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The city of Longview is the largest and most prominent city in its statistical area. Coupled with its neighbor Kelso, Longview is one of the bigger cities in between Portland and Seattle. Before the arrival of settlers from back east, Longview was an ancestral burial ground for the Cowlitz indigenous people. When migrants from the East Coast began to uproot and move west, many settled in what is now Longview and Kelso. For over 70 years it remained a small, peaceful settlement until the Long-Bell Lumber Company decided to purchase large swaths of timberland around Cowlitz County. To support this massive industry, Longview was modified and upgraded to accommodate over the growing population. The city was finally incorporated in 1924, after the lumber company’s owner, Robert Long funded several government buildings.
Longview is still a prosperous city in the modern day, although it now benefits from a thriving tourism industry. Wonderful public parks, scenic riverfront, and dozens of historic landmarks make Longview an exciting place to rent an RV. When you book an RV in Longview, you will be close to several forests, parks, and, of course, the stunning Pacific Ocean shores. Interstate 5 is minutes from town, so getting to and from Longview is a breeze when you rent an RV and hit the open road.
When you first pick up your Longview RV rental, you might be wondering what sorts of places you can venture off to and find with it. Washington is a very nature-centric state so there are more options than you could possibly imagine. Seaquest State Park is a smaller park to the northeast, with several miles of hiking trails. Guests enjoy going for picnics at Seaquest State Park, as well as birdwatching, fishing, or swimming in Silver Lake. There is a great campground near the lake where you can stay with your Longview RV rental and a visitor center with a wealth of information about Mount Saint Helens. Speaking of Mount Saint Helens, the Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument is about 30 miles east of Seaquest State Park and is home to the ill-fated remnants of the infamous volcano that exploded back in 1980. The monument has an observatory from which you can see the ancient volcano and the massive crater on top of it. You can also climb the dormant volcano or hike through the thick evergreen forests.
Cape Disappointment State Park sports an unusual name for sure, but there is nothing at the park that will disappoint you aside from leaving it. The park has gently rolling hills, small lakes to hike to and around, old growth forest, and miles of coastline. The tidal saltwater marshes hold many different species of wildlife and there is a lovely old lighthouse on the beach that you can tour. Be sure to stay at least a night at the coastal campground with your Longview RV rental by owner.
Leadbetter Point State Park is yet another incredible state park on the Pacific coast, with white sand beaches and open views of the ocean. People enjoy beachcombing, collecting seashells, observing wildlife, birdwatching, hiking, fishing, boating, swimming, or simply watching the sunset over the water while at Leadbetter Point.
Washington is an excellent place to rent an RV, so naturally, there have to be some campgrounds and RV parks to stay at. Camp Kalama RV Park has riverfront access, with swimming, kayaking, canoeing, and fishing. This family-owned park also has its own bar and restaurant. Brookhollow RV Park has spacious, grassy camping sites, with meeting rooms, hiking trails, and a fitness center for guests to stay active while on vacation.
Toutle River RV Resort is north of Longview, with a heated pool, spa, patio, and clubhouse. Additionally, there are croquet courts, volleyball courts, mini golf courses, picnic areas, disc golf, and a general store to resupply.
Seaquest State Park, Leadbetter Point State Park, and Cape Disappointment State Park house just a few of the public campgrounds available in the area, with countless others in all directions.
Longview isn’t just a beautiful place to visit, it has an assortment of historic buildings scattered throughout town too. The Berwind-Purcell House, the Columbia Theater, Longview Community Church, the Willard Building, and R.A. Long High School are just a few of the many original buildings in town, many of which have been revitalized and preserved to retain their essence. The Cowlitz County Historical Museum does a fantastic job describing the origins of these buildings, as well as the year they were built. The entire county's history is eloquently explained by volunteer docents at this fantastic little institution.
The Lewis & Clark Bridge is a magnificent landmark that spans the mighty Columbia River between the states of Oregon and Washington. Named for the famous expedition that helped map out the western United States after the Louisiana Purchase, this impressive bridge has breathtaking views for those that walk across it. There is however another bridge in town, and it’s quite a bit smaller, to put it lightly. Nutty Narrows is the iconic bridge built for squirrels in 1963 by Amos Peters. The bridge spans one of the main roads in town giving squirrels a safe place to cross without getting hit by traffic. There is also a squirrel statue at the nearby park to add further intrigue to the squirrel-loving town.