Seattle gets a bad rap for its grey and rainy winters, but summers are bliss with beautiful blue skies and plenty of sunshine. When the sun shines, locals head outdoors to hit the forests, mountains, and, of course, all the beautiful beaches in Seattle. The Emerald City is home to over 200 miles of shoreline, sprawling across everything from Pacific Ocean inlets to inland lakes. Whether you’re looking to laze in the sun, swim with the kids, or relax with a picnic, find the perfect stretch of sand around Seattle with this complete beach guide!
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Alki Beach Park
For sun, sand, and breathtaking views of the Olympic Mountains, Alki Beach Park is a gem! This beautiful stretch of shoreline has a long sandy beach perfect for beachcombing, sunbathing, or building sandcastles with the family.
You’ll find Alki Beach Park in the West Seattle neighborhood, a quick drive from downtown Seattle. Another fun option is taking a scenic water taxi ride from Pier 50 for an extra adventure.
Alki Beach is a hub for water enthusiasts. Take a dip, try paddleboarding, or explore in a kayak on the calm waters. Shallow waters are perfect for kids to play safely, and the sandy shores are ideal for building sandcastles.
A scenic paved path along the beach is perfect for biking, skating, or a leisurely walk. You can rent bikes or skates at nearby shops or enjoy a tranquil stroll with magnificent views of the Olympic Mountains, Puget Sound, and the iconic Seattle skyline.
When you get hungry, delightful restaurants and cafés are sprinkled around the park where you can grab an ice cream or dine on fresh local seafood. Alki Beach Park is renowned for its breathtaking sunsets, so hang around until the sun sinks.
Matthews Beach Park
Matthews Beach Park is a beautiful spot for a family-friendly day by the water. The sandy shoreline, picnic areas, and safe swimming are ideal for kids.
At Matthews Beach, you’ll find a lovely sandy shoreline perfect for picnicking, playing in the sand, and basking in the sun. The park has a designated swimming area with a lifeguard during the summer months.
Abundant grassy spots and picnic tables are perfect for a family barbecue, a game of frisbee, or simply spreading out a blanket and relaxing. There’s a fantastic playground for the little ones, with swings and slides.
If you’re into watersports, you can bring your kayak or paddleboard and launch from the park’s small beach area. Matthews Beach Park features sand volleyball courts, so gather your friends for a fun match by the water.
Madison Park Beach
Set on the shores of Lake Washington, Madison Park Beach is best known for its beautiful sandy beach and vibrant dining scene. Quaint cafés and local eateries line the coast and serve everything from sushi to seafood.
Madison Park, a popular seaside resort in the early 1900s, has retained much of its historic charm, with some of the original architecture still standing.
Expect a laid-back, peaceful ambiance with beautiful views of Lake Washington and lush green surroundings. The calm waters of Lake Washington are incredible for swimming. It’s also relatively shallow near the shore, perfect for kids and less experienced swimmers.
There’s a playground near the beach for the little ones, plenty of grassy areas, and picnic tables for a packed lunch. If you’re into tennis, well-maintained courts are nearby to enjoy a game with friends.
Nestled on the eastern shore of Lake Washington in Madrona Park, Madrona Beach has some of the finest views of Mount Rainier. Once a lakeside resort, this now quiet park has a lovely sandy shoreline with a gentle slope into the water.
Madrona Beach Park is in the Madrona neighborhood, about 3.5 miles from Downtown Seattle. It’s an easy drive or even a pleasant bike ride from the city center. The beach has a laid-back, family-friendly atmosphere, with a playground for the little ones and safe, shallow swimming areas, although the water is icy, even in summer!
A jogging path winds along the shores of the lake with lovely views, and grassy areas are perfect for enjoying a picnic. The calm waters of Lake Washington are ideal for paddleboarding and kayaking. You can bring your own equipment or rent it from nearby shops.
East Green Lake Beach
Take a refreshing dip in a 15,000-year-old glacial lake at East Green Lake Beach. Stretching along the eastern edge of Green Lake, this beach is a family-friendly urban oasis that offers a mix of water-based fun, picnicking, and outdoor recreation.
East Green Lake Beach offers a sandy shoreline, perfect for sunbathing, swimming, or enjoying a leisurely day by the water. The calm waters of Green Lake make it an ideal spot for swimming. The water is clear and relatively shallow near the shore, suitable for families.
You can explore the lake’s calm waters via paddleboarding or kayaking. Bring your own gear or rent it from local shops nearby. The Green Lake Park loop path is a favorite among walkers, joggers, and cyclists. It circles the lake, providing lovely views and an opportunity to exercise.
The park surrounding the beach has numerous picnic tables and grassy spots, making it perfect for a family picnic or a gathering with friends. A playground adjacent to the beach area is excellent for keeping the kids entertained and happy.
Tucked away in Magnolia’s Olympic Park, Pocket Beach is a quiet and peaceful spot if you want some downtime. Boasting serene nature and beautiful views, it’s ideal for escaping the hustle and bustle of the city.
An easy 20-minute walk from the Seattle Aquarium, this small and natural beach is named for its small and cozy nature. It has a unique charm that locals have cherished for generations. Pocket Beach offers breathtaking views of Puget Sound and the nearby Olympic Mountains. The sight is especially enchanting during sunset.
The rocky shoreline is perfect for beachcombing. You can find colorful stones, shells, and even the occasional piece of sea glass. There are picnic tables and benches for waterside picnics with scenic views.
Pocket Beach is not as crowded as some of the more well-known Seattle beaches, making it an excellent spot to relax. The laid-back ambiance and calming scenery create a quiet enclave for meditation, relaxation, and contemplation.
