A Local’s Guide to Jetty Island

Two tents and a little boy walking on the sandy beaches of Jetty Island
Planning on visiting Everett’s sandy beach of wonder? Great idea! Here’s some local advice on making the most of it.
 

About the Jetty


First off – let’s make sure you’re familiar with Jetty Island. It’s a two-mile-long, human-made island that acts as a ‘breakwater’ for the Everett Marina. Besides its functional purpose, it's also an excellent beach. True story, it’s probably one of Washington’s best beaches, and the water is pretty warm because it’s shallow.

Visiting the Jetty is a little like stepping back in time - there are no cars, no electricity, and no running water - so you’ll want to prepare accordingly.

Getting There 


To get there, you’ll need to take the ferry, which gets pretty busy on weekends in the summer. Parking is available, but costs $3. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made two days or more before your trip by calling 425-257-8304 (call on weekdays only, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.). Be sure to arrive at least 15 minutes before your reservation, or your pass may be given away. If you do not have reservations, consider visiting on a weekday afternoon and pick up your passes prior to paying for parking. Here is this year’s ferry schedule.

The ferry is free, but a $2 donation is suggested.

Anytime is a good time to visit the Jetty, but if you can swing it, the best times are sunny weekdays at low tide. The beach tends to be quieter on weekdays, and the water is super warm as it comes back in from low tide. Check out the tide schedule here.

When you arrive on the island, be sure to grab a return pass right away so you can re-turn at the time you prefer. If you change your mind, you can always trade your pass for a later time.


What to Bring


Make sure to pack everything you need for the day, too (except alcohol or pets, they're not allowed). If you’re stocking up on supplies, we suggest the Sno-Isle Co-Op for food and drinks. They have a stellar deli with lots to choose from. If you need sunscreen, toys, athletic equipment or other things of that nature, Bartell Drugs or Walgreens on Broadway will be your best bet downtown, or head to Target on Everett Mall Way if you have a car. 

Here’s a helpful checklist:


  • A cooler
  • Picnic food and beverages (remember, no alcohol. Note that there is no electricity or running water on the island)
  • Plates, cups and utensils (you’ll need to pack everything out)
  • Beach chairs
  • A beach umbrella and sunscreen (there is very little shade on the island)
  • Extra clothes, towels, hats, sunglasses, and shoes.
  • Beach toys
  • Volleyball
  • Campfire materials if you’d like to make a fire (in designated areas only). S’mores would be especially fun.

On the Island 


Once you’re there, you’ll have a little bit of a walk along some sandy paths to get to the beach. Please note that these paths are not very friendly for strollers or wheelchairs. 
The only restrooms on the island are just off the ferry dock, so make a stop when you first arrive to avoid hiking back later.

Along the way, you’ll begin to notice that the Jetty is, in fact, remarkable, and the au-thor of this tourism article is not a liar. You’ll see kites in the air (Jetty Island is a popular spot for kiteboarding), people playing volleyball, throwing frisbees and swimming in the warm frothy water. You’ll also see tons of natural beauty and wildlife. The PNW rules, doesn’t it?
 
Regarding safety, be smart. There is not a lifeguard on duty, and though the water is pretty calm and shallow most of the time, tidal changes are still going on so swim at your own risk and ability. There aren’t any sharks, but you may spot a crab or some other saltwater creatures. Nothing too scary, but if you have water shoes, they’re not a bad idea.
 
Also, you may think because it’s Washington, you’re less likely to get burned. Take it from us locals – you will. Wear sunscreen! 

 
Picnicking


Set up your blanket get settled in for the day – there isn’t a wrong spot. We suggest exploring as much of the island as you can muster, while leaving someone at the blanket to guard the food from sneaky seagulls. Consider grabbing food to-go from a local restaurant - Valley Organic Deli and the Sno-Isle Co-Op are both great choices.

Special Events


Check out a list of special events and presentations here, including pirates, nature crafts, late-night campfires, and more.


Swimming


The Jetty is a great place to beat the summer heat with a swim. Swimming is only allowed on the west shore (the shore facing away from the Everett marina). There are no lifeguards on duty, so take extra precautions and swim at your own risk.

Kiteboarding


The Jetty has been called one of the best places on the west coast for kiteboarding – and on most summer afternoons you’ll find a large group of kiteboarders enjoying the northwest end of the island. It’s pretty incredible and mesmerizing to watch. Yes, you can learn how to kiteboard if you’re into it. Check out Urban Surf for information on rentals and lessons.

Have fun!