Discover Seabrook: A Scenic Town on Washington’s Pacific Coast

A family walks down to the beach at Seabrook, Wa Allison Sutcliffe
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Walking along the crushed oyster shell paths of Seabrook, it feels like you’ve stepped back in time. A cross between Andy Griffith’s Mayberry and a quaint New England beach town, life moves at a welcomed and slower pace here. Seabrook’s charm is undeniable, and a summer stay makes for an unbelievably easy family vacation. Everything you need is just a five-minute walk (or bike ride) away—from the pristine beaches of the Pacific Ocean to endless opportunities for recreation. Trust us, when it comes to things to do with kids in Seabrook, you’ll never run out of options.

Book Your Beach House

Finding that just-right beach house is the first step in planning an unforgettable family vacation to Seabrook. With so many rentals to choose from, narrowing it down to find exactly what your family needs is pretty easy to do. Seabrook’s got pet-friendly cottages, cottages with ocean views and cottages that sleep anywhere from two to twenty-plus people. Each one comes with different perks like hot tubs, gas grills, fire pits, toy closets and even baby gear (think high chairs or pack-n-plays) that make renting an easy option for families, no matter where you're traveling from. Plus, each rental has its own distinct personality, with cheeky names to match like "Tide Together,” “Hook, Wine and Sinker” and “Seas the Day.”

One of the best parts of renting a vacation home at Seabrook is that it can be your home away from home. You’ll find everything you rely on to keep your family rolling, from your coffee maker to your washing machine, here. And if you forgot to pack something in the suitcase, or don’t feel like stopping by a grocery store to stock up on the drive out to the coast, you can rely on the Front Street Market to fill in the gaps. It’s open seven days a week and has just about everything you need, including the baby wipes and sunscreen you forgot at home.

Tips for Finding the Right Beach House

While you’re browsing Seabrook’s rental cottages, check floor plans and pictures carefully. Some cottages feature loft bedrooms (accessed by ladders) that might give pause to toddler parents, but would be awesome for grade schoolers. Finding your cabin on the property map is also a good idea. Based on what your kiddos love (think: the beach or playground vs. walking trails), you may want to be closer to one part of town than another. But when it really comes down to it, Seabrook‘s thoughtfully designed community means you’re never more than five minutes from where you want to be.

Explore the Shore

Beyond being an easy-to-plan family vacation destination, Seabrook’s big draw has got to be its expansive Pacific Ocean shoreline. It’s the pristine beach that summer vacations are made of, with miles of silky sand made for sculpting sandcastles, digging moats and burying yourself …or at least a leg or two. It’s also where you’ll find plenty of wide-open space to fly a kite, kick a ball around, toss a Frisbee or even play beach volleyball. For many, it’s the place to give skim boarding a try. In winter, you can dig up delicious razor clams; then bring them back to your place for a big clambake dinner with the kids (psst… you’ll need a license to do this).

However your family plans to spend they day at the beach, you don’t have to worry about packing too much from home. Many of Seabrook’s vacation rentals come with beach basics like collapsible chairs and beach toys for the kids. Plus, what you don’t find at the house, you can buy in town. Brooklets has an array of beach games and toys, and you can pick up extra sunscreen, sun hats and water bottles at Red Cedar Surf Co. just across the street. One thing to note is that both of the beach entrances involve a lot of stairs, so strollers are a no-go. Instead, bring a beach bag and enlist your little beach bums to help haul your gear from your nearby cottage.

Beyond the Beach

Go on a family bike ride
One thing you’ll notice at Seabrook is people out riding bikes—all the time and everywhere. It’s no surprise biking one of the top two ways to get around. The roads were specifically designed with cyclist (and pedestrian) safety in mind. You’ve got every reason to jump on a bike and explore this charming community; we’re sure you’ll find unexpected treasures along the way. Although you never know what’s around the next corner, if we were to guess, we’d say bocce ball and shuffleboard courts, multi-use trails and hidden courtyards where families can stop to play games or build a fire on a cool night (hint: the outdoor fireplaces and pits make really good s’mores). It’s best to stop by Bucks NW when you first get into town to rent bicycles.

Insider tip: Seabrook has partnered with the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance to build some killer mountain bike trails around the property. If you want to introduce the kids to the sport, hit the DNR trails. You’ll find them off Narnia Trail, in the Farm District.

Explore the hiking trails
A network of hiking trails winds through the town as well. While these trails will get you from here to there, depending on where you’re staying, they’re also fun to explore just because. Of all the hikes to find, our favorite is the (unofficial) gnome trail. You’ll find it mid- neighborhood, behind the stump treehouse (another place your kids will love). All it takes is one fairy house to catch your eye and before you know it, you’ve wandered deep into the forest in search of the next fairy house, gnome home or mushroom mansion. The best part about Seabrook hikes is that the trails are relatively short, like they were tailor-made for families with young kids.

courtesy Seabrook

Make a splash a the indoor pool
Because even in the summertime, you can’t count on sunny skies in the Pacific Northwest, Seabrook has an indoor pool and hot tub. It’s open for family swim from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily in the summer. The pool gets pretty busy on the weekends. Our suggestion is to hit the pool in the morning, before the marine layer burns off, to avoid the crowds. Then head to the beach in the afternoon when sun is more likely to show itself. Water play all day is definitely the way to go here.

