Explore from forest to shore at Scenic Beach State Park

Emel House 3

Emel House, with its classic 1920s architectural beauty, is the perfect backdrop for a selfie — or a wedding! Tying the knot? Check out this historic home when you visit Scenic Beach. 

March 21, 2018

Scenic Beach State Park is one of those destinations that could only be located at the end of the road.

Pull in, park and swing your feet onto the wide, gravel trails. The feeling of peace here is almost palpable. Feathery-crowned cedars tower above. The air is cool. Shady campsites, framed in brushy understory and native rhododendrons, appear here and there as you meander down the hilly path.

Suddenly, the forest is behind you, and you are gazing upon a mesmerizing panorama. Mount Olympus and the snowy peaks of the Olympic mountain range provide the backdrop to the wide open view of Hood Canal. Here and there, bald eagles swoop to bring a catch from the water. Ducks and other shore birds bob in the shallows. Waves lap gently on the rock and shell-strewn shore on mild spring days.


Step out of the forest and into the wide open views of the Hood Canal and Olympic Mountains when you go for an easy day hike at Scenic Beach.

Scenic Beach’s life as a recreation destination began in the 1920s, when early car campers, known then as “tin can tourists,” flocked here. Scenic Beach was run by Joseph Emel, whose contributions to the park include his Craftsman-style family home, still in use as a popular wedding venue.

Still well loved, this fetching little park is a great day or night getaway and a favorite local romantic hot-spot! Want to take a trip to tranquility? Come explore the benefits and beauty of this eastern Hood Canal park.


Bring your pup (on a leash) and a few friends and enjoy the view on the gravelly shore at Scenic Beach State Park.


Scenic Beach is a smaller park, but you’ll find plenty of great camping — just make sure to plan ahead! The 52 tent-camping spots are simply outfitted with fire pits and a picnic table. The tall trees and brushy understory create a semi-private feel. Eighteen pull-through sites make it easy to maneuver rigs up to 60 feet. Bring the family bikes! The riding is super if you stick to the paved areas and keep an eye out for pedestrians. If you have a large party, why not stay in the group camp? It accommodates 20 to 40 campers for a social gathering under the cedars and stars!


Like to kayak? Love to boat? Wish to fish? With its protected and reasonably calm waters, Hood Canal is a great place to get in some time on the water. Scenic Beach has no ramp or mooring buoys of its own. However, you will find a ramp a half mile to the east at Misery Point and buoys (and a great little grocery and sandwich shop) a mile to the east in Seabeck. Bring the boat, and enjoy Scenic Beach as your base camp for a night under the stars following a great day of fishing, crabbing or just playing on the water. If you have a kayak or stand up paddle board, just launch from the gravelly shore right at the park. As always, don't forget your life jacket and be prepared to stay safe on the water

Spend the day

Located on the Kitsap Peninsula close by to a number of western Washington’s urban centers, Scenic Beach makes a great day escape. It’s spring, and the perfect time of year to enjoy a stroll through the native — and non-native — rhododendrons brightening the paths. Many of the paths are even ADA compliant. Tool down to the shore and sit peacefully for a while, or enjoy a run in the surf with your favorite pup (on a leash, naturally).

Or maybe you have a special day coming up? Scenic Beach is a perennial favorite for the dating set—and as a spot to getDSC_2438 hitched. The Emel House, with its classic 1920s architecture is a popular venue for weddings. If you are planning on a smaller wedding (100 guest maximum) consider this picture-perfect park! The wide, open lawns overlook the canal and snow-peaked mountains beyond. The ample bride’s and groom’s rooms upstairs accommodate wedding party preparations. The small house kitchen is sufficient for food storage and minor preparations. Don’t forget to get a photo or three at the park’s charming gazebo!

Travel tip: because parking is limited, staff recommend hiring a shuttle bus to bring guests to the celebration.

Insert your nuptials here! The Scenic Beach gazebo is the perfect wedding picture spot, or just a fun place to let the kids play. 


9565 Scenic Beach Road, NWScenic Beach
Seabeck, WA 98380

Park information:
Call (360) 830-5079 or visit Scenic Beach State Park

Park hours: 
Summer: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Winter: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Campsites 25 to 50 are closed Oct. 1 to May 1.

Discover Pass: 
The Discover Pass must be displayed on your vehicle when visiting the park for day use.

The park has 52 tent spaces, one dump station, two restrooms (both ADA), and four showers. Eighteen pull-through sites accommodate 60-foot RVs.

The park's group camp accommodates 20 to 40 people. It is situated above Hood Canal in a wooded, primitive setting. Ammenities include a vault toilet and fire pit. Fees vary with size of the group. Reservations can be made online or by calling (888) 226-7688.

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