Top 20 Washington State Trips

Owen Beach

Owen Beach has a spectacular setting at Tacoma's Point Defiance Park.

Lovely Owen Beach is 1-hour south of Seattle, in Tacoma's stunning Point Defiance Park. It has a wide open stretch of beach with breathtaking vistas of Vashon Island and snowcapped Mt Rainier. 

In summer, Owen Beach is full of sunbathers, with picnic tables and a lawned area behind the beach. There's also a convenient kiosk at the beach that sells refreshments.

5 best things to do at Owen Beach

1. Spend a sunny beach day on the shores of Owen Beach.

Bring a towel and some sunscreen, and spend a day at Owen Beach.  Owen Beach has a pebbly surface, characteristic of many Northwest beaches, so bring some sturdy shoes.

The water temperature is usually below 50 degrees even in summer, so extremely chilly for swimming.  Most visitors prefer to wade or splash around at the water's edge. There's also no lifeguards at Owen Beach.

You can access Owen Beach directly from this parking lot at Point Defiance Park (5605 Owen Beach Road, Tacoma).  It fills up quickly in summer, so get in early.

2. Enjoy the picnic area and tables on the lawned area, directly behind Owen Beach.

3.  Rent a single or double kayak near the kiosk at Owen Beach.

The waters off Owen Beach are crystal clear and perfect for kayaking. It's possible to see crabs and schools of fish darting by.

4.  Discover the small stretch of sand at the forested northern end of Owen Beach.

The secluded north end of Owen Beach is a gem, where lush forest meets the water in a thin stretch of sand strewn with weathered logs.  It's a truly enchanting and romantic place, but be extremely cautious of the changing tides.

5.  Stroll along the Owen Beach Promenade to the Point Defiance Marina.

Take a 0.8 mile walk south along the paved waterfront promenade from Owen Beach, to the Point Defiance Marina.  There are boat rentals and a store at the marina, and Anthony's at Point Defiance (restaurant) is just next door.

Savor gorgeous views of the south end of Vashon Island along the promenade.

The promenade is hemmed in by lush forest on one side and water on the other side.

Load up on snacks and ice-cream at the store at the Point Defiance Marina. Boat rentals are also available. 

Continue walking to Anthony's at Point Defiance, visible on the far right side of this photo. It has a lovely outdoor deck for dining overlooking the Tacoma Yacht Club, and is adjacent to the Vashon Island Ferry terminal.

The ferry between Point Defiance and Vashon Island takes 15-minutes, and you can check the schedule here.

Other fun things to do at Point Defiance near Owen Beach.

There's so much to do at the giant Point Defiance Park at Tacoma.  Stop by the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, enjoy the Rose Gardens and Japanese Gardens, and watch historic re-enactments at the Fort Nisqually Living History Museum.

Restaurants at Point Defiance

The new Point Ruston waterfront development is just near the south end of Point Defiance.  It has a playground, splashpad for kids, waterfront path, bike rentals, a cinema, and plenty of trendy waterfront restaurants. Choose from the Jewel Box Cafe, Wildfin American Grill, the Daily Catch, and Stack 571 Burger and Whiskey Bar.  

If you wish to head into downtown Tacoma, try the new McMenamins Pub at the Elks Temple Hotel next to the stunning Spanish Stairs.

Other things to do in Tacoma

Tacoma has some great museums, including the Lemay Car MuseumWashington State History MuseumTacoma Glass Museum, and Tacoma Art Museum.  If you have kids, stop by the fantastic Tacoma Childrens Museum.  There's a fort to climb up on, hidden nooks, a cargo ship, playtables and a water area.  Best of all it's FREE!

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