Ahh, it’s finally summer! Longer days and warmer weather are just a couple benefits of the sunny season. Here in Seattle, we are not used to the heat. In fact, our definition of “hot” is anything over 80°F! When the temperatures actually do rise, we can get a little desperate to find ways to cool off. Thankfully, Seattle is surrounded by plenty of water, so it’s easy to discover nearby splash spots. Whether you’re looking for a day at the beach or a tranquil, quiet oasis, our INNSiders know the top spots to beat the heat this summer.
1. Green Lake Beach
You don’t have to travel far for a day at the beach. Located in North Seattle, Green Lake Beach is the place to be this summer. With beaches on the lake’s east and west shores, there is plenty of space to lay out and enjoy the sunshine. There are two swim-up platforms equipped with diving boards, so you can finally test your cannonball skills! Lifeguards are also on duty during the summer months. Take a break from the water to take a leisurely stroll along the beautiful 2.8-mile path that surrounds the lake. Watercraft rentals like kayaks and paddle boards are available through Green Lake Rentals for added excitement.
Located across the street from Green Lake Beach, come back to the lovely and charming Greenlake Guest House after a long day in the sun. Upon your arrival, you will be greeted with a complimentary Welcome Basket which includes wine, fresh baked cookies, and snacks – a great addition to your stay!
2. Lake Sammamish State Park
Located about 20 miles east of Seattle, Lake Sammamish State Park has over a mile of sandy beach waiting for you. Besides swimming in the refreshing water, our INNSiders also love to kayak and paddle board at the lake. Rentals are available at Tibbets Beach for added convenience. Ask your innkeeper for the best spot to pick up a picnic lunch to enjoy at the tables in the tree-covered grass area. No matter how you spend your time, Lake Sammamish State Park is a fantastic place to spend a hot summer day.
INNSider Tip: Want to cool off within city limits? Seattle has a bunch of secret beaches located throughout the city! Read more.
3. Big Eddy Park
Travel off the beaten path about 50 miles northeast of the city to Skykomish River’s Big Eddy Park. Located just off Highway 2 under the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad bridge, two swimming holes create cool, currentless pools. Escape the hustle and bustle of the city for a nature-filled day along the river. Our INNSiders do want to warn you – the river is fed primarily by melted snow from the Cascades, so the pools can be quite chilly. A Discover Pass is required to enter the park, and can be obtained here.
4. Twin Falls
This swimming hole may take a little more effort to get to, but it’s well worth the trek. Start your hike at Twin Falls Trailhead near North Bend. Walk 1.25 miles through moss-covered trees until you reach the waterfall. Our INNSiders recommend taking a dip in the pool below the falls before hiking back. Bring a picnic lunch from your inn and spend the day admiring the falls and wading in the water. Twin Falls is located in Olallie State Park, and a Discover Pass is required for entrance. Experience tranquility amongst the waterfall and trees when you visit Twin Falls.
After your waterfall adventure, enjoy a relaxing afternoon at The Roaring River Bed and Breakfast. With 3.23 acres of property and amazing views of the Snoqualmie River, you won’t even want to leave the property. Wake up to breakfast delivered to your room each morning, and sneak a peek at local wildlife grazing in the morning sun.
5. Newcastle Beach Park
Located in Bellevue, just a short 15 minute drive from Seattle, Newcastle Beach Park boasts a wide open sandy beach along the refreshing shores of Lake Washington. Three designated picnic areas are available for reservations. In addition to the warm sand, a large grassy area is available for lounging and playtime. Walk out on the 300-foot floating dock for easy access to the water via paddle board or kayak, or just to get a better view of the lake. Enjoy a morning walk along the short nature trail, or let the kids tire themselves out on the park’s playground. If a relaxing beach day is what you’re after, Newcastle Beach Park is a great place for the whole family.
Lake Washington is a very large lake that surrounds Seattle and the east side cities of Bellevue, Kirkland, and Renton. It is the second largest lake in the state, and is the most popular beach for swimming in Seattle. Some other great in-city beaches along Lake Washington are Matthew’s Beach, Madison Park Beach, and Magnuson Park Beach. Coulon Beach in Renton and Juanita Beach in Kirkland are pretty spectacular too. Beaches dot the shores of the entire lake, so take your pick!