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Discovery Park.
Gary Ives/Shutterstock

Where to find sandy beaches in and around Seattle

For when you’ve had enough rocks

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Discovery Park.
| Gary Ives/Shutterstock

It’s hard to find a sandy beach in Seattle—but not impossible.

If you’re a longtime Seattleite, you’re used to making do with rocky, Puget Sound beaches. We sit on driftwood to read our books and bask in the sun, wear our waterproof sandals for swimming and wading, and keep an extra close eye out for oysters. It’s something you get used to, and at least you can make some kind of castle out of rocks.

Alternatively, sometimes park planners will opt for a grassy field leading up to banked waterfront so there’s at least somewhere to lay out a beach blanket—a slight improvement, but still not sand. (It’s harder to build a castle out of grass.)

Regardless, it’s not the same. Sometimes, there’s nothing that can replace the allure of a beautiful, soft, sandy beach, with only the smallest chance of rock-related injury or a maimed floaty—and less footwear required. You should still watch for rocks under the water in most cases, though, because there is no true escape from the rocks.

Map points are ordered north to south.

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1. Matthews Beach Park

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5100 NE 93rd St
Seattle, WA 98115
(206) 684-4075
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While Matthews Beach Park doesn’t have much sand, it does have a small strip right by the water.

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2. Golden Gardens Park

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8498 Seaview Pl NW
Seattle, WA 98117
(206) 684-4075
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One of the longest stretches of sand available in the city—and probably the most idyllic, traditional, sandy beach—is at Golden Gardens Park, especially around the most amenity-rich areas. It can get a little gravely farther along, but not nearly as much as other beaches.

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3. Houghton Beach Park

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5811 Lake Washington Blvd NE
Kirkland, WA 98033

This Kirkland beach has sand lining the water—but watching for rocks is still best practice.

4. Discovery Park

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3801 Discovery Park Blvd
Seattle, WA 98199
(206) 386-4236
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While the Discovery Park costline has its share of rocky cliffs and waterfront, sand dunes around the lighthouse area make a stretch of sandy beach. Just watch out for the rocks closer to the water.

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5. Idylwood Park

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3650 West Lake Sammamish Pkwy NE
Redmond, WA 98052
(425) 556-2300
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Idylwood Park has a thicker sand strip than many Lake Washington beaches—and a large swimming area.

6. Madison Park Beach

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1900 43rd Ave E
Seattle, WA 98112
(206) 684-7796
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This is one of the most popular beaches once the weather gets hot in Seattle—and while much of it is grass with banked waterfront, there’s a strip of sand, too.

7. Myrtle Edwards Park

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3130 Alaskan Way
Seattle, WA 98121
(206) 684-4075
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This park is mostly lined with rocky banks, but a pocket of beach around a small cove is sandy—and usually not too crowded, despite being right by downtown and the waterfront.

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8. Madrona Park

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853 Lake Washington Blvd
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 684-4075
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While you still have to watch out for rocks wading into the water, this park has a sandy patch for castles and play.

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9. Alki Beach

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Alki Beach
Seattle, WA

While some stretches of Alki can still be treacherous, the main drag of the park by the volleyball courts and the bathhouse is sandy.

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10. Mt. Baker Park

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2521 Lake Park Dr S
Seattle, WA 98144
(206) 684-4075
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Much of the park has banked waterfront, but sand lines the swimming area for an extra-playful vibe.

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11. Lake Sammamish State Park

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2000 NW Sammamish Rd
Issaquah, WA 98027
(425) 649-4275
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While the shallows are still rocky, there’s at least a wide swath of sand to lounge on at Lake Sammamish State Park in Issaquah.

12. Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park

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1201 Lake Washington Blvd N
Renton, WA 98056
(425) 430-6700
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Southenders can find plenty of sandy beach down in Renton at Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park. Take a lakeside nap after walking a couple of miles of trails.

13. Angle Lake Park

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19408 International Blvd
SeaTac, WA 98188
(206) 973-4680
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If you’re not already in Seatac, you can take the light rail down to find sand at Angle Lake Park.

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14. Lake Wilderness Park

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Lake Wilderness Park
Maple Valley, WA 98038

Yes, it’s all the way down in Maple Valley, but this beach is super sandy—even in the water.

15. Lake Meridian Park Beach

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Lake Meridian Park Beach
Kent, WA 98042

This lakeside beach in Kent has both sandy parts and gravelly parts—plus a lawn above for more sunbathing.

