Though beautiful and busy throughout the year, Golden Gardens Park shines particularly during the summer, and it is without a doubt North Seattle’s premier beach experience. Located in Ballard just north of the Shilshole Bay Marina, the park’s lengthy shoreline boasts some of the best sand on the entire Puget Sound. The views aren’t bad, either, with the rugged blue summits of the Olympic Mountains layered behind green islands and sparkling waves. You’ll find a perfect atmosphere for boating around the bay, fishing from the pier, or simply relaxing the afternoon away.
The park is divided into two main sections by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Scenic Subdivision railway line, which runs roughly 155 miles between Seattle and Wenatchee. The upper section features 1.5 miles of forested trails and an off-leash dog area. The lower portion is comprised of grassy fields, open beaches, and a small freshwater marsh where red-winged blackbirds and wood ducks occasionally make appearances. The giant brick bathhouse ties the park together at the edge of the main beach, providing restroom facilities and a concession stand. It was designated as a historical landmark by the city in 2005, and it can be rented for weddings and other ceremonies.
Note: Dogs are not permitted on the beach.