Commercial fishing boats docked at Ilwaco boat basin, Ilwaco, Washington. Image credit Bob Pool via Shutterstock.

9 Ideal Pacific Coast Destinations for a 3-Day Weekend in 2024

The Pacific Coast in North America runs along Canada, the US, and Mexico and is home to some of the world's most beautiful and tranquil beach destinations. The US portion of the Pacific is home to the states of Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and California, with the more northern areas being full of magnificent driftwood beaches and lush forests, and the southern areas being more hot, dry, and full of palm trees. But no matter where you decide to visit, you're sure to be blown away by the crashing waves, a plethora of activities, and adorable local businesses, from cafes to bed and breakfasts. Consider these towns on the Pacific Coast for your next 3-day weekend!

Seabrook, Washington

Hilltop Coastal Homes at Seabrook Beach, Washington Coast.
Hilltop Coastal Homes at Seabrook Beach, Washington Coast.

The small community of Seabrook and its extremely close neighbor, Pacific Beach, offer pristine beaches, fun outdoor activities, and premium dining and shopping experiences. Spend your days soaking up rays at Seabrook Beach, and enjoy the waves brushing up against your ankles as you take a romantic sunset stroll. Pacific Beach State Park is great for exploring the groomed walking trails and snapping some ocean pics. Enjoy tennis, pickleball, and basketball courts, fun playgrounds, more trails, and an outdoor and indoor pool in town.

Make use of the town shuttle as you make your way through the different neighborhoods. Stop in at the stores selling everything from candles and boutique clothing to candy, toys, books, and outdoor wear. Check out the 80's retro arcade, or stop for some craft beers.

Chow down on delicious burgers and fish and chips at Rising Tide and Tavern or Latin cuisine at Koko's Restaurant and Tequilla Bar. Grab some dessert at Sweet Life Ice Cream, and in the morning, fuel up for the day at Blue Juice and Salad Bar. The town is known for its vacation rentals, from main street homes to beach houses. There is also the Pacific Beach Inn, and Beach Avenue Bed and Breakfast.

Copalis Beach, Washington

Person walking towards the steps to Copalis Beach, Washington.
Person walking towards the steps to Copalis Beach, Washington.

Copalis Beach is within minutes of the slightly larger community of Ocean Shores and is a perfect retreat from the crowds into your own little nightly oasis.

Home to a handful of magnificent resorts, you can find the one that's perfect for you. Go glamping at Pacific Dunes Resort, or enjoy the ocean views and outdoor pool at Beachwood Resort. Surfcrest Resort offers private, two-level suites, or you can stay at the Tidelands Campground with fantastic beach access. There is also the nearby Quinault Beach Resort and Casino, which offers abundant amenities.

Explore the trails of Ghost Forest or the Griffiths-Priday State Park. Copalis Beach is also extremely close to Gray's Harbor, which is home to the Gray's Harbor National Wildlife Refuge, and North Bay, where you can take part in water activities and fishing. Feeling adventurous? Walk the beach from Copalis to Ocean City and beach comb along the way.

When it's time to eat, enjoy some delicious bar food and daily specials at Green Lantern Pub, or make the 10-minute drive to Ocean Shores for more dining options like Porthole Pub and Grill and Bennett's Fish Shack. You can also stop in at Copalis Beach Grocery and find the supplies to make your own home-cooked meal from your suite's kitchen or a beachfront picnic.

Ilwaco, Washington

North Head Lighthouse at Cape Disappointment State Park in Ilwaco, Washington.
North Head Lighthouse at Cape Disappointment State Park in Ilwaco, Washington.

The community of Ilwaco is right next to the larger community of Seaview and is right on Baker Bay. Explore the trails of Cape Disappointment State Park, which doesn't live up to its name. Here, you can also spend the day at Waikiki Beach and check out the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse. There is also the North Head Lighthouse closer to town, as well as the nearby Beard's Hollow Trail. Try a hike or bike on the Discovery Trail, or perhaps to Black Lake for some fishing!

The Port of Ilwaco offers boat ramps and a fueling station and is the perfect spot to set sail onto Baker Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The Ilwaco Community Park has sports fields and a wonderful playground. Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum is a great way to learn about the area's history and spend a rainy afternoon.

