We investigated claims that the Yakima Valley Trolley was the last authentic, all-original, turn-of-the-century interurban electric railroad in the United States.
The railroad was constructed between 1907 and 1913. Its greatest length was just over 44 miles. Presently approximately five miles of track remain, connecting the cities of Yakima and Selah, Washington. Electric trains have operated on the YVT trackage every year since 1907.
Beautiful surroundings and a variety of indoor and outdoor activities make Washington State a romantic destination. In central Washington, deserts and farmland host quiet retreats, like agricultural tours and wineries. The Cascade Mountains are a cooler place where adventurous couples can enjoy skiing, hiking, camping and forest activities. On the coast, cooler temperatures and a picturesque coastline give visitors a good reason to snuggle.
Rattlesnake Hills Wine Trail
The Yakima Valley is known for its wineries and 15 of them have joined forces to form the Rattlesnake Hills Wine Trail. It starts at the Rattlesnake Hills winery. Ask for a complementary tour of the vineyards and stroll hand in hand while you learn about the wine making process from start to finish. Afterwards, follow the wine trail map through the sunny Yakima Valley to visit each winery. The winding country roads and charming scenery make for a relaxing day with plenty of opportunities for conversation. Wine tasting is available at each winery and most also have gift shops, a cafe, fresh local produce and gourmet grocery items. The Yakima area is east of the Cascade mountains, meaning it’s sunny almost all year-round, a stark contrast to the west side of the mountains, which is notorious for its rain. Lodging packages are available on the Rattlesnake Hills website and some wineries offer guest cottages for overnight stays.
A charming little town located on San Juan Island, Friday Harbor is accessible by ferry, personal watercraft or plane. Small, artsy shops, galleries, museums and restaurants occupy the downtown area, while the interior of the island is mainly organic farms and ranches. Stroll together in and out of the shops, pick up mementos and enjoy the ocean breezes while dining at an outdoor cafe. From mid May through October, Orca whales migrate through the area and can be seen from the shore or, more certainly from one of several boat excursions. There’s a bicycle rental in Friday Harbor for couples who prefer to explore the island by bike. On the opposite side of the island, less than ten miles away, Roche Harbor has an old-fashioned boardwalk with a gift shop and an ice cream parlor. A grassy lawn adjacent to the harbor is a lovely backdrop for a romantic picnic. Also at Roche harbor, adventurous couples may want to try their hand at sea kayaking. Kayak rentals and instruction are available at the marina. The Highland Inn at Friday Harbor is a quiet bed & breakfast that overlooks the sea for prime whale watching. Every morning a full gourmet breakfast is served.
P.O. Box 135
Friday Harbor, WA 98250
Salish Lodge and Spa
The Washington Salish Lodge and Spa is located in the scenic Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area. This region has thousands of places to lay a picnic blanket, sneak a kiss behind the trees or take an impromptu dip, with over 700 lakes and a host of beautiful waterfalls to delight hikers and picnickers. The breathtaking Snoqualmie falls is 270 feet tall and has an observation bridge, a salmon ladder and interpretive signs that help visitors understand how hydro-power generates electricity. The surrounding hills are great for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding in the warmer months. In the winter, Alpental Ski Resort opens and visitors enjoy downhill skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling and inner tubes. The Salish Lodge, overlooks the river, just above the falls and provides guests with luxury rooms with romantic over-sized, jetted tubs and wood-burning fireplaces. The lodge has 2 restaurants and a spa.
Salish Lodge and Spa
6501 Railroad Ave SE
The Westport-Ocean Shores Passenger Ferry is called “El Matador.” It operates on weekends only from mid-April through mid-June, then daily from mid-June to Labor Day, then in September reverts to weekends only.
Rates: one-way $7.00, round-trip $12.50. Children under 5 years old ride for free.
The Okanogan National Forest is a U.S. National Forest located in northern and western Okanogan County in north-central Washington State, United States. The 1,499,013-acre (2,342.2 sq mi, or 6066.3 km²) forest is bordered on the north by Canada, on the east by Colville National Forest, on the south by the divide between the Methow and the Stehekin-Lake Chelan valleys, and on the west by North Cascades National Park. Pasayten Wilderness and the northeast portion of Lake-Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness are part of the forest. The western part of the forest is wetter than the dry and less temperate east. The vegetation varies similarly, from the western boreal forest, to the eastern high-elevation steppe.
A 1993 United States Forest Service study estimated that the extent of old growth in the Forest was 316,000 acres (128,000 ha), a majority of which was Lodgepole Pine forests. The closest significant communities are Omak and Okanogan. Managed by the Forest Service together with Wenatchee National Forest, its headquarters is in Wenatchee. There are local ranger district offices located in Tonasket and Winthrop. It is the second-largest National Forest (after the Nez Perce National Forest in Idaho) that is contained entirely within one county.
