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Last year when my oldest was living in Seattle for baking/culinary school, we took the Amtrak train a lot to go visit. The trip is barely longer than driving, but lets you sit in comfort, with great views, and not have to navigate both Blewett and Snoqualmie Passes in the winter. Plus, it’s pretty cheap and they have plug-ins for devices and a food car with pretty good food. I’m not here to plug Amtrak, but really, it’s a great way to travel. Anyway, one of the things I always noticed was the section from Seattle’s King Street Station to Edmonds, before turning towards Gold Bar, is spotted with really cool looking beaches: one after the other of apparently dog-friendly hangouts with driftwood and sand and smiling people splashing through the surf. I always made a mental note to check them out “someday.”

A free weekend rolled around towards the end of August and I thought to myself: “Self, where can you go that’s close but fun and different than anywhere else you’ve been lately?” And “the Edmonds beaches” popped into my head. I plotted a somewhat logical course from Edmonds, north towards Mukilteo, and we were off. We took a Friday off, headed out reasonably early, and were at Beach No. 1 by lunchtime. Marina Beach Park was active and bustling, with boats and fisherman loading at the launch. Steel-grated walkways across the boatyard gave a great view and place to dream about that “someday” boat. We stopped at Anthony’s Beach Café and sat outside in the sun for tasty seafood.

We went a bit further down (same general area though) and found ourselves at the Edmonds-Kingston ferry dock. More beach area there and a marina let us look at a lot of beautiful sailboats. A long fishing pier to walk down let us see some interesting things being pulled out of Puget Sound. Seriously, a few things I had no idea people ate. Interpretive signage along the way makes it educational as well.

We loaded back into the car and headed north to beach No. 2: Meadowdale Beach Park. Meadowdale is cool because it’s a long narrow park that you hike down into through very rain-forest-ey trees and that over-ripe, lush Pacific Northwest growth. Just over a mile, it’s quiet and peaceful and breathtakingly beautiful. It’s also mostly downhill on the way there. Leaving, you guessed it, BIG UPHILLS on the way back. Wear better shoes that I did and you’ll be ok. When you’re almost to the beach, the grounds open up to volleyball nets and picnic tables and BBQs. I’m not sure who owns the land, but there was a really quaint forest ranger’s quarters at the bottom. What an awesome place that would be to live.

One of the beaches we didn’t make it to was Picnic Point Park. It also looks really cool, so we’ll add it to the next list.

That was all for day one. We had a great dinner that night, stayed at a hotel and the next morning went to a really good diner for breakfast. We just lucked out to stumble into such a yummy place. Patty’s Egg Nest was busy and homey and the meal I had was one of the best, most unique breakfasts I’ve ever had. Loved it so much I have since been making my own version back at home almost weekly.

Our last beach for the trip was at the Mukilteo Lighthouse. One of only 6 lighthouses open to the public in Washington state, its beam shines 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can be seen 12 miles from shore. You can tour the lighthouse and grounds for free. The park area is home to more beach space, with walkways, public restrooms and a large playground, it’s a great place to spend the afternoon.

With just one overnight stay we got to see a ton of interesting beaches and enjoy a good hike, great food and some time away. Just what we all need from time to time.

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