Beaches of Mercer Island

August 5, 2018 | by Erin Sirianni

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Luther Burbank Beach
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.

Groveland Beach Park

Groveland Beach Park

Groveland Beach Park Playground

Groveland Beach Park playground

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.


 Clarke Beach

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.

Clarke Beach

Photo credit: Laura Schaps, Aurai Photography

Grass lawn at Clarke Beach
Steps leading into the water at Clarke 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.

Aerial photo of the north shore of Mercer Island, including Luther Burbank beach and nearby play area

Luther Burbank Beach Park

Sandy beach at Luther Burbank Park

Luther Burbank Beach

Photo credit: Laura Schaps, Aurai Photography

Toddler Playground a short walk from the beach

Toddler playground, a short walk from the beach


Calkins Landing

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.

Landing
Calkins Landing Sign
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