Grays Harbor boasts 50 miles of beautiful ocean beaches deposited with treasures from the sea. Beachcombers regularly find favorites like sand dollars, driftwood, and agates. But if you know where to go, you can collect some real treasures like glass floats, buoys, and bottles. Here is a list of the top five beaches to comb in Grays Harbor County.
#1 — Grayland Beach
Grayland has hands down the best beachcombing in the county. Grayland is part of a 12 mile stretch of sandy beachline with plentiful sand dollars, driftwood, bullwhip kelp, sea creatures, cool rocks, shells and incredible amounts of flotsam. The locals host an annual Driftwood art and Glass float hunt each year. Because of this, beachcombing can get competitive, especially after a big storm. Arrive early to inspect the high tide line and follow the tide out. You can drive on this beach, but beware of soft sand at the beach approaches to the north. The best shell and driftwood collections are to the south. Cross a few streams and you will soon find the sand scattered with driftwood, moon shells and periwinkles. The Ocean Spray Beach Resort is a cute grouping of cottages located near the Grayland Beach Access. Nearby are some fun gift shops and the Beachcomber Grocery & Deli sells soft serve cones that are a family favorite.
#2 — Roosevelt Beach
A little more remote, and often over-looked because of it, Roosevelt beach is tucked in between the Iron Springs Resort and Seabrook. Less traffic here also means less competition for the bounties of the sea. Glass floats, buoys and other high-demand flotsam lie in wait at the high tide line lodged between rocks and logs. You can drive on this beach part of the year but, just like Grayland, you should be prepared to meet soft sand. When you’ve collected your fill, drive up the hill to Seabrook and warm up at Frontagers Pizza with a gourmet pie and gelato. It is a treasure all its own!
#3 — Cohasset Beach
You’ll find loads of rocks, agates and sea glass at Cohasset Beach. To get to the beach, park at the Schafer Island Beach Approach across from Cranberry Road Winery. From the parking lot walk out to the beach and then south (left). Time your arrival to about two hours before low tide. The best time is when the tide is at its lowest because that is when the rock bed is exposed. Agates and sea glass are easiest to spot when the sun is out and glinting off their surface. This is also a great place to find rocks that have been smoothed by the surf. Watch for jasper, quartz, and petrified wood. You can stay the night at Twin Harbors State Park where they have cabins, yurts, or camping spots available or there are some other accommodations in Grayland like the Walsh Motel.
#4 — Griffiths-Priday State Park
North of Aberdeen on Hwy 109 you’ll find Griffiths-Priday State Park. It is a day use area with restrooms and picnic tables and lots of beachline to peruse. This 364-acre park boasts 8,316 feet of saltwater shoreline, and 9,950 feet of freshwater shoreline on the Copalis River. At Griffiths-Priday you’ll driftwood, shells, kelp, rocks, some flotsam, and lots of interesting wildlife. Cars are not allowed on this beach due to dune erosion but there is a nice boardwalk leading out to the beach. Minutes north of Griffiths-Priday is Iron Springs Resort, a pet friendly resort. The picturesque resort beach is also great for beachcombing.
#5 — Pacific Beach at Moclips
Just past Seabrook on Highway 109 is Pacific Beach State Park. Visit Pacific beach to find driftwood, shells, and other flotsam. This is a great place for the whole family—even if they don’t like beachcombing—because it is one of only a few parks that allow camping within 100 feet of the beach. There is plenty of room to fly kites, build sand castles, and relax; a fun place to spend the weekend. The park is within quick walking distance to the shops and restaurants of the Pacific Beach Community where you can warm up with an espresso and some snacks at the Surf House Cafe. This is a popular location for beach combing and camping so get here early. You can drive seasonally on portions of this beach but all-terrain vehicles are never allowed in the park, on the beach, or in the dune areas.
Before You Go
Check the weather. Be aware of the temperature and conditions so you can dress appropriately and be comfortable throughout your hunt. Dress for the weather and consider bringing rubber boots and raingear just in case.
Check the tides. Go out as the tide is falling. If you are looking for items that get caught in the high tide line, like glass balls, driftwood, and bottles, start your beach adventure an hour or so after high tide and search as the tide goes out. Rocks, shells, agates and other sea life will be uncovered as the tide continues out. Try to hit the beach at least a couple hours before low tide.
Pack your supplies. Rubber gloves, a collection bin, a first-aid kit, a camera, and snacks are always a good idea. Help keep our beaches clean and bring some extra garbage bags to collect garbage from the shore line. You can usually put bags of beach trash into garbage receptacles at the state park.
You’re sure to find something great at these five Grays Harbor beaches. The beach is a place to relax and unwind and beachcombing is a rewarding way to do it. Enjoy the beauty and solitude and opportunity to collect some memories along the way at the beautiful ocean beaches of Grays Harbor.