Last updated: June 2, 2021
The Pacific Northwest is so beautiful during the summer, but it can get hot and a lot of home’s here in Pierce County don’t have central air conditioning.
If you don’t purchase a inflatable pool at the beginning of the season you’re usually out of luck. On top of that due to the pandemic many entertainment places where you’d go to get out of the heat are not currently open or have a capacity. And that includes public pools and spraygrounds.
Where can we and our families go to get out of the heat?
As a parent the heat can be very difficult, not only are you dealing with the heat yourself, you have to keep your children entertained and from overheating. We do have a few local places to cool off and play that are currently open. Just be sure to check out the website before heading there to make sure it hasn’t temporarily closed. I’ll update this post as soon as I hear of more places opening.
*You’ll want to make sure the place is open before heading there.
*Please remember to “Leave No Trace” be considerate and aware of your impact on the beach/park/trail – pack out what you pack in!
*Please play responsibly and safely, be courtesy to everyone, pick up after yourselves and remember most locations do not have lifeguards on duty.
Public Areas to Play in the Water near Pierce County
Titlow Beach – Take the short but kinda steep walk way to the rocky beaches and if you want a more secluded beach walk the path a little further down. Located at 8425 6th Avenue and restrooms near the playground are open right now.
Ruston Way Beach – Walking the trail of Ruston Way is always fun and to the left of Judge Jack Tanner Park is a small beach access. Located at 3427 Ruston Way and restrooms are open.
Owen Beach – CLOSED FOR RENOVATIONS
Dash Point Park & Pier – Pebble and sandy saltwater beach but plenty of space to social distance and play in the water. Located at 1500 Beach Dr NE and restrooms open.
Norpoint Indoor Pool – Open, but must make reservation to swim. $
People’s Indoor Pool – Open, but must make reservation to swim. $
Eastside Community Center Indoor Pool – Opening June 7, but must make reservation to swim. $
Kobayashi Park – 5.5 acre of natural beauty on the confluence of Leach & Chambers creeks. It’s one of our favorite places to play during the summer, the kids are able to wade in the water, the park provides plenty of shade and room to social distance. Located at 6420 Chambers Creek Road West but restrooms are closed and lately parking can be difficult if you come at a busy time.
*Kobayashi Park is a fish habitat, so please play responsibly and respectfully! Although the creek will be free of salmon eggs until September so wading in the water poses no risk to them during the summer months.
Chambers Bay Beach – A short walk to the beach from the parking lot, over train tracks and down some stairs leads you to a beautiful beach with plenty of space to social distance. Located at 6320 Grandview Dr. W. and restrooms open.
Edwards Family Aquatic Center – NOW Open, must make reservations. New center with a large deep pool, diving board and a tot wading pool.
STEILACOOM & DUPONT
Sunnyside Beach Park – one of the few beaches in Pierce County with sand! Plenty of space to social distance and play. Located at 2509 Chambers Creek Rd but keep in mind it’s $5 a day to park for non-residents of Steilacoom. Restrooms available.
Saltars Point Park – Features 500 ft of saltwater shoreline. Located at 91 Champion St. Steilacoom
Sequalitchew Creek Trail – The trail(distance is 1.7 miles) follows the historic route of the Dynamite Train which was owned by the DuPont Company and ended at a wharf on Puget Sound to ship dynamite world-wide, so the trail itself is a moderate, steady downhill/ uphill grade. At the end is beach access with plenty of ability to social distance. Located in Dupont.
GIG HARBOR (Area)
Kopachuck State Park – Short walk down to the salt water beach and plenty of space for social distancing. Located at 10712 56th Street N.W. Gig Harbor Keep in mind a Discover Pass is required. Restrooms available.
Narrows Beach – Right below the Narrows Bridge, plenty of space to social distance and play in the water and sandy-rock beach. Located at 1502 Lucille Parkway Gig Harbor. Porta-potty available.
Sunrise Beach Park – Short walk from the parking to beautiful beach access and plenty of space to social distance. Located at 10015 Sunrise Beach Drive, NW, Gig Harbor. Porta-potty available.
