Top 20 Seattle attractions

Houghton Beach Park

Houghton Beach Park has a beautiful setting on Lake Washington, 1-mile south of downtown Kirkland on Seattle’s Eastside.  

It's one of Kirkland’s most popular parks, with a beach, pirate ship playground, volleyball court and a beachfront grill, and is the perfect place to spend a summer’s day.  There’s also a non-motorized boat launch, and seasonal kayak and paddleboard rentals.

The views across the water to downtown Seattle and the Olympic Mountains are simply spectacular.

10 best things to do at Houghton Beach Park

1. Beach

Houghton Beach Park has a sand/gravel beach with a pier, with west facing views over Lake Washington. There's also a seasonal lifeguard service.

2. Kayak/paddleboard rentals

There are also seasonal rentals of kayaks and paddleboards at Houghton Beach Park, and non-motorized boat launches are permitted.

3. Sunbathing on the lawn

The expansive lawn area behind the beach is ideal for sunbathing, with many shaded areas.  

4. Pirate ship playground

Kids can climb the fun, pirate ship known as the “MV Kirkland”, with multiple cannons and portholes.

5. First Romance Sculpture

Houghton Beach Park has some beautiful sculptures.  The “First Romance” sculpture is a great place for a photo with kids.  

6. Winter Sculpture

The “Winter” sculpture also has a prominent place on the waterfront, chiseled out of Finnish granite.

7. Beachhouse Bar + Grill

The Beachhouse Bar + Grill is a popular brunch, lunch and dinner restaurant, with superb waterviews.  It’s located at the north end of Houghton Beach Park, with cozy booths, a bar, and a few tables directly out on the beach. Check hours.

8. Pier

Stroll out along the pier, or cast a fishing line at Houghton Beach Park.

9. Volleyball Court

The sandy volleyball court at Houghton Beach Park is adjacent to the Beachhouse Bar + Grill.

10. Picnic tables & shelter

There’s also a reserveable picnic shelter, and a few picnic tables, all with great water views.  

History of Houghton Beach Park

The Kirkland waterfront is blessed with numerous waterfront parks. This is the result of citizen activists who had the foresight to push for public spaces in the 1970s.

Doris Cooper Houghton Beach Park is named after one of these activists, Doris Cooper, who lobbied hard with other locals Judy Frolich and Delores Teutsch to secure federal funding for the park. Doris Cooper went on to become Kirkland’s first female mayor in 1984.

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