Alki Beach offers miles of sand and shells and great views looking out across the peaceful waters of the Puget Sound to downtown Seattle as well as Bainbridge Island and Vashon Island. The area is a great spot to relax on the grass on a fine day or grab some fresh seafood at a local café. Take a walk along the water’s edge and admire the views of the snowcapped peaks of the Olympic Mountains in the distance.
The Birthplace of Seattle Monument marks the spot where the first European settlers camped in 1851 before moving permanently to the more sheltered area around Pioneer Square.
Lined with cafés, Alki’s main street on a sunny summer’s day is more like southern California than the Pacific Northwest. Alki Beach Park extends for 2.5 miles (four kilometers) from Duwamish Head to Alki Point. There’s a clean beachfront as well as a paved trail running along the water’s edge beside a grassy strip scattered with picnic tables and benches. Stop and take in the tranquil views of Elliott Bay scattered with pleasure boats, ferries, and the occasional yacht. Public restrooms, fire circles and volleyball courts are also dotted through the park.
There are plenty of opportunities to dine, from beach-themed snack bars to fine-dining restaurants. Salty’s is an old Seattle favorite with great seafood as well as stunning views of the Seattle skyline — and the weekend brunch is legendary.
Walk as far as 60th Ave SW, and you’ll see the replica Statue of Liberty that gave the area the moniker “New York Alki.” A short stroll farther west brings you to the Alki Point Lighthouse, which offers tours on summer weekends. Sailing enthusiasts will appreciate the display of nautical instruments, charts and photographs that record the history of Alki Beach and Puget Sound.
Alki Beach is located in West Seattle, about a 15-minute drive from downtown Seattle and along several bus lines. There’s plenty of street parking, but it can get crowded on sunny summer weekends. A fun way to travel is the Metro water taxi, departing between piers 55 and 56 near Pioneer Square. It provides a scenic 12-minute boat ride across Elliot Bay to Sea Crest Park. The Metro’s free DART shuttle bus takes you to Alki Beach.