Mukilteo Lighthouse Park is an easy 45-minute drive north of Seattle.
The 16-acre Lighthouse Park has a spectacular location on the waterfront, overlooking Whidbey Island and Puget Sound.
It has 6 fire pits on a first come basis, 2 picnic shelters, and a fun playground. There's also plenty of paid parking at the large parking lot.
The Mukilteo Lighthouse is at the north end of Lighthouse Park, and is free to visit (check hours).
10 best things to do at Mukilteo Lighthouse Park
1. Hang out at the beach & firepits at Lighthouse Park.
The 16-acre Mukilteo Lighthouse Park has extensive beach frontage. It's a popular gathering place, especially on summer evenings when visitors congregate around the 6 fire pits on the beach, and watch the incredible sunsets.
There's also a fabulous waterfront playground for kids, 2 sheltered picnic tables, volleyball courts, a boat launch, and restroom.
2. Climb the 36 stairs up the Mukilteo Lighthouse.
Climb the 36 stairs to the top of the Mukilteo Lighthouse for incredible views. The Mukilteo Lighthouse still shines 24 hours a day, and has a distinctive light flash pattern with 2 seconds on, 3 seconds off, visible up to 10-miles away. Its fresnel lens was built in Paris, designed by physicist Augustine Fresnel. The original light flash pattern was once every 5 seconds.
The 38-foot Mukilteo Lighthouse was first operational in 1906, then finally automated in 1972.
3. Visit the lower floor museum in the foghorn room.
The small museum is on the main floor of the Mukilteo Lighthouse, in the old foghorn room. Some of the highlights include the treaty where Native American Tribes deeded coastal lands to the U.S. Government. There's also an original lens on display from the stunning Desdemona Sands Lighthouse, once located in the middle of the treacherous Columbia River.
It's hard to imagine that the lower floor of the Mukilteo Lighthouse was once a noisy foghorn room, that blasted out a sound every 16 seconds. In 1977 the foghorn was moved to a concrete wall outside the Mukilteo Lighthouse with soundproofing. You can still see it at the waterfront today, sounding every 30 seconds in foggy conditions.
4. Visit the Gift Shop in the Lighthouse Keepers Cottage.
The Lighthouse Keeper's cottage is home to both a gift shop, and two rooms full of exhibits.
It was hard work keeping the Mukilteo Lighthouse running! The Lighthouse Keeper and his Assistant worked in 6 hour shifts, with arduous tasks like refilling the oil lamp every 3 hours, and winding up the pulley system that rotated the lens every 4 hours. They were often working in hazardous, smokey conditions with an open lamp flame.
Check out these gorgeous views from the front door of the Lighthouse Keeper's house!
5. See more exhibits in the historic garage.
You can check out more exhibits in the historic 1930s garage, behind the Lighthouse Keeper's house.
6. Read the plaque that commemorates Captain Vancouver's 1972 expedition.
Captain Vancouver of the British Royal Navy dropped anchor here in 1792, on his famous 1791 to 1795 expedition to chart the Pacific Northwest. The plaque outside the Mukilteo Lighthouse reads:
"Landing site of Capt. George Vancouver. On May 30, 1792, Captain Vancouver and his party anchored off this point and came ashore the following morning. Commissioned by the British to survey the NW Coast of America, they named this area Rose Point for the many wild roses that grew here."
7. Dine at Ivar's waterfront restaurant.
Treat yourself to a waterfront meal on the patio at Ivar's Mukilteo Landing restaurant, just a 5 minute walk along Front Street from the Mukilteo Lighthouse.
For a more casual meal, pick up a snack or icecream at Ivar's Kiosk, and watch the sunset at Lighthouse Park.
8. Visit some other Mukilteo restaurants and cafes.
It's just a short drive up the hill to Cabernets and IPA (wine bar), with breathtaking water views and patio dining in a chic setting. Or if you fancy a coffee, enjoy the charming patio and cottage garden overlooking Puget Sound, at the nearby Red Cup Cafe.
9. Take the 20-minute ferry ride to Whidbey Island.
The Whidbey Island Ferry departs near the Mukilteo Lighthouse.
Drive or walk onboard the ferry, to explore a number of great attractions on beautiful Whidbey Island, including Fort Casey, Fort Ebey, Deception Pass, the Meerkerk Gardens, and the charming towns of Langley and Coupeville.
10. Book a tour of the nearby Boeing Factory.
The excellent Boeing Factory Tour is also a 5 minute drive away, where you can see Boeing planes being assembled on a factory line.
Know before you go
- Address: 608 Front Street, Mukilteo.
- Lighthouse admission: FREE.
- Lighthouse hours: Check hours (usually weekends, April through September).
- Parking: Metered parking at Lighthouse Park.