Chances are, you’ve made more than a few summer voyages to Alki Beach in West Seattle for some fun in the sun with the family. But we have an equally attractive West Seattle beach destination for you, and despite entreaties from the locals, we’re hard-pressed to keep it a secret. It’s Lincoln Park, and after your first visit, we’re sure you’ll call it a favorite.
While Alki’s allure is its sandy beach, Lincoln Park’s is its beautiful natural setting. Upon arrival, you’ll be wowed by the groves of soaring pines, grassy meadows speckled with wild flowers, and breathtaking views of the Sound. The kids, in turn, will be delighted by the endless recreational options: two playgrounds, a wading pool, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, hiking trails, ball fields, tennis courts, and even (for brave-hearted children and their strong-stomached parents) a zip line!
For your first visit, we recommend parking in the southernmost lot, located just north of the Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal. Take the main path toward the water, and you’ll run into a great playground complete with swings, sandpit, and the zip line. The path continues down a number of steps to the waterfront, where the view is spectacular though the beach is rocky. (Leave the flip flops at home for sturdier footwear.) Children will enjoy climbing over the driftwood and standing at the water’s edge to throw stones or inspect for wildlife or simply to watch the ferry come and go from Vashon Island. A paved path parallels the shore, and a pleasant walk heading north will take you to “the point,” and having arrived there, you may wish you’d brought your swimming suit.
There you’ll find Colman pool, a heated, Olympic-sized saltwater swimming pool with the best view of any in the city. It re-opens for the summer on May 29th, and public swim is from 3:00 to 4:45 p.m. If you’re looking to cool off with small children, then you may want to visit the wading pool, located on the north end of the park right next to another playground, which is best accessed from the northern parking lot.
Now that the secret is out, plan your visit before the crowds of Alki descend. Make sure you’re not the last to discover all that Lincoln Park has to offer.