Pritchard Island Beach
Hiking, wildlife watching, and relaxing on the beach are some of the activities you can enjoy at Pritchard Island Beach. Located on Pritchard Island, which juts out into Lake Washington in the Rainier Beach area, this lovely beach has sandy shores, calm waters, and several hiking trails.
Established by Charles O. Pritchard in the early 1900s, Pritchard Island Beach has long been a cherished lakeside retreat for locals. You’ll find a sandy shoreline, ideal for sunbathing, picnicking, or playing in the sand.
The clear, calm, and shallow waters of Lake Washington make it an excellent spot for swimming. The beach boasts a fun playground where kids can burn off energy. Picnic tables and grassy spots for family gatherings surround the play area.
If you’re into fishing, cast a line off the pier and try your luck. Watch boats cruising by or enjoy the serene view. There are also volleyball courts for some fun in the sun.
Pritchard Island features walking paths and trails, allowing you to explore nature, observe local wildlife, and enjoy a bit of hiking.
Golden Gardens Park
Overlooking Shilshole Bay on Puget Sound, Golden Gardens Park offers a delightful blend of sandy shores, recreational activities, and extraordinary views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains.
Take a short drive from downtown Seattle to Ballard to find this urban gem, where you’ll find a rugged coastline, pristine sandy beaches, and two lush wetlands. Originally designed as a botanical garden in the early 1900s, Golden Gardens Park is now one of Seattle’s favorite spots for unwinding.
A lovely sandy beach is perfect for sunbathing, picnicking, or building sandcastles, and the cool waters of Puget Sound offer a refreshing respite on a warm day. If you’re into water sports, bring your kayak or paddleboard and explore the calm waters of the Sound. Explore the tidal pools during low tide to discover a world of marine life.
Golden Gardens is a hotspot for fishing and crabbing. Cast your line from the shore, or try crabbing off the pier. The beach has designated fire pits; evening bonfires are a local favorite. Bring some marshmallows and enjoy a cozy beachside bonfire.
Lowman Beach Park
Lowman Beach Park is a beautiful shoreline park in West Seattle with rocks and driftwood. This small seaside park offers a quieter escape from the city buzz and is perfect for a relaxing day by the water.
Named after Virgil G. Lowman, a prominent Seattle developer, Lowman Beach Park has been a local favorite spot since the early 20th century. A picturesque rocky shoreline is perfect for beachcombing and exploring tide pools during low tide.
Lowman Beach is an excellent spot for kayaking, paddleboarding, and skimboarding with calm, clear waters. A large grassy lawn has a playground for children, offering a fun and interactive space to keep the little ones entertained. There are also plenty of picnic tables for relaxing over lunch.
Lowman Beach Park offers captivating views of Puget Sound, making it an ideal place to relax and soak in the beauty of the water and the surrounding landscapes. The sight of boats sailing by and the backdrop of the Olympic Mountains on a clear day is even more breathtaking.
If you’re looking for a picturesque spot for sun and relaxation with your family, Colman Beach is a winner. Set in the Charles Richey Sr. Viewpoint Park, just south of the old Lake Washington Floating Bridge, it’s a lovely spot for a laid-back beach day.
Named after local advocate Charles Richey Sr., Colman Beach is part of the larger Alki Beach area, which has historical significance as the landing site of the first white settlers in Seattle in the mid-1800s. Stroll along the scenic waterfront promenade and watch the ferries float by in Elliott Bay.
A lovely sandy shoreline is perfect for sunbathing, picnicking, or relaxing by the water. There are grassy spots and picnic tables for an alfresco meal, and nearby basketball courts are available for a game of hoops. Fishing is a popular activity at Colman Beach, and it’s a great spot to cast your line.
Carkeek Park Beach
For a fantastic blend of sandy shores, nature exploration, and family-friendly activities, pack a picnic and head to Carkeek Park Beach. Set on the shores of Puget Sound in Carkeek Park, the beach has a beautiful sandy shoreline and breathtaking views.
You can explore the tide pools during low tide and discover fascinating marine life along the rocky shore. When you’ve had enough of the beach, lace up your boots and enjoy a hike on one of the park’s many trails, including the famous Piper’s Creek Trail. Wind your way through lush greenery and forested areas, enjoying the beauty of nature.
You can witness a remarkable natural spectacle in the park during the salmon spawning season. The salmon return to the creek, providing nature enthusiasts and families an incredible opportunity to learn about this vital lifecycle. Visit the park’s environmental learning center to learn more about the local ecosystem and salmon-bearing stream.
Richmond Beach Saltwater Park
Richmond Beach Saltwater Park is packed with fun things to do for the whole family. From scenic walks and picnicking to tidal pool exploration, this lovely beach is perfect for a day of nature and relaxation.
You’ll find Richmond Beach Saltwater Park in the Richmond Beach neighborhood of Shoreline, just north of Seattle. Once a beach resort in the 1920s, it’s popular for locals and visitors looking to escape the city.
Richmond Beach Saltwater Park features a beautiful rocky shoreline, perfect for exploring tide pools during low tide. It’s both fun and an educational experience for all ages. The rugged coast also provides excellent fishing opportunities, whether casting a line from the shore or trying your luck from the pier.
You’re in for a treat if you love nature walks and birdwatching. The park has well-kept walking trails that wind through its lush greenery of trees and native plants. Plenty of picnic tables and open grassy spaces are available for family picnics, gatherings, or a peaceful lunch in the fresh air.
The sunsets here are incredible, casting a romantic glow over Puget Sound. It’s an idyllic spot for an evening visit.