Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

Jetty Island

Photo: visiteverett.com

Everett’s lovely Jetty Island is just a ferry ride away

Wade in the water, climb the dunes, and build sand castles

What’s 2 miles long, a three-minute ferry ride away, and loads of fun? ­Jetty Island!

Heading to a small passenger boat to Jetty Island.

Photo by Allison Peterson

A quick jaunt from Everett, Jetty Island offers unspoiled beaches, an expanse of tidelands, and saltwater marshes to explore.

The water goes out pretty far, safe enough to play and wade in.

Photo by Allison Peterson

The ferries run five days a week (not Monday and Tuesday), starting July 5 and continuing through September 1, 2024. Ferries go 10 a.m.-5:45 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday; 10 a.m. -6:45 p.m. Friday and Saturday.  The ferry holds 60 people, costs $3-$5 a person (free for kids under 2) and departs from Jetty Landing, adjacent to the boat launch at 10th Street and West Marine View Drive.

Reserve tickets (and parking) here.

You can book reservations for your return trip from the Jetty or, like in years past, grab a return pass for available time slots once you arrive on the island. These are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Ferry rides to the island are by reservation only.

Jetty Island: what to know

There is no electricity or running water.  You may need to walk a long way to find your perfect spot on the beach. There are sandy paths, but they’re not great for strollers or wheelchairs. There is one restroom, and it’s near the ferry landing. Details and FAQ here.

Building a fort in the sand

Photo by Allison Peterson

Kids enjoy the vastness of the beach, with plenty of space to run around and build mega sand castles and forts. They love poking around in the clam and shrimp holes on the flat, trying to catch up to the little critters that flee their probing fingers.

The water remains shallow quite a ways out, which is good for little ones who want to wade out into the cool Puget Sound. The beach sports three sand volleyball courts – the perfect spot for Frisbee throwing if they aren’t being used. If you seek more privacy, haul your gear and stake your claim farther down the beach.

Walking the path to the beach

Photo by Allison Peterson

Pack light but smart (unless you have older kids to help carry the load); the central beach area is only accessible by a sandy path, which is not amenable to strollers or rolling coolers. Having baby in a carrier would make the walk easier. Bring some toys to have fun in the sand. Also, the ocean breeze makes it a keen kite-flying spot.

On her most recent trip, another mom and Seattle’s Child contributor, Allison Peterson, said that families should be prepared for all kinds of weather–“In the 2-hours that we were there, it went from sunny and almost 80 degrees to 62 degrees and pouring down rain as we were boarding our return boat. Bring plenty of water (there’s no water or electricity on the island), snacks, towels, sunscreen and layers of clothing.” She also mentioned that going on a low-tide day may put you in a sticky situation. As the water recedes, the ground becomes quicksand and little feet will get stuck in the muck. Go on high-tide days when the water reaches the beach, but still stays shallow for wading.

Running up and down the tall dunes on Jetty Island

Photo by Allison Peterson

On a sunny weekend day, be prepared to stay at least a few hours on the beach. If you can, get there early or plan for a weekday to avoid heavy crowds.

Read more

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Find more things to do on seattleschild.com

About the Author

Allison Peterson

Allison Peterson is a former elementary teacher turned full-time driver/chef/tutor/nurse/coach/memory-maker to three children who call her "Mom". She lives in Woodinville, and is always looking for her next adventure!