As the temperatures begin to climb this season, and Seattleites can finally bask in the long-awaited sunshine, weekends will undoubtedly be spent flocking to the numerous beaches within this metro-area. However, before you slather the kids with sunscreen and turn them loose in the waves, choose your waterfront stomping grounds carefully.
The United States Lifesaving Association reported 95,023 near-drowning rescues and 164 fatalities in 2015 at various beaches across the country. Although these hazards are never anticipated, it’s important to plan ahead in the event of emergency.
One way to minimize the risk factors and maximize the summer fun is by choosing a beach that that prioritizes swimmer safety––and parental peace of mind. These Seattle beaches do exactly that—so pack your bag and get ready for some much-needed sunshine.
Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park
Just 20 minutes outside the pulse of downtown Seattle is this family-friendly destination, which earns high marks for its neighborhood feel. With a playground area, expansive sandy shoreline and green space ideal for picnics, Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park will entertain kids of all ages during the summer months.
In addition, parents will appreciate the various safety features including constant lifeguard supervision and a boardwalk that shields the designated swimming zone from Lake Washington’s large speedboat concentration.
Lake Union Park Beach
Situated along the banks of Lake Union, amid the energy and action of Seattle’s city center, this urban retreat has no shortage of summertime thrills. Lake Union Park Beach delivers maximum enjoyment just within walking distance, featuring an interactive water fountain, kayak launchpad, model sailboat pond and picturesque beach area for splashing around with the kids.
Plus, its location in the economically revitalized South Lake Union district offers a community-like atmosphere that’s suited to both adults and young children.
Warren G. Magnuson Park Beach
Another waterfront oasis flanking the pebbled shores of Lake Washington, is Warren G. Magnuson Park Beach. This peninsula juts into placid and shallow waters––only 4 feet, on average––that make swimming safe for all ages.
Other kid-approved amenities include a wading pool, picnic tables, pedestrian trails, and grassy slopes for frisbee, badminton or even kite flying. During its regular hours of operation, this beach is patrolled by lifeguards, so parents can relax knowing that watchful, well-trained eyes are chaperoning their little ones.
Pritchard Island Beach Park
Considered the largest wetland restoration project in Seattle, this hidden gem takes families off-the-beaten-path for distraction-free bonding time. Its pristine setting makes Pritchard Island Beach Park ideal for nature enthusiasts, and the numerous conservation areas will teach children the importance of environmental friendliness.
Summertime is mostly about lighthearted fun though, and this beach doesn’t disappoint with a floating dock that’s ideal for cannonballs or belly flops––monitored by the on-duty lifeguard, of course.
Green Lake Park Beach
With two frequently visited locations on both the eastern and western sides of Green Lake, this municipal green space offers a respite from the densely populated streets. This park is basically an urban nature preserve, accessible through biking trails or public transit, harboring hundreds of protected foliage species. Situated along the area’s coastal edge, Green Lake Park Beach features lifeguard supervised diving boards and swim rafts, in addition to non-water amenities like a playground and basketball court, for example.
For all Seattle locals, do you agree with our frontrunners, or is there another beach destination worth adding to this list? Share your recommendations in the comment section.