When you enter Westport, Washington, you’re greeted with this sign:
And that may sum it up. There’s a lighthouse, but kids under 40 inches tall aren’t allowed to climb the narrow, steep stairs. The under-construction aquarium offers only two tanks. The whale watching options can’t compete with well-developed tourism in Washington State’s San Juan Islands. The museum is OK (the fresnel light is impressive) but needs an infusion of funding for the kids’ area. The town’s streets don’t boast cute bookstores or toy shops. Most restaurants are iffy — lots of grease and meat for high prices.
But still, if you wrote it off, you’d miss moments like this:
You’d miss meeting the gregarious owner at Little Richard’s Doughnuts (2557 Westhaven Dr.), who handed off a bag of free doughnuts to us at the end of the day (We tipped very well). You’d miss eating coconut-topped, chocolate and old-fashioned o’s.
Westport may require you to bring your own food and find your own fun. But for creative visitors, that’s not too difficult to do. Westport is full of promise and potential — I’d love to see the empty storefronts full once more.
Where we stayed: This part is important, because you may find yourself hunkering down. We stayed in a very clean and up-to-date, kid-friendly condo at Vacations By the Sea — at a prime location right on the beach dunes. The two-bedroom condo offered a large kitchen, two bathrooms and two sets of bunkbeds. Outside, there’s a pool, hot tub, small playground and mini putt-putt. Highly recommended.