Clinton Beach Park might be one of the smallest public beaches on Whidbey Island. And also one of the oddest ones to reach.
To access it, drive down Hwy 525 towards the Clinton Ferry dock, but stay in the main lane (do not get into the ferry lane). At the light above the ferry pay stations, take a left into the tiny parking lot. The park is signed, but it can be an odd one to find if you are not used to the highway there. The ferry dock adds to this confusion to be honest. The parking lot is a side path, Hunziker Lane, that is used to access a number of homes directly above the beach, as well.
We reached the park by parking at the top of the hill at the public Park & Ride, which is free to use (across the highway from Dairy Queen), and walked down the hill. The right side has a wide sidewalk. At the bottom of the hill we crossed using the crosswalk to get to the park. After enjoying the park we caught the ferry to Mulkiteo as walk on (it’s free to leave the island if you walk on, just costs to come back), and
The park itself has a public bathroom, public art, picnic tables and supposedly a barrier free access for all to the beach. Your mileage may vary with Covid restrictions however. This is one of the worst parts about county and state maintenance this past 14 months in Washington State. Not everything is being maintained as it should be.
You can also walk along the ferry dock on the left side and enjoy the views over the water. Kulshan (Mt. Baker) rises above the outline of Hat Island, and then the mainland. Looking more to the right the peaks of the Central Cascade are visible, on clear days (such as this day) you can see the tip of Tahoma (Mt. Rainier) to the furthest right.
The ferry plies back and forth. The wind can be strong here, even in summer and on hot days. Get a latte from the espresso shack at the start of the ferry dock (Honeymoon Bay). Or consider getting lunch at Cozy’s and having a picnic at the beach. It’s a small beach, but it is pretty. Stay awhile and enjoy it.
The park is free to use, and doesn’t require a parking permit.