Alki Beach Park is Seattle's beach-bound playground - a 4km stretch of sand reaching from Alki Point to Duwamish Head and River on Elliot Bay. Although the salty water of Puget Sound is a chilly seven to 13 degrees Celsius, some hardy types brave the bracing temps while summer draws a variety of joggers, rollerbladers, beach volleyballers, sunbathers and cyclists all out to make the most of the sun.
Any time of the year is a great opportunity to take a stroll along the beach strip and wide pathway and watch the waves. There's a bathhouse with an art studio and a monument to the first European settlers - David Denny, John Low and Lee Terry. The trio arrived in November 1851 and were greeted by Chief Seattle and his tribe who helped them build a cabin. Another popular sight is the small replica of the Statue of Liberty, dubbed 'Little Liberty', which was a gift from the Boy Scouts of America and has become a meeting place and remembrance area. The historic site was also the first public saltwater beach on the West Coast, and is as close to the California-style beach lifestyle as Seattle gets.
The entire stretch of Alki Beach Park affords views of the magnificent Olympic Mountains, the Seattle city skyline and Puget Sound and its assorted seafaring vessels. The northern end is also home to pretty cottages protected by a bulkhead. Facilities at the park include fire pits for campfires on the beach, picnic tables and a restroom.
To drive to Alki Point and Beach from downtown Seattle, take the I-5 or Highway 99 south to West Seattle Bridge and exit onto Harbor Avenue South West and then onto Alki Avenue South West. Buses 37 and 775 also stop at Alki Beach Park on Alki Avenue South West.