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10 Fantastic Beaches near Olympia, WA

Olympia serves as a hub to an array of beach experiences, providing a mix of lake, Puget Sound, and ocean offerings. 
Ocean Shores Washington

Olympia serves as a hub to an array of beach experiences, providing a mix of lake, Puget Sound, and ocean offerings. 

Long Lake Park’s refreshing waters draw swimmers, while the tranquil shores offer a peaceful space for picnics. 

Tolmie State Park, a stone’s throw from the city, hosts tidal pools and a three-mile hiking network, perfect for beachcombers and hikers alike. 

For those willing to venture further, Ocean Shores awaits with its sprawling sandy beaches, where visitors can drive right onto the beach for a quintessential Pacific Northwest seaside experience. 

Olympia has a little bit of everything. Check out the rest of the options!

1. Millersylvania State Park

Millersylvania State Park Beach
Source: wikimedia/CC BY-SA 4.0
  • Distance from Olympia: 11 miles
  • Activities: swimming, kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, picnicking, fishing, camping, hiking
  • Amenities: restrooms, showers, boat launch, campgrounds, trails, rentals

Millersylvania State Park, 11 miles from Olympia, offers visitors a unique recreational gem with its crystal-clear Deep Lake. 

The park’s swimming area has three distinct spots, providing ample space for water enthusiasts. Swimming areas are well-marked and buoyed off.

In addition to swimming, the lake allows for non-motorized boating, including kayaks, paddleboards, and pedal boats, available for rent at the park. 

Anglers will appreciate the diverse fishing options the lake offers. 

With 903 acres of lush forest, the park also features an array of land-based activities. 

From hiking and biking trails to wildlife viewing and camping, the park’s amenities cater to all nature lovers. 

Conveniently situated between Olympia and Centralia, Millersylvania State Park embodies an idyllic freshwater retreat.

2. Columbus Park

Black Lake near Olympia Lacey Tumwater Washington
Source: depositphotos
  • Distance from Olympia: 7 miles
  • Activities: swimming, sunbathing, kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, picnicking, fishing, camping, volleyball
  • Amenities: restrooms, showers, boat launch, campgrounds, rentals, swimming dock, volleyball nets

Dubbed the best beach near Olympia, Columbus Park is an engaging recreational hub that captivates visitors with its sparkling Black Lake. 

The park is a year-round destination offering a range of amenities including a campground, picnic areas, and a boat launch. 

Known for its vibrant swimming area with a swimming dock, Columbus Park also provides sunbathing on a green, grassy beach. 

A well-equipped playground caters to children, while adults can engage in games at the volleyball pits and horseshoe pits. 

For fishing enthusiasts, Black Lake’s diverse species guarantee an active fishing experience. 

Further, Columbus Park offers monthly RV rental sites and residential units, extending its appeal to long-term visitors. 

With over nine decades in operation, Columbus Park continues to offer all-around family fun.

3. Long Lake Park

Open beach buoy safe zone for swimming area
Source: dreamstime
  • Distance from Olympia: 8 miles
  • Activities: swimming, sunbathing, kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, picnicking, fishing, volleyball
  • Amenities: restrooms, showers, boat launch, rentals, swimming dock, volleyball nets

Long Lake Park, a 10-acre expanse managed by the City of Lacey, houses one of Thurston County’s top swimming beaches. 

Along with a vast 285-foot beachfront, the park provides visitors with sand volleyball courts and barbecue facilities for an immersive, fun-filled day by the water. 

Open from dawn to dusk, the park also offers pedestrian trails winding through lush, evergreen woods, and picnic spots for leisurely meals in nature. 

Despite the absence of lifeguards, swimming at Long Lake remains popular, with buoys marking the swimming areas for added appeal. 

The Thurston County Department of Environmental Health monitors the lake for blue-green algae, ensuring safety for swimmers. 

The park, while bustling in summer, maintains its charm all year round.

4. Squaxin Park

Sunset Over West Olympia From Priest Point Park With Cirrocumulus Clouds
Source: dreamstime
  • Distance from Olympia: 4 miles
  • Activities: picnicking, fishing, hiking, beachcombing
  • Amenities: parking, restrooms, trails

Squaxin Park, formerly known as Priest Point Park, is a 314-acre natural sanctuary just a stone’s throw from Olympia. 

The park’s standout feature, a secluded beach, is reachable via a steep, intriguing trail that promises a delightful exploration at low tide. 

The beachfront is an exceptional vantage point, offering stunning views of the Capitol Building, downtown Olympia, and on clear days, the majestic Olympic mountains. 

A popular spot for beachcombing and leisurely walks, it thrives with a rich ecosystem, frequented by shorebirds, including great blue herons. 

While swimming is not advised, the beach’s close proximity to nature trails, picnic areas, and playgrounds makes it an integral part of the park’s recreational offerings. 

This well-appointed greenspace continues to honor the land’s indigenous past, inviting visitors to engage with nature’s undisturbed beauty.

5. Tolmie State Park

Tolmie State Park in the Pacific Northwest
Source: dreamstime
  • Distance from Olympia: 12 miles
  • Activities: kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, picnicking, fishing, scuba diving, hiking
  • Amenities: restrooms, showers, playgrounds, trails, picnic shelters

Tolmie State Park, a day-use marine hub near Olympia, presents an ideal blend of natural beauty and outdoor activities. 

The beach, backed by a lush forest, is a haven for families, hikers, and wildlife enthusiasts with its calm waters and three-mile shaded trails. 

