With an open, sandy beach, a 300-foot floating dock, and gentle, sloping access to Lake Washington, it's no wonder Newcastle Beach Park is Bellevue's premiere summer park. The protected swimming area is easy to supervise from all aspects of the beach, and lifeguards are also on duty from noon to 7 p.m. from the end of June through the beginning of September, making Newcastle a great option for families looking to cool off without taking a long drive. This is a very popular spot to access Lake Washington's cool water, but the size of the beach and the park means finding your own piece of ground is never a problem.
There are plenty of amenities to support a day in the sun, as well. Restrooms, outdoor showers, and water stations are all centrally located. There are several picnic areas, including one large shelter that is available for reservations (call 425.452.6914). A large, open field is a great alternative to the beach, and the surrounding trees provide plenty of shaded alternatives to fully-exposed beach sites. Kids will enjoy the playground, and parents will enjoy the line of sight from the beach. Finally, a small trail is available for short walks.
WWhile Enatai Beach Park is certainly more well developed in terms of paddling resources, the paddle from Newcastle Beach Park around Newport Shores to reach Mercer Slough is just about a mile, and you'll get a great view into natural wetlands thriving in an urban environment. If you're traveling with a group or a family and not everyone will be paddling, Newcastle Beach Park may be a better alternative for those staying on land, and the dock remains a great spot for launching a stand-up paddleboard, canoe, or kayak.