The 10 Best Beaches in Washington

Written by Angie Menjivar
Updated: September 5, 2023
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They’re picturesque, offering you opportunities to dig your toes in the sand, build sandcastles, take a dip in the cool waters, or explore sea life in tide pools. Discover the 10 best beaches in Washington!

10 Best Beaches in Washington
The beaches of Washington offer stunning views, rocky shorelines, and breathtaking coastal landscapes.

1. Ruby Beach

Location: Olympic National Park

Ruby Beach is one of the best beaches in Washington and offers a feast for the eyes by way of the eddying driftwood you find on the sand. When the tide is low, you are likely to come across crabs and starfish. Look up the tidal charts to make the most out of your visit! You have several options when you arrive aside from enjoying the beach. You might hike up to Hoh River, which is just north of the beach.

Shoreline Views, Ruby Beach in Olympic National Park Washington

The shoreline views at Ruby Beach are a feast for your eyes.

©Beach Creatives/Shutterstock.com

2. Pacific Beach

Location: Pacific Beach State Park   

Pacific Beach has stunning panoramic views, rocky shores, and a breathtaking coastal landscape that surrounds it. There are large rock formations that appear to have emerged from the ocean to greet you; simple yet serene and beautiful. The tide pools give life to small fish, crabs, sea urchins, starfish, and anemones. There is a creek that invitingly curves through the forest as if to say, “Come. Stay with me for a while.”

Small aquatic crab (unknown species) on sandy beach along the Pacific coast of Washington (selective focus)

Explore wildlife along Pacific Beach’s tide pools.

©ESB Essentials/Shutterstock.com

3. Long Beach Peninsula

Location: Long Beach

Long Beach Peninsula is one of the longest sandy beaches in the United States. It is perfect for long sunset walks, flying kites, or just relaxing by the water. Along the shoreline, you can go crabbing or clamming! The beauty of this spot is that you can either choose to go freshwater fishing or in the ocean, the choice is yours. It is also home to wildlife that includes deer, elk, waterfowl, and migratory birds.

Off-shore winds create shaopy waves in Long Beach, Washington.

Long Beach Peninsula is one of the longest sandy beaches in the U.S.

©Beach Creatives/Shutterstock.com

4. Fort Worden Beach

Location: Fort Worden Historical State Park

There is a historical significance to Fort Worden Beach. The military installation was built in the 19th century, and it played a major role during both World Wars. The park also offers camping, biking, and wildlife spotting. It’s also equipped with tennis, basketball, and volleyball courts. There are two miles of white sand beach for you to take long walks through. There are more than enough activities for the whole family to enjoy!

Seascape of shoreline and distant lighthouse on a cloudy day in Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend Washington

Fort Worden Beach features historical spots and white sand beaches for walking.

©Angela Dukich/Shutterstock.com

5. Rosario Beach

Location: Deception Pass State Park

People recognize this beach mostly for its coastal scenery, rugged coastline, and nearby islands. It has so much to offer, including tide pools that you can visit to see starfish, crabs, and other small creatures. It’s a must-see for both pro and amateur photographers, as there is plenty of material to choose from like rock formations and crashing waves against the cliffs that throw mist into the air, beautifully blurring the backdrop.

Holding Baby Starfish over the Florida Waters

Find starfish by the water at Rosario Beach!

©Cowen Duggar/Shutterstock.com

6. Alki Beach

Location: Seattle

The beach offers lots of space to relax or work up a sweat playing beach volleyball or frisbee. The gentle waves are an open invitation to families or romantic couples (except on windy days!). Alki Beach Park is adjacent to the beach. It offers barbeque pits and well-manicured lawns for outdoor games. A visit to Alki Beach also puts you in close proximity to nearby parks like Lincoln Park, and Schmitz Preserve Park, which offers trails and invites you further out to explore nature.

A view of Alki Beach in West Seattle, Washington on a windy day.

Avoid choppy waters at Alki Beach on windy days!

©Beach Creatives/Shutterstock.com

7. Seabrook Beach

Location: Central Washington Coast

Seabrook Beach is a gorgeous location. It’s a family-friendly seaside village with coastal townhomes and beach cottages that makes it feel like you’re taking a step into the past! This is the ideal location for sunbathing and beach games in a wholesome environment. It’s only a 2.5-hour drive from the busy environment of Seattle, making it a great option for a quick day trip.

Washington Coast at Seabrook beach

Escape Seattle’s busy city life for a day trip out to Seabrook Beach!

©Jennifer Vasicek/Shutterstock.com

8. Ocean Shores

Location: Ocean Shores

Ocean Shores is unique because you don’t have to park and walk out to the water. Just drive your car out onto the sand! Just make sure it’s hard-packed. There are lots of access points and parks that lead to the beach as well. Set up a campfire and settle in for the day. The Pacific Ocean is known to be chilly, so a wet or dry suit is a good idea.

Senior man walking on the beach at low tide on a stormy day at Copalis Beach, Ocean Shores, Washington State

Low tide at Ocean Shores calls for a long walk.

©Lab-Tech Imagery/Shutterstock.com

9. Golden Gardens Park

Location: Seattle

The coastline at Golden Gardens Parks is rugged but you can stroll through and enjoy the views. You can head out into the forest to hike the trails or just take a load off and set up on the sand with a towel. There’s a pier you can fish from and if you want to take your boat out, just head to the boat launch!

Hydration is key when hiking in the summer months.

Golden Gardens Park offers hiking trails, just don’t forget your water!

©diegorayaces/Shutterstock.com

10. Owen Beach

Location: Point Defiance Park

Owen Beach is a great place for partaking in a variety of activities. There is a concession stand for snacks, a beach pavilion, a play area for the kiddos, and easy water access (recently redesigned). There are new restrooms on-site, you can rent a kayak to go out on the water and settle into picnic shelters to rest.

Owen Beach is waterfront park with picnic shelters, grills, kayak rentals & views of Vashon Island.

Owen Beach is great for kayaking!

©Mariusz S. Jurgielewicz/Shutterstock.com

Summary of the 10 Best Beaches in Washington

BeachLocation
1Ruby BeachOlympic National Park
2Pacific BeachPacific Beach National Park
3Long Beach PeninsulaLong Beach
4Fort Worden BeachFort Worden Historical State Park
5Rosario BeachDeception Pass State Park
6Alki BeachSeatle
7Seabrook BeachCentral Washington Coast
8Ocean Shores BeachOcean Shores
9Golden Gardens ParkSeatle
10Owen BeachPoint Defiance Park

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Alexander Lukatskiy/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Angie Menjivar is a writer at A-Z-Animals primarily covering pets, wildlife, and the human spirit. She has 14 years of experience, holds a Bachelor's degree in psychology, and continues her studies into human behavior, working as a copywriter in the mental health space. She resides in North Carolina, where she's fallen in love with thunderstorms and uses them as an excuse to get extra cuddles from her three cats.

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