Visit These 3 Scenic Parks While in Seattle!

For breathtaking views of the Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountain Range, a visit to one or all three of these parks while in Seattle should be at the top of your list.

Below you will find the parks listed in order of their distance from Seattle Center. If you wanted to visit all three, you should do so in the order listed below.

1) Carkeek Park
Location: 950 NW Carkeek Park Rd, Seattle, WA.
Distance from Seattle Center: 8 miles
Parking: Free/Lots of parking
Entry Fee: No entrance fees

Of all three parks, this is probably my favorite. It’s also the largest (taking up over 200 acres). Carkeek Park offers stunning views of the Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountain Range.

Carkeek Park

The beach is a bit far from the entrance of this park. After parking, to reach the beach you need to walk across a footbridge (over railroad tracks) and down several steep flights of stairs. You can also enjoy the view from just about anywhere in the park without going down to the beach.

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The beach is rocky and has large chunks of driftwood. In my opinion, the water is too cold, even in the summer to swim in. Each time I visit I have noticed that most people are more interested in walking or sitting on a large piece of driftwood and watching the sunset/taking in the view. Even when the park is busy, the beach area is still calm and not crowded. Unlike some of the other beaches in this area, dogs are not allowed.

Carkeek Park

This park offers 6 miles of walking trails, a playground, two covered shelters BBQ grills, a restroom, demonstration gardens, a learning center, more than 50 picnic tables, and a large open grassy turf perfect for kicking a soccer ball around or throwing a Frisbee, and of course a beach.

Carkeek Park

A visit is best on clear days when you can see the Olympic Range, but the park still has a lot to offer even if it is a cloudy day.

If you decide to walk a trail, have a BBQ or picnic, and visit the beach you can easily spend 2-3 hours here.

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2) Richmond Beach Saltwater Park
Location: 2021 NW 190th Street, Shoreline, WA.
Distance from Seattle Center: 14 Miles
Parking: Free/Lots of parking
Entry Fee: No entrance fees

Richmond Beach Saltwater Park is beautiful. The view of the Olympic Mountains emerging over the Puget Sound is incredible.

To get to the beach, you will need to drive down (or walk down) a short but steep and winding road to the parking lot all the way at the bottom. From the parking lot, you will need to walk over a small pedestrian overpass (over train tracks) to get down to the beach. If you were to walk all the way from the main entrance and all the way to the beach, it would probably take 10-15 minutes. It’s not far, just a little steep. You can also take in the beautiful view from the top. Benches are surrounding the perimeter.

Richmond Beach Saltwater Park

The beach itself is small. It’s probably less than a mile in length. It’s rocky and has lots of large chunks of driftwood. While I don’t like to swim here, you will see a lot of children playing and swimming in the water. This beach is usually more crowded than the one at Carkeek. This is also a favorite beach amongst dog owners.

Richmond Beach Saltwater Park

The park has bathrooms in the lower parking lot and at the bottom of the pedestrian overpass. There is a covered shelter at the bottom of the pedestrian overpass as well as a few picnic tables and benches.

Pedestrian Overpass

After you have taken some time to enjoy the view, walk the length of the beach. If you have children, they will enjoy playing on the beach while you sit and enjoy the view.

There is a small trail at the top of the park near the entrance that you can walk. You will find fantastic views from there too.

A visit is best on clear days when you can see the Olympic Range.

An hour (or less) is enough time to spend at this park.

3) Marina Beach Park
Location: 470 Admiral Way, Edmonds, WA.
Distance from Seattle Center: 17 miles
Parking: Free/Small parking lot
Entry Fee: No entrance fees

Marina Beach Park has something for everyone! Marina Beach also offers beautiful views of the Olympic Mountain Range and the Puget Sound.

Marina Beach

While all parks offer a chance to see marine life, Marina Beach is where you are most likely to see harbor seals (on the beach), orcas, birds. and otters. It’s essential that if you do see any of these animals, you do not approach them or touch them.

Marina Beach

Marina Beach is the most accessible beach of all three. No pedestrian overpasses or steep steps. This is the most accessible beach of all three.

The beach and park are small but offer a lot of activities. The beach is about half a mile in length. I don’t usually see many people swimming here, but the park is often busy and crowded.

The coolest part of Marina Beach Park is the off-leash dog park that leads to the beach/ocean. I don’t have a dog, but I love watching the dogs play in the park and the water. The dog park has lots of fun obstacles and tunnels. It seems like dog heaven! The off-leash area is separate from the rest of the park.

Off-leash dog park

The park has a small grassy open turf area with some picnic tables. You will find lots of families here with their children flying kites, playing, and having a picnic. There is also a small playground, restrooms, BBQ stands, and benches along the beach. Another cool thing about Marina Beach Park is the path that leads to Edmonds Promenade which allows you to walk down Edmond’s Waterfront. This is a beautiful and easy walking path.

Like the other parks, a visit is best on clear days when you can see the Olympic Range.

Marina Beach

You could easily spend 2-3 hours here if you decide to walk along the waterfront and get lunch at one of the restaurants along the way.

We hope you will enjoy these parks as much as we do! Make sure you charge your phone/camera so you can take a lot of photos!

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