150 years ago, this quaint community was first settled by Finnish immigrants, who established many cranberry farms, some of which are still in operation today. Some of the locals own and operate small "mom and pop" businesses. You will find restaurants - from fine dining to good home cooking with strawberry shortcake and delicious homemade pies. There are several roadside gift and antique shops, as well as motels offering private cottages with complete kitchens and all amenities with beach access.
Grayland offers breathtaking sunsets with miles upon miles of pristine beaches that never seem to end. Taking a relaxing stroll you will find people riding horseback, a father helping his children fly a kite, children playing at the waters edge or building sandcastles. As you walk along, you may find sand dollars, colored ocean glass - naturally shaped and tumbled by the sea, agates with an amazing variety of colors, seashells or even green hand-blown Japanese glass balls that have been floating around - lost in the ocean for many years. You just never know what jewels that the ocean will bring from distant shores. Each day has its own supply of treasure to explore as you comb Grayland's magical and driftwood scattered shores.
Meandering along you may take a seat on a large piece of driftwood. Watch the waves lapping at the shore, as a grandfather helps his excited grandson reel in his very first fish. Out a ways, you see a fishing boat bobbing along or maybe even a whale blowing in the distance.
On you're way down the beach, stop to explore a dune trail, search for a few of the much sought after and delicious chanterelle mushrooms. A pheasant suddenly darts out from under a clump of long dune grass. In the top of a dead snag, you see a bald eagle watching your every move. Migrating geese sound off as they fly just overhead. As you continue your journey, you pass by a hundred sandpipers spread like a wave before you on the water's edge.
While in Grayland, go back in time with a visit to the Cranberry Museum or take a drive through the nearby cranberry farms. On many of the farms, you will find that they still put into use little track cars on miniature steel railroad tracks.
Many of these farms have small ponds filled with tadpoles, frogs, fish, mallard ducks, salamanders, and freshwater clams. You may even see a Great Blue Heron, Canadian geese or even a pair of beautiful, white long necked swans. It is not uncommon to see huge Roosevelt elk or a black bear in the outlying areas.
Visit Grayland's Historic Community Hall, from a time gone by, built in the early 1930's. This is where the annual Cranberry Harvest Festival is held, as well as many other community events and festivals. Grayland is about 5 miles south of Westport on State Route 105.
(Photo courtesy of http://graylandhall.org/)
Westport, WA is located at the mouth of Grays Harbor on the southernmost peninsula known as Point Chehalis. The area was in regular use as a summer resort by local Native American tribes before Thomas Barker Speake and his family, the first white settlers, arrived early in the summer of 1857.
By 1914, Westport was a busy, though small center for fishing, shell fish harvesting, seafood processing and tourism. Among the earliest structures built at Westport, the Westport Lighthouse, dedicated on April 14, 1898, still stands as a majestic beacon for weary mariners anxious to return home from the sea. The City of Westport was incorporated on June 26, 1914.
Today, Westport with a population of 2345 still relies on fishing, shellfish harvesting, seafood processing and tourism for much of its livelihood. More recently, boat building has also become an important part of Westport's economic base.