Best Beaches in Seattle

Published Jul 24, 2017 | Updated May 8, 2019

The sun is out which means it’s time to pack your beach bag and hit up Seattle’s beaches. We’ve listed some of the city’s best beaches for you to visit with your family this summer.

Who doesn’t love spending a sunny day at the beach? Every family enjoys splashing in the water, jumping over the shallow waves, building sand castles, and soaking in the sun. So, pack your picnic baskets and hit the beach for a fun family trip. To help you get there, we’ve compiled a list of the 15 best beaches in Seattle!

1. Alki Beach

Alki Beach Park, located in West Seattle, is a 2.5 mile beach strip that runs from Alki Point to Duwamish Head on Elliott Bay. The entire beach offers spectacular views of Puget Sound, the Olympic Mountains, and the flotilla of ferries, sailboats, steamships that cruise through Puget Sound waters. The beach features low tides that reveal a wide expanse of sandy beach. It's loved amongst bicyclists, volleyball players, joggers, rollerbladers and sunbathers, especially during the summer. There are picnic tables, a bathhouse house, an art studio, and a restroom at the south end of the beach. There are several decent restaurants and cafés that run parallel to the beach. 

Photo Credit: Seatlle.gov website 

2. Golden Gardens Beach

Golden Gardens beach is Located in Ballard on Puget Sound. Like Alki beach, Golden Gardens has great views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. There's so much to do at Golden Gardens including walking along the sandy beach, hiking through the wetland trails, fishing from the pier and the boat launch, and building sand castles. The park has many amenities including free parking, picnic tables, restrooms, and snack bars nearby with ice cream, hotdogs, candy, and chips for purchase. And if you're into sports, also make sure to check out the park's volleyball and basketball courts. Dogs are not allowed on the beach. But the park has an off-leash area for dogs in the upper northern portion. With so much to do and amazing scenery, we recommend that you spend a full day here.

3. Discovery Park

Discovery Park is a 534 acre park on the shores of Puget Sound in the Magnolia neighborhood of Seattle, and it occupies most of the former Fort Lawton site. It's the city's largest public park and contains 11.81 miles of walking trails. Discovery Park offers spectacular views of both the Cascade and the Olympic Mountain ranges. You'll love looking out at the mountains across the water and frolicking through the grassy meadow lands. The park is one of the best places in the city to view wildlife, especially birds and marine mammals. A lighthouse is located at the westernmost point of the park - a great place to take photos of the kids! Boating access is also available.  


4. Green Lake Park

Green Lake is a favourite among Seattleites. It's a manmade lake that features grassy fields and sandy shores for you and the family to set up your towels and picnic baskets. There is a 2.8-mile path that circles the lake, which is perfect for a cycle or light walk. Green Lake has two popular swimming beaches, East Green Lake Beach and West Green Lake Beach, and you can also enjoy water activities like paddling and rowing, fishing and swimming. Children love swimming out to the floating dock. Amenities include a play area for children, bathrooms, and basketball courts. Lifeguards are on duty throughout the summer. During the summer months, we suggest that you get to the park early because the parking lot fills up and the beaches get crowded quickly. 

Photo Credit: Outdoor Project 

5. Madison Park Beach

Madison Park Beach truly is a great place to bring the kids. Located on Lake Washington, it's one of Seattle's most popular swimming beaches, and life guards are on duty from June 22 to September 2. Madison Beach has a grassy area where sunbathers can relax and enjoy a stunning view of the Cascade beyond. There's also a sandy shore along the water and children love swimming to the floating dock, which has a diving board. There's also a great playground, tennis courts, and restrooms. Once you're done playing at the beach, walk across the street and check out some local restaurants.

6. Myrtle Edwards Park

Myrtle Edwards Park is a 4.8-acre public park along the Elliott Bay waterfront north of Belltown. It features a 1.25-mile long bicycle and walking path along Elliott Bay. It offers fantastic views of the Olympics Mountains, Mount Rainier, Puget Sound and is a good place to see eagles, gulls, and crows. There are picnic tables, a fishing pier, and picnic areas, and it is easily accessible from downtown. It's a great place to read a book while the kids kick a soccer ball around on the grassy fields. 


