12 SENSATIONAL SEATTLE BEACHES YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS

The oldest joke with Seattle locals is that summer doesn’t start until July 5th. You may think it’s a joke — that is, until you find yourself fully bundling up to visit the Emerald City in June.

Seattle is the largest city in Washington State. It is a bustling place surrounded by majestic scenery on all sides. To the west you’ll view the Olympic Mountains and to the east, the Cascade Range. Right in front of you is the Puget Sound. At its core is a rich coffee culture, a love of sports (Go Seahawks and Mariners), and a hub for the tech industry — particularly Amazon and Microsoft.

Even with its coastal location and waterfront access, Seattle may not be the first place you think of when looking to plan a beach vacation. Seattle beaches may not be your typical sandy beach with palm trees, but they’re not any less charming or beautiful. To stand on the beaches of Seattle is to feel the magic of the rugged Pacific Northwest. The rocky shoreline, cold breeze, and gray skies create a unique atmosphere that you just need to experience once to fall in love with.

Nonetheless, if you’re looking to plan a visit to Seattle to enjoy water activities, the best time to book your trip would be in August. While the air is warm enough for a pleasant visit to a Seattle beach in July, the water temperature reaches its peak the following month. We rounded up 12 Seattle beaches you’ll want to add to your bucket list this summer!

ALKI BEACH

12 SENSATIONAL SEATTLE BEACHES YOU DON'T WANT TO MISS

A trip to Seattle would simply not be complete without a trip to Alki Beach. Alki Beach is a 2.5 mile stretch of sandy beach located in West Seattle. It runs from Duwamish Head to Alki Point.

Even though the water in the Pacific Northwest may not be the warmest, you’ll find locals here all summer long sunbathing and enjoying the ocean. Not only is Alki Beach perfect for basking in the sun, it also is an interesting spot for history buffs.

The Point Lighthouse is one of 8 lighthouses on the Puget Sound. Inside you’ll find old Coast Guard instruments and photographs/charts of the Sound. Tours of the lighthouse are available on occasion! You can check their website for the most up to date information.

12 SENSATIONAL SEATTLE BEACHES YOU DON'T WANT TO MISS

DISCOVERY PARK

SEATTLE BEACHES - DISCOVERY PARK

Discovery Park is Seattle’s greatest gem in my opinion! It is the largest city park in the area, and does a great job of tying in the unique elements of the city while offering a peaceful haven from all the hustle and bustle.

The park itself showcases a healthy balance of Pacific Northwest landscape such as rugged seaside cliffs, wild sand dunes, and lush forests. As if the drive there isn’t scenic enough, the beaches provide the most stunning views in Seattle…I might even argue in Washington State!

The 534 acre park sits atop the Magnolia Bluff overlooking the Puget Sound, and also reveals both the Cascade Range and the Olympic Mountains in the distance. While you’re in the area, make sure to stop by Olympic Sculpture Park, an awesome waterfront park that features lots of greenspace.

GOLDEN GARDENS PARK

GOLDEN GARDENS PARK

Golden Gardens Park is located in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, a hip and trendy waterfront neighborhood that remains strong in its Scandinavian heritage. It is located atop the Puget Sound with water on two sides and has some of the best views of the Olympic Mountains — even from the parking lot!

The park itself is 87 acres and can cater to any of your outdoorsy desires. Let your dog get their energy out in the off-leash area. Spend the day sunbathing on the sandy beaches or hiking through the forest trails. Gather the whole family for a picnic or a volleyball tournament, then spend the evening visiting different breweries in town before roasting marshmallows around the campfire!

SEATTLE BEACHES: GREEN LAKE PARK AND BEACH

GREEN LAKE PARK AND BEACH

Green Lake Park is located in Seattle’s north central urban area, and is one of the more popular parks in the city. Locals and tourists both love to use the waterfront paths for recreational activities such as biking, running, and walking. Others use the fields for playing tennis or throwing around a baseball with friends. No matter how you choose to do so, Green Lake is definitely the best place for those looking to be active.

