The great thing about Seattle is you get all the buzz of the city and yet the beach is right on your doorstep for picnics, hiking, swimming – however you want to relax. Culture Trip’s local insiders have found the top spots.
Spend the day walking the sandy shores of Alki Beach, making use of the volleyball nets and dipping into the sea if you can brave the Seattle waters. The boardwalk is lined with restaurants, bars and cafés, so pick your spot and indulge in fresh seafood. It’s just a short ferry or water-taxi ride from Downtown Seattle. Recommended by local insider Grace Coleman
In the middle of a neighborhood in Edmonds, Meadowdale Beach Park is a pleasant surprise. The trail to reach it is around 1mi (1.6km), and takes you through a beautiful forest and ravines with a stream that’s home to freshwater fish and migrating salmon. From the beach you get stunning views of the Olympic Mountains and Whidbey Island. The trek can get a little steep at times, so wear sensible shoes. Recommended by local insider Grace Coleman
Peaceful and calm, Marina Beach has large pieces of driftwood scattered along the shore that make perfect seats. Find your favorite one, to sit gazing out at the water. The kids can muck about in the small playground, and picnickers can choose from sand or grassy spots to sit and watch the ferries come and go. Kayaking or windsurfing is possible here, with various places along the beach to set off from. Recommended by local insider Grace Coleman
With plenty of shops to browse and restaurants to dine in, it’s easy to spend a whole day around Madison Park Beach. There is more grass than sand here, so it’s not your typical beach. However, city dwellers can leave behind the hustle and bustle and reach the gentle sloping grassland in no time at all. Make sure to pack your swimsuit, as the floating dock has diving boards. Recommended by local insider Eric Coleman
Seattle’s largest freshwater bathing beach is extremely popular with locals, with families, friends and couples flocking here in high season to sit by the lake and enjoy the lush scenery. It’s a recommended spot on the Burke-Gilman trail, where bikers and hikers can pause and cool off with a quick dip. The picnic tables, diving dock and playground, along with changing rooms and restrooms, make this an easy and fun day out. Recommended by local insider Eric Coleman
Just 10 minutes from the city center is Mount Baker Park, a beautiful area on Lake Washington flanked by maple, ash and chestnut trees. It’s a must-visit Seattle beach for the whole family. Bring along a picnic and set up your blanket for sunbathing and relaxing. The kids will be over the moon with the large playground. Recommended by local insider Eric Coleman