Jutting northward from the mouth of the Columbia River, the Long Beach Peninsula defines Washington's southwestern coastal geography. The picturesque blend of beach and forest along the river, Willapa Bay, and the Pacific Ocean was home to the Chinook Indians who first settled this region. European and American trade came to this area in the 18th century, opening the way for Lewis and Clark to explore and establish a land route to the Pacific. The region prospered because of its diverse natural resources and thriving fur trade. Today, a vibrant tourist industry fuels the Peninsula's continuing development.