Whether you’re looking for the perfect spot for a sunset proposal, a beautiful date night picnic location, a stunning spot for engagement photos, or just want to know a cool spot to watch the sunset, I’ve got the list for you of the very best beach spots to watch the sunset around Seattle!
Let’s start with the semi obvious ones, the most popular beaches. Although much of the beaches around Seattle and much of Washington are rocky and sort of rugged, there are actually a couple of amazing sandy beaches that are totally killer spots for a sunset!
Alki beach in West Seattle is probably the most obvious and popular beach spot in the city. It’s massive, and amazing, and really a cool spot to hang out any time during the summer to play in the sand and enjoy some sunshine. It’s really more than just one beach, it’s a whole series of coastline parks and paved trails that stretch for two and a half miles and wrap around the edge of West Seattle. It is one of those “iconic” Seattle view spots, and is easily recognizable in any prime time sports broadcast from Seattle as one of their B roll filler shots, probably with a Nirvana song playing as they show it lol.
Much of the parking is along the street as there are only a handful of smaller parking lots there aside from the larger boat launch parking lot. The prime sunset view is actually around the corner from the city view (this view faces east and is also amazing for sunrises!) and is where the sandy beach actually starts. On a nice day in the summer expect to have to park a good ways away in one of the neighborhoods as it gets PACKED! But it’s one of the premier spots in the city to enjoy the beach as well as a sunset =)
More info here – https://www.seattle.gov/parks/find/parks/alki-beach-park
Next on the beach list is a slightly lesser known but still incredibly popular park named Golden Gardens. It is a beautiful beach park in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle and adjacent to the Shilshole marina and boat launch. It features a stunning stretch of sandy beach, fire pits, BBQ grills, an off leash dog park, volleyball courts, and many trails that wind through the surrounding forest areas.
Similar to Alki, it gets absolutely packed on sunny days, but there is much more adequate parking; however during peak times you would definitely expect to walk a decent ways to get to the beach. Unlike Alki Beach, Golden Gardens is an entirely west facing beach so it is a prime spot to catch the sunset over Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. Just be sure to pack some bug spray in the summer, I’ve definitely come back with an arm full of mosquito bites after not bringing a love sleeve shirt!
Discovery Park in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood is Seattle’s largest city park. It is MASSIVE (534 acres!!), and really has everything a person could want to enjoy, large forest areas, miles and miles of trails, stunning bluff views, wild flowers and meadows, open grass fields, and of course a stunning beach WITH a lighthouse!
I am including this one on the list with a caveat, the beach is one that either requires a special parking permit that’s obtained from the visitor’s center, a decent hike down the hill to get to, or an Uber/Lyft/drop off to enjoy. There is only a very small parking lot down at the beach, and it is all reserved parking for pass holders and handicap spots. They will ticket and tow cars who break the rules, so I definitely recommend finding an alternate method down if you are unable to score a parking pass.
With that said, it’s an amazing beach, at an amazing park. It’s one of my favorites in the city and a very special place to enjoy the sunset. Like Golden Gardens it is also a west facing beach, but it is NOT sandy, and is quite rocky and full of driftwood. https://www.seattle.gov/parks/find/parks/discovery-park
The next beach on the list is another large multi-use park with stunning beach access in the north Seattle Broadview neighborhood named Carkeek Park. It’s another very large multi-use park with many picnic shelters, trails, playgrounds, forest, and creeks. There are several large terraced parking lots that are scattered throughout the park with the closest being a short walk over the nearby railroad tracks (via bridge) to the beach below.
The beach area is an awesome spot for tide pools at low tide, and exploring and observing the sea life that lives in the intertidal area. It is also a mostly rocky and west facing beach with tremendous views of the Puget Sound with stunning views of the Olympic Mountains in the distance. Carkeek park is a great spot to spend the day, the afternoon, or just an hour around sunset!
The final beach park on the list is another West Seattle staple named Lincoln Park. It is on the opposite side of from Alki and is adjacent to the Fauntleroy ferry to Vashon Island. It too is a large multi-use park with ball fields, trails, forests, and an awesome beach that stretches along the coastline facing west with views of the Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains in the distance. https://www.seattle.gov/parks/find/parks/lincoln-park
** Okay I lied, I wanted to drop one more hidden gem in here that is super tiny, but totally worth it for a quick stop if you’re downtown and wanting to catch the sunset without driving halfway across the city. Myrtle Edwards Park is the spot for this! It is just down the hill from the Olympic Sculpture Park and is mostly known for it’s bike/walking paths and as being the home to Seattle’s Hempfest during the summer, but it also has a small sandy/rocky beach to drop down on to enjoy the killer views of the Olympics, as well as the passing ferries, cargo ships, and cruise ships coming into dock nearby.