15 of the Most Beautiful Washington Beaches

From Seattle to Long Beach, these are 15 of the best beaches in Washington.

Lighthouse at Cape Disappointment State Park, Long Beach Peninsula
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The state of Washington offers a wide variety of beaches with shores along the Pacific Ocean, Puget Sound, lakes, peninsulas, and islands. Whether there's sand, pebbles, rocks, or grassy dunes, Washington beaches provide opportunities for swimming, boating, sighting wildlife, exploring tidepools, and collecting seashells or driftwood. And even if chilly water keeps beachgoers on the shore, sunsets on Washington's west coast are a perfect ending to a day at the beach.

Golden Gardens Park, Seattle

Golden Gardens Park, Seattle, Washington
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Home to one of the Seattle area's largest beaches, 80-acre Golden Gardens Park boasts views of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound. There's a sandy beach for swimming, and water sports like kayaking, canoeing, and sailing are popular as well as volleyball, fishing, and hiking. Fire pits are available on the beach, and there's a designated one-acre off-leash area for dogs.

Green Lake Park, Seattle

Green Lake in Seattle, Washington
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This urban park is about five miles north of downtown Seattle. Both sand and grass are there for visitors, and in summer, lifeguards are on duty. The park includes basketball courts, an indoor pool, tennis courts, restrooms, picnic areas, equipment rentals, and a historic bathhouse. A 2.8-mile path around the lake is popular with joggers, walkers, skaters, and bike riders.

Madison Park Beach, Seattle

Lifeguard chair at Madison Park, Seattle, Washington
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This small park on the shores of Lake Washington northeast of downtown Seattle features a grassy area and small sandy beach as well as restrooms, a children's play area, tennis courts, parking, and lifeguards during summer. There's a walking path and benches, and nearby, visitors can shop or dine at local restaurants.

Alki Beach Park, Seattle

Seattle Skyline from Alki Beach Park, Seattle
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Alki Beach features two and a half miles of sandy beach on Elliot Bay in West Seattle and a pedestrian walkway of the same length. There's a replica of the Statue of Liberty and a lighthouse — one of eight on the Puget Sound — that's open for tours. Beach fire pits are open from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Picnic tables, restrooms, and parking are available.

Madrona Park, Seattle

Madrona Park and dock overlooking Medina in Seattle, Washington
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Located on the western shore of Lake Washington, Madrona Park features a swimming beach, bathhouse, picnic areas, and parking. There's a jogging path along the lake as well as grassy shoreline, hiking trails, and views of Mt. Rainier. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer, and the beaches are open until Labor day.

Jackson Beach, San Juan Island

Jackson Beach, San Juan Island, Washington
Courtesy of The State of Washington Tourism

This long sandy beach, about two miles from downtown Friday Harbor, is open all year. There's a picnic area, restrooms, fire pits, barbecue grills, volleyball, boat launch, and small dock. An exciting feature is the presence of bioluminescent dinoflagellates that illuminate the water at night when touched by a kayak paddle. Guided groups can enjoy this phenomenon as the park closes to individuals at dusk unless reservations are made for an event.

Fort Worden, Port Townsend

Port Townsend, Fort Worden State Park, Washington
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Located in Fort Worden State Park along the Puget Sound, the sandy beach offers views of the Northern Cascades as well as a boat ramp and equipment rentals for kayaking and canoeing. The historic military fort once protected the city, and some of the original concrete fortifications remain. In summer, visitors can enjoy the Marine Science Center exhibits. Campgrounds are nearby, and there's a lighthouse to view from the outside.

Long Beach, Long Beach Peninsula

Long Beach Peninsula, Fort Canby State Park, Washington
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Located in the southwestern corner of Washington with a 28-mile shoreline, Long Beach claims to be the "World's Longest Beach." The sandy coast of the peninsula features a half-mile boardwalk that overlooks grassy dunes, and the 8.5-mile Discovery Trail offers views of both nature and art installations for hikers, bikers, and walkers.

Cape Disappointment State Park, Long Beach Peninsula

Cape Disappointment State Park, Long Beach Peninsula, Washington
Courtesy of The State of Washington Tourism

The park features sandy beaches with stunning views of the Pacific and Baker Bay. The historic area includes two working lighthouses, a military fort, and the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center for stories of Cape Disappointment's past. Beachgoers can explore tidepools, hike through coastal forests, or build sandcastles and driftwood forts. There's plenty to do even if the water is a bit chilly for swimming.

Half Moon Bay, Westport Light State Park, Westport

Panorama of Half Moon Bay at Westhaven Beach Park in Washington
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The 560-acre day-use park features beaches on both the Pacific Ocean and Half Moon Bay with grassy dunes, picnic tables, restrooms, grills, a lighthouse, and coastal forest. A 1.3-mile paved path separates the Pacific from Half Moon Bay, and there's fishing, surfing, and Westport Lighthouse to explore. Dogs are permitted on the beach, and there's camping nearby.

Griffiths-Priday Ocean State Park, Ocean Shores

Griffiths-Priday Ocean State Park in Washington
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This state park is located on the Pacific Coast at the mouths of Connor Creek and the Copalis River. Grassy sand dunes, walking trails, and a boardwalk lead to the often secluded sandy beach. Nature lovers will find migratory birds, seashells, and the nearby Copalis National Wildlife Refuge. Dogs are welcome, and many visitors come to dig for shellfish. Picnic tables and restrooms are available.

Luther Burbank Park, Mercer Island

Beach Shore at Luther Burbank Park in Mercer Island, Washington
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This 77-acre park features nearly a mile of waterfront on Lake Washington for swimming, boating, and fishing. Picnic areas, barbecues, a children's playground, walking trails, tennis courts, and restrooms are available (during summer). Leashed dogs are allowed on the beach from October through April, and there are also off-leash areas on Mercer Island.

West Beach and Sunset Beach, Washington Park, Anacortes

West Beach & Sunset Beach, Washington Park, Anacortes
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Two beaches, Sunset Beach and West Beach, are located in 220-acre Washington Park on the western point of Fidalgo Island along the Swinomish Channel. Sunset Beach features restrooms, a playground, boat launch, picnic areas, and fire pit barbecues on the beach. West Beach offers tide pools, a small rocky area, camping, and stunning views.

Lake Sammamish State Park, Issaquah

Lake Sammamish in Washington
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The 530-acre day-use park features two lakefront beaches, forest and wetland walking trails, and a playground. Water sports equipment rentals are available at Tibbets Beach, and outdoor kitchen and picnic areas can be reserved. Nature walks, concerts, and boat parades are among events scheduled each year. Leashed dogs are welcome in the park, but they are not permitted on designated swimming beaches.

Idylwood Beach Park, Redmond

Beach ball on Idylwood Park, Redmond, Washington
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Located on the northwestern shore of Lake Sammamish, 17-acre Idylwood Beach Park features a swimming beach, bathhouse, restrooms, picnic tables, a small boat ramp, fishing pier, and picnic shelters available for rent. The only free recreational access on Lake Sammamish, the popular park also offers fishing, volleyball, a playground, and barbecue grills.

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