13 Sandy Beaches Where Kids Can Swim

beach, sand, playtime, boy, toddler, summer, vacation

Editor’s note: Please remember to recreate responsibly by following mask, social distancing and group size requirements when visiting these beaches.

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Who else is missing Seattle’s amazing splash pads and wading pools right about now? If you’re looking to beat the heat, it’s doesn’t get better than taking a dip at these area swimming beaches. So grab your summer gear, it’s time to hit the beach!

Pritchard Island Beach

Pritchard Island Beach
Sherill Y. via Yelp

Located in the Rainier Beach area, Pritchard Island Beach is sort of your “no frills” beach. That's a plus for parents because the lack of distractions and crowds means keeping an eye on junior will be a lot easier. With that said, there is a large sandy beach as well as large grassy spaces. And later on, you just might want to head on over to the south part of the beach to take a short trek through the Pritchard Wetland. The gravel path starts at the parking lot and swerves in and out of the four acres of wildlife habitat. Listen for frogs and keep a look out for muskrats and herons at Pritchard Pond.

Lifeguard on duty: Yes

8400 55th Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98118
Online: seattle.gov

Madison Beach

Madison Beach
Yordan M. via Yelp

Located on the shores of Lake Washington, just south of Evergreen Point Bridge, sits the 400-foot Madison Beach. This is a beautiful park where the beach is sandy, the large lounging slope is grassy and there is a lot more grass between the two. Make a day of it by packing a lunch or plan a quick stop at The Independent Pizzeria right across the street to grab dinner to-go.

Lifeguard on duty: Yes

4201 E. Madison St.
Seattle, WA 98112
Online: seattle.gov

West Green Lake Beach

West Green Lake Beach
J.J. via Yelp

Green Lake is fun place to visit any time of the year. With the walking path around the lake, there is a lot of hustle and bustle, and yet it all feels peaceful at the same time. While the East Lake swimming area is closed this year, the West side (right next to the Bathhouse Theatre) is open. Nearby is the wading pool which warms up nicely during the warmer summer weather. Bring the stroller and walking shoes to take the 2.8 mile trek around the lake. You might also want to pack some spending money for a stop at Ben & Jerry’s, Zoeyogurt or Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt which are all just a few feet away from the trail.

Lifeguard on duty: Yes

7201 E. Green Lake Dr.
Seattle, WA 98115
Online: seattle.gov

Angle Lake

Channing C. via yelp

Your kids love it because of the tricked out splash pad. But this summer they'll be all about the swimming beach at Angle Lake. The sandy shore invites sandcastle building and the area's nature trails provide a respite from the August heat. Bring your poles and fish while you're there for a change of pace. No wonder this local spot is a fave!

Lifeguard on duty: No

19408 International Blvd.
SeaTac, WA
Online: seatacwa.gov

Meydenbauer Bay Park

Sherill Y. via yelp

In the heart of downtown Bellevue, you’ll find this recently updated sweet swimming beach. Sandy shores? Check. Grassy hills for picnics? Yep. Benches to enjoy the view? It’s got those too. Parking here can sometimes be a challenge, but if you can find a spot, this is a great place to spend a few hours on a sunny day.

Lifeguard on duty: Yes

9899 Lake Washington Blvd. N.E.
Bellevue, WA
Online: bellevuewa.gov

Clyde Beach Park

David D. via yelp

The secret's out about this swimming hole, tucked into a Bellevue neighborhood. Bring your beach blanket and find a spot on the grassy hill so you can spread out. You won’t find sand here, but the steps leading down to the shallow swim area, perfect for tots, make easy seating for parents. And the big kids will get a kick out of the floating dock (a.k.a. jumping platform).

Lifeguard on duty: Yes

2 - 92nd Ave. N.E.
Bellevue, WA
Online: bellevuewa.gov

Chesterfield Beach

Hong T. via yelp

This spot used to be a ferry dock, but now, during the summer months, you'll find families enjoying beach time at this sandy shore. Sit back and enjoy views of Mercer Island and sailboats heading out for the day when you visit this smaller, little-known park.

Lifeguard on duty: Yes

S.E. 25th St. & Killarney Way
Bellevue, WA
Online: bellevuewa.gov

Chism Beach

Samavay K. via yelp

Soak up the sun and views of the city at this Eastside beach. The kids will love exploring the sandy shores as much as the shaded trails. And taking a quick peek at the historic Burrows Cabin (Bellevue’s oldest surviving structure) gives kids something to focus on when it’s time to head home.

