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Family Fun at Lake Sammamish State Park: A Beach Day Adventure Near Seattle

Lake Sammamish state of the art playground

Looking for the perfect family day trip near Seattle? Pack up the kids and head to Lake Sammamish State Park in Issaquah, where outdoor adventures and beach fun await! Let’s dive into why this park is a top pick for families on the Eastside of Seattle.

Table of Contents

Beach Bliss and Water Sports

The park boasts two beautiful lakefront beaches, Sunset Beach and Tibbetts Beach, both ideal for families. Whether you’re up for a lazy day soaking in the sun or engaging in water sports, there’s something for everyone. Rent a kayak or a standup paddleboard to explore the lake at your own pace. Don’t forget to pack a picnic to enjoy on the sand, complete with your favorite snacks!

Sunset Beach

Dive into our 360 immersive photo directly from the sandy shores of Lake Sammamish Park in Issaquah. Experience the stunning waterfront lake view for yourself!

Our top pick is Sunset Beach, where you’ll discover ample picnic tables and expansive space to unwind. Remember to bring a tent or hat for shade and a comfortable chair for lounging on the sand, as the area offers minimal natural shade. The water temperature reaches its ideal warmth in mid-August, making the beach inviting throughout the year. Be cautious of algae or moss on the ramp into the water as it can be quite slippery! The beach features a safe, shallow roped-off swimming area, and by noon, a nearby cafe opens to serve basic snacks and ice cream, much to the delight of the kids.

The restrooms here are notably nicer and more spacious, featuring communal facilities for men and women, as well as several single-room restrooms which offer additional privacy and convenience.

The shoreline is dotted with small pebbles and medium rocks, so consider wearing swim shoes if you have tender feet. The sand becomes finer as you move away from the water’s edge, perfect for playing with sand toys. For paddle board enthusiasts, this spot is a favorite, especially in summer—you can even spot the boards from I-90! Sunset Beach remains a favorite gathering place for families during the warmer months and transforms into a serene haven for peaceful walks or birdwatching in the cooler seasons. Come over, kick back, and enjoy some splendid sun-soaked moments!

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Tibbetts Beach

Tibbetts Beach may be smaller than Sunset Beach, but many families appreciate its quieter atmosphere. Nestled in Lake Sammamish State Park in Issaquah, just off I-90, this picturesque spot is a favorite for Issaquah Paddle Sport, which hosts numerous summer classes and lessons here. The grassy stretches and easy water access make it ideal for both land and water activities. While it’s a hub for sports lovers, Tibbetts Beach is also a serene place to relax and swim, offering stunning views. Although it’s more compact compared to Sunset Beach, it remains a popular destination along the 7-mile stretch of Lake Sammamish, just a brief walk from the bustling Sunset Beach. With convenient access to parking and restrooms, Tibbetts Beach is a fantastic choice for families and all beachgoers.

Playgrounds and Trails

The playground at Sunset Beach is a treasure trove for young explorers and a personal favorite of ours. With its rubberized surface ideal for running and tumbling, plus wide, flat walkways ensuring easy access for all, it’s a haven for children of any age. This 10,000-square-foot play area is themed around a coal mining town, featuring a giant blue heron that playfully sprays water during the warmer months.

Packed with diverse climbing structures, interactive displays, and a variety of swings, the playground promises endless fun for children and families alike. The centerpiece is a 17-foot tall geodesic climbing dome that offers a thrilling challenge, while smaller and medium slides cater to younger adventurers. Additionally, the playground includes unique dual swings designed for parent and child, allowing for shared excitement, and an accessible saucer-style swing that’s a hit among the kids.

Adding to the excitement, a zip line offers exhilarating fun for both kids and parents, making it a standout attraction at this enchanting play area.

The park is also home to over 1.5 miles of walking and biking trails. These well-paved paths are stroller-friendly and perfect for a family stroll or a brisk bike ride, offering a great way to explore the natural beauty of the park.

Year-Round Fun

Lake Sammamish State Park is not just a summer destination. Throughout the year, the park hosts various events, from nature walks to festive boat parades. Each season brings its own charm, making it a great spot for repeated visits.

Tips for Your Visit

Parking: A Discover Pass is required for parking. You can purchase a day pass at the park if you don’t have an annual one.

Arrival: During summer, the park can get quite busy. Arriving early ensures a good spot, especially on the beach.

Facilities: There are ample picnic tables, grills, and benches throughout the park. Both beaches offer restroom facilities and are close to parking areas.

What to Bring

Sun Protection: The beaches at Lake Sammamish get plenty of sun. Bring sunscreens, hats, or even a tent to create some shade.

Water Shoes: The lake shore can be pebbly, so water shoes are recommended for comfortable wading and swimming.

Extra Clothes: With water activities and playgrounds, having a change of clothes for the kids can come in handy.

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Final Thoughts

Whether you’re looking to relax by the water, enjoy a playful day with your kids, or explore scenic trails, Lake Sammamish State Park offers a refreshing escape from the city life with something enjoyable for every family member. Ready to make some delightful memories? Lake Sammamish awaits!

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