Discover the Beauty of Alki Beach and Alki Beach Park in Seattle

Discover the beauty of Alki Beach and Alki Beach Park in West Seattle. Enjoy volleyball, strolls, and stunning views of Elliott Bay. Visit Alki Beach

Exploring Alki Beach: Discover the Serene Beauty of Alki Beach and Alki Beach Park

alki beach
alki beach

Imagine a perfect summer day, and your imagination might transport you to Alki Beach Park. This expansive beachfront extends from approximately 64th Place SW to Duwamish Head along Elliot Bay. It's a great destination for a leisurely stroll any time of year, but during the summer, it becomes a hub of activity, attracting runners, skiers, volleyball enthusiasts, sunbathers, cyclists and families soaking up the sun. Keep in mind that the water temperature ranges from 46 to 56 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the season.

The wide path can comfortably accommodate a large number of visitors, and ample parking is available along Alki Ave. SW. The park features picnic tables and a restroom housing an art studio and bathroom located at the southern end of the beach near Alki Point. Here, you'll also discover a monument commemorating the arrival of the first white settlers on November 13, 1851.

Heading north along the beach, you'll find a sheltered barrier area and charming cottages. The entire beach offers stunning views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains and a bustling sight of ferries, sailboats, steamers and other vessels plying the waters of Puget Sound.

As you explore further, you'll come across a small plaza surrounded by a seawall, which was once the site of the Luna Park amusement park. Take a moment to admire the antique 2.5-ton anchor, which was restored by the Nor'West Divers Club and is now on display at this location.

For those looking to hit the water with hand-held boats, there are designated areas on the East and West Shore beaches. On the east shore, you have access between 53rd Avenue SW and 55th Avenue SW, while on the west shore, access is via the west property line, which runs northwest for 200 feet.

Alki Beach History

The Denny party, Seattle's earliest white settlers, arrived at the shores of Alki Beach in 1851. They received assistance during their first winter from a group of Duwamish people led by Chief Seattle. Initially, the settlers named the area New York-Alki. The term "Alki" is of native origin, meaning "by and by," reflecting the settlers' aspiration that this new settlement would eventually grow to attain the size and significance of New York City. After spending one winter camped on the beach, most of the party eventually relocated across Elliott Bay to the less exposed shores of what is now Seattle's current waterfront.

As early as 1888, there was a ferry service connecting downtown Seattle to West Seattle, making it one of Seattle's first bedroom communities. During a period, West Seattle also had a thriving timber industry. In 1907, the area was officially annexed to Seattle. In that same year, Luna Park, an amusement park that proudly dubbed itself the "Coney Island of the West," opened on Duwamish Head at the northern tip of Alki Beach. Although the park was operational only until 1913, its legacy remains an integral part of Seattle's history, and the idea of rebuilding it resurfaces periodically. During its operation, Luna Park's illuminations were visible from downtown Seattle; today, people visit the Luna Park Seawall to enjoy views of downtown Seattle.

Read Also: 15 Best Beaches in Spain to visit for an Unforgettable Vacation Experience

Alki Beach map

How To Get to Alki Beach

West Seattle is a picturesque area that extends into Elliott Bay directly west of downtown Seattle. Getting there by car is quite straightforward. Here are the directions:

alki beach
alki beach
  1. From downtown Seattle, follow the signs to reach I-5 South.
  2. Take the exit for West Seattle.
  3. Once you've crossed the West Seattle Bridge, make a right turn onto Harbor Ave SW.
  4. Follow Harbor Ave SW as it takes you around the tip of Duwamish Head and leads you to Alki Point.

Please note that parking can be a bit challenging, especially on weekends. However, with some patience, you can likely find street parking not too far from the main strip along Alki Ave SW.

During the summer months, you can also opt to leave your car behind and take advantage of Metro's water taxi service. The water taxi departs from a location situated between piers 55 and 56. For a nominal fee of two dollars each way, you can enjoy a scenic twelve-minute ride across the bay. Upon arriving at Sea Crest Park, which is the water taxi's terminus in West Seattle, you'll find that Metro's Free DART shuttle conveniently picks up passengers and transports them to Alki Beach or the West Seattle Junction, providing an efficient and hassle-free way to explore the area.

