You won’t have to stray far from Washington’s top city to find some of the best stretches of sand in the state. There are tons of great beaches near Seattle, and some are located right in the city center.
Now, keep in mind that “beach” is a loose term in Seattle. Some are pebbly, some are rocky, and some are just grassy expanses in front of the water. But hey, you are in the city, after all. There are some great sandy beaches near Seattle, too, for the true beach bums looking to work on their tan (weather permitting).
When the Seattle sun decides to shine, pack your swimsuit and sunscreen and make a beeline for one of these beautiful beaches near the city.
19 Beaches in Seattle
1. Dash Point State Park
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You’ll find one of the best sandy beaches near Seattle, just 30 miles to the south of the city. Dash Point State Park features a lovely sandy beach that is great for soaking up the sun, skimboarding, swimming, and other timeless beach day activities.
Dense forests surround the water and offer miles of hiking and biking trails that you can access right from the beach. There are also some picnic tables and a nice day-use area inside the park. If one day wasn’t enough at Dash Point, you could always pitch a tent at the campground.
2. Alki Beach—Most Popular Beach in Seattle!
Perhaps the most famous beach in Seattle is the iconic Alki Beach. Locals have been flocking to this scenic stretch of sand for over 100 years, and it’s not hard to see why. On a clear day, epic views of the Olympic Mountains can be seen from the shoreline, and there’s plenty of fun activities here for both the young and the young at heart.
Besides all the classic beach day activities like swimming and suntanning, you can spend your day here meandering the paved trail to Duwamish Head for views of the Seattle skyline or people watching with a cold drink in hand.
Once you get hungry, lay out a picnic at one of the many tables available or seek out an eatery along the busy street behind the beach.
Alki Beach is one of just two beaches that allow bonfires, so consider sticking around until the evening to enjoy this rare treat. Just make sure to respect the signs banning fires when fire season rolls through.
3. Seahurst Park
One of the local’s favorite beaches near Seattle is Seahurst Park. This pebbly spot is located about 10 miles south of the city center in the Seahurst neighborhood. The quiet ambiance and island views across the water are part of what makes this Seattle beach so popular.
After braving a dip in the Puget Sound, you can search for driftwood along the shore, grab a bite to eat from the snack shack, or let the kiddos release some energy on the playground. There are also a few picnic tables located near the parking lot.
4. Fort Lawton Beach
The beautiful Discovery Park is home to one of Seattle’s best beaches – Fort Lawton Beach. Large expanses of sandy shoreline strewed with driftwood await you, along with epic views of the Cascade and Olympic mountains.
Discovery Park comprises a bygone military installment in addition to over 500 acres of forests, meadows, and dunes along the rugged coast. You can spend your day here hiking the secluded trails, exploring the culture center, or simply basking in the sun on the beach.
If you stay until evening, head to the West Point Lighthouse to catch one of Seattle’s most epic sunsets.
5. Lincoln Park
You can find another one of the best beaches in Seattle at Lincoln Park. The beach here is criminally underrated, and the sandy and pebbly shoreline rarely becomes overcrowded.
You’ll have to meander one of the trails to get to the beach, but the views along the way make it well worth the extra effort. No matter where you are in the park, scenic vistas abound. On a clear day, you’ll even be able to enjoy incredible views of the Olympic Mountains in the distance.
The vantage from picnic shelter number three is especially beautiful, and you’ll likely catch sight of a ferry or two going back and forth from the nearby islands.
There is a paved path near the water for walking and jogging, and there are plenty of benches along this route when you’re ready for a rest.
6. Seacrest Park (Jack Block Park & Hamilton Overlook)
If you prefer city views during your day at the beach, then Seacrest Park is not to be missed. Situated along Elliot Bay in the city’s center, this beach boasts epic views of the entire Seattle skyline, including the iconic Space Needle. For the best views, head to the Hamilton Overlook, located just north of the beach area.
Seacrest Park is a hub for recreation. Apart from the small beach area, you’ll also find kayak, bike, and paddleboard rentals. In addition, you can cycle along the Alki Trail that runs parallel to the shore, take a kayak tour of the bay with Alki Kayak Tours, or even go scuba diving and discover the interesting array of creatures beneath the water.
As if all that weren’t enough, the park also boasts a 250-foot fishing pier, a boat ramp, and a water taxi terminal.
Not surprisingly, Seacrest Park is a popular place to be. If you’re looking to escape the crowds, head east along Alki Trail and try your luck at the nearby Jack Block Park.
You’ll still get the incredible skyline and bridge views here, especially from the famous red observation tower. The park also features a small beach, a play area, and a walkable pier.
7. Madrona Beach
Another one of Seattle’s best beaches can be found right in the city center. Madrona Beach is situated on the shores of Lake Washington, just down the hill from the Madrona business district. You’ll be able to catch partial views of the skyline, and on clear days Mount Rainier can be seen to the right.
This black sand beach features two floating docks and various hiking and jogging trails that snake through the wooded hillsides surrounding the water.
This is a popular summer hangout for Seattlites, and while the sandy area may fill up quickly, there is plenty of grassy real estate to lay down your towel. There are also lifeguards on duty during the summer months.
8. Lake Sammamish State Park (2 Seattle Beaches!)
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Lake Sammamish State Park is home to not one but TWO of the best beaches near Seattle.
The larger of the two is Sunset Beach. The area in front of the water here is a bit pebbly, but there is a large sandy expanse behind it that is perfect for sunbathing and sandcastle building. Sunset Beach also features an epic playground for the kiddos and various picnic tables, concession stands, and restrooms.
Tibbetts Beach is the smaller of the two, but this area is arguably better if you love water sports. You’ll find kayak, pedal boat, and paddleboard rentals here; make sure you reserve them in advance.
