Spring benefits locals ready to reserve it for Washington’s beaches before the crowds arrive. The weather can be unpredictable, but a morning squall is usually followed by afternoon solar breaks. If you’re settled in a comfortable vacation home in or near a well-planned location like Seabrook, there’s plenty for a family to do, whatever the weather. The town’s simple, friendly layout encourages old-fashioned biking, meeting new friends, and just hanging out – think “Stranger Things” without the monsters.
The fastest route to Seabrook is typically 138 miles along I-5 to US-101, but the most scenic follows SR-109. Once on the coast, stop at Ocean Shores for a quick brunch or lunch in the spacious Coffee Roasters and Bistro Ocean Beachthen head over to the small, recently updated Coastal Interpretation Center. Learn about the area’s rather eccentric history (involving Pat Boone and the unfortunate dreams of becoming Palm Springs in Washington), as well as maritime industries, coastal wildlife, and a “strange rock” exhibit with molten sand, stone Leopard-spotted Petoskey and bizarre sandstone formations.
Then, travel north along SR-109, which hugs the coast, passing the Griffiths-Priday State Park and the quaint bungalows and swanky resorts of Copalis Beach. Next, head to Seabrook – even if you’re staying the night elsewhere, the town offers plenty to do.
The cliff-side town of seabrook was founded in 2004 by Casey and Laura Roloff. Inspired by the new urbanism of Seaside, Florida, the city features thoughtful improvements at every curve of the roadway. Indeed, the winding roads were designed this way, to slow down traffic and encourage walking and cycling. The more than 475 homes differ in architectural style, but most retain historic beach charm despite new construction.
Some people live year-round in Seabrook, but more than 250 homes are available for rent, ranging from tiny cabins and lofts for two to sprawling homes that can accommodate multiple families (up to 20 people). Some homes sport private hot tubs and fire pits, and all have kitchens and daily living essentials. Stays should be booked for at least two nights, which makes sense – you need at least a day to adjust to the slow and easy pace of the city.
Those looking for quieter, less crowded streets can look to shoulder season reservations in the spring or fall. Seabrook’s prime season is summer, with outdoor concerts, full bookings, beach yoga, and lots of families. Winter in Seabrook often presents the best chance for business, so those looking for great romantic winter getaways and Washington Coast storm watching may find it a great place to set up shop and listen to the winds. to scream. Various discoveries and hunts, celebrations, races and events take place all year round on weekends.
Where to eat in Seabrook
Most visitors to Seabrook pack the cooler and bags of groceries to cook and grill at home. But for a restaurant meal or for those staying outside of Seabrook, you have a choice: Vista Bakery for coffee and artisanal pastries, Koko’s restaurant and tequila bar for contemporary Mexican cuisine, Pizza Company Frontier for calzones and pizza (and plenty of outdoor seating), and a beer garden hosting karaoke on Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout the fall. The Stowaway Wine Bar offers a collection of 3,600 bottles in a new, expanded location. rising tide offers casual, upscale, locally sourced New American fare. In the summer, food trucks round out the options and ease the queues for tables — no Seabrook restaurants offer reservations.
Front Street Market carries the most needed staples in limited quantities, deli sandwiches and quick-prepare meals (think pasta, Alki bakery treats). It should be replaced in early 2023 by an 11,000 square foot grocery store that will also be able to serve the entire community.
What to do in and around Seabrook
A heated indoor community pool and gym are available to property guests, but day-trippers can also take advantage of the property’s 18 parks including playgrounds, a dog park and tennis courts, basketball, badminton and pickleball. Wildlife-surrounded hiking trails criss-cross the property and brand new mountain bike trails open end of 2021. Barbecues and Adirondack chairs inspire meetings.
To try a new sport for you, Northwest of Buck offers skimboarding, surfing and paddleboarding lessons to Seabrook visitors and the wider community, as well as mountain biking lessons and guided services. The outfitter also rents a variety of bicycles (mountain bikes, beach cruisers, road bikes) and water equipment (surfboards and surf wear, skimboards, kayaks) and organizes guided clam digs, fishing trips and hikes.
Most of Seabrook is concentrated on the east side of SR-109. So, visiting the public beach requires a quick drive through downtown and down a steep path and stairs, passing leaning trees shaped by high winds. Head to the sandy beach for volleyball nets, kite flying, castle building, and searching for “strange rocks” of your choice.
The city center is worth an afternoon to explore; street level retail makes everything easily accessible on foot. Shopping options are mostly upscale and include a spa, clothing boutiques, wine bar, pet supply store, outdoor gear and home decor stores, most on the sea theme.
Seabrook for families
Families can pop into the Joie Des Livres toy store or bookstore for rainy day activities such as puzzles, novels, games and drawing tools – the adorable porthole-shaped “book corner” of the bookstore offers a charming surprise. Get candy, a scoop of ice cream or both at The Sweet Life.
Families will also appreciate Seabrook’s thoughtful and surprising features. For example, children are encouraged to collect forest materials such as twigs, feathers, and rocks to create “gnome houses” for others to discover along the Gnome Trail. Tiny seats in a hollowed-out massive tree stump can be a hiding place.
Just north of Seabrook are the sleepy towns of Pacific Beach and Moclips. Pacific Beach State Park grass-covered dunes give way to wide open beaches and offer 18 standard campsites, 41 partial hookup sites and two yurts with bunk beds. Several nearby beach access roads allow visitors to drive directly to the beach – whether that’s a good idea depends on your risk tolerance (and transmission).
To Ocean Crest Resort, Try Grandma’s Famous Chowder, a mildly spiced bisque-like soup first created in 1953 and a favorite of Olympic gold medalist Apolo Ohno. The restaurant’s table windows offer some of the best sunset views in the area, looking directly out to the Pacific below.
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