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16. Steel Lake Park

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2410 S 312th St
Federal Way, WA 98003
(253) 835-6964
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Play on the sand or jump off the dock at this lakeside beach in Federal Way.

1. Matthews Beach Park

5100 NE 93rd St, Seattle, WA 98115

While Matthews Beach Park doesn’t have much sand, it does have a small strip right by the water.

5100 NE 93rd St
Seattle, WA 98115

2. Golden Gardens Park

8498 Seaview Pl NW, Seattle, WA 98117

One of the longest stretches of sand available in the city—and probably the most idyllic, traditional, sandy beach—is at Golden Gardens Park, especially around the most amenity-rich areas. It can get a little gravely farther along, but not nearly as much as other beaches.

8498 Seaview Pl NW
Seattle, WA 98117

3. Houghton Beach Park

5811 Lake Washington Blvd NE, Kirkland, WA 98033

This Kirkland beach has sand lining the water—but watching for rocks is still best practice.

5811 Lake Washington Blvd NE
Kirkland, WA 98033

4. Discovery Park

3801 Discovery Park Blvd, Seattle, WA 98199

While the Discovery Park costline has its share of rocky cliffs and waterfront, sand dunes around the lighthouse area make a stretch of sandy beach. Just watch out for the rocks closer to the water.

3801 Discovery Park Blvd
Seattle, WA 98199

5. Idylwood Park

3650 West Lake Sammamish Pkwy NE, Redmond, WA 98052

Idylwood Park has a thicker sand strip than many Lake Washington beaches—and a large swimming area.

3650 West Lake Sammamish Pkwy NE
Redmond, WA 98052

6. Madison Park Beach

1900 43rd Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112

This is one of the most popular beaches once the weather gets hot in Seattle—and while much of it is grass with banked waterfront, there’s a strip of sand, too.

1900 43rd Ave E
Seattle, WA 98112

7. Myrtle Edwards Park

3130 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98121

This park is mostly lined with rocky banks, but a pocket of beach around a small cove is sandy—and usually not too crowded, despite being right by downtown and the waterfront.

3130 Alaskan Way
Seattle, WA 98121

8. Madrona Park

853 Lake Washington Blvd, Seattle, WA 98122

While you still have to watch out for rocks wading into the water, this park has a sandy patch for castles and play.

853 Lake Washington Blvd
Seattle, WA 98122

9. Alki Beach

Alki Beach, Seattle, WA

While some stretches of Alki can still be treacherous, the main drag of the park by the volleyball courts and the bathhouse is sandy.

Alki Beach
Seattle, WA

10. Mt. Baker Park

2521 Lake Park Dr S, Seattle, WA 98144

Much of the park has banked waterfront, but sand lines the swimming area for an extra-playful vibe.

2521 Lake Park Dr S
Seattle, WA 98144

11. Lake Sammamish State Park

2000 NW Sammamish Rd, Issaquah, WA 98027

While the shallows are still rocky, there’s at least a wide swath of sand to lounge on at Lake Sammamish State Park in Issaquah.

2000 NW Sammamish Rd
Issaquah, WA 98027

12. Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park

1201 Lake Washington Blvd N, Renton, WA 98056

Southenders can find plenty of sandy beach down in Renton at Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park. Take a lakeside nap after walking a couple of miles of trails.

1201 Lake Washington Blvd N
Renton, WA 98056

13. Angle Lake Park

19408 International Blvd, SeaTac, WA 98188

If you’re not already in Seatac, you can take the light rail down to find sand at Angle Lake Park.

19408 International Blvd
SeaTac, WA 98188

14. Lake Wilderness Park

Lake Wilderness Park, Maple Valley, WA 98038

Yes, it’s all the way down in Maple Valley, but this beach is super sandy—even in the water.

Lake Wilderness Park
Maple Valley, WA 98038

15. Lake Meridian Park Beach

Lake Meridian Park Beach, Kent, WA 98042

This lakeside beach in Kent has both sandy parts and gravelly parts—plus a lawn above for more sunbathing.

Lake Meridian Park Beach
Kent, WA 98042

16. Steel Lake Park

2410 S 312th St, Federal Way, WA 98003

Play on the sand or jump off the dock at this lakeside beach in Federal Way.

2410 S 312th St
Federal Way, WA 98003