Beach season came early this year; Jetty Island is the perfect place to celebrate

Everett’s slice of Hawaii opens today.

It’s Jetty Island, the 2-mile beach with flat sand, warm, shallow water and waves of fun. Grab your towel, sunblock, drink and toys … and get splashing.

Oh, wait. Not so fast. Better make sure you can get on the ferry first. Reservations are recommended.

Want to risk it? Best times to get on without reservations are after 2 p.m. on weekdays or before and after mid-day on weekends. Or any overcast day.

Jetty Island is not “Survivor” but you do have to fend for yourself. There are no lifeguards on duty. No vendors selling food or drinks. There are toilets.

Kids under 12 need to have an adult along. No pets allowed. Sand paths are not suitable for strollers and other wheeled equipment.

In addition to loafing at the beach, Jetty has special programs, nature walks and interpretive classes. Events include treasure hunts, campfire night stories, puppet shows, a mud run and sand castle contest.

So, what do you need to bring for a Jetty good time?

Herald readers responding to a Facebook post offered these tips:

Wilma Daniels: “Bring baby powder. It works wonders for cleaning up kids who are covered in wet sand. The cornstarch in it dries up the wetness and then the sand just brushes off.”

Angel Cole: “Bring umbrella for the shade, shoes so you won’t burn your feet walking on hot dry sand, wipes for sandy hands, food and water, sand toys and sunblock.”

Melissa Shoop: “We hid plastic Easter eggs then found them, then hid again.”

Kat Roso: “Pack only what you need and nothing more since you have to carry it all in and out.”

Nicole Butcher: “Bring your patience. There are scheduled boats and you may not get a time back that you want and may have to spend more time there than planned.”

As the saying goes, “Life’s a beach.”

If you go

  • Ferry: The free Jetty Island ferry operates seven days a week. It departs from Jetty Landing by the Port of Everett’s boat launch at 10th Street and West Marine View Drive. Pick up boarding passes at the kiosk at Jetty Landing Park. Return passes are available on the island.
  • Times: Ferries run 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays.
  • Cost: There is a suggested donation of $2 for adults, $1 for kids. Port of Everett parking is $3.
  • Rules: Pets, alcohol and drugs are not permitted; children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult; campfires only in designated fire pits; swim only on the west shore at your own risk.
  • Reservations: Can be made by Everett residents with proof of residency. Residents and non-residents in groups of 8 or more people may also reserve passes. Reservations must be made at least two business days in advance.
  • Questions or reservations: 425-257-8304 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; closed Saturday and Sunday. Or visit www.everettwa.org/parks.

Jetty programs

Pirates Day Treasure Hunt: 11:30 a.m. July 19. Pirates of Puget Sound will storm the jetty with demonstrations of pirate skills and folklore, followed by a treasure hunt buried in the sand. Finders keepers!

Puppet shows: 2:15 p.m. Mondays, July 6 through Aug. 31. Junior sailors and mermaids follow the adventures of Charlie Seagull, L.C. Salmon, Ollie and Olivia Octopus, and their friends. Pack a lunch and make a day of it.

Nature crafts: 2 to 3 p.m. Sundays. Children experience the beauty of nature as art while making treasures to take home. Supplies provided.

“Art at the Island”: Sponsored by the Sisters Arts Loft, art contest in divisions ages 13 through 16 and 12 and under. Artwork is displayed at Fishermen’s Market and Grill. Weekly ribbons will be awarded for each age group. Grand prizes awarded on Sept. 6. Night campfires: 7 to 8 p.m. campfires include marshmallow snacks. July 11, Night Life on the Jetty. July 17, Ghost Stories. July 25, Drum Circle. July 31, Sea Shanty and Tales of the Sea. Aug. 8, Campfire Jokes. Aug. 22, Camp Songs. Aug. 28, Campfire. Sept. 5, Campfire.

Sand Castle Contest: Noon to 3 p.m. Aug. 1. Create a castle fit for a king, a crab or yourself. Bring buckets, scoops and other tools to compete for prizes. From first-timers to serious sand sculptors. All ages welcome for group or individual participation.

Mud Run: Noon Aug. 8. Sink to new depths in this fun run with a twist on this challenging course. Hold harmless form required, 17 and under with parent signature.

Fresh Paint Float Find: 10:30 a.m. Aug. 15. Hunt for a blown-glass treasure. Collect a glass float and take it back ashore to the Fresh Paint Festival at Marina Village for a certificate of authenticity. Reservations on early boats strongly suggested. Early ferries will be added and the west beach will be closed to all visitors until the 10:30 a.m. start time.

Senior Day: Noon to 3 p.m. Aug. 25. Rejuvenate your senses with a day at the beach. Enjoy a day of special activities for seniors, including nature walks, Jetty Bingo and refreshments. Bring a lunch, a hat, an umbrella and sunglasses.

Closing Activities: Sept. 7. Trash Bash is noon to 4 p.m., followed by closing ceremonies celebration with Smokey Bear and Scout troop color guards to lower the flags for closing celebration.

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