place of discovery
Long Beach, Wash.
A frying pan that’s 14 feet six inches wide is no joke. The original, used in a 1941 clambake, was greased by women skating on slabs of butter. A replica now stands in the center of Long Beach as an object of civic pride and a reminder of past culinary feats.
Just north of the Columbia River, with the Pacific on one side and shellfish-rich Willapa Bay on the other, the town sits on a peninsula that takes seafood seriously. Ramble north to Oysterville, where Kumamoto oysters and Manila and razor clams are harvested daily at Oysterville Sea Farms. Like your bivalves panfried? Visit Jimella & Nanci’s Market Cafe, a Provençal haven north of Long Beach where halibut also stars in summer.
To better understand the geographical singularity of this near-island that lies like a finger beside the coast, rent a bike from Skookum Surf Co. and explore the eight-mile Discovery Trail. Traversing grassy dunes, you’ll pass a gray whale skeleton and markers with excerpts from Lewis and Clark’s first descriptions of the Pacific before you enter the forested reaches of Cape Disappointment State Park. Take the Bell’s View Trail past ferns and spruces to a deck that overlooks the full 28-mile-long ocean beach. In August, high fliers provide colorful drama during the Washington State International Kite Festival. Watch the experts or launch your own.