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Learning About the Region's History

Aberdeen and Hoquiam together comprise the largest urban area on the Washington coast and have long been dependent on the lumber industry that once made this a very prosperous part of the state. If you're interested in the region's history, stop by the Polson Museum, 1611 Riverside Ave., Hoquiam (tel. 360/533-5862; www.polsonmuseum.org), which has rooms full of antique furnishings and also houses various collections of dolls, vintage clothing, Native American artifacts, and logging memorabilia. The museum is open April through December, Wednesday to Saturday from 11am to 4pm, and Sunday from noon to 4pm; in other months, its hours are Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4pm. Admission is $4 for adults, $2 for students, and $1 for children 11 and under. The Aberdeen Museum of History, 111 E. Third St., Aberdeen (tel. 360/533-1976; www.aberdeen-museum.org), has similar displays and is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm; admission is by donation.

If you aren't here during the whale-watching season, you can at least have a look at a couple of whale skeletons at the Westport Maritime Museum, 2201 Westhaven Dr., Westport (tel. 360/268-0078; www.westportwa.com/museum). Housed in a 1939 Coast Guard station, the museum contains Coast Guard exhibits, displays on early pioneer life in the area, and, in a glass-enclosed building outside, the skeletons of a minke whale, a gray whale, and part of a blue whale. April through September, the museum is open daily from 10am to 4pm; October through March, it's open Friday to Monday from noon to 4pm. Admission is $3 for adults and $1 for children ages 5 to 14, free for children 4 and under. Nearby, you'll find the Grays Harbor Lighthouse, which was built in 1898 and is the tallest lighthouse in Washington. Tours of the lighthouse are operated by the Westport Maritime Museum and cost $3. The lighthouse is open the same hours as the museum, but is closed in December and January. From the museum, you can walk the Maritime History Trail to reach the lighthouse.

Pirates of the Caribbean North?

The wind in the rigging, the smell of the salt air. If you long for the life of a pirate or dream of being your own master and commander, then plan to visit Gray's Harbor on one of the rare occasions when the Lady Washington is here in her home port of Aberdeen. This tall ship, a replica of one of the ships Capt. Robert Gray sailed when he first explored the Northwest coast in 1788, was used in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. When she's in port, the Lady Washington docks behind the Wal-Mart at Seaport Landing, 320 S. Newell St. (tel. 800/200-5239 or 360/532-8611; www.historicalseaport.org), and dockside tours are scheduled. Three-hour sail excursions are also offered occasionally.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.