Does the sunny weather have you looking for outdoor fun with the kids? If you’re braving the smoke, or just feel like you need to hit the sound for at least a bit today, we’re here to help with this list of kid friendly beaches perfect for families near Tacoma and the greater South Sound!
If you have a favorite we’ve missed, let us know!
- Dash Point Park (city of Tacoma)
- Dash Point State Park Close to 400 acres of forested trails and sandy beach front. You’ll need a Discover Pass. This is our very favorite beach! Do go early to score parking.
- Dumas Bay Sanctuary Park in Federal Way-A nearly always empty neighborhood park. Follow a winding, forested path and emerge (like magic!) on a stretch of sandy beach. It’s a little tricky getting here mainly because you’ll pass a Dead End sign and go through a residential neighborhood. It’s o.k….keep going. Note-a reader did point out to me after I first did this post that this is a protected area, so the kids aren’t supposed to dig or collect things. If that doesn’t sound like much fun, you may want to try one of the others.
- Owen Beach, Pt.Defiance-Rocky beach but great for watching people and ferries! It can get crowded, but the parking lot and the beach are huge, so you’ll have plenty of room to spread out. There are also seasonal boat rentals here.
- Kopachuck State Park, Gig Harbor-This is one of my old haunts. Locals fought to keep it open, and we should all thank them. Lots of great forest and trails to explore and prime shorefront. Rocky but fun to find crabs and other sea creatures. I haven’t been here since many of the trees were felled due to disease. If you have, let us know how it’s looking! We’ve also had fun at Narrows Park near the bridge.
- Salt Water State Park– Great beachcombing, and there is a good chance you’ll get to see scuba divers.
- My Thurston area readers recommend Tolmie (a state park) or Priest Point. We’ve been to Priest Point, but after the playground and hiking a bit we ran out of time for the beach. The South Sound Estuary Association hosts low tide events at these spots during the summer months. Burfoot is also great-Olympia peeps, you’re so spoiled!
- Narrows Beach Park A great, not too crowded beach with interesting views of the Narrows Bridge and marine traffic
- Hidden Beach By Titlow Park/sprayground A nice choice for low tide exploration
- Sunnyside Beach Steilacoom sand, a beach, and even some train spotting!
If what you’re after is sand, there are also some area lakes and rivers that offer a bit of it. You can read my post on South Sound beaches with sand for the scoop on those (Scoop, get it)?