Coastal Escape: Copalis Beach

Looking through a windswept knotted pine to the sea in Copalis

A romantic weekend getaway

written by Charyn Pfeuffer

Sea stacks, whale sightings and endless swaths of windswept beaches—there’s no denying the siren song of Washington’s coast.

Recently, my boyfriend and I needed to break from the everyday urban routine of Seattle. Sure, Seattle is a sexy city with its deep blues and vivid greens, but Pacific Northwest scenery gets more robust as soon as you head to its shores and mountains. Besides, with our busy work schedules, we were overdue for a re-connection. No alarm clocks.

Since the weather forecast looked wet, we booked a cabin at Iron Springs Resort. As much as we like camping and sleeping under the stars, there’s a time and place for creature comforts. Plus, we had our dog, Mimi, with us.

We packed our pickup truck and headed south on I-5 to Olympia. From there, we veered west on the Olympic Peninsula through wild forests of Sitka spruce and western hemlock to the coast. Two-and-a-half-hours later, we arrived in Copalis and checked into one of Iron Springs Resort’s twenty-five oceanfront cabins.

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Iron Springs Resort sits atop a cliff overlooking Copalis Beach.

Cabin 7 was spacious, comfortable and absolutely spotless—always a concern when booking dog-friendly digs. Repurposed wood siding from the property’s original 1940s cabins and swivel chairs upholstered with vintage Pendleton blankets warmed the décor. Details throughout were thoughtful and deliberate. As an avid home cook, I appreciated the well-stocked kitchen. Nearby restaurants are scarce, so we packed accordingly (cheese, wine, charcuterie) hedging our bets against our ability to catch razor clams. We had success catching clams, and panko-fried and devoured them. Guests can also make bonfires on the beach. The General Store sells all the ingredients for standard issue and decadent versions of s’mores.

If you’re looking for nightlife and options, stick to nearby Ocean Shores, ten miles away. As much as we considered venturing out, we had a hard time tearing ourselves from our cabin. We slept late, waking to Iron Springs Resort’s fresh baked cinnamon buns (available at the General Store). We spent hours beachcombing while Mimi ran along the surf chasing seagulls. We napped, then sipped wine on our patio at sunset as bald eagles soared overhead. When the sky grew dark, we dined by the fireplace, and then played board games late into the night. Our second evening, a storm whipped in and we turned off the lights, mesmerized by the silhouettes of crashing waves.

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Westport Winery, a delicious coastal diversion

Iron Springs Resort embodies the natural beauty and unplugged idyllic aspects of camping, but in a more refined manner. We embraced countless moments of solitude, but when we needed an extra bottle of sauvignon blanc from the General Store, comfort got the better of rusticity.

All this, for an easy scenic ride, less than 140 miles from Seattle. Sometimes, you don’t need to wander far to feel worlds away.

“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” Lao Tzu
A two-hour drive from Copalis Beach, the Hoh Rain Forest is one of the largest temperate rain forests in North America.

If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.

Lao Tzu

Remember your ocean excursion for a lifetime with a kitschy shark souvenir from Sharky’s in Ocean Shores. Or just indulge in some saltwater taffy.

Remember your ocean excursion for a lifetime with a kitschy shark souvenir from Sharky’s in Ocean Shores. Or just indulge in some saltwater taffy.

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