View of Mt. Baker
North side of Main Street in front of the ferry terminal.
Brackett’s Landing is the original Edmonds waterfront beach park. As a teenager in the 1970s I spent quite a bit of time here, and it hasn’t changed much since then except for a major facelift to the walkway, which is the northernmost portion of the Edmonds Marine Walkway.
Dogs are prohibited in this entire park due to being a marine sanctuary. A dog beach is located in Marina Beach Park.
From Brackett’s Landing you get a nice view of ferries coming in to dock (though the ferry view is better at Brackett’s South due to the angle) and a good view of Mt. Baker. This is also the best waterfront park for watching trains.
Of the four Edmonds beaches this one is the most accessible as the parking is right in front of the beach and there are no steps or driftwood barrier to navigate.
Brackett’s Landing actually has two beaches. The first one you see immediately as you enter the parking lot. The second one is on the other side of the breakwater and bathrooms, which divide the park in half. The beaches here are mostly sand, but a bit more gravel is mixed in than at Olympic Beach.
The north end of the Edmonds Marine Walkway enters the park by the ferry terminal, travels along the edge of the first beach, and terminates out on the seawall. Several benches line the walkway.
The easiest way to get down onto the beach is from the walkway just past the north end of the parking lot, right before you get to the bathrooms. It’s a fairly level access area with clear pathways between minimal rocks and driftwood.
One thing to keep in mind about this park is that when the tide is all the way in there isn’t a whole lotta beach. It doesn’t completely disappear like most of Olympic Beach, but the strip of sand available is pretty narrow. It’s something to consider for busy park days as it means there’s not as much room for people to spread out. (Look at the feature photo above to see what I mean. The tide is out a ways, but you can clearly see the highwater mark.)
The bathrooms are in the middle of the park past the north end of the parking lot. They include changing rooms which are mostly used by scuba divers visiting the underwater park, but are also very handy for families with children who get wet and sandy.
Outside the bathrooms is an outdoor shower which is useful for hosing off sandy people or the saltwater from diving gear. The water to the shower is turned off in winter to avoid frozen pipes, but that doesn’t stop children from playing in the water even in February like in the photos.
On the west side of the bathrooms you will find two picnic tables and a few benches. You also get a nice view of Mt. Baker from this part of the park on a clear day.
Just beyond the bathrooms the walkway travels out onto the rock seawall. It’s a good spot for watching water birds, but you might want to bring binoculars since many species stay further out from shore. Though on my last visit a flock of brant geese were feeding right around the rocks. Late fall through early spring is the best time for birds because several species winter on the sound, then fly north for breeding in the summer.
On the north side of the bathrooms is the second beach, where you will find a couple more benches. The far end of the beach shifts from sand to gravel. This is the best area for watching trains in any of the downtown parks.
From the seawall and second beach you can see all the floats out on the water that mark the various wrecks and other diving attractions in the underwater park. One of the fun things about visiting this park is watching divers getting geared up and entering the water or returning from dives. (Mostly in warmer months.)
Sunsets here are best in the warm half of the year, as the ferry terminal blocks the view when it’s setting to the south. Like all of the Edmonds waterfront parks, Brackett’s Landing is a wonderful place to visit at any time of year and in almost any kind of weather.
Things to Know
6 am – 10 pm
Benches along the walkway, on the west side of the bathrooms, and by the second beach.
Two picnic tables.
Rocks and driftwood.
In the center of the park at the north end of the parking lot. They include an outdoor shower and changing rooms.
The parking lot is free and has two rows of parking slots. Parking is limited to four hours.
There is a turnaround at the end of the lot making it easy to reverse direction and leave the lot again.
Like with the other Edmonds waterfront parks it’s difficult to predict availability of parking here. Any nice day of the week at any time of year can be busy. Most of the time you can find a spot, but on a sunny day don’t be surprised if the lot is full because it’s not a large one.
If the lot is full try one of the other beach parks or you might find street parking a couple blocks east on Main Street.
Like all of the Edmonds beach parks, Brackett’s Landing is heavily used by both locals and people from farther away. It’s popular year-round and all through the week.
Brackett’s Landing is similar to Marina Beach, in that of the four beach parks they’re the two where people tend to go for a picnic or an extended stay at the beach.
Though it’s not a large park there is quite a bit of room between the two beaches to spread out (unless the tide is in), so even though the park is frequently busy you can usually find a spot that doesn’t require you to sit in a stranger’s lap.
Birds I’ve Seen
Seagulls, brant, red-breasted merganser, horned grebe, surf scoter, double-crested cormorant.
Birds, Mt. Baker, ferries, trains.
Best light: morning. (Afternoon for trains.)
Ferry ride, Brackett’s Landing South, Olympic Beach, Marina Beach, Edmonds Marsh.
If you’re coming from outside the surrounding area there is a best way to get to Brackett’s Landing. If you’re arriving from the north it looks out of the way to use this route, but trust me, this is much easier than driving through congested Lynnwood traffic with all the stop lights. The speed limit is 40 mph for at least half the distance using this route.
From I-5 take the Highway 104 exit for the Edmonds ferry and head west. Follow the highway, pass under Hwy 99, and keep going for quite a distance.
Once you pass straight through a major intersection with shopping centers stay in the right lane and look for the ferry signs.
As you start to head down the hill the highway will split in two and you want the right branch as if you’re taking the ferry.
After the road curves around and flattens out you will come to a traffic light. Go straight through.
At the second traffic light turn left onto Main Street. (If a ferry is loading or unloading you might be waiting here for a bit until all the cars pass by.)
Cross the train tracks and take an immediate right into the parking lot.