Alki Beach Park
Alki Beach is often referred to in a cliche'd manner as a quintessential "beach escape" from the big city. While it may be unfair to consider a city such as Seattle, with its expansive waterfront and Pacific Northwest demeanor, as a metropolis of any sorts it does come with the dreary side effects that accompany concrete high rises. Thus, Alki Beach is indeed an escape, and an unexpected one at that considering that it's only a 15 minute drive from downtown Seattle.
The beach itself is a mix of sand, stones, and seaweed. The saltwater surface fronting the sand is deep blue, dotted by kelp bulbs and seal heads which pop up to inspect the strange creatures that lay about on neon towels and skip stones in their relative direction. Swimmable in the summer but shivering from autumn to spring, most water born activities at Alki occur on the surface instead of under. Boating, sailing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, and stand-up-paddle boarding dominate the ocean activities at Alki on a sunny day and all equipment can be rented along its shores or across the road. Those that prefer to stay dry want for nothing as Alki is more than a beach, it's a beach town through and through. Beach bars, cafes, coffee shops, fish & chip peddlers, ice cream joints, pizza parlors, and restaurants are all found in one long row along Alki Avenue, broken up only by the odd boutique retailer and residential intersection.
If the waterfront at Pike Place simply isn't enough for those visiting Seattle who have saltwater pumping through their veins then an escape to Alki is exactly that.