Photo: Dash Point State Park, Elisa Murray
Big, beautiful beach
Dash Point State Park, Federal Way
This state park has woods and trails, but the main attraction is the beach. At high tide, it is broad and sandy. At low tide, it grows enormous, with acres of sand flats to explore. Seattle Aquarium will send beach naturalists here during the first weekend in June and July 2–5 to answer questions about starfish, moon snails and other tidal life. A Discover Pass is required for parking (5700 S.W. Dash Point Rd., Federal Way).
Eats: Located near Interstate 5, about 15 minutes away from the park, Marlene’s Market & Deli carries a variety of wholesome sandwiches, salads and baked treats. If your family can’t agree on a picnic food (mine certainly can’t!), you can order, say, a sandwich for one person and quinoa salad for another (2565 S. Gateway Center Plaza, Federal Way).