Monthly Archives: February 2014

Cape Disappointment State Park

Long Beach Peninsula: Come Play with Nature

The Great Outdoors Grows Even Greater During A Visit To The Long Beach Peninsula

Cape Disappointment Lighthouse Long Beach Peninsula

Hubby and I have lived here for over 5 years and we love the small beach town atmosphere and enormous amount of beach fun throughout the year. We hope you get the chance to visit this beautiful Washington State beach soon! ~ Marie

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One look at the map explains the natural mystique of the Long Beach Peninsula.  Set on Washington’s southwestern-most coast, the peninsula wraps an arm around Willapa Bay like a protective parent, shielding the region’s habitats and inhabitants from sea winds and storm waves.

SW Washington Map
The result is a textbook case of nature in harmony.  Salmon spawn in its nutrient-rich streams, shellfish thrive in its shallow waters, and Harbor Seals nurture their pups on safe sandbars. Shorebirds migrate here by the thousands each spring, and seabirds find refuge by the bay in the summer and fall. Wetlands, marshes and forests protect precious creatures like Canvasbacks and Cormorants, while Trumpeter Swans wing their way here for their winter vacation and Bald Eagles fish in local waters.

Visitors to the Long Beach Peninsula encounter an equally benevolent retreat. With 28 miles of open beach for their adventuring pleasure, they can lose themselves in a dream world of dune grass and lupine, perhaps glimpsing one of the rare Snowy Plovers which nest here. Then, they can wander pristine trails through forests rich with Western Hemlock and Sitka Spruce, supporting the threatened Marbled Murrelet.

Hiking presents exhilarating options for enjoying this rich environment. Visitors can explore the great outdoors on foot, courtesy of trails through the lush coastal forests of 1,882-acre Cape Disappointment State Park, home of lakes, marshes, streams and jaw-dropping views of the Pacific Ocean and Columbia River.

Willapa National Wildlife Refuge, one of North America’s most pristine estuaries, calls to nature lovers with its wetlands, grasslands and coniferous forest. Refuge highlights include 5,400-acre Long Island, where stands of 900-year-old Western Red Cedar house Bald Eagles and Great Blue Heron; and Leadbetter Point, laying claim to some of Washington’s most significant salt-marsh habitats.

Cape Disappointment State Park

Hikers can hoof it along the half-mile Long Beach Boardwalk with its interpretive displays, picnic areas and mesmerizing seascapes. And they can retrace the steps of Lewis and Clark on the Discovery Trail, an eight-mile promenade from Ilwaco to north Long Beach.

Other activities and adventures bring visitors even deeper into the heart of this wondrous setting. Kayaking lets them ply the rivers, streams and bays at their own pace, glimpsing seals, sea lions and birds. Horseback Riding along the edge of the Pacific Ocean is rivaled only by four-legged back country excursions, led by master horsemen. Charter Fishingfor salmon, sturgeon and tuna creates splashy memories for a lifetime.

washington state destinations

Bird Watching brings travelers close to such winged beauties as the graceful Black Brant and the distinguished Brown Pelican. Shore-based Whale Watching yields glimpses of the spray of gray whales in the near shore waters. During nighttime low tides, Digging for Razor Clams assembles friends and families for one-of-a-kind seaside safaris.

Long Beach Boardwalk via The Best Beaches for Men

In the midst of it all is the Beach itself, mile upon mile of dune-lined magnificence. Seeming to stretch forever, it creates a captivating canvas for throwing a Frisbee, flying a kite, sharing a picnic or simply slowing down to appreciate the countless natural gifts of the Long Beach Peninsula.

Thank you to the Long Beach Peninsula Visitor’s Bureau for this article.

Prepared by Long Beach Peninsula Visitors Bureau, 800.451.2542, www.funbeach.com

modern-rustic-bath interior design

Black & White Bathroom Delight

modern-rustic-bath interior design
This black and white bathroom is such a delight in our eyes. A black painted wall and white planked wall provide balance. The galvanized pendant light and round mirror feels nautical to us and the vintage vanity is rustic chic. Atlanta interior designer, Kim Winkler, created this bathroom was featured in the 2011 issue of Traditional Home Magazine. We were thinking that if we painted the wall in navy blue, it would really give it a nautical feel!

Get the Look Bath

Interested in creating a similar bathroom design?

jars / sconce / mirror / soap dish / baskets / vase / faucet / vanity

Get the Look!

seashell table via better homes and gardens

DIY Glass-Topped Seashell Table

 

Give a piano bench a beachy transformation! I wish I had found this Better Homes & Gardens project before I donated my old piano bench to the Goodwill because this is just an adorable beach table project. Look in your phone book for your local glass company as most will custom cut pieces for you…and it might not be nearly as expensive as you think. Have fun.

seashell table via better homes and gardens

Seashell Table Project Instructions:

  • Remove the hinges from the bench and cut out the center of the top to accommodate a piece of glass.
  • Screw wood trim pieces to each corner on the underside of the top.
  • This will keep the top secure when replaced on the bench.
  • Sand, and then prime and paint the piece. Let dry.
  • Fit a custom-cut piece of glass to the top using mirror clips.
  • Place decorative paper inside the bench and add shells.

