Build a driftwood fort at Marina Beach, pose with a sea lion at Olympic Beach, fish from the pier or stroll the marina. Easily accessible and with three public beaches, Edmonds waterfront offers something for everyone. A paved walkway connects all three beaches taking walkers past marina, restaurants and ferry terminal.
Marina Beach (498 Admiral Way) is the furthest south. A family favorite, the picnic tables make it a great spot to bring a lunch and a small playground entertains the tykes. The beach slopes abruptly, so it’s not ideal for wading except at the lowest of tides when eel grass tide flats lay exposed. The Edmonds beaches are designated marine sanctuaries and here at Marina Beach, during a low tide, you can explore the diversity of animals who call the beach and the tidal flats home. Ochre sea stars can be found along the edges of tidal ponds. Explore the base of rocks to find little tidal pools brimming with life. Hermit crabs, snails, chitons glued to rocks, small sculpin and sea slugs call the pools home. Gently move a tide pool rock and you may find a gunnel, a long narrow fish that resembles a small eel. Dotted throughout the tide flats are moon snail egg casings. Looking like round rubber wheels, the egg casings are home to critters too providing shelter to baby sea slugs and sea stars.
Youngsters build sand creations, and in July, the City of Edmonds hosts a sand castle contest at Marina beach. Driftwood lining the beach front provides the material for budding architects to design awesome forts and hideaways. At Marina Beach’s north perimeter, a walkway bridge takes you from beach to the marina. The breakfront shelters moored boats. During the summer, psychedelic splotches of color burst from planters and garden strips along the walk. Dahlias, lavender, geraniums, marigolds, roses, daisies and petunias brighten the way. At the marina, Anthony’s Beach Café (456 Admiral Way) offers outdoor dining and even has a sandbox for the kids to play in while waiting for their meals.
Check in at the Olympic Beach Visitor’s Station (200 West Dayton Street) located on the landside of Edmonds Fishing Pier to obtain information on weekend beach walks timed to coincide with low tides. The station is manned on weekends during the summer months. Permanent outdoor displays instruct visitors on the diversity of sea animals found in the tidal flats and beach habitats. Enjoy a walk along the fishing pier. Crab pots hang from the pier pillions and patient fishermen attempt to finesse the elusive salmon with rod and reel. With just a short four months season, crabbers use a variety of lures from salmon heads to chicken necks in the hopes of trapping dinner, the highly prized Dungeness crabs.
Olympic Beach is home to a collection of sculpture. Most prominent, Richard Beyer’s Seeing Whales is an impressive cast aluminum artwork depicting a family gazing off across Puget Sound. My favorite sculpture is the bronze family of sea lions along Olympic Beach’s walkway by Georgia Gerber. More subtle sculptures, bronze sea stars, seaweed and shells are to be found throughout Olympic Beach’s walkway.
On either side of the ferry dock, Brackett’s Landing completes the trio of Edmonds waterfront beaches. North of the ferry dock, Brackett’s Landing provides the beachfront to Edmonds Underwater Park – human visitors don scuba gear to visit this park. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has designated Brackett’s Landing and the Edmonds Underwater Park a protected marine sanctuary. A sunken drydock, tug boat and other structures provide a reef habitat to marine animals. At low tide, the beach, especially along the ferry dock pilings, abounds in tidal creatures.
Search for animals in Marina beach tide pools, enjoy public art along Olympic Beach, stroll the fishing pier, build a sand castle or watch the scuba divers at Brackett’s Landing – the quarter mile stretch of Edmonds beach waterfront offers something for everyone.