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Coastal Interpretive Center

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 1033 Catala Ave SE, Ocean Shores, WA 98569-9761
Phone Number:
+1 360-289-4617
See all hours
Mon 10:00 - 14:00
Sat - Sun 10:00 - 16:00
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours

Hands-on learning experience, natural and cultural history of the area....

Hands-on learning experience, natural and cultural history of the area. Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday & Sunday; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday. No entry fee required, but donations are welcome.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 178 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 120
  • 39
    Very good
  • 16
  • 2
  • 1
great tourist stop

hands on exhibits, easy access, friendly people, local history. it's free admission , but even a small donation in their huge lobby jar helps to keep it going.

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 6 days ago
Marysue B
Ocean Shores, Washington
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178 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Time of year
Showing 178: English reviews
Ocean Shores, Washington
Level Contributor
21 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

hands on exhibits, easy access, friendly people, local history. it's free admission , but even a small donation in their huge lobby jar helps to keep it going.

Thank Marysue B
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 October 2016 via mobile

We really enjoyed this place. There were five children and they all loved this place. In fact, we went back twice. Nice exhibits but even nicer volunteers. They were so friendly and taught us so much!!!

Thank Christina H
Saskatoon, Canada
Level Contributor
97 reviews
69 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 October 2016

There is not much to see inside the small building, actually the garden area which is also small is half the attraction. Donation is the cost of entry and I would say that is all it is worth

Thank Terry E
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
172 reviews
50 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 October 2016

So, this is a smallish museum in appearance but loaded with fun, educational and factual displays, examples, well-written material and friendly staff. This superb museum houses an unrivaled collection of marine biology, flora and fauna from the Western U.S., geology, weather and all manner of sciences in-between. Plan to visit (weelends only during winter)...but plan on at least two hours... More 

1 Thank elgreco251
Aberdeen, Washington
Level Contributor
33 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 October 2016

I visited this center with a group of adults right before they changed to winter hours. I spent the entire time wishing my grandson was there with me. Almost everything is hands on and there is such a richness of historical items and natural biology of the area. You can spend hours in each room just reading the documents and... More 

1 Thank Michel G
Vancouver, Washington
Level Contributor
35 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 September 2016

Interesting free interpretive facility on the southern end of peninsula. Typical center spotlighting the artifacts and history of Ocean Shores. The facility is running out of operating funds and is in danger of closing down. Therefore the docents were particularly interested in pushing visitors to contribute money via raffle tickets, donations and the like. Somewhat off-putting and we will likely... More 

1 Thank Neil L
C_Interp_Ctr, Board of Directors at Coastal Interpretive Center, responded to this review

Neil L.: I would like to convey my sincere apologies with respect to the discomfort you felt regarding a donation to the Coastal Interpretive Center when you visited us in September. It is not our intention to greet visitors with high-pressure sales when they come in to enjoy our exhibits and grounds, but as you may have noticed, we do... More 

Level Contributor
63 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 September 2016

This is so well done. The only question we had as we left was why more communities cannot share their culture and history in this easy to view and understand method.

Thank Allen H
Spokane, United States
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 September 2016 via mobile

There's a lot packed into this little place. It may not look like much from the outside. But like beachcombing, the more you look, the more you'll find. Super friendly staff greets you at this free admission center, but I hope you'll be happy to give a donation once you experience it. Exhibits on animals (both land and sea), Indian... More 

2 Thank Dennis W
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 September 2016

Spend some time there to see and get a feel for the place; excellent information by expert personnel who were patient and gave of their time.

Thank Sandy P
Kent, Washington
Level Contributor
41 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 August 2016

Great place to stop in and learn about Ocean Shores as well as about the Olympic Forest area. The staff is very friendly and extremely child friendly.

Thank Sally253

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Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Coastal Interpretive Center and other visitors
1 question
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Moses Lake, Wa
3 months ago

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?