What’s 2 miles long, a three-minute ferry ride away, free and loads of fun? Jetty Island!
A quick jaunt from Everett, Jetty Island offers unspoiled beaches, an expanse of tidelands and saltwater marshes to explore.
The ferries run five days a week (not Monday and Tuesday) through Labor Day. Ferries go 11 a.m.-6:45 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. -7:45 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. -7:45 p.m. Sunday. Reserve tickets (and parking) here.
Jetty Island: what to know
There is no electricity and no running water. You may need to walk a ways 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, just one, and it’s near the ferry landing. Details and FAQ here.
My kids enjoy the vastness of the beach, with plenty of space to run around and build mega sand castles. 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.
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. Bring some toys to have fun in the sand. Also, the ocean breeze makes it a keen kite-flying spot.
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.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in June 2014 but was most recently updated July 29, 2021.