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  • Alki Beach (Seattle): In West Seattle, this is the closest Washington comes to a Southern California-style beach scene. There's a sandy beach and a paved path crowded with in-line skaters, walkers, and cyclists. Across the street are lots of cheap restaurants and places to buy sunglasses.

  • Obstruction Pass State Park (Orcas Island): Set at the end of a half-mile-long trail through the woods, this tiny cove is barely big enough for a dozen sea kayakers to beach their boats, but therein lies its charm. This is the quintessential little San Juan Islands cove beach, and you don't need a boat to get to it.

  • Deception Pass State Park Beaches (Whidbey Island): This is one of the most popular state parks in Washington, and the miles of beaches along two sides of Deception Pass are among the prettiest in the Puget Sound area.

  • Dungeness Spit (Dungeness): With 6 miles of windswept sand stretching out to a lighthouse in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Dungeness is a beach for hikers, who are often rewarded by the sight of the area's resident harbor seals.

  • Rialto Beach (Olympic National Park outside Forks): Located on the north side of the Quillayute River, this beach is the southern terminus of a 29-mile-long stretch of wilderness beach. However, most visitors simply walk a mile up the beach to Hole in the Wall, a huge monolith through which the ocean's waves have bored a tunnel.

  • Second Beach & Third Beach (Olympic National Park outside Forks): It's difficult to pick the best beach in the national park, since almost all are ruggedly beautiful, but these two beaches just outside the community of La Push are my personal favorites. Here you can hear the calls of eagles and gulls and contemplate the sheer vastness of the Pacific.

  • Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.