One of Seattle’s greatest advantages is Elliot Bay, i.e. access to the Pacific Ocean. Four-legged inhabitants of Emerald City are especially happy about this, as there is a multitude of dog friendly beaches near Seattle.
From Westport to Friday Harbor, these are the top 8 places for canine frolics by the sea or a lake.
2985 S Montesano St, Westport
Photos by @pepper_thegoldenretriever & @shelly.wool / Instagram
The dock area at Westport features miles and miles (18 miles, to be precise) of public beaches, ideal for a solid run-out. While your mutt capers around, you can do some fishing, beachcombing, or bird watching. There is no leash policy, so dogs can run freely.
Apart from running through the shallows, dogs particularly like digging in the sand. A short trip to deeper waters and your canine friend is clean again. Since a lot of well-mannered dog enthusiasts frequent the beach, there shouldn’t be skirmishes with other canines.
2410 S 312th St, Federal Way
Photo by @dolphkillamat (Instagram) & Canva
If you wish to rest from salty water, Steel Lake Park is the place to go. The lakeside park is the place to be in summer, as its 52 acres offer endless opportunities for having fun. From a volleyball pit to live summertime concerts, both humans and canines will never get bored here.
Mind you, the animal should be kept on a leash while inside the park and dogs are not allowed on the shore or inside the water. Locals aren’t particularly fond of this rule, as the Federal Way Council actively protects other animals, such as ducks that live near the lake.
125 Spring St, Friday Harbor
Photos by @oliver.wild.at.heart & @photobygabe / Instagram
South Beach on San Juan Island is a great place to take your dog for a walk along the sea. The drive after the ferryboat ride can be quite picturesque, as Fido might spot a fox or two along the way. The beach is located 7 miles south of Friday Harbor.
As far wildlife is concerned, humans can practice orca whale watching. Since South Beach is situated within San Juan Island National Historical Park, your pet dog should be kept on a leash. The pebble beach is covered in driftwood, which is ideal for playing fetch with your doggo.
2021 NW 190th St, Shoreline
Photos by @simba_and_arlo & @rocketjam / Instagram
The next beach on our list, Richmond Beach Saltwater Park, is far closer to downtown Seattle, conveniently within the service area of local vets. Stunning views and an off-leash dog area that runs along the coast make this beach arguably one of the best in the entire state of Washington.
Apart from the off-leash dog area open yearly from November 1 to March 15, other amenities include picnic areas with tables/shelters, restrooms, a lot of open space, playgrounds, and public art displays. The park’s total size is 40 acres and the trails are paved.
1400-1499 Ozette Dr, Fox Island
Photos by @requiemofthedeep & @bear_and_sky / Instagram
Situated at the eastern tip of Fox Island, Fox Island Concrete Pier is one of the best fishing spots near Seattle. Built by the Department of Fish and Wildlife in 1995, the pier is 635 meters long and is fully equipped with well-maintained restrooms, aparking area, and paved pathways.
All of the above, as well as the vicinity to University Place, make it popular among dog lovers. Like in other seaside locations, a leash is mandatory but if you are alone on the pier, then the leash can come off, as the animal runs along it or takes a swim in the ocean.
Taurus Dr, Ocean Shores
Photos by @coco_the_bougie_pup & @scott.anderson.9028 / Instagram
Seattleites love Ocean Shores’ Dog Beach because it’s 100% off-leash. The beach is quite sizable, as it runs from Taurus Beach Approach all the way to Butter Clam. Even though a leash is not mandatory, owners should clean up after their animals and be able to use voice control. Once these simple requirements are met, you will definitely enjoy walking your dog along Ocean Shores. You stand the best chance of avoiding crowds if you come in the morning (not too early, 9 AM is fine). The most convenient entrance by car is by the Best Western hotel.
25828 Lake Fenwick Rd, Kent
Photos by @tallcupofchocolatemilk & @zoey.doodlebear / Instagram
Nestled between Des Moines and Kent, Lake Fenwick Park provides the perfect forest setting for leisure activities, such as hiking. There is an eponymous trail 4.3 kilometers long that runs north of the lake.
The trail is what attracts canines with their owners, as humans can jog, fish, hike, etc. Of course, dogs are also bound to have fun but must be kept on a leash at all times. Keep in mind that there are several steep stretches (the total elevation gain is 108 meters).
Jackson Beach Rd, Friday Harbor
Photos by @calidesertdoggo & @granvillepaules4 / Instagram
Going back to San Juan Island, Jackson Beach is the perfect place for a family picnic your dog can tag along. Just 5 minutes by car from Friday Harbor or a 20-minute walk, the long, sandy beach is the perfect spot to launch a boat, if you own one.
While on the beach, dogs should be on a leash but they are free to enter the water. Plenty of driftwood makes great material for throwing sticks and there are public restrooms nearby to wash up Fido after an eventful day at the beach.
Although the city ordinance bans dogs from public beaches, there are more than enough dog-friendly beaches in and around Seattle. Elliot Bay is a vast natural jewel around which every human and their canine companion will find the ideal spot for seaside frolics.
Schedule a home visit from our Seattle vets team today to get your pooch fully set for the beach season.
Dogs are not allowed on public beaches administered by the City of Seattle, according to local regulations. However, there are many beaches with designated off-leash areas that are marked as such.
Some of the most popular beaches in the state of Washington that allow dogs include: Soap Lake, Richmond Beach Saltwater Park, Rialto Beach, Cape Flattery, Double Bluff Beach, etc.
Dogs are not allowed on Seattle’s saltwater beaches in order to preserve the marine ecosystem, such as seal pups. However, dog lovers believe that the ban should be lifted at least for dogs on leashes.
Since Seattle is a dog-friendly city, there are tons of things to do, from visiting one of the off-leash beach areas, eating out on a patio of a restaurant, or taking the dog to a park.
Hiking with your dog in and around Seattle is never boring, regardless of the time of year. The 7 dog-friendly hikes in Seattle we have listed above present the ideal starting point for the great outdoors experience that wouldn’t be the same without your trusted four-legged friend.
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