Okanogan National Forest was established on July 1, 1911 from a portion of Chelan National Forest. On July 1, 1921 the entire forest was transferred back to Chelan, but on March 23, 1955 Chelan became Okanogan.
Ocean Shores, Washington has a fantastic championship golf course and a great miniature golf course. The Ocean Shores Golf Course is an 18 hole course that claims to have “the openness of a links style course and the shot-making challenges of a narrow, wooded course.” Golf Digest ranked this as one of the best places to play in 2008 and 2009.
Ocean Shores Golf Course
President Curt Zander is a 31 year PGA Pro and is about as hands-on a leader as he could be, he’s also the Maintenance Supervisor. Zander and his wife run the course as a family business, maintaining a pro shop and snack bar on site as well. Call (360) 289-3357 to reserve your tee time, or check them on the web at oceanshoresgolf.com.
Ocean Shores Miniature Golf
Pacific Paradise Mini Golf has over 70 arcade games, plus bumper boats and a 36 hole miniature golf course. Beautifully landscaped with waterfalls, streams and tons of flowers, the Pacific Paradise Family Fun center is located at 767 Minard Avenue NW in Ocean Shores.
Other Golf Courses near Ocean Shores
A beautiful 25 mile drive drive along the coast of North Bay brings visitors right to Aberdeen, to play at the Gray’s Harbor Country Club*, which is just 3 miles from Cosmopolis, home of the Highland Golf Course.
Golf Courses in Raymond, Washington
50 miles from Ocean Shores, in Raymond, Washington, is the Willapa Harbor Golf course and the Maple Grove Golf Course.
*Gray’s Harbor Country Club is the only private course on this list, all the rest are public.
Truth is, you never know what you might find. Flotsam can be carried by currents and circle the globe for years before landing on the beach. About 1,000 shipping containers a year go overboard into the oceans. Reportedly 18,000 Nike Shoes are on their way to a beach near you. Another container, this time limited to one style of shoe, was lost and should keep the trademark swoosh a common sight on Northwest beaches.
For most people, beachcombing is about finding things more traditional. Beachcombing is
about serendipity and simplicity. No fancy equipment is needed. All you need is a copy of tide tables and a small bag for the loot. An extra bag to pick up garbage is also a nice touch.
Beachcombing doesn’t require any special skills, just some common sense. High tides carry
materials in and outgoing tides leave them on the beach. The higher the tide and the
stormier the seas usually means better beachcombing. This makes winter the peak of the
beachcombing season, but anytime of year will offer seashells and unknown surprises.
To find the most desired beachcombing treasures you’ll need to find them first, so serious
beachcombers seeking the increasingly rare glass floats or a mysterious message in a bottle, start at high tide. As the tide recedes, shells and agates can be deposited anywhere between the high and low tide line. So, even on a crowded beach, if you beachcomb at the waters edge as the tide is going out, there are remarkable souvenirs from nature to be found.
Sand dollars are a common beach find along the sandy shores of the northwest Pacific coast. The sand dollar is a member of the sea urchin family and can be more than three inches across or smaller than a dime. When alive, the sand dollar is covered with a “crew-cut” of tiny purple spines. The gray or white sand dollar found on the beach is the skeleton of this unique sea creature.
Several kinds of clams inhabit Northwest coastal waters and their shells are common
beachcombing booty. Pacific razor clams are oblong and grow to about seven inches. The
shell has a caramel colored coating, which wears off leaving the polished white shell beneath.
The gray-white oval shells of several other varieties of clams range in size from about an
inch to the whopping eight-inch shell of the horse clam. Cockles are clams with rounded ribs and clear growth rings. It can grow to more than five inches and can vary in color from yellow-brown to gray or get bleached white from sun and sand.
The Northwest coast is also known for agates. These smoothly polished stones come in a
wide variety of colors and are usually translucent. Ranging from white to red, green, yellow or virtually clear, agates often have streaks of colors and patterns which occur with the presence of impurities. Agates are members of the chalcedony (micro-crystalline quartz) family of minerals and as many as 20 different varieties can be found along beaches of the Northwest coast. A common form of chalcedony, carnelian has shades of red due to iron, ranging from light brownish-red to deep transparent red.
Agates don’t come from the ocean, they are washed loose from eroding shorelines. So, the
best agate hunting is often following a storm or after a large amount of coastal erosion.
There are many interesting pieces of the natural marine world to observe on a beachcombing adventure. Not all of them collectible and in fact, many of them are still alive. Mole crabs are commonly seen digging themselves into the sand and endless blobs of stranded jellyfish dot the shoreline (these don’t preserve well in your box of keepsakes). During the winter, it’s common to see the long rope-like bull kelp washed up on beaches. A gas filled balloon at one end keeps this amazing plant afloat.
