Head to Alki Beach to enjoy the long stretch of sand and view of downtown. In Seattle, this is as close as you can get to living in beach paradise. Well into the 20th century, Alki was reachable from most of Seattle only by boat. Alki today is reminiscent of Pacific Northwest beach town, with a mix of mid-century bungalows, medium-rise waterfront apartment houses, more expensive condo with amazing Puget Sound view, waterfront businesses, a thin beach, and a bike/foot trail running several miles along the water.
This section of West Seattle is bound on the northwest by Elliott Bay; on the southwest by Puget Sound; and on the east by the West Seattle hill. Its main thoroughfares are Alki Avenue S.W; Beach Drive S.W.; and S.W. Admiral Way.
As with the rest of West Seattle, Alki has a relaxed feeling, and you can tell the residents are ultra-proud of their hood. Visitors covet the beachfront condos and the place is packed during the summer for beach volleyball tournaments and picnics. In the off-season, locals claim their neighborhood back and it’s a great place to visit during the winter months, it’s overcast and you want the area more to yourself.
Alki Beach is the principal tourist attraction at Alki Point. It features sand, saltwater, bungalows, and unique local restaurants. It is generally not a popular swimming beach, owing to the cold waters of Puget Sound. It offers stunning views of the Olympic Mountains and downtown Seattle from all points. Alki Beach is also a place to “people watch” or get a tan, and it provides a casual environment for people to gather and hang out. There is access for wheelchair users and roller-skaters.
In the summer months, Alki Beach becomes crowded, especially on weekends. Alki Beach is also famed for its biking and walking trail, which provides a picturesque view of nearby Blake Island. Sunbathers, volleyball nets, and barbecues fill the beach while teens cruise in eye-catching cars. Tourist attractions include the miniature of the Statue of Liberty, the iconic Alki Point Lighthouse and the Birthplace of Seattle monument. The main commercial strip in West Seattle, uphill from Alki Beach, California Ave SW provides five-and-dime shops and diners that recall earlier decades.