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The Washington State International Kite Festival is August 18-24 on the Long Beach Peninsula. (Photo Courtesty: flickr Creative Commons user: Katrina Br*?#*!@nd)

Road Trip: Go fly a kite on Washington's Long Beach Peninsula

Washington's Long Beach Peninsula is beautiful year-round; a 28-mile stretch of open and peaceful white sand, lightly crashing waves, and green, rolling grass.During August though, the beach becomes a different place, full of families, food, and bright, colorful kites taking over the blue sky. This year, the Washington State International Kite Festival is taking place August 18-24. It's a weeklong festival and competition that's been held every year since 1970.

One of the main draws of the festival is the competition that brings in famous kite fliers from all around the world, including this year's featured fliers: Bob Cruikshanks from the UK and Loik Lamalle from France.

There are Ballet and Precision competitions during the festival. Ballet is when competitors choreograph routines to the music of their choice and Precision is when there is no music and competitors fly three pre-determined figures with a short freestyle at the end.

The kite flyers are also attempting a World Record this year, when 100 kites and pilots will work together, in unison, for coordinated team flying. (The previous record was 64 kites and pilots, set in 2010.)

You certainly don't have to be a kite flying expert to enjoy the festival. There are plenty of opportunities for kids to fly kites, flying lessons, and even fireworks on the beach.

What to eat in Long Beach

Breakfast: Cottage Bakery and Delicatessen. You can't go wrong when you order any of the pastries at this bakery in Long Beach. Locals love the Devil Dogs, cream cheese croissants, and Cherry Pockets. There's also a big plate of biscuits and gravy available for anyone who doesn't love too much sugar in the morning. Warning: They only accept checks and cash.

Cottage Bakery and Delicatessen
118 Pacific Ave S
Long Beach, WA 98631
Lunch: Surfer Sands. Even though it's about as far away from the East Coast as you can get in the U.S., they've got authentic Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches at Surfer Sands. They use Cheez Whiz and the chip steak is really thinly sliced. They make their own bread at Surfer Sands and there are also plenty of options for the vegetarian in your family.

Surfer Sands
1113 Pacific Ave S
Long Beach, WA 98631

Dinner: Pickled Fish. The Pickled Fish is located in the Adrift Hotel and has some of the best fish and chips around. There's often live music on the weekends and it's a great place for relaxing with a glass of wine after a long day on the beach.

Pickled Fish
409 Sid Snyder Dr
Long Beach, WA 98631

Other activities

Visit the World Kite Museum. If you're in town for the kite festival you should definitely stop by the World Kite Museum. It has more than 1,500 kites from 26 different countries. There are exhibits explaining how kites have been used for entertainment, industry, and even scientific experimentation. Admission is five bucks for adults and three for kids.

World Kite Museum
303 Sid Snyder Drive
Long Beach, WA 98631

Go surfing. The Long Beach Peninsula is a fantastic place to learn how to surf. Water temperatures are usually about ten degrees warmer than anywhere else in the northwest, so your time spent in the water is much more pleasant. (You'll still definitely need a wetsuit though.) You should never surf alone and always know how to identify a rip tide before getting in the water. Skookum Surf Company offers lessons if you're just beginning at the sport.

Skookum Surf Co.
1220 48th Place
Seaview, WA 98644

Camp by some lighthouses. Cape Disappointment State Park is nearby at Ilwaco, and you can take a hike and set up camp near the two lighthouses located there. The Cape Disappointment Lighthouse is the oldest functioning lighthouse on the west coast after was named after British fur trader John Meares when he couldn't find the river's mouth in 1788.