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The North End’s Best Beaches

A day at the beach burns bright in one’s memory. We are drawn to water, because the sea is a master storyteller. Shorebirds squawk and circle. The salt air aches of escape and adventure. Children squeal and giggle over ribbons of slimy seaweed and watch in wonder as small crabs skitter beneath driftwood. Empires of sand rise up again and again, despite the unavoidable appetite of the coming tide. The very impermanence of a day at the beach is what makes it a living thing. Starting in our own backyard, discover 15 of the most interactive stretches of pebble and sand to splash, boat, paddle, hike, fish and treasure-hunt.

Everett

Get Lifted
Jetty Island

jettyisland

WHERE IT IS
West of Everett at the mouth of the Snohomish River

WHAT TO BRING
Kitesurfing paraphernalia, SPF 30, swim trunks and a confirmed ferry spot

A two-mile sliver of untouched sandbank — dirt trails sidewind inside tall marshland grasses while eagles and ospreys zigzag overhead. Mount Baker rises in the north adding majesty to the island’s sweeping views of nearby Hat, Whidbey and Camano islands and the distant outline of the Olympic Mountains and the crest of Mount Rainier peek over the bluff. When drinking in the scene, it’s unfathomable that Jetty Island was nothing more than a happy accident.

A man-made collection of riprap and silt haphazardly designed to create a protected harbor during the first half of the twentieth century, Jetty Island’s some 30,000 visitors take the three-minute ferry ride to vie for umbrella plots and swim in unusually warm waters during the peak season of July-September. The island’s providential position also does a bang-up job of harnessing the whipping winds of the Saratoga Passage, creating a kiteboarder’s paradise.

Open for business starting July 5th, the ferry at the Jetty Landing (located at 10th and W. Marine View Drive) runs seven days a week, Mon.–Thurs. 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Fri.–Sat., 10 a.m.–9 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.–7 p.m.

Beachfront Bird Watching
North View Park

beachfront

WHERE IT IS
Northern end of Everett overlooking Port Gardner Bay

WHAT TO BRING
Binoculars, point-and-shoot camera and a journal

North View Park isn’t one of those beaches to sport a bikini (unless you don’t mind a few looks from birders who’ve come to spot eagles), but the quiet and inspiring waterfront views can calm even the most distracted lunch-breakers. Decorated with barnacle-bedazzled boulders and watermarked tree stumps, the small and tranquil beachfront runs alongside the rippling water of Everett’s port where several comfy benches afford optimum bird viewing. Down a gentle graded dune, beachcombers can catch glimpses of Great Blue Heron and Osprey. During late spring through summer the offshoot of shore pilings have been home to Osprey nests where hatchlings can be seen. A few miles down from the Inn at Port Gardner and Lombardi’s, order your lunch to go and recharge your chi.

510 W. Marine View Dr., Hours during April 1–Oct. 31: 6 a.m.–10 p.m.

Family-Friendly Freshwater
Silver Lake

silverlake

WHERE IT IS
Three miles from Mill Creek Town Center off WA-527 in South Everett

WHAT TO BRING
Towels, swimsuits and dancing shoes (or sandals)

The sun-drenched shores of Silver Lake are part of the 35-acre wide Thornton A. Sullivan Park. Not to be confused with Silver Lake in Whatcom County, Silver Lake, WA is known to be a waterfront playground pumped up with family-fun. The city of Everett hosts several events from June through Labor Day on Silver Lake’s sand. On Saturday, May 10th the park will host their annual Fish-In for little tykes who wish to fish with expert fishing guides. The 59th Annual Silver Lake Hydroplane Races on June 7th is a rain-or-shine event and the highly anticipated 2014 Kids’ Concert Series begins every Thursday morning starting in July. One of the best, and closest, stretches of swimming beach in the county — Silver Lake is a hot hangout for all ages.

11405 W. Silver Lake Rd., Open and staffed with lifeguards from 11 a.m.–6 p.m. daily starting
in June.