Close this search box.

Exploring Ruby Beach with Kids: A Family Adventure to the Washington Coast

In this post, we’re sharing one of our favorite beaches in Washington – Ruby Beach! Nestled along the picturesque Washington Coast, Ruby Beach stands out as a jewel within the Olympic National Park. Renowned for its natural beauty, this destination is not just a beach but an adventure waiting to be discovered, especially for families with curious kids. From the mesmerizing rock formations and sprawling driftwood to the intriguing tide pools, Ruby Beach offers an array of activities that promise a memorable day out with your little explorers.

Table of Contents

Journeying to Ruby Beach: From Seattle or Forks

Embarking on a trip to Ruby Beach offers a remarkable escape, whether you’re venturing from Seattle’s vibrant cityscape or the serene town of Forks. For those coming from Seattle, prepare for an approximately four-hour scenic expedition westward along US-101 N. This route is more than a mere drive; it’s a passage through the Olympic Peninsula’s awe-inspiring landscapes, presenting some of Washington’s finest natural vistas. Given the length of the journey from Seattle, we suggest turning your visit into a weekend getaway or an extended coastal retreat. Check out our recommended list of family-friendly accommodations to find the perfect base for your beach adventure.

For adventurers starting in Forks, the heart of the Olympic National Park, Ruby Beach is conveniently close, only a 30-minute journey south on US-101 S. This close proximity makes Ruby Beach a perfect spot for a day trip, offering ample time to soak in the beach’s wonders and explore its natural beauty without the rush.

Accommodations and Places to Stay When Visiting Ruby Beach with Kids

Visiting Ruby Beach, known for its iconic sea stacks, tide pools, and stunning sunsets, is a highlight for families exploring the Olympic Peninsula. To make the most of your trip, choosing the right accommodation can enhance your experience, offering comfort and convenience after a day of adventure. Here are some family-friendly options for staying near Ruby Beach.

1 - Kalaloch Lodge

Just a short drive from Ruby Beach, Kalaloch Lodge is an excellent base for families looking to explore the area. Offering a range of accommodation options from cozy cabins to guestrooms in the main lodge, Kalaloch provides a comfortable retreat with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. The absence of TVs and Wi-Fi encourages families to reconnect with each other and nature, making it a perfect getaway.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

2 - Lake Quinault Lodge

Situated a bit further from Ruby Beach but still within a reasonable driving distance, Lake Quinault Lodge offers a serene lakeside setting amidst the lush Quinault Rainforest. The historic lodge and surrounding cottages provide a mix of rustic charm and modern amenities, including an indoor pool and a game room that kids will love. The lodge also offers easy access to several kid-friendly trails around Lake Quinault.

Lake Quinault Lodge

Lake Quinault lodge has something for everyone. Included in your stay is access to their indoor pool, sauna, and game rooms.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

3 - Seabrook

For families preferring a beach town vibe, Seabrook is an excellent choice. This vibrant community on the Washington Coast features a variety of vacation rentals from cozy cottages to spacious townhouses, all equipped with modern amenities to ensure a comfortable stay. Seabrook’s family-friendly atmosphere, complete with playgrounds, biking paths, and nearby beach access, makes it a great place to unwind and enjoy coastal living.

Seabrook Townhouse - Otterly Relaxed

Otterly Relaxed in Seabrook, WA - Large deck with private hot tub & fire-pit

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

4 - Forks and Surrounding Area

Forks, Washington, known as the gateway to the Olympic Peninsula, offers a variety of lodging options suitable for families, from motels and inns to vacation rentals. Staying in Forks or its vicinity allows families to explore not only Ruby Beach but also other nearby attractions like the Hoh Rain Forest and Second Beach with ease.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

5 - Camping Options

For families eager to immerse themselves fully in the natural beauty of the Olympic Peninsula, several campgrounds near Ruby Beach offer a more rustic experience. The South Beach Campground, located just south of Kalaloch, provides basic facilities in a stunning coastal setting. For those seeking amenities like showers and RV hookups, the Kalaloch Campground is a great choice.

Planning Your Stay

When visiting Ruby Beach with kids, consider what type of accommodations will best suit your family’s needs and preferences. Whether you’re looking for the comfort of a lodge, the charm of a beach town, or the adventure of camping, the area around Ruby Beach offers something for every family. Booking in advance is recommended, especially during the peak summer months, to secure your ideal accommodation and ensure a memorable and comfortable stay on the Olympic Peninsula.

Ruby Beach: The First Glimpse of Beauty

Your journey begins at the parking lot, where an overlook offers the first breathtaking view of Ruby Beach’s majestic rock formations. This moment alone, capturing the grandeur of nature, is worth the trip. But the real adventure starts as you descend the trail, leading you to a world of exploration amid miles of driftwood.

Start your adventure with a virtual preview from the parking lot overlook. Delight in our 360-degree immersive photo to experience the beauty of Ruby Beach before you even arrive.


