Shibumi Shade Review: Is It Worth The Money?
We explore the lightweight beach canopy that's powered by the wind to see if its worth its hefty price tag.
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If you want to experience an unforgettable beach vacation, consider heading to the Pacific Northwest to explore its rugged coastline.
This isn't the part of the world most of us picture when we think of heading to the beach. We tend to picture warm, tropical climates and sandy shores.
It is true that the Pacific Northwest gets a lot of rain, but during the summer, it is mostly sunny.
Plus, while much of the coast is rocky, you may be surprised just how much sand there is to enjoy.
When you picture the Pacific Northwest, what do you visualize? Redwoods? Mountains? Probably not sweeping sand dunes that look like they belong in a desert. But that is exactly what you will find should you venture to the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area along the Oregon Coast.
According to the Forest Service, the dunes comprise "one of the largest expanses of temperate coastal sand dunes in the world."
While there are a number of places you can pitch a tent in and around the Oregon Dunes, we recommend Umpqua Sand Camping through the Forest Service. You can camp here during any season; just make sure you make a reservation in advance during the summer.
The Oregon Dunes offer a distinctive environment like no other. Where else can you explore dunes like these so close to the sea and forest? The ecology is unusual and the landscape is constantly changing. In fact, the Oregon Dunes made such a big impact on sci-fi author Frank Herbert that they helped to inspire Dune!
Why visit just any beach on the Washington State coastline when you can camp at Olympic National Park? It is hard to beat the location of Kalaloch Campground on the Olympic Peninsula.
With the campground's location on a bluff, you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the ocean. Beach access is available. You'll also be surrounded by gorgeous trees. In fact, there is an iconic landmark here known as the Tree of Life. This startling tree is straddled in a gap between two bluffs. While it is flourishing in this unusual spot, its roots are largely exposed, giving it a resemblance to the mystical Tree of Life that plays a role in diverse mythologies.
Did we mention the cool Tree of Life? Also, you'll be right at Olympic National Park with its rainforest trails, waterfalls, beaches and snowy mountains. There is literally something for everyone in this park with its incredibly diverse ecology.
Be sure to make a reservation during peak season. Kalaloch Campground is popular, and sites can go fast. If you are staying here on the off-season, however, there is no way to make a reservation. It is first-come, first-served.
Heading back to Oregon, you will find the South Beach State Park right next to the town of Newport.
This park offers a classic sandy beach experience and is a popular choice for families. There is a convenient Jetty Trail on which you can jog or cycle, as well as an equestrian trail, disc golf course, playground, and horse-shoe pits.
South Beach State Park offers excellent amenities and entertainment right on-site. But you also will be close to Beaver Creek Natural Area, Yaguina Head Lighthouse, Yaguina Bay Lighthouse, and other destinations.
You can also head into Newport itself to visit attractions like the Oregon Coast Aquarium and the Newport Discovery Zoo. And don't miss out on other nearby beaches like Agate Beach and Nye Beach.
Now that you have your eye on some exciting beach destinations in the Pacific Northwest, here are a few tips for comfortable camping.
The beaches of the Pacific Northwest tend to be overlooked, but that is part of their appeal. You will love the wide open expanses of sand, the towering cliffs and sea stacks, and the rugged solitude of these Oregon and Washington beaches.