I took a lot of photos considering it was only a 4-day road trip, so you'll have to bear with me as I split up the recap into multiple posts!
We stayed at the Adrift Hotel in Long Beach, WA for the first leg of our trip. The hotel was right next to the beach and we had an ocean view from our room! Due to the strong winds and currents, the surf isn't safe for anyone to swim in and it wasn't much fun actually being on the sand. But we still had a good time strolling the quarter-mile boardwalk that stretched out over the grassy dunes and admiring the same landmarks that must've greeted explorers Lewis and Clark when they first charted Long Beach. The skeleton of the washed-up grey whale they noted in their logs is still around.
The town itself felt very Small Town America, which was charming in its own way. Little museums devoted to kitschy themes, a quiet sleepy vibe. All the businesses lined themselves along a main street, and as one would expect from a seaside town, the eateries and stores boasted a lot of pan-fried oysters, clam chowder and saltwater taffy. We opted to dine at the Lightship Restaurant (upstairs from the Adrift) both nights for the amazing coastline views it afforded. Afterward, we sipped some of the hotel's fruit- and cucumber-infused water, then relaxed in our room with some red wine and complimentary DVDs borrowed from Adrift.