Grab some dinner at Waterline Pub inside the At the Helm Hotel. Salt Pub and the Ilwaco Food Market are also available for those interested in preparing their own meals. Retire at one of the many campgrounds, RV resorts, inns, or bed and breakfasts. Popular options include the Inn at Harbor Village, the Pearl Inn Bed and Breakfast, and the previously mentioned At the Helm Hotel.

Cannon Beach, Oregon

Haystack Rock along the coast of Cannon Beach, Oregon.
Haystack Rock along the coast of Cannon Beach, Oregon.

A true seaside tourist town, Cannon Beach is packed full of fun activities for the entire family.

Check out the iconic Haystack Rock, where you can observe the tide pools and beach comb. Ecolo State Park is perfect for mountain biking as well as hiking. Hug Point leads you to an amazing beach, and you can find some premium surfing opportunities at Oswald West State Park. Keep an eye out for wildlife wherever you are, as this area is home to elk, whales, sea lions, seals, and more.

Back in town, check out the many shops and boutiques lining the streets. Grab some surfing gear or sign up for lessons, find your inner child at Bruce's Candy Kitchen, or find unique treats and toys at the local pet store. Satisfy your sweet tooth at Cannon Beach Chocolate Cafe, or meet the locals at the farmers market. There are also salons, spas, and yoga retreats for those looking for a self-care day.

Find some delicious breakfast options at Pig 'n Pancake. Lunch is easy with Tom's Fish and Chips; stop in at Cannon Beach Smokehouse for dinner. The town also has two fantastic breweries: Pelican Brewing Company and Public Coast Brewing Co.

Retire to a comfy bed at Wayside Inn or the Inn at Cannon Beach. There is also the adorable Inn At Haystack Rock. If you brought a tent or RV, find a stall at a campground such as The Retreat RV Resort.

Manzanita, Oregon

People on beach on Oregon coast in Manzanita, Oregon. Image credit Rob Crandall via Shutterstock
People on the beach on the Oregon coast in Manzanita, Oregon. Image credit Rob Crandall via Shutterstock

The town of Manzanita is close to mountains, rivers, and bays, all perfect for outdoor adventures. Hike Neahkahnie Mountain or fish for salmon on the North Fork Nehalem River. Nehalem Bay is also a prime fishing spot. Play a round at the Manzanita Golf Course while surrounded by nature, or spend your day strolling the seemingly endless beaches as you look for tide pools, shells, and wildlife viewing opportunities.

Back in town, check out local shops like Cloud and Leaf Bookstore. There are also plenty of boutiques, home decor shops, and places to rent surfboards and bikes. Embrace local culture at the Hoffman Center for the Arts or stop in at one of the local art galleries.

Some amazing breakfast options can be found at Yolk, offering both breakfast and brunch. Big Wave Cafe is great for lunch, and dinner is a breeze with Sand Dune Pub and El Trio Loco, which specializes in Mexican cuisine. Grab dessert at Manzanita Sweets, or a late-night drink at either MacGregor's Whiskey Bar or Dixie's Vino wine-tasting room.

Call it a night and retire to your very own cabin at Coast Cabins, or stay at a beachside hotel such as the Inn at Manzanita. Another great and peaceful option is the Zen Garden Bed and Breakfast.

Rockaway Beach, Oregon

Rockaway Beach, Oregon: Seven miles of sandy shoreline.
Rockaway Beach, Oregon: Seven miles of sandy shoreline.

Enjoy miles of beach, as well as oceanfront restaurants and accommodations in beautiful Rockaway Beach. Ride the iconic steam train into town and enjoy a wide array of water-based activities when you arrive. Go whale watching during their annual migration from Alaska to Mexico, or join a clamming and crabbing excursion. Fish for rainbow trout at Lake Lytle, or take up paddleboarding and kayaking either on the waves or on one of the nearby lakes.

For history lovers, check out the four different museums: the Garibaldi Maritime Museum, Tillamook County Pioneer Museum, the International Police Museum, and the Tillamook Air Museum. The town is also home to many gift shops, antique stores, candy shops, saltwater taffy vendors, and vintage clothing stores.

When you get hungry, stop in at Barview Jetty Taqueria. The Old Oregon Smokehouse is also nearby, or you can opt for some amazing, freshly caught seafood at Kelly Brighton Marina.