Read Also: Explore the Beauty of Barceloneta Beach in Barcelona

Best time to visit Alki Beach

The best time to visit Alki Beach in Seattle, Washington, largely depends on your preferences for weather and the type of activities you'd like to enjoy. Here are some considerations for visiting Alki Beach during different seasons:

  1. Summer (June to August): Summer is the peak tourist season at Alki Beach. The weather is typically warm and sunny during this time, with temperatures ranging from the mid-60s to mid-70s Fahrenheit (18-24°C). It's the ideal time for swimming, sunbathing, beach volleyball, and water sports. The longer daylight hours also provide opportunities for evening beach bonfires. However, it can get crowded, so be prepared for larger crowds and limited parking.

  2. Spring (April to May) and Fall (September to October): Spring and early fall can be pleasant times to visit if you prefer fewer crowds. The weather is milder, with temperatures ranging from the upper 40s to 60s Fahrenheit (9-20°C). You can still enjoy walks on the beach, picnics, and the beautiful views, but water activities may be more limited due to cooler water temperatures.

  3. Winter (November to March): Winter is the least popular time to visit Alki Beach due to the colder and wetter weather. Daytime temperatures can range from the mid-40s to 50s Fahrenheit (7-15°C). While the beach is less crowded, outdoor activities may be limited, and swimming is not recommended due to the cold water. However, it can be a peaceful time for a quiet beach walk, and you can enjoy cozy indoor activities in the nearby restaurants and cafรฉs.

Ultimately, the best time to visit Alki Beach depends on your preferences and the type of experience you're seeking. If you want to enjoy the beach to the fullest with water activities, summer is the top choice. For a more tranquil experience with fewer crowds, consider visiting during the shoulder seasons of spring and fall.

Things to Do in Alki Beach

  1. Beachcombing at Alki Beach: Discover seashells and enjoy breathtaking views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains.

  2. Swimming in Puget Sound: Take a refreshing swim in the calm waters during the warm summer months.

  3. Picnicking at Alki Beach Park: Relax at picnic tables and grassy areas while savoring scenic vistas. Pack your own picnic or dine at nearby eateries.

  4. Sunbathing: Soak up the sun's rays on the sandy shores of Alki Beach.

  5. Volleyball: Engage in a game of beach volleyball at the public courts, or bring your own equipment for some fun.

  6. Biking Along the Alki Trail: Explore the flat and picturesque Alki Trail by cycling. Rentals are available locally.

  7. Kayaking and Paddleboarding: Rent kayaks or paddleboards to explore the waters of Puget Sound. Lessons and rentals are offered nearby.

  8. Fishing at Alki Beach: Try your hand at fishing from the beach or one of the fishing piers.

  9. Beach Bonfires: Enjoy beach bonfires during permitted times and with the appropriate permits. Be sure to check local regulations.

  10. Sunset Watching: Witness stunning sunsets over the water – a renowned feature of Alki Beach.

  11. Visiting Local Attractions: Explore nearby attractions like the Alki Point Lighthouse, Alki Promenade, or the Log House Museum, which provides insights into the area's history.

  12. Dining with a View: Savor seafood, ice cream, coffee, and more at Alki Beach's diverse range of restaurants and cafes, all offering ocean views.

  13. Events and Festivals: Keep an eye on the local calendar for beach cleanups, summer festivals, live music performances, and other exciting events.

  14. Relaxation and Tranquility: Alki Beach is the perfect place to unwind, read a book, or simply soak in the peaceful ambiance.

Experience the best of Alki Beach in Seattle with these exciting activities and enjoy the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Whether you're a beach enthusiast or seeking a relaxing day by the water, Alki Beach has something special for everyone.

