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One of the places we visited while in the Pacific Northwest was Ruby Beach in Olympic National Park. We wanted to visit during low tide so we could maybe see some aquatic life in the nooks and crannies, and evening was the perfect time for our schedule since we had limited time in the area. For a first-time visit, we scratched the surface of Olympic National Park, and now we know we want to visit again someday.

Earlier in the afternoon, we arrived in Forks, Washington. That’s right. The setting Stephanie Meyer chose for her Twilight books. We found some of the locations that inspired the different locations in the books, and we checked out the Twilight Forever exhibit in town. We had dinner in La Push (baby!) and even stayed in a Twilight-themed room at the Pacific Inn in Forks. To read all about that adventure, click here.

But this area of the United States is more than just Twilight. Beauty is bountiful, and Olympic National Park is a great place to experience that beauty. If beaches are on your list, you can also check out Beach 1, 2, 3, and 4 in the area; just be respectful of areas on Native reservations. The only other part of Olympic National Park we explored on this trip was the Hoh Rainforest.  Simply magical!

Hoh Rainforest

Evening at Ruby Beach

Since we have very little knowledge of beaches and tides, we checked the times on the Internet for low tide.  We timed our dinner at La Push so that we could experience this as well as the sunset at the beach. This plan worked for us, and after dinner, we found ourselves in the parking lot for Ruby Beach.

Ruby Beach

You do have to take a short trail from the parking lot to the beach, but the views are gorgeous.

Ruby Beach

When we arrived at the beach, there were very few people. More people showed up a tad later, as you can see above. That picture is actually from when we left the beach; I looked back and grabbed this shot. But at first, I think there were only two other parties there.  For reference, it was July.

Ruby Beach

One thing we’ve learned from visiting west coast beaches is that the water is much colder than Florida, Mississippi, or South Dakota. Obviously, those places are farther south than Washington, but even in Los Angeles in June, I didn’t feel like getting in the water above my knees. Here, it was even colder, of course. Our feet were freezing, but it’s worth it to get the sand between your toes.

Ruby Beach

It’s kind of funny to wear long sleeves and sweatshirts at the beach in the summer, but it was cold!

Ruby Beach

Another thing we found interesting is that on the east coast, you usually don’t have a lot of large boulders and small islands along the beach.

Ruby Beach

At low tide especially, these formations allowed for some cool exploring.

Ruby Beach

They also allowed us to see our first starfish in the wild!

Ruby Beach

After some more exploring, we saw another one, along with these green sea anemone, another first for us to see in the wild.

Ruby Beach

Once we found the sea anemone, we saw them everywhere.

Ruby Beach

Sunset at Ruby Baech

Ruby Beach

As the sun goes down, the beach is even more stunning.

Ruby Beach

At times, the water glazes the sand, making it look like it’s covered in glass.

Ruby Beach

As the sun goes down, it’s fun to explore the shadows.

Ruby Beach

Ruby Beach

The shadows are fun, but it is cooler out of the sun. Did I mention it was cold?

Ruby Beach

I love that the little boulder islands still support trees and other plants.

Ruby Beach

The clouds are rolling in over the ocean.

Ruby Beach

My beach kid can’t stay out of the water no matter how cold it is. At least now she has her sweatshirt on.

Ruby Beach

All too soon, it was dark enough to consider going home. We still had a short trail to navigate and a short drive to the motel where Edward and Jacob were waiting in our Twilight-themed room.

We had a great time, but it didn’t take much persuasion to get us to seek the warmth of the car. Even if it’s summer, be sure to bring layers of clothing for exploring the beach. This is a great memory for our family, and I would encourage everyone to make Ruby Beach, or one of the other beaches in the area, part of your Pacific Northwest adventure!

To read about some of our other adventures, click below!

Virginia Beach

Malibu Beach

Red Water Tours–St. Augustine

Ruby Beach
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  1. how cool! We went to Ruby beach, but hadn’t checked the tide schedules so we didn’t see starfish or anything. And I really wanted to! Now I know for next time!

  2. What a lovely experience! Thank you for sharing it with us. I think it would be so much fun to explore tide pools during low tide someday. Not to mention, I really really want to dip my toes in the Pacific Ocean.

  3. Sunrise at low tide looks and sounds like a beautiful experience at Ruby Beach in Olympic National Park. And I would love to visit the filming locations of Twilight.

  4. Your pictures of Ruby Beach are absolutely gorgeous! And that starfish…so cool. I hope I can visit Olympic National Park someday.

  5. I am kind of a fan of visiting places in books and movies. I would love to go!

  6. Cindy Moore Reply

    Ruby Beach looks gorgeous! And the cold was a surprise, but I guess it is far north.

  7. We loved visiting Ruby Beach in Olympic National Park. I think that we visited during low tide to see all the sea creatures. It is a beautiful location.

  8. I can see why low tide at Ruby Beach in Olympic National Park is the best time to visit. How great to see so much sea life.

  9. WOW! You are correct! Low tide is the time to really enjoy this treasure of a place! How interesting is this place! Ruby Beach in Olympic National Park is definitely on my list!

  10. Lisa, Casey, Barrett Dog Reply

    Ruby Beach is gorgeous! Thank you for taking us along on your adventure. The starfish was incredible!!

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