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Best Swimming Lakes Around Seattle, the Eastside and South Sound

Take the kids to spash and swim at these great lakes

Kate Missine

Published on: June 27, 2023

Best Swimming Lakes Around Seattle, the Eastside and South Sound

Kids and families swim and play at Lake Wilderness among best swimming lakes around Seattle
Kids and families swim and play in Lake Wilderness. Credit: Tiffany Doerr Guerzon

South King County and South Sound swimming spots

Angle Lake Park, SeaTac

This 10-acre lakefront park has a convenient, mostly pebbly beach backed by a grassy picnic area, and offers up room to swim, boat and fish. A scenic waterfront nature trail and a pretty arbor seating area make for lovely reprieves from the summer sun. The park also features a playground and a fantastic splash park. 

Lake Wilderness, Maple Valley

The amazing Lake Wilderness in Maple Valley’s wooded, 117-acre regional park serves up all the old-school fun of a campground, without the camping. Cool off with a dip in the crystal-clear lake, rent a canoe or paddleboard, or play a game of Frisbee. Need a break? Kick back with a cool treat from the seasonal concession stand, walk over to the playground, or explore the park’s trails and wetlands.

Lake Tapps, Bonney Lake

A whopping 10,000 feet of waterfront and boating access, framed by amazing views of Mount Rainier, await at this huge man-made lake, accessible at North Lake Tapps Park. The north end of the lake has a sandy family-friendly swimming beach along with picnic areas. On the south side of the lake, find Allan Yorke Park, which features two playgrounds, sports courts and a skate park. 

Lake Meridian, Kent

This popular Kent lake boasts sapphire-blue water and plenty of lounging space on sand or grass. An awesome playground featuring a pirate ship structure overlooks the beach. Boating, water skiing and motorized water sports are permitted for thrill-seeking teens and grown-ups; free life jackets are available for daily checkout.

Steel Lake Park, Federal Way

Take a dip in Steel Lake and spread out your picnic on the grassy lawn. You’ll also find horseshoe pits and a skate park across the road. There are no lifeguards on duty. 

Spanaway Lake, Spanaway

Find two swimming beaches here — no lifeguards — plus a play area, picnic area, trail system and more.

Deep Lake at Millersylvania State Park, Olympia

This lake is adjacent to a popular campground, so you might encounter some crowds on weekends. This smaller lake has a roped-off swim area that’s good for little kids (though do not take your eyes off them!) and it also offers rentals of paddleboards and other watercraft. As this is a state park, you’ll need a Discover Pass to park.

Long Lake Park, Lacey

This popular Thurston County swim area is open for the summer, though due to a staffing shortage there were not lifeguards in 2022 and it is unclear if there will be lifeguards for 2023. Bring a picnic and take a wander on the woodsy trails before or after your swim.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in 2020, and updated most recently for 2023.

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