Top 10 national park beaches
10 scenic spots to swim, float, and soak in the sun at the West's amazing national parks
Best beachcombing: Olympic National Park, WashingtonThe easy 3-mile (one-way) hike to Shi Shi Beach, near Neah Bay, is best made at low tide, when you encounter some of the best tidepools on Earth. Against the backdrop of towering sea stacks, Pacific waves, and the occasional kayaker, peer down at neon pink and chartreuse sea anemones and bright orange seastars.
Don’t miss: Point of the Arches, a mind-bending array of sea stacks 1.3 miles down the beach.
Get there: Neah Bay, about 160 miles northwest of Seattle, is on the Makah Indian Reservation; ask for a map when you buy your Makah Recreation Pass ($10); nps.gov/olym or 360/645-2711 (reservation info). —Matt Villano
Olympic National Park Guide