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The 15 Best Washington Beaches

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Washington Beaches are nearly as diverse as the diverse landscapes of the state overall. Many people (correctly!) associate Washington with rainy gray weather, but those can make for great beach days, Washington style! If you’re looking for a strip of sand to stretch out your beach towel and read, I got you. If you’re looking for a lonely and remote stroll to see tidepool animals, you’ll find it here. Want to take a five minute boat ride to a small sandy island with no services in the heart of an urban area, read on!

All of these Washington beaches are amazing in different ways, so get ready to get out and explore them with everything you need to know plan your perfect Washington beach day.

1 – Alki Beach, Seattle

Sunset behind the mountains at a Washington beach, Alki Beach in Seattle. It is getting dark and there are people sitting on logs on the beach, watching the sunset. There is a boat in the water
Spring sunset at Alki Beach in Seattle
  • Location: West Seattle
  • Why is it one of the best: So many reasons! Accessible by transit, excellent biking destination, amazing sunsets, great views of the mountains and Salish Sea, firepits, legit sandy beach experience in the middle of the city. This is one of the best beaches in Washington for a sand
  • Getting there: You can drive there (parking is VERY challenging in the summer, I recommend transit or biking if it’s a sunny day and not the middle of winter). For transit you can take the King County water taxi or Metro bus.
  • Cost: Free!
  • Services Available: bike rentals, kayak rentals or tours, picnic shelters, picnic tables, grills, firepits, lots of restaurants and coffee shops. Recent renovations have made the beach ADA accessible with the addition of a ramp.
  • Restrooms: Yes (cold water only), public restrooms in several locations. At the time of this writing the restrooms are NOT ADA accessible, however they are being improved for ADA compliance right now and should be available soon.
  • Other things to do: Great place for a bike ride or walk!

2- Owen Beach, Tacoma

  • Location: Pt Defiance in Tacoma
  • Why it’s one of the best: Located in Point Defiance park, this beach has views of Mt Rainier and the Salish Sea and is also located in an urban location
  • Getting there: You can drive here or take the bus
  • Cost: Free!
  • Services Available: Picnic shelters and tables, grills, kayak rental, the boardwalk near the beach is wheelchair accessible
  • Restrooms: Yes
  • Other things to do: walking trails, take the short ferry to Vashon Island, Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, shops and restaurants on nearby Ruston Way

3 – Jetty Island, Everett

  • Location: Everett
  • Why it’s one of the best: A sandy beach with great views in the middle of downtown that you get to by foot ferry? How awesome is that?? Also, the water is very shallow so it’s a LITTLE warmer than other Washington waters. This is probably THE BEST Washington beach for a sandy classic beach day experience
  • Getting there: You need to take a very short ferry ride to get to Jetty Island. You can park at the ferry landing ($3) or take transit to downtown Everett and walk to the ferry. If you have access to a boat you can go on your own.
  • Cost: The ferry costs $2 (usually free for part of mid summer).
  • Services Available: None available on the island, the island is not wheelchair or stroller accessible
  • Restrooms: there is a restroom by the dock
  • Other things to do: This is pretty much just an awesome beach day!

4 – Seward Park, Seattle

  • Location: Southeast Seattle
  • Why it’s one of the best: It’s part of a beautiful and large park that is home to many birds and old growth forest. Lake Washington gets warmer by late summer than the Salish Sea. They also have a lifeguard in the swimming area during summer months.
  • Getting there: You can drive (parking is challenging), bike or take the Metro bus
  • Cost: Free!
  • Services Available: Picnic shelters (though they are on the other side of the park from the beach) and grills, wide, paved, flat trail around the perimeter of the park for 2.5 miles, lifeguard in summer
  • Restrooms: Yes
  • Other things to do: this a great place for biking and walking (many miles of trails in the park)

5 – Lake Wenatchee, Leavenworth

kids and a dog wade in the water of a lake. There are rocks on the beach and forested hillsides in the background
The much quieter north side beach at Lake Wenatchee State Park
  • Location: Between Stevens Pass and Leavenworth on Highway 2
  • Why it’s one of the best: There’s a big well appointed campground nearby as well as small boat rentals. There’s a marked swimming beach on the south side of the river and a quieter, rockier beach on the north side if you prefer less services. This is also the best Washington beach for sun and warmth, since it’s on the sunnier (and in summer, warmer) side of the mountains.
  • Getting there: You need a car to get here, you can drive over Highway 2 and Stevens Pass, or you can drive east on I-90 and north over Blewett Pass on Highway 97 and back west on Highway 2
  • Cost: Washington State Discover Pass is required
  • Services Available: There is water and a swimming beach and a playground. Food is available at nearby Cole’s corner.
  • Restrooms: Yes
  • Other things to do: Lake Wenatchee state park is a great place for camping and there are lots of hiking opportunities nearby. You can also kayak or canoe on the lake. This is about half an hour from the Bavarian themed town of Leavenworth.

