Waterfront Walks in Washington State

Liberty Bay, Poulsbo, WA

Liberty Bay, Poulsbo, WA

As I wrote recently, spring came earlier to Washington State this year than to Missouri. During my recent trip west, I spent two pleasant afternoons walking along waterfronts in Washington.

The first was on a boardwalk on Liberty Bay in Poulsbo, Washington. I had a little time to kill, and needed to work off a lunch of fish and chips.

Liberty Bay is an arm of Puget Sound on the Olympic Peninsula side. Tucked in behind Bainbridge Island, the bay is sheltered and almost always calm. It has tides, but no surf. At low tide the tip of the bay is a mud flat, but at high tide the water is clear as a mountain lake.

My parents have seen orcas in Liberty Bay, but the biggest wildlife I saw on my visit was a seal swimming amidst the cormorants in the marina. Unfortunately, my photograph did not show the seal’s head well enough to post for readers.

Seattle skyline, from Alki Beach Park

The Space Needle, as seen from Alki Beach Park in Seattle

My second walk along the water was at Alki Beach Park at the tip of Elliott Bay near downtown Seattle. Seattle is a port city, and ferries are a major means of transportation in the area, so many people spend a lot of time on or near the water. Nevertheless, it is hard to speak of Seattle and beaches in the same sentence, because the weather is cool and grey so much of the time.

But I was blessed with a sunny afternoon, cool and breezy, but bright enough that I wished I had a wide-brimmed hat with me. I was bundled from wrist to ankle in several layers, though some Seattleites thought it was warm enough for shorts.

Alki Point is Seattle’s best approximation of a beach resort. I walked along the path above the rocky beach (though allegedly at low tide there is sand on the beach) and admired the skyline across the water—as pleasant an afternoon as on any beach in California, albeit not as warm.

This time, I ate my fish and chips after the walk.

Lake Washington, from Madison Park at dusk, Seattle, WA

Lake Washington, from Madison Park at dusk, Seattle, WA

Later in the day, I also walked in some lovely parks on Lake Washington, a fresh water lake on the western side of Seattle.

None of my Washington waterfront walks were as warm nor as wild as what I encountered on my Florida trip. But they still count as days on the beach and add to my measure of a good year.

What experiences are making 2014 memorable for you?