If you can’t decide which beach you’d rather sprawl out at for the day, there are walking and biking trails connecting the two – so feel free to visit both.
9. Seward Park
Seward Park is situated on the shores of the lovely Lake Washington in the heart of Seattle. The beach is pebbly, but there are a few grassy areas to lay your towel near the water as well.
On a clear day, you can catch views of Mercer Island and Mount Rainier from the shoreline. The park also boasts a few nice hiking and biking trails that snake through some of the last old-growth forests in the city.
RELATED: The 19 Best Parks in Seattle
10. Green Lake Park
Green Lake is admittedly quite green, but that doesn’t stop it from being one of the local’s favorite beaches near Seattle. The water may be murky, but it is significantly warmer than the ocean or Washington Lake.
The lake boasts two sandy swimming beaches, concession stands, kayak, canoe, and SUP rentals. There are also a few trails that wind their way around the lake. The paths are often crowded with dog walkers, rollerbladers, and joggers, but there is no better way to get between the beaches and see a bit of the park.
11. Golden Gardens Park
Golden Gardens is one of the most popular beaches in Seattle, and it’s not hard to see why. The large sandy beach area is a prime location for sunbathing, swimming, and sandcastle building, and there are also various hiking trails, volleyball courts, and picnic tables around the park.
One of the biggest draws to this beach is the majestic views of the Olympic Mountains in the distance, which are usually only visible on clear days.
While hot sunny days are a great time to visit Golden Gardens Park, consider coming back in the evening. As the sun begins to set, the water reflects the warm hues of the sky, and the locals gather for beachside campfires to watch the show.
12. Carkeek Park Beach
Not only is it one of the most pristine parks in the city, but Carkeek Park Beach is also one of the best beaches near Seattle. Located in the city’s northwest neighborhoods, this beautiful beach park is a direct result of a community coming together to preserve and revitalize the natural flora and fauna of the area.
The park is a combination of wetland, beach, and forest ecosystems. Take to the park’s various hiking trails to discover just how diverse this area is, or head straight down to the beach area for stunning views over the Puget Sound and some fantastic beachcombing opportunities.
13. Saltwater State Park
Discover Pass Required
Situated just two miles from the busy Interstate 5, Saltwater State Park is home to one of the most convenient beaches near Seattle. Because it is so easily accessible from the city, you certainly won’t have the sandy shoreline to yourself. That being said, the refreshing water and beautiful scenery make a trip to Saltwater State Park worth your time.
The small beach area is near the parking lot and features picnic tables, benches, kayak rentals, and a snack shack. If you’d like to immerse yourself further into the state park, you can hike the trails or stay overnight at one of the campsites.
14. Angle Lake Park
Without a doubt, Angle Lake Park is one of the most fun beaches near Seattle. Situated on the shores of Angle Lake between Des Moines and Burien, this 10-acre park is sure to please.
Swimming, boating, and fishing are amongst the most popular pastimes here, and the large sandy area in front of the water is the perfect place to work on your tan or construct intricate sandcastles.
The beach park is also home to a newly built spray park with tons of fun water features, a playground, a picnic shelter and BBQ facilities, and modern restrooms.
15. Richmond Beach
If you’re searching for some solitude, Richmond Beach is one of the lesser-known beaches near Seattle. Just 15 miles north of the city, the pebbly shoreline is popular amongst birders, families, and dog owners thanks to the off-leash area.
Whether you choose to spend your day at the beach, this hidden gem is the perfect place to escape the crowds that often plague the busier areas like Alki Beach and Golden Gardens.
The water is cold, but the views are epic. If you have time, stick around to watch the sun go down behind the Olympic Mountains.
16. Idylwood Park
Idylwood Park boasts one of the best beaches near Seattle. Its location on the northwest shores of Lake Sammamish makes it both a scenic and convenient spot to lay down the beach towel for a day, and there are also picnic shelters, a playground, and plenty of parking.
There are two separate beaches here, one for swimming and launching watercraft like kayaks and paddleboards. If you don’t have your own boat, there is a kayak rental place near the beach.
17. Pocket Beach in Seattle is in the Heart of the City!
Not only is Pocket Beach one of the best beaches in Seattle, but it also offers up a wide range of activities for visitors. The beach is located inside the greater Myrtle Edwards Park, which features paved paths, the famous Olympic Sculpture Garden, and great views of the mountain, the city center, and the Space Needle.
Of course, you could always just relax on the small sandy beach, which is generally not very crowded. That being said, parking in this area is hard to come by, so you may want to take a ride share or public transportation here rather than driving yourself.
18. Mt. Baker Beach
Don’t be fooled by the size. Although Mt. Baker Beach is a bit small, it is still one of the best beaches near Seattle. Situated on the shores of Lake Washington, the beach features a jumping dock and pier, along with great views of the bridge, a bit of the skyline, and some mountains in the distance.
Rafting, boating, and paddleboarding are common activities here, and there are lifeguards on duty for anyone who is inclined to take a dip.
19. Pritchard Island Beach
The grassy hillsides of Pritchard Island Beach are another local favorite when it comes to beaches near Seattle. This small beach features a floating dock, a bathhouse, and a few short walking trails through the nearby park.
Aside from swimming, kayaking and paddle boarding are also popular pastimes.
We hope this post inspired you to check out the best beaches in Seattle! Don’t forget to explore other adventures around the city.
I’ve been perpetually traveling and living around the world for years but it’s hard to beat Washington and the PNW. After years of road-tripping the area, I guess you can say I know it pretty well! When I’m not writing guides for you, you can catch me somewhere petting a dog, attempting to surf, hiking a volcano, or stuffing my face with bread and cheese.