LONG BEACH — Masked up and far apart, visitors and locals alike are taking advantage of pleasant July weather to enjoy south Pacific County’s natural attractions.

Becky Messinger, 37, visited from Sequim with her 8-year-old son Eivin and the rest of her family. It was her first time staying in Long Beach, she said. She’d vacationed at Ocean Shores in the past and this year decided to venture further south. Between the two beach cities, she said she preferred Long Beach.

“Here is 120% better,” Messinger said.

Pacific County locals also took advantage of the sunny weather. Naselle residents Brian Jensen, 35, and his wife Elizabeth Jensen, 31, picnicked with their 4-year-old son, Braxton, and 1-year-old daughter, Luna, on Monday, July 20.

The best part about being in Long Beach was going to the bakery and getting cupcakes, Braxton said.

Raised in Vancouver, Elizabeth Jensen grew up visiting the peninsula. She worked in Ilwaco at her grandpa’s restaurant, Harbor Lights Restaurant and Bar, which later became the Salt Hotel and Pub, 147 Howerton Way S.E., Ilwaco. When she and her husband saw a property in Naselle, they snapped up the opportunity to move to the area.

Living so close, a visit to the beach like a visit to a neighborhood park, Jensen said. It was the first time the family had a chance to go out together since the start of the covid-19 pandemic, she added.

Husband and wife Hieu and QT Nguyen took a selfie downtown after visiting Cape Disappointment State Park. The two drove down from Olympia to see the trails and planned to head to Astoria as well, but stopped in Long Beach for a late lunch. It was QT’s first time in Long Beach, though Hieu teased that she’d lived here for years.

“I lived in Long Beach, California for about 20 years,” QT said.

The Nguyens said they loved the moderate weather of the beach.

Bella, 21, and Caleb, 21, came to the beach for their anniversary with their mothers, Donna and Angel. Trying to navigate to their hotel, the four stopped to gather their bearings outside The Chowder Stop, 203 Bolstad Ave.

“We’re visiting from Seattle,” Angel said. “We’re just here a couple of days to get away from the city.”

Bella and Caleb started dating when they were 11 years old and 10 years later are still together. The beach trip was the first time all four went on an overnight trip in their whole lives.

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