The park’s shoreline stretches 1,800 feet on Puget Sound, offering opportunities for beach exploration and bird watching. 

Visitors can dive into a unique underwater park hosting an artificial reef and a saltwater marsh. 

Clamming, crabbing, beachcombing, and saltwater fishing are popular activities. 

Amenities include an ADA-accessible restroom and hiking trail, along with two electric kitchen shelters. 

Picnic tables and fire circles complete the park’s offering, providing opportunities for intimate gatherings or grander celebrations.

6. Saltar’s Point Beach

Steilacoom - View of the beach and the Railroad
Source: unsplash
  • Distance from Olympia: 21 miles
  • Activities: picnicking, walking, beachcombing
  • Amenities: picnic pavilion, diving

Located 21 miles northeast of Olympia, Saltar’s Point Beach is an exclusive waterfront spot stretching 500 feet along Puget Sound. 

This secluded, rocky shoreline rewards the adventurous with a scenic view that spans McNeil and Anderson islands. 

A footbridge over train tracks provides the only access, leading to steep steps down to the beach – a minor challenge that adds to its allure. 

This peaceful nook is beloved for its tranquility, making it an ideal spot for leisurely walks and intimate picnics under a pavilion complete with grills. 

There’s drinking water access, but visitors need to pack their own essentials. 

Though fishing is off-limits to preserve the marine sanctuary, the beach offers unique diving opportunities, promising glimpses of shipwrecks and local marine life.

7. Sunnyside Beach

  • Distance from Olympia: 21 miles
  • Activities: swimming, sunbathing, kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, picnicking, fishing, volleyball, scuba diving
  • Amenities: restrooms, showers, playgrounds, volleyball nets

Steilacoom’s serene beachfront park – Sunnyside Beach – is a standout destination, not just for its stunning Sound views and glimpses of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, but also for its array of beach-centric amenities and activities. 

With 1,400 feet of saltwater shoreline, visitors can enjoy everything from beachcombing to scuba diving, thanks to a diver-friendly site featuring easy entry and minimal current. 

For those preferring land-based activities, the park’s meticulously maintained playground keeps younger visitors engaged, while a volleyball court offers sporting fun. 

Alongside these activities, the park provides several conveniences including BBQ grills, drinking water access, and restrooms equipped with showers. 

Visitors can also unwind on park benches, appreciating the park’s tranquility, or enjoy a beachside picnic with the park’s tables. 

The park permits leashed dogs, and requires a $5 parking fee for non-residents.

8. Hope Island Marine State Park

Hope Island Kayak Trip, Puget Sound, Washington State
Source: dreamstime
  • Distance from Olympia: 18 miles
  • Activities: swimming, sunbathing, kayaking, canoeing, picnicking, fishing, camping, hiking
  • Amenities: primitive campsites, trails

Hope Island Marine State Park offers a unique beach experience nestled in Puget Sound’s Mason County. 

The island’s beaches, only reachable by boat, present serene, unspoiled stretches for beachcombing and exploration. 

Old-growth forests and saltwater marshes provide a stunning backdrop to its one-and-a-half-mile shoreline. 

The park, boasting a network of two miles of hiking trails, also attracts bird watchers and fishing enthusiasts. 

The island’s wildlife includes bald eagles and great blue herons, drawn by abundant shellfish. 

Day-use facilities comprise four unsheltered picnic tables and vault toilets, though visitors must pack out their garbage and note that water isn’t available. 

Overnight guests can choose from six primitive campsites, connecting with nature under the historic orchard canopy of century-old fruit and nut trees.

9. Grayland Beach

  • Distance from Olympia: 73 miles
  • Activities: swimming, sunbathing, picnicking, fishing, camping, hiking, kite-flying
  • Amenities: restrooms, showers, campgrounds, trails

Grayland Beach State Park on the Pacific Coast presents a unique coastal destination with over 7,449 feet of ocean frontage. 

It’s one of the nearest ocean beaches to Olympia.

The park caters to an array of outdoor enthusiasts, offering an extensive list of activities from beachcombing and bird watching to surfing and clamming. 

The park’s broad sandy stretch is a favored spot for kite flyers and families who appreciate the year-round marine camping availability. 

RVers will find ample spots near the beach, with several trails providing easy access through picturesque dunes and wind-bent pines. 

Grayland Beach’s distinctive blend of Pacific Coast charm and robust amenities make it a must-visit for a quintessential Northwest-style beach experience.

10. Ocean Shores Beach

Ocean Shores, Washington
Source: unsplash
  • Distance from Olympia: 72 miles
  • Activities: swimming, sunbathing, picnicking, fishing, camping, hiking, kite-flying
  • Amenities: restrooms, showers, campgrounds, trails, hotels, restaurants, rentals

Nestled along the Pacific Coast and some 72 miles from Olympia, Ocean Shores offers an enticing beach experience with a twist – the freedom to drive on the beach itself. 

This popular coastal town, known for its long sandy beaches and surrounding water canals, provides a plethora of activities for families and couples alike. 

Visitors can indulge in beach exploration, bird watching, and clamming, or head to the bustling local fun center. 

The beach is close to the unassuming Ocean City State Park, home to dunes, thickets of shore pine, and accessible camping facilities. 

Convenience reigns supreme, with picnic tables and ample parking for 100 vehicles. 

With day-trip proximity to neighboring coastal towns and national parks, Ocean Shores offers a blend of relaxation and adventure in a unique beachfront setting.

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