Lifeguard on duty: Yes

9600 S.E. 111th St.
Bellevue, WA
Online: bellevuewa.gov

Lake Sammamish State Park

Jeff Sandquist via flickr

When you head to Lake Sammamish State Park you get a two-fer. Pitch your sunshade at Tibbits Beach, where you’ll find sandy shores, a roped-off swimming area and kayaks to rent (reserve yours online in advance), if you're up for a paddle. Or enjoy the water play and digging deep holes in the sand at Sunset Beach. Whatever beach you choose, the kids can still opt to play on the new playground (yep, it’s open), before heading home.

Lifeguard on duty: No

Good to know: Bring your Discover Pass for this one, or opt for a day-use only ($10). There's reduced parking capacity here, but it's usually not a problem to find a spot.

2000 N.W. Sammamish Rd.
Issaquah, WA
Online: parks.state.wa.us

Idylwood Beach

Denise W. via yelp

Located on the north end of Lake Sammamish, this Redmond beach has what you need, whether you’re building sandcastles or swimming with your crew. Get here early to find a parking spot and enjoy the coolest hours of the day.

Lifeguard on duty: No

3650 W. Lake Sammamish Pkwy. N.E.
Redmond, WA
Online: redmond.gov

Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park

Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park
Jennifer S. via Yelp

Editor's note: The swimming beach at Gene Coulon is closed due to high bacteria levels until at least Aug. 5. Please check the website for re-opening information.

If some Lake Washington play time is what you're after, Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park is where it's at. It's 57 acres along the shore where families will find a swimming area, a large playground, paved walking trails (hello, stroller walks!), a fishing pier and a “water walk.” Throw in Ivar’s Seafood Bar and Kidd Valley within walking distance, and you've got it made in the shade.

Lifeguard on duty: No

1201 Lake Washington Blvd. N.
Renton, WA 98056
Online: rentonwa.gov

Thornton A. Sullivan Park at Silver Lake

Thornton A. Sullivan Park at Silver Lake
Gisella P. via Yelp

Located in south Everett, this beach park has everything you need to enjoy a waterside play day. The beach is wide and sandy and sits adjacent to a grassy park area shaded by trees. Definitely picnic-able. But water play isn't the only activity you'll find here. The playground is currently closed, but if you bring your own paddles you can enjoy a game of outdoor table tennis, or pack a frisbee for a round of disc golf. Fishing is an option too. 

Lifeguard on duty: No

11405 Silver Lake Rd.
Everett, WA 98208
Online: everettwa.gov

Flowing Lake

Flowing Lake
Leslie R. via Yelp

Located in Snohomish, Flowing Lake is actually the middle lake of a three-lake chain sitting between Storm Lake and Panther Lake. It is one the few that welcomes motorized watercrafts and water skiing with two boat launches. Flowing Park at Leckie’s Beach features fishing, a boat launch, picnic spots and a fantastic playground (please note the playground is not sanitized, so it's use-at-your-own-risk), that is mostly under the shade of the big evergreen trees.

Lifeguard on duty: No

17900 48th St. S.E.
Snohomish, WA 98290
Online: snohomishcountywa.gov

Bonus Beaches

Seattle Parks via flickr

While these three beaches aren't technically swimming beaches, they're still fun places to take the kids to splash around. North end families have long found a favorite in Golden Gardens, and you'll often find kids splashing in the waves in between building sandcastles and constructing dams at this expansive sandy beach. Hiking trails and an off-leash dog area make this a great spot to spend a sunny day. West Seattleites flock to Alki Beach year-round, and on a sunny day, you'll spot plenty of swimmers wading in, especially at low tide. If you plan to visit, remember that the bridge is currently closed. Unlike Alki and Golden Gardens, the beach at Discovery Park Beach requires families to trek a ways to get to the water. But the wooded walk (not for strollers) is beautiful and drops you off in a whole new world of beach-y wonder. The beach itself is jam-packed with lots of driftwood for fort-making, and the perfect spot for kite flying and beach combing.

Good to know:

1. As our opening phases have fluctuated recently, be sure to check the status of the beach before you visit. Stay up-to-date on Seattle beaches here and Bellevue swimming beaches here.

2. Keep an eye on bacteria levels and double-check beach closures in King County online before heading out.

—Jeffrey Totey

featured photo: Pexels via Pixabay


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