Years ago while my kids were growing up, we used to take our horses to the ocean every summer. We stayed in Ocean City at a little RV park about a block from the ocean. Up a very small hill behind the campground they had an old barn and corral with an open field where people with horses could camp. There was a horse-friendly campground closer to the water, but the tiny corrals there had very unsafe looking fencing where a horse could easily injure itself as well as no shelter for them so we never stayed there. I have no idea if either place still exists.
From the beach access road in Ocean City we would ride up north. The first year we went there the river running alongside the beach ended before the beach access road in Copalis. Extending ever northward, the river worked its way through that road at some point while we were still going there, and to this day the beach access road is still closed as they never built a bridge over the river like the access points south of there have. Our favorite area to ride was north of there as at that time horses were allowed in the water in areas where cars could drive, but could not pass through the clam beds in areas where they were not. Cars were allowed north from Copalis, but could not get there without the access road so we could ride in the water without worrying about any cars on that stretch of beach. When we were recently at the beach north of there the signs at all the access points gave seasonal times for cars being allowed, but none of them had any permanent open or closed areas. I don’t know if the entire beach is like that now or if the places further south still have open and closed areas. It was summer when we used to go there and all the places we saw recently had no cars allowed throughout the summer, where back then in the Ocean Shores area the beach was full of cars.
Back then I knew there were towns north of Ocean City. I’d heard of Copalis, Pacific Beach, and Moclips. I had never heard of Seabrook though until we took a trip out to Moclips recently. Turns out that’s because back in the day Seabrook did not exist. It’s a totally planned community first established in 2004, past the time we were bringing horses out to the sea. Which explains why I’d never heard of it.
We took a drive through Seabrook on our recent trip to the area. Strangely enough the first impression of all 3 people in our car was that the place was creepy. While it’s not what you would find in a scary movie, it was more the sameness of everything. Rows of homes all looking pretty much the same, and like they were all built at the same time. It reminded my sister of the Stepford Wives, a story where a perfect seeming town has replaced all the wives with robots. It reminded me of a fake Disney town. It also could have passed for a movie set because of the seemingly un-realness of the place.
Some of the first streets we drove down had houses solidly lining both sides of the street with no driveways or garages. A solid line of parked cars filled both sides of the road leaving a narrow passageway barely wide enough for one car to squeeze through on a two-way street. Farther into the development places were more likely to have garages or driveways. We went past a small crowded business area near the entry and found a tiny house cabin section, a dog park, and a playground farther up. We didn’t go far enough to find the stables that John’s sister and husband found when they went there to explore after hearing of our brief visit there. We thought the tiny houses were the cutest homes there.
Nearly the whole town is on the opposite side of the highway from the beach and most places have no ocean view. It does lose the initial creepy feeling after driving around there for awhile, but would not be my choice of a location to stay for a beach weekend. Apparently a lot of people like it though as the place is crawling with vacation homes and rentals. Buying one costs a fortune, but vacation rentals can be found for a reasonable price, probably due to the amount of competition.
Online research of Seabrook shows homes must adhere to strict guidelines, which explains the sameness from one home to another. This planned community incorporated parks and trails into their design as well as shopping and an indoor heated pool, sports courts, and fitness center. It’s designed for residents and visitors to be able to walk easily throughout the town. There is beach access through several pedestrian trails as well as by road.
While this town seems to be many people’s idea of the perfect vacation getaway, we were far happier at the out-of-town place with an awesome beach view where we stayed in nearby Moclips.
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