Photo Credit: Seattle.gov website

7. Carkeek Park

Carkeek Park, a 216 acres park located in the Broadview neighbourhood of Seattle, has lush forest, meadows, wetlands, creeks, and a beach. The park contains Piper OrchardPipers Creek, play and picnic areas, picnic shelters, and hiking trails. We recommend visiting the park during a warm, early evening and packing a bbq dinner to cook on the outdoor grills. Make sure to stay until sunset to get spectacular views of the the sun setting over the olympics.


Photo Credit: Seattle.gov website

8. Matthews Beach Park

Matthews Beach is a precious spot in North Seattle. It is Seattle's largest freshwater swimming spot, but its beach area is small. But there's still lots to love with a nearby picnic area with outdoor grills, a children's play area, basketball courts, a swimming raft, and lifeguards on duty from June 22 to September 2. 


9. Madrona Park

Madrona Park is a serene, 31.2 acre park located in the Madrona neighborhood. It lies on the western shore of Lake Washington and includes a wooded hillside that slopes down to a grassy beach and the swimming area. The sandy beach is small, but life guards are on duty from May 25 until August 25. It also features a jogging path along the Lake and picnic areas. Other amenities include a play area for children, a swimming raft, a diving board, and bathhouse. 

10. Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park is a 135-acre park in West Seattle between Fauntleroy Way S.W. and Puget Sound. The park is adjacent to the Fauntleroy neighborhood. It's one of Seattle's largest parks, and its attractions include a paved walkway along the beach, biking trails, tennis courts, baseball fields, picnic shelters, and a heated saltwater swimming pool during the summer. Kids love being on the look out for the over 300 species of birds that live in the park. Make sure to pack your binoculars! 


Photo Credit: Seattle.gov website

11. Denny-Blaine Park

Denny-Blaine Park is a 2-acre park in the Denny-Blaine neighborhood of Seattle. It's located on Lake Washington along and at the end of E. Denny-Blaine Place. It features a grassy beach, but if your kids want to swim keep an eye on them because there are no life guards on duty. 


12. Mount Baker Park

Mount Baker Park is a quirky park and beach area. Do what the locals do and jump off the floating raft, eat a picnic lunch at the picnic tables, or channel your inner Federer and practice your tennis skills at the tennis courts. There is a awesome playground for kids to let off some energy. Other amenities include a fishing pier, and restrooms, and lifeguards are on duty from June 22 to September 2. 

Photo Credit: Seattle.gov website

13. Pritchard Island Beach

Pritchard Island Beach is a small, quiet beach on the Western Shore of Lake Washington. The park has an amazing view of Seward Park to the north and Mercer Island to the east. The beach is surrounded by Pritchard Wetland of plants and wildlife. Amenities include a swimming raft and lifeguards on duty from June 22 to August 25.


Photo Credit: Spacefinder 

14. Seward Park

Seward Park is a municipal park which covers 300 acres and is located in southeast Seattle. The park has beautiful forest land, a 2.4 mile bike and walking path, an amphitheater, a native plant garden, an art studio, miles of hiking trails, shoreline, beaches and more. In other words, there's a lot to see and experience at Seward Park! The sandy section of the beach is small, but there's lots of room to lounge and play on the grass. 

Beach amenities include a swimming raft, a play area for children, and lifeguards on duty in the summer. Restrooms, picnic sites, and snacks are available nearby.

15. Me-Kwa-Mooks Park

Me-Kwa-Mooks Park is a 20.2-acre public park located in the West Seattle neighborhood. Me-Kwa-Mooks, meaning "shaped like a bear's head" and pronounced sbuh-KWAH-buks in Nisqually. Picnic tables are set up on the lawn at the park entry. The beach is rocky so bring some sturdy shoes so you and your kids can play in the water and hunt for sea critters. 







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