Hidden Beach

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Alki Beach

August 20, 2008
by Sarah Amandolare
Alki Beach is a secret to everyone except the Seattleites who frequent the park on sunny Pacific Northwest summer days. The beach presents an unusual view—of a city. Seattle’s stunning skyline is fully visible far from the shore across the Puget Sound, offering a day trip with urban and natural attractions. Families and active types will love the lengthy promenade extending more than two miles along Alki’s shore.

The Sunny Side of a Cloudy City

Seattle Parks and Recreation details Alki Beach, which attracts volleyball players and sun-seekers, and its wide path that’s perfect for jogging, biking and rollerblading. “[F]lanked by cottages” and “protected by a bulkhead” at the north end, Alki has a protected feel and offers views of Seattle across the Puget Sound, where all manner of watercraft coast along before a backdrop of the Olympic Mountains. The water is definitely chilly, typically ranging from 46 to 56 degrees Fahrenheit, but there are places to warm up nearby, such as the art studios, housed in a community center known as the Bathhouse.

Striking whether the day is bright and sunny or romantically gray, Alki is shown in this collection of Flickr photographs. At night, when Seattle’s bright lights are visible across the Puget Sound, the beach takes on a flashier persona. But cozier shots show Alki decorated with families, musical performers, and the famous local fish and chips.

Alki by Land and by Sea

Consider a road trip to Alki, advises one writer from Seattle newspaper The Stranger. A “leisurely, scenic route” begins with a ferry ride from downtown Seattle’s Pier 52 to the waterside city of Bremerton, located on the Kitsap Peninsula, a scenic stretch of seaside communities between the Olympic and Cascade Mountains. The remainder of the trip winds through Elma, Centralia and finally over the West Seattle Bridge.

Just don’t let the writer’s initial sentiments about Alki deter you. She provides an update at the end describing a return trip to the beach on a sunnier day, which she thoroughly enjoyed.

Don’t Miss Spud

After the long car trip, reenergize with a waterside stroll and a plate of fish and chips from Spud, an endearing restaurant that’s been around since 1935. English brothers Jack and Frank Alger opened the restaurant, which was later sold to café owner Ivar Haglund.

Spud is located at 2666 Alki Avenue, SW, and is a kid-friendly lunch option, according to an IgoUgo reviewer.

Vacation Guidance

Fodor’s Seattle guide has a section on Alki that details the must-see attractions, like Alki Point, where three determined settlers—David Denny, John Low and Lee Terry—arrived in September 1851. The park area also features a replica of the Statue of Liberty, “near the 2700 block of Alki Avenue SW.”

Fodor’s recommends additional eateries and places to stay at Alki Beach, and is particularly convenient if you’re planning to take in the Seattle sights as well.

To stay in the loop, check the Outside.in Radar page for upcoming events at Alki Beach, such as beach volleyball.

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