One event at Alki Beach

One of many events at Alki Beach

Alki Beach or Alki Point is just a hop,skip, and jump down I-5, heading south and looking for the West Seattle Bridge.  Easy to see as it is the only one that heads towards the water from I-5.

Often times West Seattle is overlooked by tourists coming into Seattle.  However, if you are new to the area, be sure to check out Alki Beach.  Does not matter what time of the year it may be, because there is always something going on at the beach.

This is one of those few beaches in Seattle that you can actually walk in sand rather than on rocky shores or gravel or perhaps some weedy grasses.  You’ll also be able to take in the Seattle skyline.  Check out the Space Needle while overlooking Elliott Bay.

Keep an eye open for Harbor Ave. SW which will take you around the Duwamish Head and right onto Alki Point where you’ll be greeted with the beach scene.

Chief Seattle

Chief  Seattle, head of the Duwamish Indian tribe (now Native Americans) helped the first settlers through the winter of 1851.  Wanting to be more “civilized” these settlers named the area New York Alki.  Alki meaning “by and by” that is, this new area was going to grow to the size of New York City…by and by.

Chief Seattle bust in Pioneer Square

Chief Seattle bust in Pioneer Square

Chief Seattle had great respect for the natural environment.  He wanted others to do likewise.  In fact, one particularly famous quote by him goes like this:

“Humankind has not woven the web of life.  We are but one thread within it.  Whatever we do to the web,we do to ourselves.  All things are bound together.  All things connect.”  (spoken in the Suquamish dialect or Lushootseed language)

Spuds To You!

Now you would not be “official” until you stopped at Spuds 2666 Alki Ave. SW and devoured the best fish and chips in the area.  Spuds has been an icon in the area since 1935 and is still going strong.

Spud's famous fish and chips...found here!

Spud’s famous fish and chips…found here!

Ivar’s purchased Spuds a few years back, but keep in mind that he menu has remained the same.  Stop in and enjoy a treat with the line up of many others which at times can go around the block.

Keep in mind that there are many superb restaurants in Seattle.  See my favorite near Greenlake area.

Salty’s on Alki Beach

Salty’s is located at 1936 Harbor Ave. SW on Alki Beach.  It’s another great eating place you’ll want to go to.  It can be a romantic spot, or a friendly business meeting, or perhaps for couples celebrating special occasions.

On the other hand, maybe you just want something to eat.  At any rate, you’ll enjoy the atmosphere but especially you’ll enjoy the great food.

The Lighthouse

Way back in 1913 the lighthouse at Alki Point 3201 Alki Ave SW was built.  It is one of eight lighthouses that is open to the public on the Puget (pew-jet) Sound.  Take note of the old original type instruments and the great view as you reach the top.

Free to the public and super clean inside and out.  Like to be adventurous?  Then head to the mountains.

Alki Beach Lighthouse Free to the public

Alki Beach Lighthouse Free to the public

Log House Museum

Just off the beach about one block heading south, you run into the museum of the Log House.  It’s 3003 61st Ave SW where it honors the Denny party as the first white settlers into the area and that Chief Seattle and his Tribe, kept safe through their first winter in the Seattle area.

California Avenue

Before leaving the area, be sure to walk the sidewalks of California Ave in the West Seattle area.  It’s one of those streets that you’ll find all sorts of  things in the storefronts and interesting people all along the walkways.  Similar to Alaskan Way in Downtown Seattle.

The intersection of California Ave SW and Alaskan Ave SW will be the point of interest.  Originally named after streetcar lines that crossed here for the DART shuttle.

California Ave SW stopping point

California Ave SW stopping point

Look for Easy Street Records or the Arts West Gallery.  One more thing to see is the Sunday mornings (10am-2pm) West Seattle’s Farmer’s Market.  And if you like that, then you’ll just HAVE to go to the Pike Place Market or perhaps walk down Alaskan Way next to the water or maybe check out the Ferries.

Enjoyed Seattle?  Leave your comments below and share this with your friends.

Written by:  Tom McDaniel

Alki Point Beach in West Seattle

Alki Point Beach in West Seattle

Is Alki Beach In Seattle?

