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Ask any Seattle native to picture a perfect summer's day and chances are they'll think of Alki Beach: a 4-kilometre stretch of golden sand, lined with cafes just 15 minutes from the city centre.
On any sunny summer's day crowds of tourists and locals alike don their swimming gear and head for Alki Beach Park to forget the bustle of the city and enjoy spectacular views across Seattle's soaring skyline, the islands of the Puget Sound and the distant, snow-capped peaks of the Olympic mountains. Take a stroll by the seaside, find a quiet spot to rest your bones or grab some fresh seafood in one of the numerous restaurants – everything you could want from a day at the beach is right here. Alki Beach is where the first European settlers landed in 1851 – the spot marked by the Birthplace of Seattle Monument before founding the city further inland at Pioneer Square.
Nowadays, the nautical tradition is upheld at the Alki Point Lighthouse, where there are plenty of old maritime equipment, charts and equipment on displaythere are tours on summer weekends. Another man,-made attraction is the replica Statue of Liberty on 60th Ave SW – a taste of the East in the Pacific Northwest!
The summer is really when this area comes alive; the sand, grassy verge and paved walking trail are always busy when as the days get longer. Volleyball nets and fire circles also dot the beach, giving it an almost Californian feel. There are tables and benches provided alongside the sand if you fancy a picnic while you're there, or why not check out one of the many local eateries, from fine-dining restaurants to snack bars. Salty's is a local favourite with a legendary weekend brunch and fantastic view across the yachts, ferries and pleasure boats on Elliott Bay.
Alki Beach is in West Seattle and is easily accessible on many of the public buses. There is plenty of free parking if you have a car but get there early on busy summer's days to get a spot. An alternative travel plan is to take the Metro water taxi from near to Pioneer Square. This scenic 12-minute trip will take you across the Bay to Sea Crest Park from where the DART shuttle bus will take you to Alki Beach for free.
Located in Queen Anne, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Seattle Center Arena, Seattle Children's Theatre, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. Marion Oliver McCaw Hall and Museum of Pop Culture are also within 15 minutes. Seattle Center Monorail Station is 10 minutes by foot and Westlake Thomas St Station is 19 minutes.
Located in Downtown Seattle, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Washington State Convention Center, Seattle Waterfront, and Pike Place Market. Space Needle and CenturyLink Field are also within 1 mi (2 km). University Street Station is only a 4-minute walk and Westlake Station is 6 minutes.