Top 5 Sandy Beaches In Washington To Visit in 2023

Washington State is known for its stunning natural beauty, including its rugged coastline and beautiful beaches. While some may associate the state's beaches with rocky cliffs and pebble shores, there are also several sandy beaches in Washington that are worth exploring.

1. Alki Beach

Alki Beach

Alki Beach is a popular and picturesque sandy beach located in West Seattle, Washington. Stretching about 2.5 miles along the shore of Elliott Bay, Alki Beach offers stunning views of downtown Seattle's skyline, the Olympic Mountains, and the sparkling waters of Puget Sound.

One of the main attractions of Alki Beach is its recreational opportunities. The sandy shoreline provides ample space for sunbathing, picnicking, and beach volleyball

Visitors can also take advantage of the paved promenade, which is ideal for walking, jogging, or biking while enjoying the refreshing sea breeze.

Water activities abound at Alki Beach, with kayaking, paddle boarding, and swimming being popular choices. The beach offers a designated swimming area, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for all ages. 

Fishing enthusiasts can cast their lines from the shoreline or nearby Alki Pier in search of salmon, flounder, or perch.

Alki Beach is not only a summer destination but also a year-round attraction. During colder months, visitors can cozy up in one of the beachside cafes or restaurants, which offer panoramic views of the waterfront. 

Alki Beach

Aside from its natural beauty, Alki Beach holds historical significance as well. It is considered the birthplace of Seattle, as the first white settlers arrived here in 1851.

Today, visitors can learn about the area's history at the nearby Log House Museum.

Whether you're seeking outdoor adventures, relaxation, or a glimpse into Seattle's past, Alki Beach offers a delightful experience for locals and tourists alike. 

With its sandy shores, breathtaking views, and a range of activities, Alki Beach is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the Seattle area.

2. Second Beach:

Second Beach

Second Beach is a stunning sandy beach located in Olympic National Park, Washington. Nestled between towering cliffs and lush coastal forests, Second Beach offers a pristine and secluded coastal experience.

Accessible via a short hike through the enchanting rainforest, this beach is a true gem of the Pacific Northwest.

The hike to Second Beach is a picturesque adventure in itself. As you meander along the trail, you'll be surrounded by old-growth trees, moss-covered rocks, and the melodic sounds of nature. 

The trail leads you to a descending staircase, revealing the breathtaking view of Second Beach's sandy expanse and the roaring Pacific Ocean.

Once you reach the beach, you'll be captivated by its natural beauty. Soft golden sand stretches for miles, inviting visitors to take leisurely strolls or bask in the sun. 

Massive sea stacks rise from the ocean, creating a dramatic backdrop for memorable photos. During low tide, fascinating tide pools are exposed, teeming with marine life waiting to be discovered.


people cycling near the third beach

Nestled within the majestic Olympic National Park in Washington State, Third Beach stands as a hidden gem, captivating visitors with its secluded beauty, stunning sea stacks, and vibrant tide pools teeming with marine life.

If you're seeking an enchanting coastal escape far from the hustle and bustle of daily life, Third Beach is a place of serene tranquility that promises to leave a lasting impression.

Secluded Beauty IN sandy beach

Secluded Beauty IN sandy beach

What sets Third Beach apart is its tranquil seclusion. Tucked away amidst the dense temperate rainforest, reaching the beach requires a scenic hike through towering old-growth trees and lush foliage.

As you meander along the well-maintained trail, the sounds of nature envelop you, creating an immersive experience that heightens the anticipation of what lies ahead.

Dramatic Sea Stacks IN sandy beach

Upon arriving at Third Beach, your eyes will be drawn to the dramatic sea stacks that dot the shoreline. These towering rock formations rise from the depths of the Pacific Ocean, creating a picturesque backdrop against the sandy beach. 

Their weathered exteriors and unique shapes offer endless opportunities for photography and contemplation.

Vibrant Tide Pools IN Sandy beach

One of the highlights of Third Beach is its vibrant tide pools. As the ocean tides recede, a mesmerizing world of marine life is revealed within these shallow pools. Anemones, starfish, crabs, and other fascinating creatures cling to rocks and thrive in this dynamic ecosystem. 

