Storm watching in the Beaches Region

Winter is one of the best times to visit Washington's southwest coast.

Don’t let blustery weather and colder temps deter you; storm watching, fewer crowds, and cozy evenings await during this season. Whether you crave exploration or simply wish to snuggle up by the fire with a hot drink as you watch waves pound the coastline, you’ll find your prefect winter escape to Washington’s Beaches Region.

This strip of coastal lands spans west from the I-5 corridor to the mouth of the Columbia River and north to the southern portion of the Olympic Peninsula. Typically, the best time for winter storm watching and high surf is December through March.

Coastal communities in Grays Harbor and Pacific counties make great bases for storm watching. From Moclips, Seabrook, Ocean Shores, and Westport in the north to Long Beach in the south, you’ll find no shortage of spectacular views.

Cape Disappointment State Park

For those looking to get out and about for storm watching, Cape Disappointment
on the Long Beach Peninsula is a must. This 2,023-acre state park offers miles of windswept beaches, including Waikiki Beach, where you can watch the waves crash along the cliffs at the base of a historic lighthouse. Cape Disappointment also offers yurts, cabins, and historic vacation homes for overnight lodging. These make cozy oceanfront retreats for watching the winter storms. Lodging
is also available in nearby Long Beach, including the beachfront Inn at Discovery Coast.

Another great vantage point for watching the pounding surf is from the glassed-in observation deck of the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, which is perched on a cliff in the park.

Westport

North of the Long Beach Peninsula you’ll find Westport. During winter high tides, head to the Observation Tower of the Westport Marina. If you don’t mind get buffeted by winds, take to the sand dunes at Westhaven State Park or head south of town to Grayland Beach State Park.

Ocean Shores

Further north, Ocean Shores is home to the North Jetty, a popular storm-watching spot where visitors can watch waves crash on top of the nearby jetty from the comfort of their car.

Copalis

This stretch of coast offers the chance to visit Griffith-Priday State Park. Walk the trail toward the Copalis River and watch the waves back up into a neighboring stream and river.

Seabrook & Moclips

A short drive apart you’ll find Moclips and Seabrook, which both offer plenty of opportunities to view waves and stormy weather from roadside pullouts and viewpoints. In Seabrook, check out Pacific Glen promenade, Overlook Park, Northwest Glen archway, and West Hill Park. Between the two towns you’ll find Pacific Beach State Park, another fantastic place to spend a rainy, windy day.

No matter where you stay in the Beaches Region, you’re sure to find the rugged, windswept views you crave. The entire coastline offers a fantastic variety of hotels, motels, quaint cottages, beautiful B & Bs, and resorts, including the popular Iron Springs Resort.

Storm Watching Tips

Don’t get swept away — remember to always adhere to advisories, warnings, signs, and closure notices. To keep track of storm news, check with the National Weather Service. When storm watching, stay away from waves, avoid walking on driftwood, and park as far from the water as you can. Be sure to pack for the elements with waterproof jackets and shoes.