Over the sprayground? Had it with barnacles?
Here’s a round up of area parks from north to south and beaches where you can find actual sand!
One note: You won’t find as much sand at lake front parks these days. Fish and other creatures need those native, grassy plants, which is why many parks have less sand than you might remember.
Lake Meridian, Kent
This picturesque park has a large swimming area with sand and an additional gravel beach. There is also a spectacular playground and plenty of grassy knolls to set up for the day, play frisbee, or have a nap! Be sure to check out our Lake Meridian Playground Report.
Isaac Evans Park, Auburn
This is a riverfront park with access to a swimmable (well, splashable) area of Green River with a small area of sand. The water reminded me a bit of splashing in a mud puddle, but the boys enjoyed it. There are lovely, shaded picnic areas, walking trails, and a small, albeit fun, play structure.
Lake Tapps North, Sumner
This is another popular park with a sandy beach area. You’ll have to pay to park. Allan Yorke Park is on the south side of Lake Tapps and also has a swimming area and playground.
Redondo Beach, Des Moines
Unless the tide is up, you can find some sand on both sides of the fishing peer. The boardwalk is a great 1/2 mile walk one way, although it is currently (as of 03/01/15) closed due to storm damage. In the summer time, be sure to show up for the free lunch for kids. They also have very skilled guides out from the Highline MaST Aquarium who will guide the kids in beach combing, activities in the aquarium, and crafts.
Steel Lake, Federal Way
This is a very popular park with a brand spanking newly renovated HUGE kids’ playground. There are plenty of picnic tables, and a swimming area with sand.
Dumas Bay Sanctuary, Federal Way
This gem is hidden away in a neighborhood and is super private. You may also get to watch skim borders. Downside: It’s more tide dependent. At high tide, the sand areas will be minimal. Also, a reader pointed out that Dumas Bay is a heron sanctuary, so dig is a no-no. If you just want the feel the sand between your toes, go for it! This beach is also featured in our list of Ten South Sound Nature Walks for Young Hikers.
Dash Point State Park, Federal Way
While this park requires a Discover Pass, it is a South Sound treasure! There is so much sand here, you can even bring your skim boards if you’re adventurous. The best part? The beach is far from the hustle and bustle of the city, so you really feel like you have gotten away from it all and can relax. Read more about Favorite Beach Outings in the South Sound.
Dash Point Park, Brown’s Point
Wait? Two Dash Points? Yes! This one is a MetroParks Tacoma park just down the street from Dash Point State Park. It requires no Discover Pass! It also has a newly renovated playground, bathroom facilities and a beautiful view of the Sound.
Ruston Way, Tacoma
Most Tacoma area beaches are better for beach combing than sand play, unless the tide is out. The section of Ruston Way next to Jack Hyde park (where the sundial is) almost always has some sand. Read my full review of Jack Hyde Park.
American Lake, Lakewood
This park includes a boat launch, a swimming area with a small sand area, picnic tables, and a playground. This is a busy, popular park. There is usually a life guard on duty keeping things safe and having all folks stick to the rules.
The lake has a swimming area with a small section of sandy beach. Parks and Rec staffers suggest parking in the D or C lot. In addition to swimming, check out the playground, paddle boat rentals, and trails. There are parking fees in the summer.
Reader recommended hot spots:
- Facebook reader Cindy recommends Lake Wilderness Park in Maple Valley. Lake Wilderness Arboretum is an easy, kid friendly hike.
- Reader Suzanne recommends Des Moines Creek Beach
- Reader Deanna says that Priest Point Park or Burfoot Park in Olympia have sandy shores. We have a reader review with great pics of Burfoot Park here!
- Reader Melony says Tolmie State Park has plenty of sand and is a great place to go for a swim
- Reader Britt says there is lots to explore, including a sandy beach, at Fort Warden State Park in Port Townsend
- Several readers also listed the beautiful and sandy Sunnyside Beach in Steilacoom. We have pics and a review of Sunnyside Beach here.
If you’re willing to go a bit out of South Sound territory, you might consider Gene Coulon Beach in Renton. If you want to make a day trip to Seattle, you can’t beat Alki Beach. Or, just load everyone up and head out to the Washington coast. It’s not Maui, but there is plenty of sandy beach and optimal kite flying locales!
It’s totally possible I’ve missed somewhere sandtastic, so please don’t be shy about leaving a comment!
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