The beachcomber will also occasionally encounter beached sea mammals including seals, sea lions & occasionally whales. If you find a stranded animal, keep a distance, keep dogs away & notify authorities with a location and description. What will you discover today? Maybe nothing, but beachcombing is always good for the soul. So get your feet wet, keep your eyes open & who knows what you’ll find.
Combing the beach all day, eating fresh clams or playing golf can make anyone work up an apatite.
Italian Restaurants in Ocean Shores, Washington
For Italian food, try Waves restaurant, Bravo’s New York style Pizza or Dugan’s Pizza and Pasta.
Ocean Shores Steak Restaurants and Seafood Restaurants in Ocean Shores
Alec’s by the Sea serves both seafood and steak, so does Emily’s Restaurant, Ocean Crest, North Shore Grill, and Homeport.
Sandwich Shops in Ocean Shores
There is a Subway Sandwich shop on Ocean Shores Blvd. Mr B’s Diner serves “homestyle” foods, which probably means they have sandwiches and Cafe Amici serves Mediterranean and American food (which surely includes sandwiches, right? Go Dog, Go is a gourmet hot dog shops (gourmet or not, a hot dog definitely qualifies as a sandwich.) IGA Deli is also a grocery store, but what deli doesn’t sell sandwiches? Shilo Inn and Mariah’s are listed as “variety” restaurant and surely that means they have a few sandwiches, right? Last but not least, Sandcastle Drive-in and McDonalds in Ocean Shores serves sandwiches, too.
Places to Get a Drink (Coffee shops and Bars in Ocean Shores)
Cadillac Jack’s Lounge, the Porthole Pub, Pirate’s Cove Pub and Shore’s Bowl (bowling alley) list themselves as bars, serving bar foods. The Cellar Wine Shoppe looks more like a place to buy bottled wine. The Galway Bay Restaurant is billed as Irish Food, but I’ll bet they have some Irish whiskey, too. Get your latte on at Mocha Madness
Other Ocean Shores Restaurants
For Japanese, go to Kyoto Teriyaki. Las Maracas serves Mexican food and The Lucky Dragon serves chinese food. Believe it or not, there’s only one seafood restaurant on this list, Mike’s Seafood. In a beach town, imagine that. Our Place Restaurant serves soups and salads. Ocean Shores has two ice cream parlors, Murphy’s Candy & Ice Cream and Peppermint Parlor
Alphabetical List of Ocean Shores Restaurants
Alec’s By The Sea, 131 East Chance A La Mer NE, 289-4026.
Bravo’s New York Style Pizza, 172 W Chance A La Mer #B, 289.1200
Cadillac Jack’s Lounge, 825 Pt Brown. 289.5226.
Cafe Amici, 749 Pt Brown, 289.5600.
The Cellar Wine Shoppe, 668 Ocean Shores Blvd NW, Ste A, 289.2909
Dugan’s Pizza, 690 OS Blvd. 289-2330.
Emily’s Restaurant, 78 St. Rte 115. 289-9466.
Galway Bay Restaurant & Pub, 676 OS Blvd. 289-2300.
Go Dog Go, 668 OS Blvd. 289.2310.
Homeport. 857 Point Brown. 289-2600.
IGA Deli, 101 E Chance A La Mer. 289.2448.
Kyoto Teriyaki, 888 Pt Brown, 289.5229.
Las Maracas, 729 Point Brown. 289-2054.
Lucky Dragon, 860 Point Brown, 289-2868.
Mariah’s, 615 OS Boulevard NW. 289-0900.
McDonald’s, 701 Point Brown Avenue NW. 289.8672.
Mike’s Seafood, 830 Point Brown, 289-0532.
Mocha Madness, 125 West Chance A La Mer NW. 289-4852.
Mr. B’s Diner, 698 OS Blvd NW, 289.0399.
Murphy’s Candy & Ice Cream, 172 West Chance A La Mer, 289.0927.
North Shore Grill, 845 OS Blvd NW, 289.7710.
Ocean Crest, 4651 SR 109, Moclips, 360.276.4465.
Our Place, 676 OS Boulevard NW, 289-8763.
Peppermint Parlor, 742 Pt Brown Ave NE, 289.0572.
Pirates Cove Pub, 798 OS Blvd NW, 289.4400.
Porthole Pub. 893 Point Brown Avenue, 289-4469.
Sandcastle Drive-In. 788 Point Brown, 289-2777.
Shilo Inn, 707 Ocean Shores Boulevard NW, 289.0567.
Shores Bowl, 125 Chance Ala Mer Ave, 289.9536
Subway. 698 Ocean Shores Boulevard NW. 289.4282.
Waves Restaurant, 491 Damon Rd, 289-3440
What could be more romantic than a seaside horseback ride? You can rent horses in Ocean Shores, or you can visit one of the ranches along the coast to ride there. There are plenty of horseback riding trails in Ocean Shores.
Ocean Shores Horseback Riding
Chenois Creek Horse Rentals
Honey Pearl Ranch/Golden Spur Ranch