The stretch of Washington coast from the town of Ocean Shores (on the north side of Grays Harbor) down to Cape Disappointment at the mouth of the Columbia River is all expansive beaches, oyster farms and low-key small-town life. Much less wild and rugged than the coastline further north, this is the state's mellow maritime playground, where the whole of Washington (and beyond) comes to surf, fish, fly kites, comb the beaches, shop for antiques and eat locally grown oysters.
Where the Chehalis River empties into Grays Harbor, the rough-edged town of Aberdeen provides a salty introduction to the region. At the south side of the harbor is the surfers' haven of Westport, with its busy marina full of barking seals. And a short distance (but longish drive) further south is the adorably untamed weirdness of the Long Beach Peninsula, with its string of unpretentious beach towns.