While the water may be frigid, the views from the beaches in Washington are absolutely amazing. The state showcases 157 miles of rugged coastline, complete with cliffs and a mix of sandy and rocky beaches. Summer is the prime time for a day at the beach in this Pacific Northwest state. You camp nearby, hike in the woodsy nature trails, and stroll along picturesque shores.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that California has all the west’s best beach towns, as Washington State has its fair share of coastal gems. Whether you’re looking for a rural seaside community or a bustling developed city to live or visit, the Evergreen State has it all. The climate in the Pacific Northwest is colder …
Top Beaches and Coastal Towns in WA
The Evergreen State has a lot of top beach towns that make for great year-round living or visiting. The largest city in the state, Seattle, happens to reside by some terrific beaches, as it’s nestled on a narrow strip of land between the Puget Sound (an inlet of the Pacific Ocean) to the west, and Lake Washington to the east. Port Townsend, Coupeville, and Anacortes are some of the other favorite coastal destinations.
Guide to Visiting the Beaches in Washington
While Washington isn’t known for having a surplus of sunny days, the state has 157 miles of coastline with some incredible beaches. Thanks to the abundance of islands, bays, and inlets, the Evergreen State is a beacon for ocean lovers and mariners.
Beaches in Washington vary from sandy areas that are great for sandcastle-making to rocky shorelines that face a usually-overcast horizon. Fishing options are plentiful all around the state, and boating opportunities are fantastic for exploring this part of the country’s waters.
While there are countless lakes in the state with their own beaches, the ocean side of Washington won’t leave you bored or provide too little to discover. However, there are plenty of quaint beach towns that make for a stunning getaway.
Visitors to Seattle will find out that the city has many beaches right in the metro area, such as one of the more popular ones, Alki Beach. However, all sides of Jet City have parks and beach access that will get you down to the water.
Venture out of Emerald City to see even more seaworthy vessels and picturesque marinas with coastlines. Learn about the early European visitors and Native tribes that lived on the land and contributed to regional cultures.
The charming Viking town of Poulsbo is known as “Little Norway,” as it showcases Scandinavian culture up and down its streets. Visitors are fascinated to find Long Beach, known as the “World Longest Beach,” with about 28 miles of shore to play on.
It’s no secret that it rains in Washington. However, the best time of year to come is during the summer when your odds of seeing sunshine are more significant than the rest of the year. October through March is the wettest time of year in the state, with its peak rainy month being December.
Regarding weather, the ideal time of year to visit is June through August. Since the Pacific Ocean rarely gets over 55℉, most people don’t enjoy swimming on Washington beaches, even during the summer. However, this is the perfect time for other activities like boating, beachcombing, and wildlife watching.
Bigger cities like Bellingham and Seattle have many lodging options, from chain hotels to Airbnbs. Smaller communities and islands like Whidbey Island, Anacortes, La Push, and Vashon Island are more popular for their vacation rentals and cottages.
When the weather is fine and not too wet or cold, camping in the Evergreen State can be blissful. Many parks with designated camping sites and grounds are fantastic for enjoying the fresh air and forest smells. Outdoors enthusiasts will find spots to camp both inland and along the shore.
With the Pacific’s chilly water, most visitors enjoy spending time on the shore instead of in the ocean. Seashell hunting, fishing, whale watching, beachcombing, or just walking along the coast are great Washington beach activities. Hunting for clams, crabbing and birding is fun during certain seasons.
Boating and hiking are also sometimes possible in the same areas. When planning a day at one of Evergreen State’s beaches, don’t forget to bring your windbreaker and multiple layers. Even on a calm day, the wind can be fierce and unassuming for vacationers.
Make the most out of your journey to the Pacific Northwest, and see why locals treasure their Washington State beaches.