Alki Beach: Overrated or underrated?

view of olympic mountains from alki beach seattle wa
View of the Olympic Mountains from Alki

Alki is highly popular among anyone living in the Seattle area. But, is it really all it’s cracked up to be? Well, it depends on the reason for your going to Alki beach.

Reasons to go

  • To chill–On a hot, sunny day, there’s nothing I like better than to drive out to Alki just to sit on a less-than-secluded bench in view of the water. I’ve gotten a lot of personal reading and language study done this way.
  • To enjoy good food by the water–Marination Makai is nearby Alki. It offers a full bar, and has great cheap, Korean-Hawaiian fast food! (Loco moco is the most popular item for a reason! If they’re out of that, you can never go wrong with kimchi fried rice along with the bulgogi or miso-chicken tacos.) Otherwise, I recommend Duke’s or another high-end restaurant along Alki’s main drag. Try to go either for a relaxing brunch with plenty of strong mimosas, for happy hour, or for the sunset.
  • To view the Space Needle–Although my personal favorite is Gasworks Park.
  • To view the Olympic Mountains in the distance, or the islands of the Puget Sound, including Bainbridge Island, and ferries going back and forth. (An interesting aspect of Seattlelite culture!)
  • To exercise–Half the people at Alki will be walking, jogging, biking, or longboarding through. It’s very inspiring to the lazy exerciser!

What shouldn’t be your reasons to go

  • To be alone–The further you are from the “beach” part of Alki, the less people there are around. However, you will NEVER be completely alone at Alki during the day. Maybe even at night. And remember those joggers and walkers–they’ll be passing by again and again. Them and their dogs.
  • To enjoy a large, sandy beach–Ha! Alki beach may be sandy, but it’s quite small. Nothing like the beaches in California, let alone almost ANYWHERE else. Sure, there’s room to lay down, but on most sunny days, there will be so many people laid out on the sand that you may not want to join them.
  • To swim in the ocean–Come on, it’s Washington. The water is cold. Of course, that may not stop a native from jumping in the water. But, then again, most of us are accustomed to glacier-fed lakes.

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