Play at the playground & sports court
There’s a reason playgrounds are a parent’s best friend. Not only do they get the kids outside, but if you’re lucky, an extra long play session will tire them out just in time for nap. Even on vacation, simple pleasures like time at the playground are a treat. Walk or bike to the playground at Seabrook, just outside the Farm District. It’s got everything kids want including swings, slides, places to climb and a zip line. Basketball courts (balls are out for guests to use) and the dog park are right there too.

Find horses, chicks and ducks
Just beyond the playground is the Farm District. Follow the trail to the barn where you may spot horses (please don’t feed them or enter the barn) and will surely see chickens and ducks just outside. There’s a community garden here too. Residents grow everything from fruits and veggies to flowers in these plots that are open for guests to explore.

Go on a Guided Tour

When you’re ready to get out and explore beyond Seabrook, head to Buck’s NW downtown to find all the adventures. Born and raised on the Pacific Coast, Buck is a wealth of knowledge and is passionate about introducing families to area. If you can think up an outdoor adventure, chances are Buck can guide you through it. The summer months are the perfect time to book a kayak tour. For families, we recommend the Ghost Forest Tour down the Copalis River. It’s a two- to three-hour guided history lesson where you’ll learn about a tsunami that hit the Pacific Coast in 1700 and devastated the area, leaving behind ghost trees. There is no minimum age for this guided trip—families can ride in tandem kayaks so kids of all ages can participate safely. Other guided experiences through Buck’s NW include hiking, biking, surfing (it’s a year-round sport here), fishing and SUP. However, if your family doesn’t need a lesson or a tour, Buck’s NW is also a great place to rent what you need.

Insider tip: Capture your Seabrook beach adventures with a Pink Fin Photography lifestyle family photo session.

Where to Grab Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner

Pretty much everyone in Seabrook heads to the Vista Bakeshop for their morning coffee and a bite for breakfast. It’s why you’ll usually find a short line out the door, or folks milling around waiting for their coffee order to come up. Pastries are the bakeshop’s specialty, and no matter what you order (sweet or savory) you won’t be disappointed.

When it comes to lunch and dinner, there are a few family-friendly spots in town to choose from. Koko’s Restaurant & Tequila Bar is where you’ll find modern Latin cuisine and epic ocean views. They offer indoor and outdoor seating options and feature flavorful and fresh takes on Latin cuisine, with lots of GF, vegetarian and vegan dishes. Our tip? Order the Pablano-Cashew Enchiladas. Frontager’s Pizza Co. is another option with kid-appeal. It’s a serious pie house serving up gourmet, brick-oven, Northwest-style pizza, salads and Italian sodas. With indoor, outdoor and take-out options, it’s hard to go wrong here. You’ll find amazing chicken sandwiches at the Cookie’s Country Chicken food truck (open Thursdays through Saturdays), and the new Rising Tide Tavern serves up gourmet pub fare in Town Center. Then there's Growler's Alley Beer Garden where you can grab food, a cold beer and listen to music right across the street from the Town Hall.

Finish it all off with a treat from Sweet Life, the cutest little ice cream and candy shop you've ever seen. They make small batch, organic ice cream that holds its own against anything you’d find in the big city. But before you can order ice cream, you’ve got to navigate an array of retro candy, known brands and bean-to-bar chocolates that will leave your sweet tooth aching. If you’re thinking dessert with an ocean view, we’re right there with you.

Shop at Seabrook’s Town Center

Seabrook’s Town Center now has more shops than ever (with others on their way). Top on the list for families to check out is Brooklets Toys. Filled from floor to ceiling with top toy brands kids and parents love, it’s the place to go before you hit the beach—check out the ice cream cone sand toy set—or when you need a few new toys to keep the kids busy on the plane ride home (hint: the woodland fairy peel-and-stick booklet is too cute and easy to pack.). Right next door is Magnolia’s Clothing Boutique, a clothing shop that understands moms want to be both stylish and comfy. Head in to find quintessentially PNW gear like soft tees, cozy sweatshirts or great pair of jeans. When it comes to logo wear, Tides by Seabrook has what you need to remember your family vacation, whether it’s beanies, trucker hats or your new favorite hoodie. 

Launch Other Adventures

Another Seabrook plus is its location. It’s an easy launching point to some of the most scenic, out-of-the-way spots in Washington. Add a day trip adventure to your stay when you head north to Kalaloch, where you can check out the famous Tree of Life, or picturesque Ruby Beach. Lake Quinault is another nearby destination worth exploring. Enjoy the peace and quiet of the rainforest and visit the Valley of the Rainforest Giants, home to some of the world’s oldest trees. Both are about an hour’s drive north of Seabrook.

Year-Round Activities

Although Seabrook really shines in summer, it’s a year-round destination for families, near and far. In the fall, families can look forward to a Fall Festival and Halloween events, as well as outdoor activities like mushroom foraging and stargazing. Winter at Seabrook is mild, and it’s a great time to settle in at your beach house, watch storms, go fishing and search for glass floats hidden around the community. With spring comes Springfest and the razor clam season. It’s also an ideal time to hike, bike, kayak and watch for whales as they migrate north to Alaska.

Good to know: Seabrook launched a concierge service in 2021, so if you need dinner reservations, childcare services, or help booking appointments or tours locally, all you need to do is call or email.

Seabrook Vacation Rentals
24 Front St.
Pacific Beach, WA 98571

All photos courtesy the writer, unless noted

Editor’s note: This trip was paid for by Seabrook, but all opinions expressed here belong to the writer.

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