Groups exploring the southwestern Washington city of Long Beach can add a tasty culinary component to their tours, as the coastal peninsula is a major producer of cranberries. Ragan Myers, tourism and events coordinator for Long Beach Package Travel, has developed the Cranberry Coast Experience, which showcases the region’s most popular fruit.
“It’s an agricultural and culinary tour experience with cranberry ice cream, juices, teas and a host of other cranberry items to discover and purchase,” Myers says.
The fruit has been harvested in the area for more than a century, and its growth and production play a vital part in the local economy. Major manufacturer Ocean Spray has a receiving facility in the area, and more than 100 of the company’s co-op of 700 growers are located in Washington.
Myers says the prime months to visit are September, when the bog is a beautiful crimson color, and early October, when the harvest takes place.
As they tour the cranberry bogs and meet with local growers, groups can get a full picture of the maturation process and harvesting of the fruit. And, if the timing is right, there are even opportunities for guests to wade into the bogs.
One can’t-miss attraction is the Cranberry Museum in downtown Long Beach.
“A self-guided walking tour covers different varieties of cranberries, irrigation systems, and how crops are planted and cultivated,” she says. “And the gift shop offers groups a chance to stock up on cranberry souvenirs, teas and other locally themed gifts.”
Other popular stops include the Skamokawa Creamery, which adds cranberries to its artisan goat cheese; Cranguyma Farms, once the largest cranberry farm west of the Mississippi River; and Adrift Distillery, which produces a cranberry liqueur.
Top photo by Long Beach Peninsula Visitors Bureau
Support for Courier articles provided by:
Harbor 360 Hotel
The Huntington Library
Major Marine Tours
The Museum of Flight
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
Red Lion Hotel
Ronald Reagan Presidential Library