Edmonds Marina Beach Park and Playground

470 Admiral Way, Edmonds, WA 98020, USA

happyly approved

Easy Beach Days Plus a Playground and Pups.

An Accessible Beach and Playground for the Whole Family (Even the Family Dog!)

Even though I live in Seattle, Edmonds Marina Beach Park and Playground is my go-to beach all year long. Let me tell you why.

First, the beach is easily accessible. Unlike Carkeek, where you have to climb down those open grate stairs over the train tracks, which can be intimidating for little ones and grueling for the grownups who have to carry kids and beach gear down and up, or Richmond Beach, where there’s at least a bridge over the train tracks but a LONG bridge that you may have to carry kids and beach gear across, at Edmonds you can just park and take a short walk to the beach. No train tracks to cross over! If you forget something in your car or you need to do a diaper change in the back, it’s not a day ending event.

Second: sand. It is, of course, rocky sand, but it’s still beach-castle building sand. There is also an insane amount of driftwood that my kids love to scramble over and under, climb, and hang towels on to build forts. For a long time, a huge tree trunk jutted out into the water and my 4-year-old would walk out on it to throw rocks into the Puget Sound.

Third: the playground is close to the beach. If you position yourself right, you can leave your towels and stuff on the sand and take the kids to the playground. No need to pack it all up—you can have a line of sight to monitor your things. The main play structure at the playground looks like a ship pointed toward the Sound, complete with a captain’s wheel and portholes, gears that turn, rings to climb, and two slides (one spiral). There is also a play rowboat and fake driftwood (if you didn’t get enough of that at the water’s edge) and a fake boulder to climb. The ground is bark chips. There are no swings.

Fourth: Dogs. Next to the people beach is Edmonds Off-Leash Dog Beach. The two beaches are separated by a jetty, but beware if your kid is scared of dogs because at low tide the beaches link and curious dogs come to investigate the people beach. On some trips, we bring the whole family and one grownup goes with the kids to the people beach and the other takes the dog to the dog beach. One bummer for dog families: dogs are not allowed on the people beach (though some don’t follow that rule). Even when we don’t bring our dog, it’s fun to watch the dogs swim in the water and romp on the sand.

Finally: the view. On a clear day, you have a fantastic view of the Olympic Mountains (there’s a sign between the dog and people beaches noting the names of each of the mountains you can see). The Edmonds Kingston Ferry goes by regularly. Huge barge ships traverse the Sound. The Port of Edmonds is just north of the beach and the kids can boat watch. My kids’ are fascinated by the forklifts taking boats out of dry storage. Seals sometimes play in the water and you might even see a whale! (Another sign explains the sea life you might see). Although you don’t have to walk over train tracks to get to the beach, trains pass by behind you, which is always exciting to my kids.

In addition to all of this, there are picnic tables and charcoal grills, a large field for kite flying (warning: this field can get boggy after a lot of rain), and a sand volleyball court (between the playground and the beach). There are porta-potties by the dog beach and garbage cans. There are two parking lots close to the beach and dog park but they fill up quickly on nice days and weekends (especially in the summer). There is additional parking in the marina area, but be sure to check signs because some is reserved or restricted.

As always during these strange times, check the city’s website for COVID restrictions and wear your masks!


Jessica Ziparo
Seattle, WA
Jessica Ziparo is from Westhampton Beach, NY. She earned her BA from James Madison University in Virginia, where she majored in history. From there, she went to Harvard Law School, earning her JD. After working as an environmental attorney for three years, Jessica returned to the east coast to earn her PhD in history from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. She has taught history at Salem State University, expository writing at Harvard, and English literature at Pritzker College Prep, a charter high school in Chicago. She is the author of, This Grand Experiment: When Women Entered the Federal Workforce in Civil War-Era Washington, D.C. (2017). Jessica loves to travel and explore. She has lived in Australia twice, journeyed solo to Kenya and Tanzania to go on a safari, spent six weeks on her own trekking around Thailand, and has backpacked around Europe with friends three times. She found bungee jumping scarier than skydiving and now regrets running with the bulls. Nowadays, Jessica lives in Seattle with her husband, Labrador Lincoln, and two sons Zane (almost 5) and Niall (almost 2). During COVID times, Jessica has expanded her exploring throughout the city and beyond to keep the kids outside, active, and safe. She is excited to become a happyly ambassador and have greater purpose for roaming the PNW.
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