Birdwatching at Willapa National Wildlife Refuge

If you’re planning a getaway to the Washington coast and are fond of the great outdoors, especially birdwatching and hiking, the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge is a treasure you won’t want to miss. Located near Long Beach, Washington, this refuge is a sanctuary for wildlife and a paradise for nature lovers. With its diverse ecosystems ranging from tidal flats and salt marshes to old-growth forests and coastal dunes, Willapa National Wildlife Refuge offers an exceptional variety of bird species to observe.

Beyond Willapa National Wildlife Refuge, there’s a long list of incredible state parks and nature areas to explore on the Long Beach peninsula on the Washington Coast. Despite its name, the popular Cape Disappointment State Park is anything but a letdown. With over 2,000 acres of coastal forest, two lighthouses, and expansive beaches, it’s a hiker’s and birdwatcher’s delight. 

Before you start filling your itinerary with outdoor adventures, you’ll want to secure your lodging, and our bed and breakfast near Long Beach in Ilwaco is one of the best hidden gems. Our charming and intimate Inn offers a quiet reprieve from the busier tourist areas on the Washington Coast and you’ll love our welcoming hospitality, and beautiful morning breakfast service. Check out our upcoming availability and book your guest room today! 

Willapa National Wildlife Refuge near Long Beach

Willapa National Wildlife Refuge & More Birding Hotspots

One of the most popular things to do in Long Beach, WA, is hiking, and there are many trails in this area rich in birdwatching and wildlife viewing opportunities. Willapa National Wildlife Refuge is just one of the major birding hotspots, as the landscape is ideally situated near the water with marshes and forests. 

Here are the best places for birdwatching near Long Beach: 

  1. Willapa National Wildlife Refuge: The Willapa National Wildlife Refuge is a vast area of more than 17,000 acres, consisting of landscapes such as tidelands, temperate rainforests, ocean beaches, and small streams. It also contains some rare remnants of old-growth coastal cedar forests. The refuge aims to preserve the habitat for species like spawning wild salmon, hundreds of thousands of migrating shorebirds and waterfowl, and endangered species like the western snowy plover and marbled murrelet. 
  2. Leadbetter Point State Park: Technically a part of Willapa National Wildlife Refuge, birdwatchers visiting Leadbetter Point State Park can expect to see a rich tapestry of birdlife, especially during migration seasons. It’s a prime spot for observing shorebirds, waterfowl, and raptors as they stop in this nutrient-rich environment. The area is particularly noted for its significant populations of migratory birds, including the threatened Western Snowy Plover, which nests on the park’s beaches. 
  3. Cape Disappointment: The park’s diverse habitats, including coastal forests, wetlands, and tidal flats, make it a perfect spot for observing a wide range of bird species, from the majestic Bald Eagles and Peregrine Falcons that soar above to the shorebirds and waterfowl that thrive along its beaches and estuaries.
  4. Willapa Bay: The Long Beach Peninsula is known for birding, with more than 300 species of birds calling the Peninsula home. Whether you are searching for Great Blue Herons, Trumpeter Swans, the Western Screech-Owl, or the Red-Breasted Sapsucker, the shores of Willapa Bay are a great destination to get a glimpse of these flyers. 
Willapa National Wildlife Refuge near one of the best places to stay near Long Beach WA

One of the Best Places to Stay Near Long Beach, WA

As you plan your next adventure, birdwatching and hiking at the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge on the Washington Coast, you’ll want to ensure your lodging is precisely what you’re looking for. The Pearl Inn, located in Ilwaco, WA, offers a secluded option off the beaten path for couples or solo travelers seeking a quiet retreat. The small scale of our boutique property creates a memorable experience, ideal for those looking to reconnect, spend quality one-on-one time together, and relax.

The Pearl Inn offers five distinctive bedrooms, each an invitation to embark on a unique journey of comfort and elegance. These classic spaces are designed with fine furnishings and soft color palettes, and all have en suite bathrooms. The Sunset Room, pictured here, offers a wonderful space to unwind; the cozy reading nook is a lovely private relaxing space. 

Each morning of your stay, you’ll be delighted by our homemade culinary options for breakfast. Our seasonal and always-changing morning menu includes the finest local ingredients, with sweet and savory options. We’re always happy to accommodate dietary restrictions, so just let us know when you make your reservation. For local tips and personalized recommendations, feel free to ask your innkeeper during your stay. We can’t wait to host you; book your room at our bed and breakfast near Long Beach today! 

Perfect Location!!!

Located between Long Beach, Washington (5 minutes) and Astoria, Oregon (15 minutes) we are an ideal basecamp for exploring both of these two destinations.