There is no shortage of accommodation options throughout the area. You can book a vacation rental or rent a cozy beachside cottage. The Rockaway Beach Resort has prime ocean views and beach access, as does the Silver Sands Motel.

Trinidad, California

Aerial view of Trinidad, California.
Aerial view of Trinidad, California.

The town of Trinidad is located in Humboldt County, close to the community of Eureka and Redwood National Park.

Enjoy the sandy beaches and amazing views at Trinidad State Beach, where you can make your way to the Trinidad Head Memorial Lighthouse. Other beaches to explore include Old Home Beach and Launcher Beach. The Sue-Meg State Park, Moonstone Beach County Park, and Humboldt Lagoons State Park are also within a quick drive. Fun tours you can take include fishing charters and kayak excursions. You can rent paddleboards and kayaks in town or fish off the historic pier. For those who love to get out and hike, conquer both the Strawberry Rock Trail and Elk Head Trail and witness the beauty of College Cove Falls.

Stop for lunch at Beachcomber Cafe and settle down for dinner at The Lighthouse Grill. Seascape Restaurant has just what you're looking for if you're craving seafood. Accommodations in Trinidad include RV parks, bed and breakfasts, and rental cabins. There is also Lost Whale Inn, with ocean views, and Turtle Rocks Oceanfront Inn with beach access.

Mendocino, California

The quaint town of Mendocino, California.
The quaint town of Mendocino, California.

Mendocino is an outdoor enthusiast's dream. There is no shortage of ways to get out and about, whether you enjoy hiking, fishing, swimming, or canoeing!

Explore the magnificent forests in Van Damme State Park or on the Pygmy Forest Discovery Trail. Find the Spring Ranch Nature Preserve near the ocean and the Mendocino Headlands State Park. Further inland is the Mendocino Woodlands State Park, and further north is the Russian Gulch State Park. Nearby trails include popular spots like Fern Canyon and Port Mendocino. Get out on the water at Mendocino Bay, whether you're looking to fish, kayak, or sightsee. And if you're looking to relax on the beach, check out options like Big River Beach and Portuguese Beach. There is also Agate Beach, a little further north.

In town, learn about the areas at Point Cabrillo Lighthouse Museum. Make your way through the streets and admire the Victorian-inspired buildings and homes. Good times and good food can be found at Patterson's Pub, an Irish-themed restaurant. You can also try something delicious while admiring the stunning ocean views at Flow Restaurant and Lounge.

Retire for the night at Joshua Grindle Inn and Brewery Gulch Inn in town, or enjoy some beachfront views at Agate Cove Inn, located right next to Agate Beach. If you're looking for some prime Californian hospitality, check in at Seagull Inn Bed and Breakfast.

Bodega Bay, California

Aerial view of Bodega Bay at sunset
Aerial view of Bodega Bay at sunset

Come for the wine, stay for the amazing seafood. Bodega Bay is just over an hour's drive from San Francisco, making it the perfect romantic getaway, bachelorette or girls' trip destination, or self-care escape.

Drop off your bags at one of the many lodging options. The Inn at the Tides has stellar harbor views. The Lodge at Bodega Bay promises views with every suite and is right next to Doran Regional Park and the Links at Bodega Harbor Golf Course. If you're looking for a more quaint retreat, the Bodega Harbor Inn is an adorable option right in town.

Spend the afternoon on the nearby trails, such as Shorttail Gulch or Bodega Head. Beaches in and around town include Doran Beach, Cambell Cove, and Bodega Dunes. Take the drive out to Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary for some pampering, or check out the Sonoma Coast Vineyards.

Sit down to an amazing meal at Ginochio's Kitchen, known for its chowder. Other popular seafood restaurants include The Tides Wharf and Spud Point Crab Company. Keep the night going with Bluewater Lounge, Drakes Fireside Lounge, or with some wine at Gourmet Au Bay. Treat yourself to some pastries at Sea Flower Cafe and Espresso Bar in the morning.

Whether you're looking to spot some wildlife such as whales, sea lions, and shellfish, fish your heart out at one of the many public piers, or set up camp at a site surrounded by giant redwoods, you'll find the perfect weekend destination on the Pacific Coast. Home to dozens of campgrounds, quaint hotels, and larger resorts, find your base camp and enjoy the long list of things to do in each one of these beach towns.

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