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About

Matthews Beach is Seattle's largest freshwater bathing beach. The park is named for pioneer John G. Matthews, who had his homestead on the site in the 1880's. The park is an ideal stopping place for bicyclers on the Burke-Gilman Tail- in fact, the outline of the original cove is suggested by the Burke-Gilman Trail, which was once the tracks of the Northern Pacific Railroad. In the 1940's, the area south of the main beach was the site of Pan American World Airways' offices, and the dock for Pan American's "Clipper Ships"- the world's first amphibious commercial air transports over the ocean. The City purchased the first ten acres of Matthews Beach in 1951. (Excerpted from Brandt Morgan's Enjoying Seattle's Parks.) 100' of sandbar shoreline north of where Thornton Creek meets Lake Washington allows for a hand carry boat launch. 

Swimming Beach

Closed for the season

Have your picnic here!

This park has reservable picnic areas. Visit our picnic reservations page for more information on how to have your event here.