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Ruby Beach in Washington

The 11 Best Beaches in Washington State (2023)

The Evergreen State (Washington’s nickname) is home to 157 miles of extensive coastline. This stretch includes the inlets, bays, lagoons, and of course, the exclusive Washington State beaches. The coastline extends all the way to 3,000 miles when we consider Puget Sound, rivers, and lakes as well. And within this extensive stretch lies hundreds of named, unnamed, famous, and isolated Washington beaches. These aquatic destinations cater from classic sandy activities to unique adventures within one place. With the city beaches offering regular fun, the beaches in Washington’s wild bring happening affairs to life.

Most numbers of the beaches in Washington lie in its coastal stretch. However, there are several of them along the shores of Lake Washington serving as freshwater beaches. Whether you want to work on your tan, relax by the shore, watch whales, or enter the water for some thrill, options here are truly endless. Both locals and visitors can have fun alike and bring their dream beach vacation to life. And for that, here we have a list of the most popular and must-visit Washington State Beaches.

The 11 Best Beaches in Washington State

Have a look:

1. Ruby Beach

Ruby Beach is an absolutely stunning part of the Olympic National Park. This postcard-worthy landscape has got its name from the red ruby-like speckles you can discover from the sand here. Ruby beach is only a quarter-mile from Highway 101, close to the park’s parking lot. Besides that, it is just eight miles north of the Kalaloch Lodge. What makes Ruby beach popular is its highly dramatic ocean setting, rocky shoreline, and bluffs standing firm in the water. A visit here will quickly introduce you to thousands of sea birds and marine mammals. For recreation, the activities you can try here include beach walking, jogging, tide pooling, wildlife watching, hiking, and camping. It also has several giant driftwoods, tide pools, and off-shore sea stacks, which interest beach seekers the most.

2. Shi Shi Beach

Another Olympic National Park’s treasure, the Shi Shi Beach, host an incredible wilderness coast section. However, even when it is a part of the National Park, the Makah Tribe privately owns the beach. For reaching here, one must hike the 2-mile Shi Shi Beach Access Trail. The trail is pretty strenuous and remote yet offers scenic views of the wilderness around. The trail ultimately leads hikers to the Shi Shi Beach’s north end, where you can find Shi Shi Beach. It isn’t your regular city beach but the one with sea stacks, tide pools, and the best wild Washington sceneries. The beach is full of rocky bluffs, which adds to the dramatic postcard views. Off all the beach activities you can try here, camping is any day the most popular one. However, campers need to carry every single necessity as well as a permit from the Makah Tribe.

3. Owen Beach

Owen Beach is one of the best beaches in the entire Seattle/Tacoma region. Its popularity can be noted by the number of visitors “3 million” it receives every year. Visitors can look forward to authentic beach activities, including swimming, kayaking, leisurely shoreline strolls, sun-soaking, and much more. Since Owen Beach has several picnic shelters, a concession, drinking water, and toilets, several locals and tourists come here to enjoy their weekend. Besides all of the beach fun, a road stretch leads towards the Point Defiance Boathouse that facilitates kayak rentals and ultimate summertime fun. Though above and beyond all the fun, what takes the limelight is the fantastic view of the mountain on the backdrop.

4. Alki Beach

Alki Beach is undoubtedly the best beach in Washington State in the west of Seattle. It is the same place where the first settlers came in 1851 (Washington State). Today the beach operates as an exclusive summer destination hosting thousands of visitors, including families as well. It is a prime hangout spot for playing volleyball, beach bonfire, or simply lying down under the sun. You can also find a historic bathhouse and Statue of Liberty replica here. Along with the beach is a 2.5-mile pathway that facilitates year-round activities, including walking, jogging, roller skating, and cycling. Alki Beach also offers excellent views of the Olympic Mountains and the Puget Sound. Close to the beach is the Alki Point Lighthouse, which provides quite excellent photographing opportunities.

5. Seabrook Beach

Seabrook is a beach cum coastal town on the central Washington coast. A visit here will introduce you to a long stretch of sandy beach that offers all authentic fun and leisure. The beach activities you can enjoy here include kite flying, dog walking, picnicking, ocean dipping, and tanning under the sun. It offers spots for a scenic sunset walk during the evening hours that end into the dusk of night. Since it is a coastal town, a visit here will bring more meaning with at least a night’s stay. Seabrook community has several colonial-style homes perched atop a sea cliff. They also provide vacation homes and are pretty affordable. Visitors can rent a bicycle and explore the town on two wheels for exploring beyond the beach. The best part about Seabrook is that it is rarely crowded, even when summers are at their peak.

