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Adrift at Sea

Perched on the ocean, in the heart of Long Beach, Washington, is a modern and unique hotel with an emphasis on value, sustainability and of course, dog friendliness.
Written by Brandie Ahlgren | Photos by Julie Clegg (click to enlarge)
As we pull into the parking lot at the Adrift Hotel in Long Beach, Wash., I am struck by its proximity to the Pacific Ocean. You can smell the salty air and hear the waves crashing on the shore—and, so can Thya and Ziggy, who are begging to be set free from the confines of the car. It’s a three hour drive from Seattle, so who can blame them as they head straight for the beach.

This is my first visit to Long Beach and it reminds me of another one of my favorite coastal towns, Westport, with miles of sandy beach stretching in each direction as far as the eye can see. We let the dogs run at full tilt then head back to check in at our abode for the evening: the Adrift Hotel.

Owners, Brady and Tiffany Turner, acquired the 80-room Adrift Hotel in March 2011 with a particular vision in mind. Formerly an outdated economy motel, they created a hotel that is unique, modern, fun and relaxed—an oceanfront retreat for all types of travelers to fully enjoy, two-and four-legged alike.

After a complete renovation, the décor is modern, with a minimalist, relaxed vibe to it. The couple also remodeled the hotel with the environment and sustainability in mind. Much of the fixtures and furnishings throughout the property are reclaimed and recycled. Through its operations, the hotel uses green and recycled products as much as possible.

After checking in, I head to my room with Thya and Ziggy. We are in one of the ocean front king rooms. The view is incredible and with it comes a king bed with a memory foam mattress, table and two chairs, a 32” flatscreen TV, DVD player, iPod docking station, small fridge and free WiFi.

There isn’t much in the way of amenities for the dogs, but that’s okay—for them, the beach is enough—and after dropping off our stuff, that’s exactly where we head, back to the beach.

The beautiful, 21-mile Long Beach Peninsula consists of seven small communities, each with their own charm. There are also two light houses, plenty of parks, miles and miles of driftwood covered beaches, and the Discovery Trail, an amazing eight mile paved trail through the dunes running parallel to the Pacific.

The Discovery Trail is perfect for walking, running and espeically biking. Hop on one of the hotel’s complimentary beach cruisers and pedal to your heart’s content. The trail follows Captain William Clark’s first oceanside hike in 1805 from Ilwaco to Long Beach. Today, the eight-mile stretch features interpretive markers, an authentic whale skeleton, a 20-foot bronze tree and several statues.

If you cruise into town, the main drag is lined with an array of locally-owned, small businesses, from kite shops to ice cream parlors to pizza joints to surf shops and better yet, most have a “Pets Welcome” sign hanging in their window.

We dig the dog friendly vibe in Long Beach—in fact, the town even hosts its own doggie olympics. If you are visiting in June, be sure to check out the Doggie Olympic Games, hosted by the Long Beach Merchants Association, in cooperation with the City of Long Beach. Canines of all ages, sizes, shapes and abilities are invited to participate in fun activities, starting Friday with a kick-off party at The Breakers Hotel. Saturday’s events include a doggie dash, dunking for hot dogs, Frisbee toss, agility, peanut butter lick, owner look-alike contest, and more!

It’s worth noting here that leash laws are not typically enforced on the beach, provided dogs are controlled and well-behaved. However, there is, understandably, an eight-foot leash law within city limits.

Back at the Adrift Hotel, it’s time for dinner, so we head to the Pickled Fish, located on the top floor overlooking the ocean. Like the hotel itself, the ambience is cool, with candles in mason jars to light the tables, a chalkboard wall highlighting the week’s live music, and a menu that is divine. From crab mac ‘n cheese to wood fired pizzas, there is a little something for everyone. I go for the sautéed wild Alaskan salmon, with a mixed grain salad and caper aioli. If a drink is in order, check the chalkboard for the day’s cocktail or choose from several regional wines and Northwest micro brews on the menu.

The Adrift has many unique touches that we appreciate. We mentioned the complimentary beach cruisers, but there are also fooseball and shuffleboard tables onsite, movies, books and games you can borrow, and complimentary organic coffee, tea and filtered fruit water in the lobby at all times.

Also in the lobby are items for purchase including wine, beer, soda and snacks—but not just any ol’ wine, beer, soda and snacks.

I spot a bottle of Sparkman’s Wilderness Red from Woodinville as well as Big Al Rat City Blonde, brewed right in my neighborhood of White Center. Sodas and snacks include Fenteman’s Cherry Tree Cola from British Columbia and Theo’s Organic Salted Almond Milk Chocolate from Seattle. And, if you forgot to bring dog food, there’s even kibble from Portland’s own Castor + Pollux.
 
In addition to the Adrift Hotel, the Turners also own the Inn at Discovery Coast, located next door. With a bit more luxury in mind, the rooms at the Inn feature a jetted tub, fireplace and private balcony. The Inn is also pet friendly, but on the first floor only.

The next morning, the dogs deserve another visit to the beach, so we head that way, first stopping in the lobby so I can grab a cup of organic coffee. The beach is quiet this time of year and it’s just me, the dogs, the waves and the wind. I can’t think of a better way to start the day.

More Information
Adrift Hotel
409 Sid Snyder Drive, Long Beach, Wash.
Phone: 800.561.2456; adrifthotel.com
 
Rates for an ocean front king room range from $90 to $155 plus
$15 pet fee, per pet (limit two pets per room).
 
Long Beach Peninsula Visitors Bureau
914 Pacific Way, Seaview, Wash. 
Phone: 800.451.2542; funbeach.com
 
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