The Pacific Northwest, home to gloomy skies and lush rainforests, is also home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the United States. Whether looking for a place to put your feet in the sand or gaze at the ocean waves, Washington State has plenty of options for beachgoers. Here are some of our favorites:
Olympic National Park Beaches
Olympic National Park is in Washington State, boasting some of the most beautiful beaches in the Pacific Northwest.
The park is home to many beaches, but some are more popular than others. For example, Ruby Beach and Crescent Bay are popular with tourists because they’re located within Olympic National Park and are accessible by trails leading directly from the parking lots at each location. However, further down Highway 101, even more, beaches aren’t as crowded because they aren’t part of Olympic National Park. These include Port Angeles Harbor and Birch Bay State Park near Blaine, Washington (about 4 hours south).
Rialto Beach is located in Olympic National Park, two miles south of the Hoh Visitor Center and near Ruby Beach. The beach is wide, sandy, and has a calm ocean; it’s an excellent place to swim or build a sandcastle. If you’re looking for a place where you can see wildlife from your car window or while relaxing on the beach, Rialto is one of the best options: it’s home to sea otters (and even seals!) during the summer and spring months.
The only downside about this spot is accessibility—you must complete a long hike alongside the Pacific Coast Trail before reaching this beautiful destination. However, if you don’t mind getting sweaty on your way there, go ahead! Once there, though… be sure not to waste any time taking in views like these!
Ruby Beach is one of the most picturesque beaches in Olympic National Park. The name comes from the bright red sandstone cliffs jutting out into the ocean and makes for a memorable photo opportunity. If you’re looking to spend some time on this beach, several campsites nearby offer more privacy than those at Twin Beach.
This beach is perfect for kayaking and hiking; there are also plenty of spots further inland where you can go rock climbing or explore tide pools. The Ruby Creek Trail takes about an hour to complete and provides access to other parts of Olympic National Park, such as Hidden Lake Trailhead and Heart O’ the Hills Campground, both accessed via Hoh River Road or Sol Duc Road (State Route 112).
Kalaloch Beach is located on the Pacific Coast of Washington state, in the southern part of Olympic National Park. This beautiful area is known for its breathtaking views, great swimming and fishing opportunities, and hiking trails.
You can get to Kalaloch Beach by driving through the rainforest or taking a flight from Port Angeles Regional Airport (PSG). From Port Townsend, you can take Route 20 south for about 30 miles until you reach Forks, where you’ll see signs pointing toward Kalaloch Road (which is not a road at all). It’ll take about an hour longer if you’re driving this way instead of taking PSG’s shuttle service, but it’s worth it because it gives you more time to enjoy yourself there!
Shi Shi Beach
This beach is located on the peninsula’s west side, which means it’s a bit of a hike to get there. But if you’re up for a good walk, it’s worth it! You’ll be rewarded with beautiful views and some fantastic beaches to enjoy.
This beach is perfect for swimming and snorkeling—the water can get pretty cold, so this is not ideal for non-swimmers or people who are not comfortable in the ocean. The current in certain areas can also be quite strong, so check with park staff before venturing into deeper waters.
Alki Beach, Seattle
Alki Beach is a popular tourist destination located on the west side of Elliott Bay. The long beach runs from Alki Point to Lincoln Park, with many restaurants, shops, and bars.
Alki Beach itself is a great place to catch a sunset with friends or family, but if you’re looking for more than just sand between your toes, then you should check out these nearby attractions:
- Pike Place Market (just across the street)
- Seattle Aquarium (about 1 mile north)
- Seattle Great Wheel (about 2 miles north)
Fort Worden Beach
Fort Worden is a former military base near Port Townsend, Washington. The beach is open to the public and about 2 miles long. The beach has a large parking lot for visitors. Fort Worden can be popular with surfers and windsurfers, but it’s also enjoyed by families looking for affordable beach days.
Public access is available at all times, and parking is a small fee.
Cape Disappointment State Park, Long Beach Peninsula
Cape Disappointment State Park is a beautiful state park on the Long Beach Peninsula in Pacific County, Washington. The park has sandy beaches, and you can enjoy views of the Pacific Ocean. The park also has several types of wildlife and natural features.
You may see sea lions or seals swimming in the area’s waters, you might find deer along its trails or near its campgrounds, and plenty of birds live here during different times of year (including bald eagles). If you come during whale season (which runs from December through April), you may also see whales migrating along this part of Washington state’s coastline!
As if these things weren’t enough to make it worth visiting Cape Disappointment State Park as part of your travels through Washington state beaches—you also get to enjoy some fantastic scenery when visiting this park! There are two lighthouses situated along its shores that were built around 1855.
One was used for navigation purposes, while another served as a home for lighthouse keepers until it was abandoned around 1920 due to erosion caused by waves hitting against rocks nearby—so both lighthouses now serve as historical reminders about how people used them before cell phones became popular! It’s fun learning about history like this when traveling, too, because then we remember why certain places exist today
Seabrook Washington, Pacific Beach
If you head to Seabrook, you’ll get more than just a beach. While it’s known for its sandy shores and gentle waves, this small community has plenty of other things to do. It’s often called “the place where surfing meets shopping.”
- Explore the town: As you stroll through Seabrook and its surrounding communities, keep your eyes open for antique shops and boutiques—but don’t forget about their top-notch restaurants! Several great places to eat here serve fresh seafood straight from the Pacific Ocean.
- Catch some rays: When the sun is shining brightly over Washington State beaches like Seabrook’s, consider taking advantage of it by going out with friends or family members to soak up some rays on their local dunes or picnic tables overlooking Puget Sound before heading back home again later in day or evening when temperatures cool down slightly once again (or go ahead–get wild! You’re on vacation; no one’s looking).
There are many beautiful beaches in Washington State.
You’ll find many beautiful beaches in Washington State. Some beaches are in national parks, including Olympic National Park and Cape Disappointment State Park. Other beaches are on the Long Beach Peninsula, a stunning part of Washington home to many charming seaside towns (and some excellent clam chowder). Still, other beaches can be found in Seattle, where you can enjoy views of Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands with your very own beach towel.
We hope this article has given you a good idea of how to enjoy the fabulous beaches in Washington state. There is nothing like being on the water and enjoying life. If you want to see these beaches, don’t hesitate to plan your next trip out west!