Travel

Ruby Beach Recognized as One of the World’s Best  

Sparkling red and strewn with sea stacks, Washington's rugged shoreline stands out

By Sarah Stackhouse February 22, 2024

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Ruby Beach in Olympic National Park nabbed a spot on Lonely Planet’s list of the world’s best beaches.

In its latest publication, Best Beaches: 100 of the World’s Most Incredible Beaches, travel guide book publisher Lonely Planet highlights Ruby among 12 U.S. beaches, rubbing shoulders with coastal destinations such as Cannon Beach in Oregon and the idyllic shores of Hawaii, Florida, and California.

What sets Ruby Beach apart is its untamed beauty a departure from the polished beaches in travel guides. Described by Lonely Planet as looking like a “giant emptied his pockets on the shores,” with tree trunks, “strewn like matchsticks, sea stacks cluster like crumbled chocolates. And a colorful assortment of agates, garnets and sea glass add a touch of glitter to the captivating mess.”

Situated on the Olympic Peninsula, a three-and-a-half-hour drive from Seattle, Ruby Beach is known for its towering sea stacks sculpted by centuries of wind and waves, and its thriving tide pools.

The beach gets its name from the sparkling red minerals known as almandite garnets found in the sand and shaped by intense pressure over time. The garnets likely come from source rocks in the Olympic Mountains, and are thought to have traveled down the coast by river over millennia.

The rugged charm of Ruby Beach isn’t exclusive to Washington’s coast. Seattle-area beaches like Golden Gardens, Discovery Park Beach, and Richmond Beach Saltwater Park share similar features logs scattered along the sand with brightly colored rocks breaking up the shoreline.

It’s no wonder people are reluctant to leave Washington during the summer months.

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