Penrose State Park – Lots of beach access, you’ll find pebbles with some sand. Trails and a little natural cove that the water is warmer – you just have to walk the trail to get to that area. Located at 321 158th Avenue SW. Lakebay and keep in mind a Discover Pass is required. Restrooms available.
One of our favorite local state parks!
Joemma State Park – Lots of saltwater beach access, dock and chance to see marine life. Located at 20001 Bay Road SW. Lakebay and a Discover Pass is required. Restrooms available.
The Splash Pad at Gateway Park is now open! Hours are 12:00 noon to 5:00 PM, 7 days a week. Hours may be extended based on usage during July and August. Park may be closed at any time due to inclement weather and/or immediate maintenance needs.
American Lake – 5 acre park with beach access and a roped off swimming section. Located at 9222 Veterans Dr SW. Lakewood and restrooms available just bring your own soap.
Spanaway Lake – Easy to reach two swimming beaches with sand, and restrooms available. This park can get busy so keep that in mind. Located at 14905 Bresemann Blvd. South and keep in mind Spanaway Lake Park has a small entrance fee less than $3 for a vehicle.
ALERT: 7/14/20 – the Health Department lifted the toxic algae closure for Lake Spanaway. Toxic algae are still present in the water but at reduced levels. A caution advisory is now in place, which means people and pets should avoid areas of the lake—don’t swim, wade, waterski, or fish—with visible algae. When in doubt, stay out. Please visit the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department for more information on algae conditions.
Wildwood Park – Great little shaded park to explore and wade through the historic water reservoir. Located at 1101 23rd Ave SE.
Kiwanis Kids Spray Park in Pioneer Park – Open daily from 10am-8pm, 324 S. Meridian
North Lake Tapps Park – Beach access with lake water for swimming, restrooms available but keep in mind parking fee is $7. Located at 2022 – 198th Ave. E. Bonney Lake
Mashel River – At the beginning of the Bud Blancher Trail-head you’ll pass the porta-potty and the first little bridge over the river. Walk down one of the paths to play in the water. Perfect spot to practice social distancing and play in the river. Located at 400 Weyerhaeuser Rd N. Porta-potty available and free parking.
Alder Lake – Park provides a swimming area(lake level permitting), free parking and restrooms. Located at 50324 School Rd. Eatonville
Worth Mentioning Nearby Areas
Dash Point State Park – A beautiful large park with sandy beach access, it’s a popular beach but you’ll still be able to practice social distancing. Located at 5700 SW Dash Point Rd, Federal Way. A Discover Pass is required.
Dumas Bay Sanctuary Park – Hidden sandy beach on the Puget Sound, keep in mind pets are not allowed on the beach. Located at 30844 44th Ave. SW, Federal Way
Salt Water State Park – Another beautiful sandy beach on the Puget Sound, with restrooms available. Located 25205 8th Place S. Des Moines. A Discover Pass is required.
Lake Meridian – Popular and great swimming area with docks to jump off, restrooms and showers. Located at 14800 SE 272nd Street Kent.
Fenster Nature Park – Has a sandy beach located along the Green River and is a popular spot for swimmers and tubers. Located at 4th St SE Auburn. Restroom available
Isaac Evans Park – Is a riverfront park providing valuable passive recreation opportunities for the community. Located at 29827 Green River Road SE. Auburn. Restroom available
Great Wolf Lodge – Of course at this time GWL is open and you can either get a day pass or stay over night. Located in Grand Mound.
Long Lake – Park features one of the finest swimming beaches in Thurston County, as well as sand volleyball and picnic tables. 2790 Carpenter Road Lacey. Restrooms available.
Millersylania State Park – 3,300 fett of fresh water shoreline on Deep Lake. Located at 12245 Tilley Road S. Olympia. Restrooms available, keep in mind a Discover Pass is required.
Tolmie State Park – Saltwater beach with calm waters for littles. Located at 7730 61st Ave. N.E. Olympia. Restrooms available and a Discover Pass is required.
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