 

beach cottage interior

Creating A Beach Cottage Interior

 

A home near the beach can be modern, nautical, tropical, surprisingly non-beachy or cottage inspired.  I’m a simple girl who grew up on a farm, so our cottage near the sea definitely has some farmhouse interior influences, which some might call beach cottage style — I just call it “home sweet home”.  Whatever YOU call it, a beach cottage to me is non-fussy, easy living, and cozy.  A cottage will be unpretentious and filled with treasures discovered at yard sales as well as cherished family hand-me-downs.

When creating a cottage interior there is no right or wrong way to decorate. Do what feels right to you! I personally love over-sized comfy couches combined with garage sale finds, natural wood finishes, quilts, seashells, recycled driftwood, and homemade crafts. This first photograph really exemplifies the style which I love.  Do any of these interior designs speak to your beach cottage heart?

cottage bedroom interior

beach interiors trunk coffee table

beach cottage interior

SEA cottage interior seaside

mermaid table lamp from Home At The Beach

beach cottage interior

beach cottage interior chair side table

**p.s. If you’re interested in the Mermaid Table Lamp, contact our friends at Home At The Beach to purchase.

Candlelight Seashell Centerpiece Top Pinterest Pin of the Week

Coastal Candle Holder Ideas

Candlelight Seashell Centerpiece Top Pinterest Pin of the Week

This Seashell Candle Centerpiece photo has been super-popular on Pinterest over the past week. Honestly, after writing blog posts for five years I really can’t remember all the wonderful coastal ideas that we’ve shared with you.  This particular coastal centerpiece idea is from an article written by our contributing editor, Caron White, back in November 2012.  Check out Decorating with Candlelight at the Coast for more beautiful candlelight ideas!

coastal candle idea

The above SEA candle holder was created by my daughter and I back in October 2011 (wow, time flies!).  I’m still using these around the beach cottage and they were simple to create. Check out the original article, Seawashed Fog & Sea Candle Holders, now!

Fog-Sea-Candle-Holders

Still one of our personal favorites, these Lighthouse Candle Holders are a DIY project made from simple materials.

Lighthouse-Coastal-Craft

Driftwood Table from Coastal Living Magazine

Driftwood: From Beach to Living Room

 

coastal centerpiece idea

Definition: drift·wood (drftwd) n.  Wood floating in or washed up by a body of water.

Some actually have the nerve to say that driftwood is a form of “marine debris or tidewrack”.  I guess that I’ve got a thing for marine debris! LOL! I have fond memories of collecting driftwood with my mother along the shores of the Northern California beaches as a young child. She had a thing for debris too.

Extra-large Driftwood Heart by Karen Miller

We have various pieces of driftwood out on the back deck which we are letting the rain clean and sun bleach. When they are properly cleaned we’ll find just the right use for them. Since living at the beach we are much more selective about the pieces we bring home.  David has a piece which looks like a wooden club that it currently being cleansed outside…I’m not sure what his fascination is with the “club” look (getting in touch with his inner caveman, perhaps?) but he loves it, so we’ll find a place for it. We finally hung this fabulous piece (shown below) in our newly decorated living room (more info coming soon). Depending on the direction you look at the driftwood, it can look like a propeller, the head of a bird, dinosaur or just some cool piece of wood with a naturally made hole in it. Any way you look at it, we love it!

A favorite piece of driftwood hung in our beach cottage.

cottage living room

In some waterfront areas, driftwood is a major nuisance; however we like to look at the bright side…the wood provides shelter and food for birds, fish and other aquatic species as it floats in the ocean as well as nesting areas along the shore. This lovely bald eagle uses driftwood for a perch.

 Driftwood provides a perch for a Bald Eagle on Fir Island, WA

fir island washington Photographer Walter Siegmund

DIY: driftwood photo display

driftwood photo hanger

Coastal Nest drilled holes in driftwood pieces to create this Spinner 

coastal nest wind spinner

 Driftwood on top of this beachy hall tree is dreamy.

driftwood dreamy hall tree- Photo: Dominique Vorillon

Home by Sunset featured this Driftwood coat rack how-to.

DIY coat rack

Of course, we ALL love the popular driftwood sailboats!

white flower farmhouse sailboats

Driftwood Table from Coastal Living Magazine

Table from Coastal Living Magazine

How do you use it in your beach home?

Note: Please make sure that you follow any posted signs regarding collection of driftwood. Due to erosion and such, it is not allowed to collect driftwood on some beaches.