Editor's Note - This is the 2nd article in the 4-part series "Exploring the RV Lifestyle" with two newbies touring the Olympic Peninsula. To read the other articles about this trip, see "Getting Ready", "Rain Forest" and "Fort Warden-Glass Beach".

With great planning and preparation, our RV adventure finally begins on a Saturday morning…


The first stop on our five-day trip around the Olympic Peninsula was Ocean Shores.  It took about three hours from the Tacoma area mostly along SR 101. We hadn’t been to Ocean Shores for several years. As we got close, I took note of the number of RV parks in the area and the Quinault Beach Resort & Casino (see our article on Casino Camping).  We arrived in the early afternoon and decided to go into town and see what was there. On the way from Ocean City where we stayed, we stopped by the Ocean City marketplace that had hand- carvings and sculptures from various artisans from northern Washington. Many were made from driftwood and were quite striking.


Ocean City Marketplace

We took a quick road tour of the town, then found a good spot to park the Class C. Ocean Shores has many cute touristy shops, delightfully painted to compliment the beach atmosphere. There were stores for kites, candy, surfing rentals, cats and dogs, coffee, kitchen items and of course the IGA grocery. We did check out most of them and came back with a few items. Kite flying is a fun recreation there, especially on the beach. You can also rent bicycles and mopeds or take a fun-break on the go-kart rentals. Throughout the year, Ocean Shores has many organized activities. You can find a current list here.

Many Shops in Ocean Shores

Our campground at KM Resorts' Ocean Mist offered many amenities including easy access to the beach. While it was very windy and cool, the beach was still quite beautiful for taking a stroll. I started this trip anticipating relaxing evenings with a campfire and staking out our little piece of solitude for a couple of evenings. My friend had other plans…


Not one to just sit and relax, my friend and I took off the next day to do more exploring. That was after the plate-sized homemade cinnamon rolls that morning at the RV resort! We ventured back south of town to find the Coastal Interpretive Center at 1033 Catala Avenue. As you go in, they stress that everything is “hands-on” from the various types of fur on the local animals to local artifacts. You’ll find lots of information there, including a history of clam digging on the North Beaches of Grays Harbor.

Ocean Shores Interpretive Center

“For thousands of years the Indian tribes of the coastal area have dug clams for both subsistence and for trading purposes. When early settlers arrived in the mid-1850’s, they also discovered a rich abundance of the shell fish that they used for food and for commercial purposes. Today, the associated tribes of the Quinault Indian Nation use the North Beach area, under their treaty rights, to dig razor clams for commercial purposes. Non-treaty and non-Indian people come by the thousands to use local beaches for recreational digs.”

If you go, you may want to also pick up a Shipwreck Chart. There are an estimated 550 commercial and pleasure fishing boats that have been lost or damaged on or near Gray’s Harbor Bar. The U.S. Coast Guard maintains a station at Westport and answers hundreds of calls each year.  You can get more information about the Interpretive Center on their website.

Damon Beach is very close to the Interpretive Center. You can park your RV alongside the road or there is an RV campground there as well. It’s a clean beach, great for kite flying, rock collecting and beach strolling. Take a four-mile beach walk across a narrow spit that connects to the mainland and sometimes see bald eagles, shorebirds and views of Mt. Rainier and the Olympics. It was very windy that day (dress for weather conditions), but the view was vast.

Damon Beach

There are numerous activities to enjoy at Ocean Shores. You could easily spend a week there and go clamming, swimming, shopping, gambling or just enjoying beach fun. But we had to keep moving to complete our loop around the Olympic Peninsula. Next article, we’re off to the Rain Forest.

Keeping Our Eyes Open...


Cheryl Johnston
Author: Cheryl JohnstonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Cheryl Johnston is the Marketing Director for MHRV. She writes about anything that helps promote RVing and educate the public about the RV Lifestyle.

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