Did you know that you can easily find and explore many tide pools in Seattle?
There are many beaches that run up and down the side of Seattle where it meets the Puget Sound. If you visit these beaches at low tide, you’ll be able to see all sorts of fascinating sea creatures that you normally wouldn’t. Last June, Seattle saw its lowest tide in 13 years! But if you missed it, this week is another excellent time to go tide pool exploring, since lower than normal tides are predicted all week through Saturday.
Tomorrow (Thursday, July 14) is predicted to be the lowest tide of the week but low tides will continue into the weekend due to the moon (specifically, the lunar nodal cycle peak). Tides will be up to four feet lower than usual. We highly recommend throwing on your rain boots and spending a couple hours at your closest Puget Sound beach one day this week so you can get a glimpse of oft-hidden underwater life.
Not sure which beach to go to for exploring tide pools in Seattle? We listed five of our favorite Puget Sound beaches below.
1. Golden Gardens
Conveniently located in the Ballard neighborhood, Golden Gardens is a popular summer spot for beach fun and also a prime location for tide pools in Seattle. Check out the north end of the beach at low tide for the best tide pool viewing.
Location: Ballard (8498 Seaview Pl NW)
2. Carkeek Park
A little north of Golden Gardens, Carkeek Park is an underrated gem and one of the best beaches to find tide pools in Seattle. An additional 20 acres of beach are exposed at low tide at Carkeek Park, allowing you walk hundreds of feet out into Puget Sound to explore uncovered creatures and habitats.
Location: Broadview (950 NW Carkeek Park Rd)
3. Discovery Park
To view tide pools at Discovery Park, go down to the north end of the beach and then wander south to where the West Point Lighthouse is located. You’ll find plenty to see at low tide. Just give yourself thirty minutes to an hour before low tide to walk there from the parking lot.
Location: Magnolia (3801 Discovery Park Blvd)
4. Olympic Sculpture Park
It might surprise you to learn that this urban park—located right in downtown Seattle and mostly known for its contemporary sculptures—includes a beach with tide pools. It’s a small pocket beach but has plenty of fascinating ocean creatures to spot at low tide.
Location: Downtown (2901 Western Ave)
5. South Alki Beach
Specifically, Charles Richey Viewpoint and Constellation Park are the best spots for tide pools at Alki Beach. At the former, there is even a tide pool-themed sculpture! At low tide, you can walk from Richey Viewpoint all the way around Alki Point to Alki Beach Park.
Location: 3521 Beach Dr SW
For a map of these beaches and even more tide pools in Seattle, as well as a guide to some of the creatures you can find there, check out the Seattle Aquarium’s Puget Sound Beach Field Guide.