It almost seems that Alki Beach is a separate entity from the city of Seattle. Located in West Seattle, it most definitely is a highly popular “go to” spot for  great entertainment, people watching, and salty water.

On those beautiful sunny days and warm weather, you’ll want to head over to the 2.5 mile long sandy beach at Alki Point.  Joggers, rollerbladers, volleyball games, beachcombers, sunbathers, bicyclists and families with their children will be out in droves.

With so many activities going on, you’ll be hard pressed as to which one to choose first!

What To Expect

Plenty of parking makes it so pleasant as you arrive.

Want to picnic?  Tables are a-plenty.  Take note of the bathhouse, the art studio, bathrooms and more.  All located at the south end of the beach.  That would be the official “Alki Point” part of the beach.

Ready for a swim?  Remember that Puget (pew-jet) Sound waters  never do get real warm.  About 46-56 F year round.  However, on those warm August days, you’ll find the water is perfect.

Plenty of "people watching" going on.

Plenty of “people watching” makes Alki enjoyable

At the other extreme end of the beach, the North end, you’ll find a bulkhead protecting the beach.  Take note of the cottages that dot the area.  Looking over the Puget Sound waters, you’ll be pleased with the year round snow capped  Olympic Mountains.

Since so much of Seattle is water oriented, keep a sharp eye out for the ferries, sailboats, barges, steamers, and all the other flotilla that you’ll enjoy watching.

Be sure too, to watch out for those SeaFair Pirates that show up from time to time!

SeaFair Pirates invade Alki

SeaFair Pirates invade Alki…you may be taken captive!.

A local Seattlelite taken "Captive?"

A local Seattleite taken “Captive?”   Hmmmm?

Luna Park is one of those areas that you’ll find of interest.  But unless you know a bit about it’s history, it may be something you’ll pass on.

Luna Park and Coney Island 

The years of 1907 to 1913 were glory years for the park.  Lighting up the night skies on the northern tip of West Seattle as you gazed across Elliot Bay.   Those quiet summer nights would also bring to your ears the screams and happy laughter of excited folks enjoying the park.

Luna Park, for it’s time, rivaled the  Disney parks of today.  They were far more than just the week-end carnivals that pop up across the country.  With permanent fixtures to enjoy for decades to come, Luna Park rivaled New York’s Coney Island, but located in the West.

Luna Park early 1900's

Luna Park early 1900’s

Luna Park 1910

Luna Park 1910

With the Figure 8 roller coaster, Merry go round, Chute the chutes, Water slide, Cave of mystery, Canal of Venice, Human ostrich, Joy wheel, Electrobator and many other park-like rides were at your fingertips all night long.   A fun place for folks of all ages to enjoy.

Demise of The Park

Because of political unrest and the communities struggle for morality, the park eventually was shut down.  1913 was the year it closed its doors.  Torn down or sold, the music, happy laughter, screams of joy…ended.

However the Natatorium (salty swims) remained for a couple more decades until an arsonist decided to torch it.  Going up in flames truly ended all the glory days of Luna Park.

The park in flames

The park in flames

If you happen to be at Elliott Bay when the tides fall to their lowest point (which happens about every 10 years) you’ll see the old rows of pilings and other burned and charred timbers that once supported Luna Park.

Similar to the old movie entitled Brigadoon, Luna Park will once more, be covered over by the waves of Elliott Bay for another 10 years or so.

Alki Park Rivals Seattle’s Green Lake

If you enjoy getting outside and enjoying the rare sunny days in the Northwest, then Alki is where you want to be.  On the other hand, Greenlake is also a great place to see and get involved with others in outdoor activities.

Watch for the Sand Model girls on the Point

Watch for the Sand Model girls on the Point

Whether it be watching or joining in, both parks are easy to locate and great place (and unusually safe to be in) to enjoy the great city of Seattle.

Have you enjoyed Alki?  Leave your comments below and share with friends.

Written by :  Tom McDaniel

Images: coastalseattle,alkinews,wikipedia,seattlepi,mynorthwest,pauldorpat,wikimedia,historylink,tunersandmodels