Cities and Towns of Long Beach Peninsula
The Long Beach peninsula is located at the southwestern tip of Washington State. Measuring 28 miles in length from north to south, it borders the southwestern edge of the Olympic Peninsula, which is known for its unique temperate rainforest and exotic mix of ecological habitats.
At Long Beach peninsula's northern tip, lies the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge, the migratory home of some 100,000 shorebirds. Great blue herons, pelicans, bald eagles and the threatened marbled murrelet make the area their home during the spring. The 11,000-acre reserve, which includes wetlands, sandy marshes, coniferous and deciduous forests, also supports a wide range of animals, including harbor seals which use the shoreline for pupping, and bear and bobcat, further inland.
The peninsula is also home to a cluster of small beach towns, each with their own flavor and history. Oysters, freshwater crabs and cranberries were once the agricultural mainstays of these peninsula communities. The towns of Nahcotta, Ilwaco and Long Beach maintain museums and historical archives that date back to the 1800s.
At the peninsula's southern tip, evidence can still be found of Lewis and Clark's historic walk through this area. The Corps of Discovery ended their westbound march at what is now Cape Disappointment before heading home. Visitors can learn about the explorers' discoveries at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center at Cape Disappointment.
The peninsula is also home to one of the largest kite festivals on the continent. The festival puts Washington's longest beach to good use with workshops, displays and competitions during the third week of August. Other popular festivals include the Northwest Garlic Festival and the Annual Sandcastle Festival. Kite fans will want to check out the World Kite Museum and Hall of Fame, which is open year round in Long Beach.
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