Posted on July 9, 2018
An expansive beach, mossy forests, grassy parks, and panoramic views–the Long Beach Peninsula has some of the finest picnic spots you could imagine! Many of the fine local restaurants offer box, bag, and picnic lunches for you to pack along if you don’t want to create your own.
If you prefer the simple luxury of a homemade sandwich, you can pick up everything you need at our grocery stores. No matter what location you choose, remember to pack everything out!
Here are some choice spots for your perfect peninsula picnic!
There isn’t much that beats a blanket on the beach on a warm summer day, the sound of the surf, and the chatter of shorebirds. Bring buckets and shovels (along with your picnic basket) to build a world-class sandcastle or take advantage of our perfect winds and learn to fly a kite all over again.
Tip: You can find sheltered picnic tables at the Bolstad and Sid Snyder beach approaches.
The Long Beach Boardwalk stretches for nearly half a mile between the Bolstad and Sid Snyder beach approaches in downtown Long Beach. There are several picnic tables along this peaceful stretch of boardwalk, making it a perfect place to bring your picnic spread.
Tip: There is a covered pavilion at the Bolstad end.
- Cape Disappointment State Park (Discover Pass Required)
There are numerous places to spread your blanket at Cape Disappointment. Benson Beach and Waikiki Beach are favorite spots, but you can also find picnic tables throughout the park.
Tip: If you want a quieter place to eat, park near the boat launch and walk to the Maya Lin observation deck on Baker Bay.
- Fort Columbia Historic State Park (Discover Pass Required)
Enjoy great views of the Columbia while you eat and then explore old gun batteries and other military buildings. Fort Columbia is one of the most intact, historic coastal units in the United States.
Tip: See if you can find the secret beach down by the river!
- Pacific Pines and Loomis Lake State Parks (Discover Pass Required)
Eenjoy fine picnicking at several small state parks. Loomis Lake State Park, roughly 5 miles north of downtown Long Beach, and Pacific Pines State Park near Ocean Park each offer group picnic areas with restroom facilities and short footpaths to the beach.
- Chinook County Park
The Chinook County Park is just off Hwy. 101 in Chinook. With views of the mighty Columbia, Astoria, and Oregon’s Saddleback Mountain, it’s a beautiful spot to relax and enjoy lunch. The picnic area is just feet away from the water.
Don’t let the depressing name fool you! Dismal Nitch is an important historic site where Lewis and Clark spent six days trapped by a storm. It also happens to have a great picnic area with views of the Columbia and Astoria-Megler Bridge.
Tip: This area is actually part of the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, but there is no entrance fee for this location.
- Black Lake in Ilwaco
Ilwaco proudly boasts a roadside park on the shores of Black Lake. With picnic tables and restroom facilities, the park allows paddle and electric motor boats on the annually stocked lake. No gas boats are allowed. The lake is a favorite hangout for Trumpeter Swans in the winter and birds of many varieties year-round.
Tip: Bring your mountain bike for the trails behind Black Lake. Maps available at the Visitors Bureau! The lake itself is also an ideal place for SUP boarding.
- Ilwaco City Park
Ilwaco’s City Park, located just two blocks off Hwy. 101 at Spruce & Adelia streets, is a gathering spot for family groups throughout the year. With a covered picnic and barbecue area and some equipment for the kids to play on as well as a ball field, your group will happily spend the entire day.
- Long Beach City Park
The city park in Long Beach is alongside the Long Beach Elementary School at 2nd & Washington Streets just two blocks east of the main drive in downtown. There are covered tables available as well as a playground. The fields here are often filled with softball players during the spring, summer, and fall.
- Ocean Park City Park
Ocean Park’s city park is across the street from the Ocean Park Elementary School, right on the Pacific Way downtown. Home to several fine festivals, including Art in the Park, the park has both tree covered and sun-drenched picnic tables.
Get off the beaten path and head toward Bay Center (off Hwy. 101) where you’ll find Bush Pioneer County Park. Sitting on Willapa Bay, this is a peaceful and gorgeous location for a picnic.
Tip: Stay for a night or two or three! The nearby Bay Center KOA is one incredible campground.
- Bruceport County Park
Find Bruceport County Park just off Hwy. 101 toward Raymond. It sits high above Willapa Bay and has incredible views. This park also has campsites available.
Tip: Once you’re done eating, look for the short path down to a rocky beach.
- Riverfront Park in Raymond
Sitting on the Willapa River, Raymond has several great parks for a picnic. Near the Northwest Carriage Museum in Raymond, stop by Riverfront Park just off Alder St. Not only does this park include a picnic area, it’s close to the heart of Raymond and has a kayak dock and pier.
- Willapa Landing Park in Raymond
Willapa Landing Park has much more than a picnic area! Trails, a boat ramp, a fishing pier, and a skateboard park round out this location.
You can also relax by the river at South Bend’s Helen Davis Memorial Park and Dock. This park is easy to find, sitting just off 101 at the west end of South Bend.
Tip: Another great spot in South Bend is just outside the historic Pacific County Courthouse. Their beautiful garden and duck pond has a picnic table and is tucked away, making it another great place to for some peace and quiet.
- Radar Ridge
Feeling adventurous? On the hill above Naselle, just 20 miles inland from the Peninsula, there is a little known local secret: Radar Ridge and its two man-made lakes, Western and Snag. Nestled in the woods along these two fish ponds are some really fine picnic areas. Restrooms are somewhat primitive, and you’ll need to bring your own fresh water.
Directions: Start from the intersection of Hwy 101 and Hwy 103 (the main north-south road on the Peninsula), and head east on Hwy 101 to Hwy 4 into Naselle. Just before you get into town, you’ll see the Naselle Youth Camp on your left. Turn left and go up the gravel road for 2.7 miles to road C2600 where you will turn left again. Just over half a mile down the road you’ll find road C2400 off to the right (this is the driveway to Snag Lake). If you travel another 9/10 of a mile to road C2000 and turn right, you will arrive at Western Lake after 1.2 miles.
Tip: For a wonderful view of the Peninsula, Willapa Bay and the Naselle River, skip the turn off the main road onto C2600 and continue another mile and a half up the hill to the Radar towers at the top. But be forewarned: The road gets bumpy!
Where to Get Your Picnic to Go:
Roots Juice, Java, and Salad Bar: Roots is the perfect place to grab lunch on your way to Cape Disappointment State Park. Choose from a delicious selection of salads, sandwiches, and fresh fruit smoothies.
Brown’s Coastal Corner: Pick up hardy spaghetti, sandwiches, and other daily specials on the go. All their food is made fresh daily for lunch and dinner. Plus, many of their menu options come with a drink.
Streetside Taco: Love tacos? Find Streetside Taco in downtown Long Beach as well as Ocean Park. Their salsa is fresh, their portions are generous, and their menu is mouthwateringly good.
Surfer Sands: Authentic Philly Cheesesteaks, homemade hoagies, and fresh French “board” bread. Need we say more? Surfer Sands has incredible menu options to take down to the beach for a picnic.
Great Day Cafe: Tucked next to Surfside Golf Course in Ocean Park, Great Day Cafe has soups, salads, and sandwiches to-go. The owner has over 30 years of cooking and catering experience. You know it’s going to be good.
Elixir Coffee: If you’re exploring South Bend or Raymond, stop by Elixir for more than espresso! Their menu features salads, sandwiches, pastries, and more.
Crab Pot Seafood Market & Restaurant: If you want to truly treat yourself, head to the Crab Pot for a picnic bucket full of fresh seafood!