Ilwaco, Washington is a small fishing town just a few miles south of Long Beach. Park near the harbor and spend some time enjoying the shops and galleries that face the water. If you arrive in the morning when the water is still you may get some good reflection photos of the harbor.

We visit Ilwaco in August while staying in Long Beach for the annual Kite Festival. During that week, Ilwaco has a street fair which we thoroughly enjoy. It is a smaller street fair with many local artists and artisans. I really enjoy seeing items created individually by local people.

One of my favorite stores in Ilwaco is Don Nisbett’s gallery. Nisbett artwork is seen in MANY places in and around Ilwaco and Long Beach. His art is colorful, fun, sometimes whimsical, and sometimes just wacky (in a very good way). I was looking for a coaster with one of Don’s fun paintings. He did not one, but he went in the back and make one for me. He had to fire the image, let it cool, and attack some cork feet. We had a custom-made coaster in about 10 minutes. This is some seriously next-level customer service. Don wants people to enjoy his art and he does what he can to accommodate customers.

Don and I got into a philosophical discussing while waiting for the coaster. He was explaining how art is meant to give. He said that many artists create for themselves and not to share their work with others. Don said that this is mindset of villains in Superman movies. The villain uses his/her powers or abilities for him/herself. In contrast, Superman uses his powers for the benefit of others. This applies to many other disciplines outside of art. Those with much can use their resources to enrich themselves or they could use it to benefit both themself and others. If you visit Ilwaco be absolutely SURE to visit Don’s gallery.

Ilwaco is also the gateway to Cape Disappointment State Park. Cape D has two lighthouses, trails, multiple beaches, Fort Canby, nice views, the Lewis and Clark Museum, etc. At Benson Beach (at the Cape D campground) you get some nice views of the North Head Lighthouse. In the same area (about a five-minute drive) you get some equally impressive views of Cape Disappointment Lighthouse. These beaches are also excellent places to see pelicans. Click here to see my article about the lighthouses.

Places Around Ilwaco