6 – Ebey’s Landing, Whidbey Island

  • Location: Near the town of Coupeville on Whidbey Island
  • Why it’s one of the best: I’ve talked about this hike before and how it’s one of my favorite hikes in Washington! The beach itself is a pretty great place to hang out, whether or not you do the loop hike. This is a very rocky beach so it’s best for walking, sitting on a log or having a picnic. Incredible views of the Olympic Mountains and sunsets. The rocky nature of this beach and the driftwood make it difficult to navigate for those using mobility devices or strollers.
  • Getting there: You’ll need to drive to this location. You can either drive to Mukilteo, take the ferry to Whidbey Island and drive to Ebey’s, or you can drive north on I-5 to Burlington and then head over the Deception Pass bridge and then south to Ebey’s. You can even make it a loop!
  • Cost: Washington State Discover Pass is required at the trailhead
  • Services Available: Picnic tables
  • Restrooms: Pit toilet is available near the parking lot
  • Other things to do: The loop hike is wonderful and the town of Coupeville, along with the rest of the island, is a great place to explore!

7 – 4th of July Beach, San Juan Island

  • Location: San Juan Island National Historical Park near the town of Friday Harbor on San Juan Island
  • Why it’s one of the best: This beach is beautiful and rarely crowded. Like many Washington beaches, it’s gravel and also has driftwood. Fires are permitted here below the tideline.
  • Getting there: You’ll need a car to get here. If you’re not already on San Juan Island, you’ll need to take the ferry from Anacortes to Friday Harbor and then drive to the beach.
  • Cost: Free
  • Services Available: None
  • Restrooms: Pit toilet
  • Other things to do: Do the best hike on San Juan Island! You can also explore the island while you’re there and the town of Friday Harbor

8 – Spencer Spit, Lopez Island

A person's foot is in a hammock in the shade near a Washington beach, spencer spit on Lopez Island
A lazy summer day at Spencer Spit
  • Location: East side of Lopez Island in the San Juan Islands
  • Why it’s one of the best: This park is hard to get to and therefore not crowded! You can have a fire in one of the firepits, rent kayaks and there’s bike in camping. Lots of interesting boat traffic passes by too. This is probably the best Washington beach for just hanging out all day with no agenda other than to be there (my favorite!).
  • Getting there: You’ll need a car (or bike! see above) to get here. Drive to Anacortes and take the ferry to Lopez Island. The park is a few miles from the ferry. You’ll need to walk down to the beach which is a long spit from the parking area. Not wheelchair or stroller accessible.
  • Cost: Washington State Discover Pass is required
  • Services Available: Kayak rental and lessons, camping, picnic tables, firepits
  • Restrooms: Yes
  • Other things to do: Kayaking is wonderful here (especially around nearby Frost Island), biking is excellent around the island if you want to explore more and don’t want to bring a car.

9 – Dungeness Spit, Sequim

  • Location: Near the town of Sequim on the Northeast Olympic Peninsula
  • Why it’s one of the best: It’s so LONG (6 miles!) and is part of a wildlife sanctuary. It also has a picturesque lighthouse and incredible sunsets. Camping is available at the top of the bluff
  • Getting there: You’ll need a car for to get here. You can take the ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge or Edmonds to Kingston, or drive over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Head towards Sequim and Port Angeles, the Dungeness Spit National Wildlife Refuge is well marked from the highway.
  • Cost: $3 fee to park (free with America the Beautiful Pass)
  • Services Available: Camping, water. The trail down to the beach is short and steep and not accessible for wheelchairs or strollers. The trail is fairly wide and in good shape. Once you get to the beach you’re walking on a rocky beach
  • Restrooms: Yes, pit toilet at the trailhead.
  • Other things to do: Walk the beach! If you’re up for a 12 mile round trip walk, you can head out to check out the lighthouse. Birdwatching is excellent here.

10 – Point no Point, Kitsap Peninsula

  • Location: Near Kingston on the Kitsap Peninsula
  • Why it’s one of the best: This beach sticks out on a point into Admiralty inlet, giving a sweeping view of the area. Quiet, rocky beach and picturesque lighthouse
  • Getting there: You’ll need to drive to get here. Take the Seattle to Bainbridge or Edmonds to Kingston ferry or the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Point no Point is just north of the town of Kingston, in Hansville
  • Cost: Free
  • Services Available: None at the beach, however the town of Hansville is nearby.
  • Restrooms: Yes, in the parking lot
  • Other things to do: The Hansville Greenway has many miles of trails. It’s also near the historic and immaculately preserved town of Port Gamble. If you’re interested you can tour the lighthouse at Point no Point.

