We get it. Seattle may not be the first place that comes to mind when you’re starting to map out your next beach vacation. That being said, including lakes, the city has over 200 miles of both fresh and saltwater shoreline. Next time you’re craving sun and sand, consider trading in the palm trees and cacti of Southern California for a laidback, evergreen kind of beach vibe in Seattle.

Alki Beach Park

Located in West Seattle, Alki Beach Park allows picture-perfect views of the Olympic Mountain range and Puget Sound. Its 2.5-mile-long pathway attracts joggers, roller bladers and beachcombers—it’s truly the ideal place for an afternoon of picnicking, playing, and sun-soaking. Alki Beach Park: 1702 Alki Ave SW; 206-684-4075

Madison Park Beach

Pack up your flamingo pool floaty and head to Lake Washington’s popular Madison Park Beach. You’ll appreciate the free street parking, and proximity to cute shops and restaurants. There’s no boozing allowed on the beach, so you’ll want to pop over to Cactus for a post-tanning-sesh margarita.

Green Lake Beaches

Green Lake is ideal for swimmers, floaters, and stand-up paddle boarders alike, as motorized vehicles are not allowed, so waters are relatively calm. Full time lifeguards man both west and east beach locations, seaweed is trimmed back along the shores, and lush green grass lines the lake–this is city swimming at its cushiest.

Lowman Beach Park

This small, West Seattle beach is rarely crowded, and has a lovely, rocky shoreline with plenty of driftwood to pull up a seat on. Spectacular views of the Olympics, Alki Point, and Williams Point make this lesser-known beach a little bit of a hidden gym.

Pritchard Island Beach

Located in the Rainier Beach neighborhood, Pritchard Island Beach is clean and nicely-maintained, with plenty of room for picnicking, swimming and lounging. Don’t miss the restored wetlands at the south end of the park–they’re a quiet home to muskrats, herons, fawn lilies and other native wildlife.

Planning a visit to Seattle? Learn more about our hotel here, so that you can experience Seattle for yourself!