Get to know some of the small cities and towns in each region, from hamlets of 100 to those with up to around 10,000 residents. These destinations offer visitors a more laid-back alternative to bustling cities. Read on to find out why these small towns are worth exploring.


Located where the Hoquiam River enters the sea, this small town has deep roots in the lumber industry and is a great destination for history buffs. Explore Grays Harbor history at the Polson Museum or wander the historic downtown and waterfront.


This town near well-known Long Beach offers world-class fishing and a vibrant arts community, along with plenty of outdoor recreation. Hike or bike along the 8.5-mile-long Discovery Trail, which begins at the Port of Ilwaco, or explore the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in nearby Cape Disappointment State Park.

Long Beach

Anchoring a 28-mile peninsula, this small town offers big adventure, from kite flying and clam digging to surfing and strolling along the beachside boardwalk. Visitors will find plenty of shops selling everything from souvenirs to candy. The town is also home to the World Kite Museum and the International Kite Festival, which takes place each year in August.

Ocean Shores

With the maritime-focused Coastal Interpretive Center and gift shops selling kites and baubles, this laid-back coastal community has an abundance of activities for families. Resorts and restaurants back a pancake-flat beach that attracts clam diggers, horseback riders, and zipping dune buggies. A golf course and plenty of parks offer an alternative to the beach.


A sense of history permeates this town on the Long Beach Peninsula. Once a thriving community fueled by the gold rush, today the entire town is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Take a self-guided walking tour to appreciate the town’s Victorian architecture. Afterward, stop by Oysterville Sea Farms for a taste of the local bivalves freshly plucked from Willapa Bay.