For some fun in the sun or a splash in Lake Washington, Mercer Island has a variety of beautiful beaches to enjoy. Bring the kids to build sandcastles at Luther Burbank or plan a picnic for two at Groveland or Clarke – each beach is different. Learn more about the island’s favorite sandy spots below.
Public Beaches of Mercer Island
Groveland Beach Park
80th Ave SE & SE 58th St
This is the island’s only beach (public or private) on the west side of the island – something to keep in mind if you want to make the most of the sun or enjoy a sandy place to watch the sunset over the lake. This beach also has a nice little playground, volleyball court, picnic tables, barbecue area, and restrooms. There are no lifeguards on duty at this beach.
Note: If you have small children, the sandy beach ends at a concrete ledge, and there is a ladder down into the water that starts at a few feet deep. If you’re looking for a better spot for little ones to go wading, visit Luther Burbank Park beach instead.
East Mercer Way at the 7700 block
Clarke Beach is located on the east side of Mercer Island with a few less amenities than the beaches at Luther Burbank and Groveland parks. While it lacks a playground and sandy beach, it is often quiet and peaceful. This park offers picnic and barbecue areas, docks, and restrooms (open in the summer). There are no lifeguards on duty at this beach.
Luther Burbank Park Beach
2040 84th Ave SE
Luther Burbank Park is home to Mercer Island’s most popular public beach, attracting islanders and visitors from off-island as well. It offers a large, clean sandy beach surrounded by a sloping grassy lawn with plenty of room to sprawl out on beach towels and picnic blankets.
The beach area also includes picnic tables, barbecue area, restrooms (open during the summer), and a toddler playground, a short walk away. Lifeguards are on duty throughout the summer from noon to 6 pm, 7 days a week. Note: Park in the Luther Burbank’s South parking lot for quickest access to the beach.
SE 28th St & 60th Ave SE
Calkins Landing off 60th Ave SE on the north end of Mercer Island is another best-kept-secret swimming and picnicking spot. It’s the smallest of all the beaches with no lifeguards on duty, but a pleasant spot to stop for a swim or push off with your kayak.
For more information about Mercer Island’s public beaches and driving directions, visit the Mercer Island Parks & Recreation website.
Private Beaches of Mercer Island
If you are interested in joining a club on Mercer Island, both the private Mercerwood Shore Club and the Mercer Island Beach Club are waterfront clubs on the east side of the island that have large sandy beaches and swimming areas. Both clubs have waiting lists, so contact them directly for tours and more information if you are interested in joining.
Mercer Island Beach Club – 8326 Avalon Drive; 206-232-3125; www.mibeachclub.com
Mercerwood Shore Club – 4150 E Mercer Way, 206-232-1622, www.mercerwood.com
Sunset photo credit: Laura Schaps, Aurai Photography