Alki beach weather

alki beach
alki beach

The weather at Alki Beach in Seattle, Washington, varies throughout the year. Here's an overview of the typical weather conditions you can expect during different seasons:

  1. Summer (June to August):

    • Summer is the warmest and driest season at Alki Beach.
    • Average daytime temperatures range from the mid-60s to mid-70s Fahrenheit (18-24°C).
    • Expect plenty of sunshine and long daylight hours, making it the ideal time for outdoor activities.
    • It's the peak tourist season, so the beach can get crowded.
  2. Fall (September to November):

    • Fall brings cooler temperatures to Alki Beach.
    • Daytime highs range from the upper 50s to mid-60s Fahrenheit (14-20°C).
    • While it's less crowded than summer, you can still enjoy pleasant weather for beach walks and other outdoor pursuits.
    • Rainfall increases as the season progresses.
  3. Winter (December to February):

    • Winter is the coolest and wettest season.
    • Daytime temperatures typically range from the mid-40s to 50s Fahrenheit (7-15°C).
    • Rain is common, and it can be overcast.
    • While it's less crowded, outdoor water activities are limited due to the cold temperatures.
  4. Spring (March to May):

    • Spring brings milder temperatures back to the area.
    • Daytime highs range from the upper 40s to 60s Fahrenheit (9-20°C).
    • The weather gradually improves, and you can enjoy blooming flowers and budding trees.
    • It's a great time for beachcombing, picnics, and outdoor exploration.

Please note that these are general weather patterns, and actual conditions can vary from year to year. It's advisable to check a local weather forecast closer to your visit for the most accurate and up-to-date information on Alki Beach weather.

alki beach restaurants and bars

Alki Beach in Seattle offers a variety of restaurants, cafes, and bars where you can enjoy a meal, sip on a refreshing drink, or sample local cuisine while taking in the stunning views of Puget Sound. Here are some popular restaurants and bars at Alki Beach:

  1. Cactus Alki: This restaurant offers modern Southwestern and Mexican cuisine with a waterfront view. Enjoy dishes like tacos, enchiladas, and margaritas on their spacious patio.

  2. Duke's Seafood: Known for its seafood, Duke's offers a range of fresh catches, including clam chowder, fish and chips, and crab cakes. Their outdoor seating provides beautiful beachfront views.

  3. Alki Spud Fish & Chips: A local favorite, Spud serves classic fish and chips, burgers, and other comfort food. Enjoy casual dining on their outdoor deck.

  4. Taco Street: If you're craving tacos, this spot offers a variety of options, including street-style tacos and burritos. Grab a quick bite to eat and enjoy it on the beach.

  5. Marination Ma Kai: This Hawaiian-Korean fusion restaurant offers delicious dishes like sliders, tacos, and kimchi fried rice. They have a patio overlooking the water and skyline.

  6. Cactus Restaurant: Located right on the waterfront, Cactus Restaurant serves Southwestern-inspired dishes, margaritas, and a variety of tequilas. The outdoor seating offers fantastic views.

  7. Peel and Press: A cozy neighborhood spot known for its wood-fired pizza and craft cocktails. They also offer salads, sandwiches, and a selection of beers on tap.

  8. Ampersand Cafรฉ on Alki: A charming cafรฉ serving coffee, pastries, sandwiches, and salads. It's a great place for a quick breakfast or a coffee break.

  9. Harry's Beach House: This beachfront bar and grill offers seafood, burgers, and cocktails. Relax on their outdoor patio while watching the sunset.

  10. Tully's Coffee: A well-known coffee chain offering a variety of coffee drinks and pastries. Grab a coffee to-go and take a leisurely stroll along the beach.

  11. Great American Diner & Bar: A classic diner offering breakfast, burgers, milkshakes, and more. It's a family-friendly spot with indoor and outdoor seating.

  12. The Celtic Swell: An Irish pub with a cozy atmosphere and a selection of Irish and local beers. They also offer pub fare and outdoor seating.

Please note that hours of operation and availability may vary, so it's a good idea to check with the individual restaurants and bars for the latest information and any reservations if needed. Enjoy your dining experience at Alki Beach!

alki beach parks and recreation

Alki Beach in Seattle, Washington, offers a plethora of parks and recreational activities for visitors and locals alike. Discover the outdoor fun and natural beauty that this iconic beachfront destination has to offer:

  1. Alki Beach Park: Alki Beach Park is the heart of Alki Beach, featuring sandy shores, picnic areas, and beach volleyball courts. It's an ideal spot for sunbathing, swimming, picnicking, and beachcombing. The picturesque promenade is perfect for leisurely strolls and bike rides.

  2. Alki Playground: Adjacent to Alki Beach Park, the Alki Playground provides a safe and enjoyable play area for kids. It boasts swings, slides, and climbing structures, making it a popular choice for families looking for a place to unwind.

