Gene Coulon Memorial Beach in Seattle WA

Things To Do in Seattle – Gene Coulon Memorial Beach

Gene Coulon Memorial Beach in Seattle, WA

If you live in Seattle, you may have seen a sign on the side of I-5 that reads “Gene Coulon Memorial Beach.” You might wonder why there is a beach near an interstate highway. The truth is, Gene Coulon Memorial Beach isn’t a beach. It’s more like a memorial to Gene Coulon and his love for the water. If you happen to be driving by at sunset, it can be quite beautiful!

History of Gene Coulon Memorial Beach

Gene Coulon Memorial Beach is a public park and swimming beach located in Renton, WA. It’s roughly nine acres of waterfront property with 310 feet of saltwater shoreline and picturesque views of the Seattle skyline across Lake Washington. The land for Gene Coulson Park was donated to King County by his wife Helen Moulton-Coulon in memory of her husband, who had been an early proponent for the creation of county parks when he served on the board from 1953 to 1959. In 1954, it became one of only three places where motorboats were permitted on Lake Washington (the others being at Stevens Pass [in North Bend] and Denny-Blaine Parks). Although this section along with Lake Washington has long been considered prime real estate, it was not until the 1970s that shoreline access evolved into a park.

About the Gene Coulon Memorial Beach

The beach itself has no parking lot next to it. Street parking is limited in this area of town, so be prepared to walk or find alternative transportation if you plan to visit here during typical summer times (weekends). However, there are more spaces available for free public use along Lakeshore Drive between mid-fall and early spring due to less traffic coming through the neighborhood. If nothing else, consider walking from Gene Coulon Park, which is only about half a mile away! Even with some spots being taken up by residents who live near here, there is still plenty of room to enjoy the waterfront and launch a kayak, canoe, or other watercraft. The beach has some concessions where you can grab food and drinks while enjoying your time at Gene Coulon Memorial Beach in Renton, WA.

If your family spends some time at Gene Coulon Beach playing on its large expanse of sand or enjoying views out over Lake Washington toward Bellevue and Eastgate, then bring along some plastic buckets and shovels so everyone can partake in creating sandcastles and other treasures. The water here is calm and shallow, so the little ones won’t need to be too frightened of getting wet to enjoy themselves at this beach.

The location of Gene Coulon Memorial Beach makes it an ideal spot for sunbathing on hot days during Seattle summers because you can find more shade if you walk southward along the shoreline until finding a suitable place that feels private enough for nude sunbathers or people who want some privacy from all of those around them. Last year one of these naturists was stabbed by another person after he had refused to pay him money for taking pictures with his phone camera while enjoying Washington’s sunshine without any clothes covering their bodies. Fortunately, the man who was stabbed survived the incident, but this story shows that people are willing to get violent if they are offended by other folks’ actions.

Are there any other reasons why renters refuse to live near this Seattle beach? We have already mentioned that it provides access to an actual shoreline, but what else makes Eugene C. Coulon Park so appealing? Why is it so special? What makes Gene Coulon Memorial Beach in Seattle, WA, so great? Let’s find out!

Activities and Events in Gene Coulon Memorial Beach

Eugene C. Coulon Park and its beach provide a little bit of sense for city residents who want to enjoy the shoreline without having to travel very far from home. Gene Coulon Memorial Beach is also a great place for birdwatchers because it’s located near wetlands where many different types of waterfowl come to feed and rest during their migrations through Seattle each year. The best time for these visitors typically occurs between October and March when fewer residents are around enjoying themselves at the beach on sunny days or blowing bubbles with their children while wading into shallow waters along its shores.

Gene Coulon Memorial Beach is situated on the shores of Lake Washington. It’s a popular spot for swimming, picnicking, and special events such as the “Sand Fest” every June. The park itself offers beautiful views of Mt Rainier, and you can even fish from one of its docks! There are also tennis courts, basketball hoops, and a play area with swings for kids to enjoy. At the same time, their parents relax by the water or participate in some physical activity themselves. You can also play tennis or basketball here!

There is even an area with swings for the kids to enjoy while their parents rest on one of the benches by the water or participate in some physical activity themselves. There is plenty of space which means you won’t be fighting over picnic tables as you would at other places around town. The views of nearby Mount Rainier are breathtaking. It’s a perfect spot for sunbathing and swimming.


From Seattle via I-90 Eastbound, take exit 12 onto Lakemont Boulevard South (aka SR 900). Turn right on SE Park Drive [which will become Lakeshore Drive], then turn left into parking for Gene Coulon Memorial Beach from street parking along streets nearby. If visiting during the winter months, consider taking Exit 13 off I-405 instead, as it may be slightly more accessible depending on which direction you’re coming from! You’ll want to park in the designated lot or along Lakeshore Drive beyond it.


Admission to Gene Coulon Memorial Beach is free. It is the only public beach in Seattle south of downtown where you pay no admission fee, but there are a couple of things to consider before visiting this stretch of sand. To reach the shoreline from Memorial Way South and SW Roxbury St., pedestrians need to walk down an embankment with steps leading directly onto the sand. If you have trouble walking uphill or descending stairs, it might be difficult for you to get down here without assistance.

Address: 1201 Lake Washington Blvd N, Renton, WA 98056, United States

Monday Open 24 hours
Tuesday Open 24 hours
Wednesday Open 24 hours
Thursday Open 24 hours
Friday Open 24 hours
Saturday Open 24 hours
Sunday Open 24 hours

Phone: +1 425-430-6700

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