This is always part of trip when I go to Astoria. Long Beach has such an interesting culture.
It’s really not far away at all. And, it gives you an opportunity to go across…
the Astoria-Megler bridge! This bridge is over 3 miles long, spanning the mouth of the Columbia river. At one point, it’s so high, you can see for miles then it drops so low, you’re skimming right across the river. And it’s pretty. (You can see the whole thing in my first post on Astoria). The town of Megler on the Washington side is not really a town. Just a handful of buildings along the river.
Continuing north, you can stop at Fort Columbia and explore some more batteries. Much like Fort Stevens (which I talked about in my second Astoria post), this military site was in operation from 1896 till the end of World War II. It has several hiking trails leading up to the top of the hills or down to the ocean.
Next on the route to Long Beach is Ilwaco. This little fishing town provides access to two lighthouses on the southern end of Washington: North Head Lighthouse (pictured above) and Cape Disappointment Lighthouse. The Cape D lighthouse was put in in 1856, but was difficult see when coming from the north, so the North Head lighthouse was built in 1898 just 2 miles away.
I’ve been to all of those sites, but didn’t have time this particular trip, so I went on to…
Jake the Alligator Man! Jake is the most famous resident of Marsh’s Free Museum in Long Beach. Half alligator- half man, Jake is Long Beach’s claim to “fame.” I’m going to keep this short, because tomorrow I’m going to give Marsh’s its own post.
Long Beach also boasts the world’s largest frying pan (or so they claim), a very enjoyable shooting gallery (still in great shape despite being over 30 years old), access to drive on the beach (certain times of year), go-carts, ice cream shops and various other beach-town amenities. And the incredibly delicious Chico’s Pizza Parlor!
On my drive away from the beach, I took the Washington side east to the freeway. (The Oregon route is much much much faster). Along the Washington side, however, is this…
The Grays River Covered Bridge. This is the only covered bridge still in operation in Washington, located just off the main road in Grays River, WA.
I highly recommend checking out Astoria, Long Beach and all of the areas around them. (Seaside, OR is about 15 miles south of Astoria). It’s a beautiful area full of history, cheap things to do, and wonderful things to see. Check it out!
Have you been? Did you love it? Hate it? Comment me!