11 – Long Beach, Southwest Washington

A fire in the sand on the beach after sunset. There is still a bit of sunset color on the horizon
Beach fire on Long Beach
  • Location: Long Beach Peninsula, Southwest Washington
  • Why it’s one of the best: This is another one of the best Washington beaches for sand! You can also drive on this beach (watch out for soft sand and follow the rules) and have a beach fire. You can also dig for razor clam here when it’s in season
  • Getting there: You’ll need a car to get here. From Seattle you’ll head to Olympia and then out to the coast. From Portland, you come up through Astoria.
  • Cost: Free
  • Services Available: Generally none on the beach, but the town of Long Beach is right there with stores and restaurants
  • Restrooms: Yes (see this guide for the different beach access points and their services)
  • Other things to do: There’s so much to do on the Long Beach Peninsula! Bike riding, Cape Disappointment State park, learn about cranberries, see the amazing kites and more. It’s also a good year round destination.

12 – Kalaloch Beach, Olympic National Park

A trees roots are exposed as the cliff erodes around it at Kalaloch beach in Olympic National Park in Washington state
The Tree Root Cave at Kalaloch Beach
  • Location: South end of Olympic National Park
  • Why it’s one of the best: This is the best Washington beach for dogs! Many beaches in Washington do not allow dogs but this expansive and sandy beach is a great place to play with your leashed dog. The nearby Kalaloch Lodge has dog friendly cabins too. This is also the place to see the well known root tree cave.
  • Getting there: You’ll need to drive to get here. There is Electric Vehicle charging! From Seattle or Portland, head to Olympia and then out to the coast
  • Cost: Olympic National Park Entrance fee ($30 for 7 days)
  • Services Available: None on the beach. At the Kalaloch lodge there is a store, lodge, restaurant and Electric Vehicle charging.
  • Restrooms: At the Kalaloch Lodge
  • Other things to do: There are many other beaches in the area as well as camping and forest trails.

13 – Ruby Beach, Olympic National Park

Rocks covered in barnacles on a sandy beach with trees and cliffs shrouded in fog in the distance. There is blue sky above the fog on this Washington beach in Olympic National park
Sun and fog at low tide at Ruby Beach in Olympic National Park
  • Location: Just north of Kalaloch in Olympic National Park
  • Why it’s one of the best: This is an excellent beach for tidepooling at low tide! It’s also dog friendly for a portion of the beach. If you walk north from the trail on the beach, you will leave any crowds behind very quickly
  • Getting there: You’ll need to drive here. It’s very near Kalaloch to the north
  • Cost: Olympic National Park Entrance fee ($30 for 7 days)
  • Services Available: None. The trail down to the beach is short but quite steep, with some roots here and there. When you get to the beach you have to climb over a bit of driftwood
  • Restrooms: Pit toilets in parking area
  • Other things to do: This is the same area as Kalaloch, so there are many beaches to explore as well as forest trails

14 – Rialto Beach/Hole in the Wall, Olympic National Park

  • Location: Near La Push (take the right at the fork towards Mora campground from the La Push road)
  • Why it’s one of the best: Like many Washington beaches on the coast, his is a fantastic tidepooling area. The hole in the wall makes for a nice 3 mile round trip hike on a rocky beach. When the tide is low you can walk through the arch while checking out tidepools. This is also the only wheelchair accessible beach in Olympic National Park. There is path that is maintained for wheelchair access, but be aware that frequent storms and driftwood can block parts of it at times.
  • Getting there: You’ll need to drive here. From Highway 101 in Forks, take Highway 110 towards La Push. Take the fork right towards the Mora Campground before you reach La Push.
  • Cost: Olympic National Park Entrance Fee ($30 for 7 days)
  • Services Available: None. Water is available at the Mora campground, nearest services other than that are La Push or Forks
  • Restrooms: Pit toilet (ADA accessible)
  • Other things to do: This is near the Mora Campground as well as the town of La Push. Other beach and forest hikes are all around!

15 – Second Beach, Olympic National Park

  • Location: Second Beach is very near Rialto, but to get between the two you have to go back on the road to the junction with the La Push road (highway 110). The second beach trailhead is just outside the town of La Push
  • Why it’s one of the best: This is my very favorite beach in Olympic National Park and probably my favorite Washington beach. It has amazing tidepools and a long sandy beach perfect for backpacking or hanging out all day. The sunsets here are just incredible. There’s also a beautiful walk through the rainforest to get to the beach (heads up: the last bit is a very steep scramble down to the beach that is often extremely muddy).
  • Getting there: You’ll need to walk just under a mile through the forest to get to the beach. The trailhead is located just outside the town of La Push (near Forks).
  • Cost: Olympic National Park Entrance Fee ($30 for 7 days)
  • Services Available: None, though food is available in nearby La Push
  • Restrooms: Pit toilet in parking lot and also where the forest trail meets the beach
  • Other things to do: You are close to the towns of La Push and Forks and many forest trails

It’s time to get out and explore the diversity of the best Washington beaches!

A smooth sandy beach around big rocks on a sunny day with some low fog. Text reads: 15 Washington beaches you need to visit
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Jennie Flaming
Hi! I'm Jennie. I’m a fourth generation Seattleite who lived in Alaska for 7 years. I've been a tour guide in both Alaska and Washington and I love to share the places I love with visitors, newcomers and my fellow locals. I’m so glad to have you along on the journey to experience your best low key adventure in Washington, Alaska and Western Canada!