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Grays Harbor, Washington Travel Guide

Complete Vacation, Recreation and Tourism Information

From the pounding of the mighty Pacific to the lush hush of the only temperate rain forest in the continental United States, the sights and sounds found throughout Grays Harbor County are subtly seductive. Sporting pristine ocean beaches, sky-grazing trees, a scenic harbor and only a short way from the superbly pretty Olympic National Park on the Olympic Peninsula there's good reason to enjoy a detour through these parts.

Grays Harbor itself offers a variety of getaways geared towards all age groups. Families will find on hand an abundance of activities, whether it be beachcombing, kite-flying and building sandcastles or bumper boat rides, mini-golf and arcade play. Many of the towns around offer a variety of festivals and holiday activities with plenty of small-town flair, from Fourth of July fireworks to Christmas light show spectaculars. Local music extravaganzas feature jazz, bluegrass and folk and in season, everyone enjoys digging for their limit of the area delicacy: razor clams.

Extreme sports enthusiasts will want to catch a wave at Westport or spend long hours kayaking in the many rivers that run through this lush region ; there's also a skateboard park for amateurs and experts.  Golfers find the area ideal for perfecting their drive, even in the often temperate winter months while shoppers can explore the numerous gift boutiques or hunt for one of a kind antiques in the many specialty stores located throughout the county. For those with rest and relaxation in mind, storm-watching or reading in front of a cozy fire are two favorite pastimes in the quiet off season.

The biggest towns around are Aberdeen and Hoquiam, both set on the harbor's northeastern shore, the former home to the Gray's Harbor Historical Seaport (where a replica of the 18th-century ship, Lady Washington, anchors and opens for tours) and the birthplace of "Grunge", the latter boasting expansive estates with historic connections like the Polson mansion, now a museum, and Hoquiam's Castle, these days a bed & breakfast viewable on guided tours.

Aberdeen is technically just over four miles east of Hoquiam though it's difficult to determine where one ends and the other begins; Olympia is50 miles farther east and the Olympic National Park (and Colonel Bob Wilderness) lies to the north.


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