6. Cape Disappointment (Waikiki Beach)

Cape Disappointment is Pacific Northwest’s headland and the most happening attraction in Washington State. Unlike the other Washington Beaches, the ones here are hemmed in by rocky hills presenting a different experience at all. Cape Disappointment is basically a state park with a few small, wild but visit-worthy beaches. The most popular and must-visit amongst them is Waikiki Beach. It is one of the prettiest small beaches where swimming and picnicking are the most loved activities. You can find a lot of locals and a few state park visitors having their best leisurely time here. Besides Waikiki, Cape Disappointment is also home to Deadman’s Cove, maybe the smallest beach you will ever find in Washington. Reaching here requires a short hike from the Fort Canby parking, and the end result will make it worth all efforts. Both Waikiki and Deadman’s Cove are the must-visit beaches in Washington State.

7. Long Beach

Located in the southwest region of the state, Long Beach is one of the best beaches in Washington. It offers 28 miles of scenic sandy stretch and a broad region to walk. Its extensive shoreline keeps it low in the crowd even when it actually isn’t. The beach boosts for all kinds of authentic beach activities, including kite flying, walking, sunbathing, sandcastle building, beachcombing, horseback riding, and more. Every August, Broadwalk hosts the famous Washington State International Kite Festival. Long Beach Broadwalk also offers excellent ocean views for which both locals and visitors consider gathering daily. Right from Long Beach extends a paved Discovery Trail that meanders along the coast, going all the way through Cape Disappointment State Park and Ilwaco. Since waves here are often of high current, swimming on the beach is not recommended.

8. Golden Gardens Beach & Park

Golden Gardens is one of the most popular beaches and parks in the city of Seattle. This 87 acres park is home to unnamed beaches, wetlands, playgrounds, picnic areas, and hiking trails. Unlike its name, there is no Gold and neither any Gardens; however, an evening here will justify the true meaning of ‘Golden Gardens’. As locals claim, Golden Gardens Beach & Park offers the best sunset in the entire Seattle. From sky to ocean and land, everything turns into shades of orange and yellow or maybe true Gold. On a clear day, visitors can also grab far yet stunning views of the Olympic Mountains, which are mostly hidden under a snow blanket. Golden Gardens Beach & Park is Puget Sound’s true gem and a must-visit in Washington State as well.

9. Rialto Beach

Rialto is a famous and must-visit Washington Beach located in the Olympic National Park. The beach is nicely placed between Mora’s towering trees and verdant undergrowth and is quite dramatically scenic by its appeal. Here you will find several washed-up trees, pieces of driftwood, dark grey sand, and dramatic sea stacks rising from the surf. For accessing the beach, visitors can take a small hike from the parking area. And for added fun, the hike continues towards the north on the rocky shoreline. Some of the popular Rialto activities include soaking under the day sun and watching it settle during the evening hours. On a low tide day, visitors can also walk or jog all the way to the Hole-in-the-Wall. This beautiful sea arch makes up for excellent photographing opportunities. Besides that, nearly 3 miles from the beach is a large campground that operates on a first-come, first-serve basis.

10. Cama Beach

Cama Beach is a fantastic beach on Camano Island. It is also known as Cama Beach Historical State Park, and a visit here is like stepping back into time. This stunning beach has a row of 1930s cabins lined, adding a distinct appeal. Besides that, it also has a general store and a camp-fire gathering that still operates for casual gatherings. Some of the popular Cama Beach activities include swimming, fishing, sunbathing, boating, crabbing, diving, and birdwatching. The beach hosts kids’ dedicated activities during summers, including beach bingo and more. Since the beach is slightly remote, all you will find here is tranquillity, peaceful spectacular waterfront views, and a forested landscape. For overnight enthusiasts, there are a few beachfront cabins available for rent.

11. Jetty Island Park Beach

Jetty Island Park Beach is a little hard to reach, but any difficulty should not stop you from getting here if you are a beach person. The Jetty Island Park has a beautiful soft sandy beach with sun-warmed shallow water. Swimming here indeed is one of the most loved and enjoyed activities. Also, since it receives a lot of wind, the beach is ideal for windsurfing and kite surfing fun. For reaching the beach, visitors have to board a free ferry from the Everett Marina, and the ride takes no more than 10 minutes.

However, since the beach is highly remote with no facilities in place, visitors have to bring everything they will want for the day, including drinking water as well.

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