“We’re going to the beach!” I can still hear my kids saying as they excitedly jumped up and down with glee. Now, where I live, in Oregon, a trip to the beach doesn’t necessarily mean fun in the sun. We have great beach locations to visit, both on the central Oregon coast and the northern Oregon coast, but a Pacific Northwest beach trip often means fun in the wind and rain. So, what should you pack to be prepared for any weather?
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For the kids, any type of rubber boot will work just fine. Our boys spent a lot of time building dams and moats. The boot cuteness factor didn’t matter much to them, of course. If it matters to you or your child, here are some fun ones:
Kids aren’t the only ones who need rubber boots at the beach. My favorites are the ones I received for Christmas last year. They are lined with cozy neoprene and have a fun pattern on the outside, like these:
Putting them on is a snap with the handles built in to the sides. It seems silly, but when I wear my Bogs boots on the beach, I feel as though I could tromp through anything. They are comfortable, sturdy and colorful. I always make sure to save room for them in the back of the car on any of our beach outings.
One thing usually to be found on a Pacific Northwest beach trip is wind. Kite shops abound. One of my favorites is Northwest Winds Kites and Toys, located conveniently near the D River Beach Wayside in Lincoln City, Oregon. Site of the annual Lincoln City Kite Festival, the D River Beach Wayside is usually quite crowded. That’s why my family and I take the extra time to drive south to Newport, Oregon, which I wrote about in a previous post. Newport also has its share of kite shops, including The Kite Company, billed as “the largest kite store on the Pacific Coast”. We purchased simple beach kites in Newport years ago, and still have them.
Card games are a must for any Pacific Northwest beach trip. One of our family favorites is Phase 10, which we’ve modified with our own house rules to speed up the playing time.
Another beachy card game favorite is Loot. If you’re in the mood for plundering pirates, this is the game for you.
When the weather turns a bit nasty, there’s nothing like cuddling up with a good family read-aloud. If you can hear waves crashing in the background, all the better. One nautical-themed book I read recently, which would be perfect for a beach trip, was The Turn of the Tide, set in Astoria, Oregon. Written for upper-elementary students, the story of two cousins in a sailing race is one the whole family could enjoy together.
Another nautical-themed book, a graphic novel set in the 1800s, is Compass South. Although sharing a graphic novel aloud is a bit tricky, it could be done if everyone could see the pictures, and perhaps different readers could play different characters.
Many of the beaches of the Pacific Northwest are lovely, sandy playgrounds. Hours of entertainment may be had as young budding architects and engineers design their masterpieces. Although sand castles may be made using rocks, sticks and other natural elements, sand tools provide added construction options. Here is a fun-looking set:
Even though there are often clouds or rain on the shores of the Pacific Northwest, there are also some glorious days of sunshine. You know what they say: Even on cloudy days, it’s wise to be protected from the sun. It’s tough to keep hats on in windy weather. Also, there might be a desire to jump around in the waves. For kids and adults on the go, this might be a good sunscreen to try:
There is a reason why some lightweight jackets are called windbreakers. They are very handy to have when out in the wind. My favorite windbreaker is a basic, lightweight black jacket. It’s packable, waterproof, and a must-have on any Pacific Northwest beach trip. Here’s one like it:
Need More Beach Item Ideas?
Perhaps you are going to spend a few days in a beach cabin hosted by someone else. What do you get for a gift for a beach house host? Here are some great beach gift ideas for him, her, the kids, and the house.
Other Beach Travel Essentials
Keep track of all of your belongings (even your kids) with Apple air tags. These handy devices come with a battery and are even water-resistant. Just use a simple one-step process to connect the tag to your iPhone or iPad, then use the Find My app to locate your item. Get a 4-pack and use for tracking luggage, pets, and more.
Whether you are camping or staying in a hotel, be safe with a portable carbon monoxide detector. This one has an AC-adaptor with battery backup. It’s only 2.75 by 1.5 by 4.5 inches, and could save your life.
What Do You Bring on Your Beach Trips?
I am fully aware that there are beaches in other parts of the world that would require entirely different supplies than those that I’ve listed for a Pacific Northwest beach trip. If there are beaches near where you live, what are your favorite beach supplies? I always like learning travel tips from other locations. Packing for a trip and feel the need to be organized? Please consider subscribing to receive a free printable backwards list. Happy traveling!
Streamline Your Beach Packing Strategy
Do you want to avoid overpacking on your next beach trip? Flying to a special beach location? Never check a bag again when you use this Capsule Wardrobe Packing List.
Thanks for checking out the list of essentials for a Pacific Northwest beach trip. May you have many happy beach visits!
Lisa Mitchell is a wife, mom, school librarian, and lifelong traveler who likes to visit the Oregon coast when time allows. To learn more about what this website has to offer travelers, click on over to the Travel page.
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