Following the shores of Grays Harbor, Hoquiam is the beach town to start you on your way along the Hidden Coast Scenic Byway. Experience this town with a strong timber heritage. September brings the annual Loggers Playday complete with a parade, pancake breakfasts, salmon dinner and timber sports competition.
The heritage also surrounds you at the Polson Museum. This restored mansion overflowing with antiques and area history, is complemented with a gift shop, picnic area and rose garden.
Founded in 1976, this museum is a National Historic Site. It is a gift to the city of Hoquiam and county of Grays Harbor by the Arnold Polson family; In addition to Loggers Playday, the Polson hosts events including River Open House in mid-July and a Holiday Open House during the Christmas season.
Historic homes are a must-see as your travel through Hoquiam including Hoquiam Castle Bed & Breakfast. Constructed in 1897, this extension mansion boasted all the comfort amenities of East Coast mansions of the time. Privately owned, it is open for tours as well.
The restored 7th Street Theatre is Washington's last remaining atmospheric theatre. Extensive work has restored the majesty of a Spanish court beneath a starlit sky. And there's even real butter on the popcorn! The theatre offers a film series, children's live theatre and more to enjoy year-round.
Make a stop on 28th Street. By the water is the Port Viewing Tower, a pedestrian tower and boat launch. You'll be overlooking the Port of Grays Harbor.
Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge a year-round place for sighting shorebirds. Walking trails about 1,800 feet long is the home to the Grays Harbor Shorebird Festival in the spring.
The refuge, also known as Bowerman Basin lies within the Pacific Northwest Coast Ecoregion. With 1,500 acres of salt marsh and mudflats, this is the host site to thousands of shorebirds. This is along a 7,000-mile journey from South America to their nesting grounds in the Arctic.
Grays Harbor is one of four major estuaries for migrating shorebirds in North America. Bowerman Basin, along with five other sites amid the estuary are designated as Washington State Important Bird Areas.
Shorebirds you may sight in order or frequency are:
- Western Sandpiper
- Short-billed Dowitcher
- Semipalminated Plover
- Black-bellied Plover
- Red Knots
- Least Sandpipers
Directions: Drive west out of Hoquiam on State Route 109, junction of Paulson Road. Take Paulson Road south to the sewage treatment lagoon. Turn right on Airport Way, past lagoon. Park across from the former Lana's Hangar Cafe by the refuge kiosk. Walk around the gate and west to the end of the hangars. Proceed on the one-mile Sandpiper Trail and boardwalk to the shorebird-viewing area.