A Walk in the Park
Where: Mukilteo Lighthouse Park
Location: 609 Front St., Mukilteo
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Park size: 14 acres
Trail difficulty: A flat, paved walkway along the beach that’s wide and wheelchair accessible; expect a strong breeze on cold mornings.
Facilities: Picnic tables, shelters, restrooms, playground and boat launch. There’s the Mukilteo Light Station and gift shop. Ample parking even on a busy weekend. The lighthouse is open for tours from April through September and by appointments at other times.
Setting: It’s a scenic park anchored by a historic light station. The short trail with views of Whidbey Island is by the beach and also leads to the century-old Victorian lighthouse station with its 38-foot octagonal tower. The lighthouse was powered by oil before converting to electricity in 1927. It’s still in operation, though automated now, overseen by the Coast Guard. Harbor seals have been spotted along the beach. And visitors love to feed the gulls, even though they’re not supposed to.
Highlights: It’s the most popular park in Mukilteo, bustling at all hours. During the morning, retirees and dog walkers stroll along the beach. Many launch boats here to fish or just frolic under the sun by Whidbey Island. Noon brings in the lunch crowd who grab their fish and chips from Ivar’s and hang around the beach or, on colder days, eat in their cars, parked by the water. At sunset, kids and couples hang around the driftwood or light up the fire pits.
The farmers market and annual Lighthouse Festival draw crowds during the summer. The spacious playground and water views make this a popular gathering spot for kids’ birthdays and family picnics. The prime real estate: the picnic tables dotting the beach. Within walking distance is the Mukilteo Community Beach off Front Street, by Silver Cloud Inn.
Restrictions: Leash laws in effect. Park opens 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Oct .1- May 14; 4 a.m.-10 p.m. May 15-Sept 30.
Directions: From Interstate 5, take Exit 189 to westbound Highway 526. Past the Boeing plant, angle right onto 84th Street Southwest and then turn right on Highway 525 (Mukilteo Speedway). Continue downhill to the waterfront; turn left onto Front Street and look for the lighthouse.
• Information on the park: 425-263-8180 or ci.mukilteo.wa.us
• Information on the lighthouse: Mukilteo Historical Society, 425-513-9602
Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @tanvinhseattle