Iconic Sea Stacks and Marine Life

Ruby Beach is famed for its sea stacks, some of the most photographed rock formations in the United States. These natural sculptures are not only a feast for the eyes but also a playground for the adventurous. A short wander north brings you to Abbey Island, where the lucky ones might spot sea otters, migratory birds, starfish, and mussels. The island features a 20-foot sea stack with a captivating hole in the middle, offering a fun challenge for kids and adults alike.

The tide pools at Ruby Beach are a marvel, revealing a hidden world of marine life at low tide. Here, visitors of all ages can marvel at the colorful display of starfish, sea urchins, limpets, anemones, crabs, and more. It’s a hands-on nature lesson that fascinates and educates.

Beachcombing and Hiking Adventures

A stroll along the beach is not just a walk but a treasure hunt. The shore is strewn with agates, sea glass, rocks, shells, and driftwood — each piece telling a story of the sea. While it’s tempting to take a piece of Ruby Beach home with you, remember that preserving this natural wonder for others to enjoy is crucial. Pocketing wildlife or beach treasures is not only discouraged but illegal, with penalties for those who do not heed this advice.

For families seeking a bit more adventure, the beach offers hiking opportunities along its length. Heading north or south along the coast can lead to exciting discoveries, such as the mouth of the Hoh River to the north or the Quonset River to the south. Each direction promises its own unique landscapes and wildlife encounters.

Fun Activities for Kids at Ruby Beach

Ruby Beach isn’t just a feast for the eyes; it’s a playground for adventure and discovery, especially for the young and the young at heart. Here’s a glimpse into the fun that awaits kids at Ruby Beach:

Can You Outrun the Waves?

Challenge the ocean’s edge in a game of “Can you outrun the waves?” This timeless beach activity is a favorite among kids (and adults!) who dare to stay dry as the waves roll in. It’s a fun, exhilarating way to engage with the sea, encouraging laughter and lively competition with the incoming tide. Note, the water is cold (averaging 45-55 degrees Fahrenheit)!

Mastering the Art of Rock Throwing

The smooth river rocks found before the sandy beach provide the perfect opportunity for kids to hone their rock-skipping skills. Whether it’s seeing how far they can throw or how many skips they can achieve, this simple pleasure can captivate and entertain for hours.

Balancing on Driftwood

Miles of driftwood at Ruby Beach create a natural obstacle course that invites children to test their balance and agility. Climbing, jumping, and balancing on these wooden treasures offer endless fun. However, as the driftwood can be slippery, it’s important to supervise closely to ensure everyone’s safety.

Zen Mode: Balancing River Rocks

Another serene activity that captivates children at Ruby Beach is the art of balancing river rocks on top of each other. This zen-like practice not only fosters patience and concentration but also allows kids (and adults) to connect with nature in a peaceful, meditative way. Creating these stone stacks can become a quiet moment of focus amidst the day’s adventures, providing a unique way for families to engage with the natural elements around them. Plus, it’s a gentle reminder of the beauty found in balance, both in nature and within ourselves.

Exploring and Enjoying the Rock Formations

The iconic sea stacks and rock formations at Ruby Beach are not only stunning to look at but also exciting to explore. Kids can let their imaginations run wild as they navigate around these natural sculptures, creating their own adventures. Abbey Island, with its captivating sea stack featuring a hole in the middle, is a particular highlight for adventurous spirits.

A Respectful Visit - No Drones

It’s important to note that Ruby Beach is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including Bald Eagles, making it illegal to fly drones in the area. This ensures a peaceful environment for both visitors and the inhabitants of this pristine beach.

Practical Tips for Families

Check for Closures: Before setting out, visit the Olympic National Park website for any closures or alerts.

Parking: The parking lot accommodates 20-25 cars and features a gravel road. Drive carefully as dips and puddles are common.

Facilities: Vault toilets are accessible near the parking area. Families with little ones might find it beneficial to bring a portable potty, like the OXO portable potty we used, which has been a lifesaver during various outings, from road trips to park visits.

Our Pick
OXO Tot 2-in-1 Go Potty

The OXO 2-in-1 Go Potty is a versatile solution for potty emergencies at home of on the go. It's designed for standalone use with disposable bags anywhere or as a potty seat on toilets, making it an essential tool for road trips and park adventures with kids. It's perfect for those "I need to go potty" emergencies.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/25/2024 10:43 pm GMT

Thanks for Reading!

Ruby Beach offers a unique outdoor classroom where kids can learn through play, exploration, and observation. From the thrill of dodging waves to the joy of discovering marine life in tide pools, every moment is an opportunity for fun and learning. So, pack your sense of adventure and get ready for a day filled with laughter, exploration, and unforgettable memories with your kids at Ruby Beach.

Get Curated Post Updates!

Sign up for my newsletter to see new photos, tips, and blog posts.