of rain, wind and gray, the Washington Coast comes alive, showing signs that months of adventure are just around the corner. While many will wait until summer to go out, the spring months offer a handful of can’t miss activities and events that are sure to be perfect for family trips, weekend vacations and romantic getaways. Using the community of Seabrook as a basecamp, we have six ideas that will surely be the highlight of your spring along the coast.
The months of March, April and early May along the Washington Coast are your best chance to see whales. During this time, the Washington Coast becomes a highway for 20,000+ Gray Whales migrating back to the cool waters of Alaska, with babies in tow. Swimming just 1/2 mile or less from the crashing waves on the rugged beaches of the Pacific Coast, the gray whales partake in not just an amazing migration, but also a chance for the millions who live with a few hours drive of the ocean to see these massive sea dwelling mammals. For families, the migration of the gray whales makes for an amazing experience. To best see the whales, the Whale Trail, which stretches the entire length of the Washington Coast, offers viewpoints, information and even activities during the peak whale watching season.
After a winter’s worth of storms slamming against the sandy shores, wandering the beach can result in some pretty stellar finds. Known as beach-combing, those who wander the coastline after storms can find incredible shells, shimmering agates, and even old glass floats. Beach-combing in the spring provides empty beaches, exposed treasure and an excuse to wander aimlessly between the driftwood piles and breaking waves. This is a perfect stress relieving activity and can be done with ease from Seabrook’s beach access. Young or old, walking the beach, collecting trinkets and taking in the salty air is sure to be the peaceful respite you crave.
Digging for razor clams is another uniquely Pacific Northwest beach activity to do along the Washington Coast. All you need for a clamming adventure on the Pacific Coast of Washington is a permit, a will to dig the clams out of the sand, and a container to put the clams in once you have found them. There are a handful of areas that are typically open to the public for clam digging each year, from Olympic National Park’s Kalaloch Beach, to the mouth of the Columbia River, making Seabrook the perfect basecamp for your clamming adventures. Keep in mind that beaches can open and close based on the health and population of the razor clams. A full list of open beaches, approved dig days, tides and everything else you need to know about clam digging updated regularly can be found on the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (WDFW) website. Buck’s Bikes at Seabrook also leads guided clam digging tours, perfect for those looking to learn this skill.
Hiking and Exploring
The Washington Coast has a lifetime’s worth of hiking trails to explore, leading to breathtaking vistas and jaw-dropping sea stacks. Whether you stick to the beaches near Seabrook, or drive north to explore Olympic National Park’s Kalaloch, Ruby Beach, LaPush and even Ozette and Shi Shi Beaches, you’ll be awe-struck by the rugged beauty of the Washington Coast. The best part about exploring the areas in the spring months are that the low tides are typically in the afternoon and evening, giving you hours to take in the grandeur of the most-rugged, wild and wonderful coastline in America. For the best hikes, pick up a guidebook from The Outdoor Society, the experts for your Olympic Peninsula hikes. Exploring the coastline will leave you addicted to returning to the coast weekend after weekend.
Storm Watching and Sunsets
While most will head to the coast to storm watch in the fall and winter months, those looking for a treat should watch the weather and out for a spring storm. Full of wind, rain and warmer temperatures, spring storms will amaze you with their power and beauty. As the storm surge floods the creeks and rivers, and the rain falls in buckets, the spirit of the Washington coast comes alive. The best part of the spring storms is that once they blow through, the sunset afterwards is truly magnificent. If your visit doesn’t happen during a storm, don’t worry! The stunning spring sunsets from Seabrook to Ruby Beach and back down to the mouth of the Columbia River will forever be burned into your mind’s eye.
Along with the warmer temperatures, spring storms, and the great whale migration, there is one more incredible event that needs to be seen in person. Starting in March and gaining steam through April and May, the beaches around Grays Harbor, as well as the sandy shores of Bowerman Basin come alive with a huge shorebird migration. Like nothing you have ever seen, most of the world's population of Western Sandpipers move through Grays Harbor estuary, some spending two to five days. With roughly a quarter of a million shorebirds frequenting the region, you’ll have a chance to see giant flocks of birds, as well as hawks and eagles hunting them from above.
A stay at Seabrook will give you a perfect basecamp for all of your Washington Coast adventures. Offering fantastic lodging, incredible foods, and beautiful views, Seabrook gets you as close to the action as possible. Whether you choose a night, a weekend or even a week at Seabrook, you will be left in awe at the spring adventures found along the Pacific coast.