The Best Coastal State Parks in Washington
Birch Bay State Park
Sprawling along one of northern Puget Sound's last fresh- and salt-water estuaries, the park unfolds dramatic views of Canada's Gulf Islands and the icy crags of the Cascade Range.
Cama Beach Historical State Park
Seventy-five minutes northwest of Seattle, a quaint 1934 fishing resort still welcomes guests to its bungalows and cedar cabins. Exhibits explore the area's tribal history, while The Center for Wooden Boats showcases its maritime heritage.
Cape Disappointment State Park
A majestic headland presides over the Columbia Bar, where America's fourth-largest river pours into the Pacific. Hike among the old-growth forest, punctuated by military ruins, and then check out the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center for a deeper look at the area’s rich history.
Deception Pass State Park
A bridge soars 180 feet over the channels between the mainland, and Fidalgo and Whidbey Islands. But don't just gawk at Washington's most-visited state park: trails wind along the spectacular cliffs and coves, while fishers, boaters, and swimmers gather at Cranberry Lake to play in the brilliant blue water.
Fort Casey Historical State Park
A half-mile stroll from the Coupeville ferry dock, this park anchors around the Admiralty Head Lighthouse. While the beacon no longer guides ships, the 1903 building has exhibits and tours.
Fort Ebey State Park
Sunsets ignite this old WWII coastal defense on Whidbey Island, prized for its panoramic views of Puget Sound and the lofty, rugged Olympic Mountains. Watch for eagles at Lake Pondilla!
Fort Worden Historical State Park
This Victorian military compound presides on a shoreline bluff in charming, groovy Port Townsend. Swing by the Marine Science Center to learn more about the Salish Sea, the inland ocean that the park overlooks.
Griffith-Priday Ocean State Park
Low, grassy dunes ripple between Conner Creek and the Copalis River. Popular among birdwatchers and kite-flyers, the natural spit pokes out into the Pacific, attracting fishers and clammers too!
Larrabee State Park
Washington's first state park began with the $1 sale of 20 acres. Today the Bellingham-area favorite sprawls over 2,683 acres of tidelands, forest-fringed coves and two freshwater lakes.
Lime Kiln Point State Park
One of the world's best places to whale watch from shore, the rocky San Juan Island point allows glimpses of the Northwest's iconic orcas, as well as minkes (May–September).
Leadbetter Point State Park
Capping the Long Beach Peninsula, this recreational area has seven miles of trails (0.5 ADA-accessible). Wildlife buffs should bring binoculars, especially during the fall and spring shorebird migrations. Also watch for bald eagles, peregrine falcons and even snowy owls among the dunes and saltmarshes.
Moran State Park
Climb the replica Russian watchtower atop Mount Constitution — the highest point in the San Juan Islands – for splendid 360-degree views of the archipelago and North Cascades. Almost 40 miles of trails entice hikers, bikers and equestrians.
Ocean City State Park
Keep an eye on both the sea and sky at this camping-friendly beach park, fringed with thickets of shore pine. It lies along the migratory route for birds and also gray whales, as well.
Penrose Point State Park
This Olympic peninsula gem reveals stunning views of 14,410-foot Mount Rainier, the most glaciated peak in the Lower 48. Wander among the firs and cedars, then picnic on the serene shoreline.
Spencer Spit State Park
Load up on crabs or clams at this Lopez Island spot, popular among car-top boaters. One of the archipelago's best beaches, it teems with birds and has a replica of the original homestead cabin, built with driftwood logs and hand-split shakes.