Explore the Grays Harbor beaches November through early March to experience winter storm watching on the Washington Coast. It’s the best time to visit Grays Harbor seaside towns to see storms and King Tides. Seeking amazing views of massive waves, beach-goers from across the state make their way to the charming coastal towns of Westport, Ocean Shores and beyond.
Storm Watching in Westport
One of the best spots to watch the high tides during winter is the multi-level Port of Grays Harbor Observation Tower at the Westport Marina. Check out this video of a powerful King Tide shot from atop and around the tower.
Just a short drive from the tower, discover a different view at Westport Light State Park or Grayland Beach State Park. Remember to be cautious, keep a safe distance, stay away from breaking waves, and never turn your back on the ocean.
Take a break from the elements by taking a tour of Grays Harbor Lighthouse, the tallest lighthouse in the state, built in 1898. Stop by Westport Pizza Company or Aloha Alabama BBQ for a bite to eat. Find comfortable overnight accommodations at the Westport Marina Cottages or the Breakers Boutique Inn.
Storm Watching in Ocean Shores
The North Jetty is a great spot to watch storms from the safety and comfort of your vehicle in the extensive parking area. Check out this video from last season of waves crashing over the jetty rocks.
At Damon Point, bundle up and watch high tides from the edge of the parking area. Keep in mind – safety comes first, so be aware of your surroundings and don’t take unnecessary risks during storms.
Escape the elements with a visit to the Coastal Interpretive Center, an inviting and informative place for visitors of all ages. Stay a night or two at the Canterbury Inn or in a charming Oyhut Bay cottage. A wide assortment of eateries, including Bennett’s Fish Shack, Oyhut Bay Grill, or Galway Bay Irish Pub, welcome hungry visitors.
Timing is Everything for Grays Harbor Winter Storm Watching
Visit the Tides and Currents website to find up-to-date information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on tides and currents in Grays Harbor County before venturing out to local beaches. Low and high tide information may also be found on this website for Ocean Shores Tide Chart and Westport Tide Chart.
Washington Coast Storm Watching Safety Tips
Beautiful, powerful and dangerous – each word perfectly describes a winter storm along the Washington Coast. Check local weather conditions and advisories on the National Weather Service website before venturing out and pay close attention to signs posted at beaches including possible closures.
These helpful safety tips found on the Sea Grant Washington website are good reminders when venturing out to witness storms along the Washington Coast:
- Be aware of potential mudslides, downed trees, and road closures
- Be extra careful when walking on slippery surfaces
- Be aware of your surroundings and weather conditions
- Remember to obey safety signage and guard rails
- Dress for the elements with waterproof jackets and shoes
Don’t Get Caught by Sneaker Waves at the Coast
The chance of sneaker waves along the coast increases during the winter months as well, according to National Weather Service. “This means the water may move further up the beach than expected at times,” the National Weather Service website states. “Stay back from the water’s edge and keep your eyes towards the ocean at all times.”
Additional safety tips include:
- Keep a safe distance and stay away from breaking waves
- Never turn your back on the ocean
- Avoid approaching driftwood and slick rocks
- Park far away from the water
All that’s left is to book where to stay in Grays Harbor, pack your rain gear and some comfort food and get ready to enjoy winter storms on the Washington Coast.