Pacific Northwestern riff on the popular beaches

OK, so maybe the sand along Alki Beach isn’t a picturesque stretch of pristine white shoreline, but it’s got its own Pacific Northwest charm. It’s interrupted by massive driftwood trees, stripes of seaweed, and kelp pushed in at high tide. Most people who visit Seattle are surprised to learn there’s a beach at all, much less one within a water-taxi ride from downtown.


Outdoor activities

Alki Beach is an ideal spot on a sunny day in Seattle. Families flock to the beach during low tide to spend time exploring the small tide pools that emerge as the water in Puget Sound recedes, and they often share the beach with intrepid seagulls and crows seeking a few mussels or crabs among the rocky formations.

Running parallel to the beach, cyclists, runners, skateboarders and rollerbladers can take advantage of a flat, well-maintained path and sidewalk roughly 2.5 miles in length. During nice weather, it’s also common to see Seattleites sunbathing in beach chairs and on towels while others catch rays from kayaks and stand-up paddleboards available for rent. There are also several beach volleyball nets set up for public use, and grills and fire pits are available on a first-come, first-served basis.


Ample food and drink

While Alki Beach stretches from Duwamish Head to the Alki Point Lighthouse, restaurants, bars and cafes, are primarily along the stretch of beach designated as Alki Beach Park. In this area, there are a variety of cuisines to choose from, as well as options for meals throughout the day. Farther east, there are two main restaurant options: Salty’s on Alkifor a great view of the city and equally delicious food, and Marination Ma Kai which serves Hawaiian and Pacific-inspired dishes in an informal dining area.

In the morning, it’s necessary to stop at Top Pot Doughnuts to enjoy an official Seattle Seahawks doughnut and Ovaltine latte before setting out to explore the area. Ampersand Café is another casual, all-day spot with a reputation for delicious, fresh-baked cinnamon rolls. There is – of course – also a Starbucks in the area for those seeking an alternative ‘local’ coffee chain.

Lunch options are equally casual. Blue Moon Burgers, a fast-food burger chain in a converted auto garage, is good for a quick bite before renting a bicycle to ride along the beach path. Duke’s Chowder House is another well-known Seattle restaurant; like their South Lake Union location, this Alki Beach restaurant boasts a water view and warming chowder on a gray Seattle day. Lastly, Spud Fish & Chips has a walk-up counter and claims to be Seattle’s original fast food restaurant.