  3. Charles Richey Sr. Viewpoint: Capture breathtaking panoramic views of the Seattle skyline, Puget Sound, and the majestic Olympic Mountains from this viewpoint. It's a must-visit location for photographers and sightseers.

  4. Alki Kayak Tours: Explore the serene waters of Puget Sound by renting kayaks or paddleboards from Alki Kayak Tours. They offer rentals, guided tours, and lessons suitable for all skill levels.

  5. Beach Volleyball: Alki Beach provides public beach volleyball courts where you can set up a friendly game with friends or fellow beachgoers. Bring your own volleyball and enjoy the sandy competition.

  6. Fishing: Cast your line and try your hand at fishing from the beach or one of the fishing piers. Alki Beach offers opportunities to catch a variety of local fish species, including salmon and trout.

  7. Bonfires: Beach bonfires are a cherished tradition at Alki Beach. Ensure you adhere to local regulations and obtain any required permits to enjoy a cozy bonfire with your loved ones.

  8. Biking: The scenic Alki Trail runs along the waterfront, providing a picturesque route for biking enthusiasts. You can rent bicycles locally if needed to explore the stunning shoreline.

  9. Hiking Trails: While Alki Beach itself is relatively flat, nearby parks such as Schmitz Preserve Park and Lincoln Park offer hiking opportunities amid lush natural settings.

  10. Beach Cleanups: Join local community initiatives and organizations in beach cleanup events, contributing to the preservation of Alki Beach's pristine environment.

  11. Water Activities: Dive into water adventures by renting kayaks, paddleboards, or jet skis to navigate the waters of Puget Sound. Lessons and guided tours are readily available.

  12. Events and Festivals: Keep an eye on the local event calendar for special occasions at Alki Beach, including summer festivals, live music performances, and athletic events.

Whether you're seeking relaxation on the beach, thrilling water sports, or exploration of nearby parks, Alki Beach offers a diverse array of recreational activities to satisfy your outdoor cravings. Enjoy your visit to this Seattle gem!

reviews of alki beach

Alki Beach in Seattle, Washington, has garnered a wide range of reviews from visitors and locals alike. Here's a summary of some common themes found in reviews of Alki Beach:

Positive Reviews:

  1. Scenic Beauty: Many reviewers praise Alki Beach for its stunning natural beauty. The picturesque views of Puget Sound, the Seattle skyline, and the Olympic Mountains are often mentioned as highlights.

  2. Family-Friendly: Families appreciate the family-friendly atmosphere of Alki Beach. The sandy shores, playgrounds, and picnic areas make it an ideal spot for a day of fun with children.

  3. Recreational Activities: Visitors enjoy the diverse range of recreational activities available at Alki Beach, including swimming, beach volleyball, kayaking, paddleboarding, and biking along the scenic Alki Trail.

  4. Restaurants and Dining: Reviewers often mention the variety of dining options along the beachfront. Seafood restaurants, cafes, and ice cream shops receive positive feedback for their offerings.

  5. Sunsets: Alki Beach is renowned for its breathtaking sunsets, and many visitors specifically mention the beautiful sunset views as a highlight of their experience.

Negative Reviews:

  1. Crowds: Some reviewers note that Alki Beach can get crowded, especially on weekends and during peak summer months. Finding parking and securing a good spot on the beach may be challenging during busy times.

  2. Seagulls: A few visitors mention seagulls as a minor annoyance. These birds are common along the waterfront and can be attracted by picnics and food.

  3. Water Temperature: The water temperature of Puget Sound can be relatively cool, even during the summer months. Some swimmers find it too cold for extended swimming.

  4. Lack of Shade: While there are picnic areas, some reviewers wish there were more shaded spots on the beach to escape the sun, especially during hot days.

  5. Bonfires and Cleanliness: Reviewers who mention beach bonfires sometimes express concerns about the cleanliness of the beach afterward. It's important to clean up after bonfires to maintain the beach's beauty.

Keep in mind that reviews of Alki Beach can vary widely based on individual preferences and expectations. Many visitors find it to be a charming and enjoyable destination, while others may have specific preferences or concerns. Ultimately, the experience at Alki Beach can be greatly influenced by the time of visit and personal preferences.

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