We all know about Alki, Golden Gardens, and Discovery Park. These Seattle beaches are great for a reason, but with that greatness come crowds. You’ll almost never find yourself alone, and many times, you won’t even find yourself a parking spot.
Fear not! We have a solution to your waterfront woes. One hundred and forty-nine solutions, in fact.
Seattle’s little-known shoreline street end program established 149 secret beaches throughout the city. “Any unoccupied land between a street end and the shoreline,” the program states, counts as a public right of way. These areas are meant to be “preserved and improved for public use.” In simpler words: these places are miniature beaches. Think of a saltwater Secret Garden crossed with an undeveloped parklet. They’re quiet, unknown, and intimate. These beaches might be small, but nothing beats their privacy.
Some of them are so private, in fact, that you can’t get to them. About two-thirds of the secret beaches are “unmarked, overgrown, or have private encroachments,” according to the Seattle Department of Transportation. But that still leaves a whopping 50 secret beaches that are accessible. The city keeps a map of all these locations, both accessible and inaccessible, labeling each one as “worth a visit,” “not yet ready for visitors,” or “no public access.”
The city is developing these secret beaches bit by bit; in 2014, Seattle spent $400,000 to take nine sites out of the “not yet ready for visitors” and “no public access” categories and bring them firmly into the territory of “worth a visit.” These improvement projects work closely with local residents and community groups.
If you’re sick of crowds but hankering for some beach time, check out one of Seattle’s secret beaches. With fifty viable options to choose from, you’re bound to find one nearby.
Let us know your favorites on our Facebook page!