The Best Swimming Spots, Beaches, and Pools in Seattle

As the sun starts to hang around more and more and the days stretch longer and longer, you might find yourself feeling a bit of envy for friends who escape to tropical beaches and poolside destinations. But is there really a need to go through all that drama to get a little beach action?

If you are like most transplants, the general assumption seems to be, “hey doesn’t it RAIN ALL THE TIME IN SEATTLE?” Well, no it does not - in fact, we have some pretty lovely days here. With water surrounding us, there are quite a few options this city has to offer for those looking to escape the endless hum of the fan and head outside to soak up the vitamin D including beaches and public pools. We’ve listed a few of our favorites for you to check out!

 

Alki Beach - West Seattle, WA

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Almost anyone who has lived in Seattle for a couple of years likes to talk about Alki Beach. And what isn’t there to like about it? It seems to most resemble that beach towny, boardwalky vibe. Sand to lay out on? Check. Water to swim in? Check. Beach volleyball courts to volleyball on? Check. There is even a mini Statue of Liberty! I mean come on! Can’t forget to mention the trail that you can skate, bike, or run on, various water sport equipment to rent, and array of restaurants, bars, and shopping right across the street. The view doesn’t suck either.

 

Chism Beach Park - Bellevue, WA

This 18-acre beach park is located a little bit outside of downtown Bellevue and offers views of downtown Seattle that you can enjoy while you hang out and get your beach on. With lots of parking and clean bathrooms, this park is somewhat off the beaten trail so if you’re lucky you might just find a bit of refuge from the masses.

 

Golden Gardens Park - Ballard, WA

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Golden Gardens is a beautiful stretch of sandy beach overlooking the Olympic Mountains. This beach gets busy in the summer as the park has a lot to offer by way of volleyball courts, bbq/fire pits, walking trails, a beach house, and an off-leash dog park nearby. There is a parking lot, but it can get full quickly so make sure you get here early.

 

Green Lake Park -  Seattle, WA

Fun Fact about Green Lake...it was created by a glacier during the last ice age. I thought that was cool, but that’s just me. Anyway, on to the beaches! There are two beaches, a West and East Green Lake Beach. These beaches have swim rafts, boat rentals, lifeguards in the summer (you can check online to find the hours), trails around the lake (2.8 miles of it), and parking is easily accessible. There are also plenty of non-beach activities all around the park, but this is really all about the beach.

 

Madison Park Beach -  Seattle, WA

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Another often mentioned beach is the Madison Park Beach. The Park itself is pretty impressive and worth a visit, no matter what time of year, but let’s be honest it’s all about the beach. Due to the popularity of the beach parking can be a bit of a challenge, but it’s worth it for some summer sun, a large grassy area to hang out in, easily accessible restrooms, lifeguards (during the summer - check online for hours), and walkable shopping and restaurants nearby.

 

Matthews Beach Park -  Seattle, WA

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A fun fact about this park - New Years Day you can start your year off right with the Polar Bear Plunge into the this festive beach’s waters. Bucket List anyone? The 22-acre park Matthews Beach Park is located in the Matthews Beach neighbourhood. The park is not as busy as some of the others in the area, but don’t let that stop you. Parking can be a bit of a challenge, but with lifeguards on duty during the summer months, locker rooms, picnic tables, and a lovely sandy beach to hang out on, this one is one to check out.

 

Colman Pool - West Seattle, WA

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Colman pool is an outdoor heated (hello 85 degrees!) saltwater pool. They have a Giant Tube Slide and two diving boards (1M and 3M) for the win! Add in relatively inexpensive fees and great hours this is win-win-win. Always double check the website for more information regarding hours and fees before you head out for the day.

 

Four Seasons Hotel  - Seattle, WA

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This one is a bit of a luxury but if you are really looking for something special this might just be for you. The Four Seasons has an incredible Infinity Pool and Bar that has amazing views and amenities like Moët & Chandon slushie shots and refreshing watermelon bites. You have to be a guest to use the facilities (we checked) but this could be the perfect staycation or if you have guests coming to visit, you could kindly direct them to this hotel and offer to visit them often.

 

Seattle Center International Fountain - Seattle, WA

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Nothing quite like standing under a spray fountain on a hot day. Brings back the little kid in you just a little bit (it can also help if you have a little kid with you but I don’t really care either way). While this one isn’t technically a swim location, I added it because let’s face it, if you’re hot and you need somewhere to cool down might as well do it somewhere where you can have a great view of the Space Needle while playing in an impressive concrete structure

This is by no means an all inclusive list Be sure to check out Seattle Parks and Recreation's list of swimming beaches or share your favorites with us in the comments!

- Jenna Blackstock, Blogger, Mermaid