From Growing to Gastronomy ~ A Farm to Table Experience
Colorful shops, great seafood, comfortable lodging, small museums, horseback riding, and an expansive beach may be some of the reasons that Forbes Traveler named the Long Beach Peninsula one of “America’s Favorite Beach Towns.” There is another side to this area and that is the rich soil that abounds in the valleys, of which produces some of the finest foods around.
Say “Cheese!”, as this tour begins with the visitation of a selection of the artisan cheese makers. Visitations to the creameries in the Adna/Boisfert Valley region will allow you to taste cheeses with names like, “Black Sheep Tomme” or Queso de Oveja. And that is just the beginning…there are four farms producing delicious tasting cheese for you to experience.
Arriving to the Peninsula, a gourmet lunch awaits you at the in Seaview. Their purpose is to provide a casual, warm and friendly dining experience, and by taking advantage of and featuring seasonally available foods you can be assured of mouthwatering delicacies including the locally caught seafood.
After lunch, you will be visiting two sustainable farms; one grows organic vegetables and fruit, the other features blueberries and cranberries. The cranberry has been here for centuries as the Native Americans used it to flavor the dried salmon during the winter months. But you will learn this and more at the Cranberry Museum…and the gift shop is an experience in itself!
Chef and owner, Nancy Main will to tell you about your dinner menu, where and when the main ingredients came from and how they are prepared. Save room for dessert….mmm good!
To round out the first day, a walk along the beach or on the boardwalk under the stars is in order, then a night cap at the historic Shelburne Inn Pub.
Oysters! Once worth many times their weight in gold; at the height of the California gold rush, these bivalves would bring $1.00 each…In the mid 1800s that was a lot of money! Learn how to shuck them, and what it takes to be an oyster farmer! Nibble on succulent shelled Dungeness crab claws with house-made cocktail sauce or munch on Willabay ™ Spiced Dried Cranberry and Pecan Mix. If the season is right, you will be assisting Andrea with a clam dig! With your guide, you will walk the historic streets and hear the stories of this once very famous ‘Boom Town’
Leadbetter Point, home to the Willapa Bay National Wildlife Refuge and a guided trail walk to the beach will sharpen your appetite for the delicious box lunch prepared by the Bailey’s Bakery and Café.
Enjoy that dessert, because this afternoon you will be trekking or riding a bicycle along the coastal walkway of the Discovery Trail. Starting at Northern Terminus of the Trail, your guide will be pointing out Clark’s Tree, The Basalt Monolith, Bolstad Arch, and the Grey Whale skeleton. The coach will be meeting you at the Port of Ilwaco. After refreshments on the Pier, get ready for another adventure, this time experiencing what a coastal rainforest is all about with a guided walk through the Cape Disappointment State Park. Ready to get warm with a hot cup of coffee, tea or chocolate? If so, the afternoon respite will surely satisfy your taste buds! Before heading back to the hotel, a stop for organic products and snacks is on the itinerary for your late night cravings…or for tomorrow’s adventure!
Clam Shell Railroad, just the name conjures all sorts of images, but tonight you will be dining in one of the original depots that served this area for years. Enjoy watching the Chef/Owner prepare your dinner of freshly caught seafood. Before retiring, you can choose to either enjoy a nightcap at a local lounge, or a bonfire and presentation by the Ranger back at Cape Disappointment.
Leaving the Peninsula this morning, your first stop will be to meet with an owner/farmer that grows much of the produce used by the area’s restaurants throughout the year! Kayaking on the quiet inlets near Skamokawa is a great way to introduce this sport to those that have never experienced this mode of transportation before. After lunch, be on the lookout for the White Tailed Deer that make their home on the Julia Butler Hansen National Wildlife Refuge.
Puget Island, home to the scheduled afternoon farm tour, and the opportunity for you to choose and pick your own vegetables for the dinner salad that will be served later in the day. After the hand crafted dinner prepared just for you, the evening will draw to a close with a campfire and S’mores.
After your hearty farm breakfast, an Italian cooking class is on the schedule. Your instructors, owners of the establishment, have learned classic dishes and sauces plus the secrets for perfecting Tiramisu and how to make the best Cannoli this side of Palermo! A sack lunch prepared just for you as you begin your tours of the local farms on the way to Centralia. Dinner this evening will be at a restaurant renowned for the handmade maize tortillas and sought out for the carnitas, chicken mole and chile verde.