Exploring the tide pools is not only educational but also a chance to witness the intricate interplay between land and sea.

Seaside Exploration in sandy beach

Third Beach beckons visitors to explore its sandy expanse. Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll along the water's edge or an invigorating hike to the north, the beach offers an ideal canvas for adventure.

Take in the invigorating sea breeze, collect seashells, or simply sit and contemplate the vastness of the ocean.

Sunsets to Remember in sandy beach

man swimming in the sea while sun set in sandy beach

As the day draws to a close, Third Beach treats visitors to breathtaking sunsets. The sky transforms into a kaleidoscope of colors, casting a warm glow on the sea stacks and the horizon. 

It's a magical spectacle that creates an atmosphere of awe and wonder.

4. Ocean Shores  

Ocean Shores in Washington State is a captivating coastal haven that offers visitors a wide array of experiences. With its expansive sandy beaches, charming small-town atmosphere, and an abundance of outdoor activities.

Ocean Shores is the perfect destination for beach lovers and nature enthusiasts alike.

Outdoor Recreation in sandy beach:

The natural surroundings of Ocean Shores provide ample opportunities for outdoor recreation. Explore the coastline on horseback, with guided horseback riding tours available for riders of all skill levels.

Take to the water for kayaking or paddle boarding adventures, or try your hand at surf fishing or clam digging.

With its diverse ecosystem, including nearby wildlife refuges and estuaries, Ocean Shores is a paradise for birdwatchers and nature photographers.

Family-Friendly Attractions in sandy beach

Ocean Shores caters to families with a host of attractions and activities suitable for all ages. Head to the North Bay Park and enjoy picnicking, playgrounds, and stunning views of the harbor. 

Visit the Interpretive Center to learn about the local marine life and participate in interactive exhibits. Golf enthusiasts can tee off at one of the area's renowned golf courses, while go-karting, miniature golf, and bumper boats provide thrills for the whole family.

Coastal Dining and Shopping in Beach

Ocean Shores offers a delightful culinary scene with a variety of restaurants, cafes, and seafood shacks. Indulge in freshly caught seafood, savor local specialties, and experience waterfront dining with panoramic ocean views. 

Additionally, the town boasts an assortment of unique shops and boutiques, where you can browse for beach-themed souvenirs, coastal-inspired decor, and local artisan crafts.

5. Rialto Beach

Nestled within the stunning Olympic National Park in Washington State, Rialto Beach is a coastal gem that captivates visitors with its rugged beauty and dramatic scenery. With its towering sea stacks, driftwood-strewn shores, and breathtaking sunsets, Rialto Beach offers a true escape into nature's enchanting masterpiece.

Spectacular Sea Stacks In Sandy Beach

The prominent feature of Rialto Beach is its impressive sea stacks that rise majestically from the crashing waves. These towering rock formations, shaped by centuries of erosion, create a dramatic backdrop against the sandy beach.
 They serve as a photographer's paradise and a reminder of nature's remarkable artistry.

Driftwood-Strewn Shores in sandy beach

As you walk along Rialto Beach, you'll encounter a captivating sight—the scattered remnants of weathered driftwood that have washed ashore. These picturesque sculptures of nature create a unique and rustic ambiance, inviting you to explore, take photographs, or simply sit and admire the coastal landscape.

Breathtaking Sunsets in sandy beach 

Rialto Beach is renowned for its awe-inspiring sunsets. As the sun descends behind the horizon, the sky ignites with vibrant hues of orange, pink, and purple, casting a magical glow over the beach and sea stacks. Witnessing a Rialto Beach sunset is an unforgettable experience that leaves a lasting impression on all who visit.

Nature's Playground in sandy beach

Beyond its stunning aesthetics, Rialto Beach offers a range of outdoor activities. Marvel at the tide pools teeming with marine life, explore the intertidal zone, or embark on a hike to discover hidden coves and secluded stretches of the coastline. Be sure to check the tides before venturing out for a safe and enjoyable experience.

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