Green Lake Park is perfect for those who love to be on the water, as it is home to multiple access points for boats and two popular Seattle beaches: East Green Lake Beach and West Green Lake Beach. Swimming is permitted at both of these beaches when lifeguards are on duty from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

KALALOCH AND RUBY BEACH

KALALOCH AND RUBY BEACH

Ruby Beach and Kalaloch Beach are located along the southwestern edge of the Olympic Peninsula in Olympic National Park. Kalaloch Beach is a great place for bird watchers, as bald eagles and other coastal birds make their home along the shores.

OK. We know these are a little further out from Seattle than the others, but they are worth mentioning, for sure. You can stay the night right on the beach at the Kalaloch Lodge or at one of Kalaloch’s 175 campsites. Be sure to make a reservation well in advance if you’re planning to stay at Kalaloch as campsites fill up quickly!

Ruby Beach is just north of Kalaloch where the Hoh River meets the Pacific Ocean. It’s a picture perfect Pacific Northwest beach featuring rugged seaside cliffs, rocks, and floating driftwood. My absolute favorite day trip from Seattle is spent hiking through the Hoh Rainforest in the morning and watching the sunset at Ruby Beach in the afternoon!

SEATTLE BEACHES: CARKEEK PARK

CARKEEK PARK

Carkeek Park expands 220 acres in Northwest Seattle. It offers gorgeous views of the Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains. Carkeek Park has 6 miles of hiking trails through lush forests, swampy creeks, and meadows. It is home to one of only two salmon runs in the city of Seattle, and hosts many outdoor educational programs such as the Salmon In The Classroom program.

Carkeek Park’s beach is great for sunbathing, swimming, and has one of the best tide pools in the city! During low tide there is nearly 20 acres of exposed marine life to explore! Bring the kids and experience all the animals that would normally be under the surface.

SALTWATER STATE PARK

SALTWATER STATE PARK

Saltwater State Park is a sandy shoreline getaway located on the Puget Sound halfway between Tacoma and Seattle. It is one of the most popular parks in Washington state, and for good reason! It is a popular area for scuba diving, as it features an underwater artificial reef.

You can participate in a variety of other activities in the park too, such as camping, hosting a barbeque, or renting kayaks.

LOWMAN BEACH PARK

LOWMAN BEACH PARK
Courtesy of Lowman Beach Park

Lowman Beach Park is West Seattle’s small saltwater shoreline. It has a grass area with tennis courts and swings just above the beach. One unique feature about the beach is that the entire thing is available for hand carry boat launch. Spend the day playing tennis and then bring the boat out for sunset!

SEATTLE SWIMMING BEACH OPTIONS WITH A LIFEGUARD ON DUTY

SEATTLE SWIMMING BEACH OPTIONS WITH A LIFEGUARD ON DUTY

MADRONA BEACH

Madrona Park and Beach is located on Lake Washington right along the waterfront. It has a wooded area with hiking trails and picnic tables. It has a waterfront jogging path and a grassy beach with a swimming area. Bring a picnic and the whole family for an ideal summer day on the beach!

MADISON PARK BEACH

Madison Park is a grassy park located along Lake Washington. It’s known for its friendly and relaxing vibe, and the residents work hard to maintain that reputation. The park has a large grass area to lounge on, tennis courts, and a sandy beach. The beach has bike racks, a well-maintained boathouse, and a swimming area with a play area for kids and a lifeguard on duty in the summertime

MOUNT BAKER BEACH

Mount Baker Park Beach is across from Lake Washington. It is an excellent place to take kids in the summer as it has a lifeguarded swimming area with diving boards. During other times of the year you’ll find local families taking their children to the playground, improving their skills on the tennis courts, or taking a stroll along the many paths in the park.

PRITCHARD ISLAND BEACH

Pritchard Island Beach is known for being peaceful and quiet as there are no boat ramps in the area. Instead, there are varying diving boards and a lifeguarded swim area.

Just south of the beach are the Pritchard Wetlands, which are definitely worth a visit during your stay! All of the plants here are native to west Washington State. You’ll want to spend a couple hours exploring the marshes and watching the wildlife. Keep an eye out for muskrats, herons, and frogs!

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