Ocean Shores is a 6,000 acre (9.3 square miles) peninsula located on Washington’s central Pacific Coast approximately 75 miles west of Olympia. The peninsula’s western shoreline extends southward approximately six miles with sandy public beaches and five different beach access roads that you can drive your vehicle on.
Ocean Shores has an estimated 70 miles of waterfront. The southern shoreline runs easterly along the entrance to Grays Harbor with views of Westport-two miles across the entrance to the harbor. The southern tip of the peninsula is home to the Ocean Shores Marina & Damon Point State Park. The eastern shoreline is primarily a residential area offering eastern and northern views of the Bowerman Basin, the Olympic Mountain range, Mt. Rainier, the cooling towers in Satsop and more.
Ocean Shores was originally developed in 1960 by a group of Seattle investors
(purchased for 1,000,000) and it continues to be Washington’s most visited seaside destination averaging nearly four million visitors each year.
Ocean Shores beaches are popular for razor clamming (in season), jetty and surf fishing, whale watching, seashell and driftwood collecting, sunning, surfing, kite flying, sandcastle making, wading, swimming, wind surfing, kayaking, jet skiing, feeding seagulls, with views of the western skyline. Horse rentals along the beach are available throughout the year but mainly during the tourist season (May-September). Moped and Go-cart rentals are available at many locations around the beach entrances. You can even build a fire on the beach. No camping allowed however.
The Pacific Ocean is definitely the top draw in Ocean Shores, but there’s much more to Ocean Shores beyond its smooth shoreline and crashing surf. Ocean Shores boasts 23 miles of freshwater canals and lakes. Duck Lake is stocked and considered one of the best year-round fishing lakes in Western Washington. The lake is power-boat accessible with two boat launches and is friendly to water-skiers and swimmers. No jet skis. All of the fresh water in Ocean Shores is excellent for many different boating experiences.
There are lots of entertainment choices in Ocean Shores: a full-time movie theater that gets all the big flicks, a PGA golf course, a bowling alley, two arcades, mini putt putt, Go-kart tracks, bumper boats; a year-round schedule of events and festivals, and many more fun and unique beach activities coordinated by the local community!
For outdoor enthusiasts, Ocean Shores provides a wide menu. Bird watchers flock to Damon Point State Park for the state’s best shorebird viewing. Horseback riders romp their mounts across the sand and into the surf.
Golfers have a 18-hole municipal course to challenge them with a full-time driving range & practice green. Kayakers have miles and miles of freshwater canals, lakes & the ocean to paddle around to watch birds, beavers, deer, ducks, geese and all kinds of wildlife.
Ocean Shores also satisfies people looking for a quiet or romantic escape: They can stroll on quiet stretches of shoreline, canoe or kayak through protected waterways, or watch waves crash on a moonlit beach. There are dozens of private condos and hotels in town.
The north jetty provides a lookout for marine mammals such as sea otters and seals and a spectacular vantage point for sunsets. If you walk down on the big rocks in the jetty, you’ll find gazillions of starfish and other sea creatures including crabs, etc. The jetty is a fascinating place to check out the sea life in Ocean Shores. Be careful on the rocks.
The Ocean Shores Marina is located at the southern tip of the Ocean Shores peninsula, approximately five miles south of the downtown core area. Its home to dockside seafood sales, and is a pick-up point for fishing and whale watching charters. Transient moorage is available. If you want to jet-ski or go sailing in the surf or bay, put in here at the Marina. There are 99 RV and camping spaces all with full hookups. The Marina is in pretty shabby shape right now, but there some major renovations coming soon in this area.
The Oyehut Wildlife area includes 682 acres of wildlife habitat, wetlands, tidal flats and world-class bird watching. It’s just North to the entrance of Ocean Shores and you’ll find it at Damon Point State Park.
Damon Point State Park, also commonly known as Protection Island, is adjacent to the Wildlife Area and extends nearly a mile into Grays Harbor’s entrance. The state park offers excellent views of the shipping lanes and Westport just across the bay. The park includes a natural area for walking, beach combing, and bird watching. There is abundant wildlife. No vehicles are allowed in the park. Ocean shores has 23 miles of interconnected freshwater canals
2010 population census:
As of the census of 2010, there were 5,569 people, 2,707 households, and 1,657 families residing in the city. The population density was 654.4 inhabitants per square mile (252.7/km2). There were 4,758 housing units at an average density of 559.1 per square mile (215.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 90.2% White, 0.9% African American, 2.1% Native American, 1.7% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 0.6% from other races, and 4.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.2% of the population.
There were 2,707 households of which 14.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.9% were married couples living together, 7.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 38.8% were non-families. 30.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.06 and the average family size was 2.49.
The median age in the city was 57.3 years. 12.6% of residents were under the age of 18; 4.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 14% were from 25 to 44; 37.5% were from 45 to 64; and 31.1% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.3% male and 51.7% female.
Prior to being a vacation destination, the Point Brown peninsula where Ocean Shores is located was a cattle ranch starting in the late 1920s. The owner sold it to the Ocean Shores Development Corporation for $1 million in 1960.
The Ocean Shores Municipal Airport sits just 15 feet above sea level.
Damon Point State Park on the southern tip of Ocean Shores is named after A.O. Damon. He bought that portion of the peninsula in 1878, built a dock out into the entry point of Grays Harbor, and opened up a trading supply business.