Eight Ways to Get Out and Enjoy Summer in Seattle's Backyard

The Ultimate Summer Check-list from Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority


  1. Kayaking and Stand-up Paddle Boarding
  2. Scuba Diving
  3. Al Fresco Dining
  4. Explore the Parks
  5. Inside Play
  6. Watch a Pro Rugby Match
  7. Museum of Flight
  8. Special Events

Kayak and Paddle Board at Redondo Beach

You can spend an entire day on the water at Redondo Beach. Rent a single or double kayak at the Olympic Outdoor Center, or peacefully paddleboard your way across the water. Sign up for a wildlife or adventure tour, take a class and enjoy the rich marine wildlife and spectacular Cascade and Olympic mountain scenery. You can also stroll across the boardwalk, go fishing on the pier and enjoy a picnic with a view.

Scuba Dive at Des Moines Marina

Jump in and explore the waters of the Puget Sound offering a variety of sea life and vegetation. The Des Moines Marina has great facilities, 24 hour access and easy entry in to the water making it the perfect destination for divers of all experience levels. Seattle Dive Tours will pick you up, provide equipment and guided scuba tours. An underground wonderland for experienced divers awaits at Des Moines Wreck, a 55-foot, wooden-hulled sunken ship.

Al Fresco Dining

During the warm-weather months, enjoy dining outdoors across Seattle Southside. Visit Copperleaf Restaurant for fresh farm-to-table regional cuisine and Copperleaf Bar & Terrace for a quick bite, seasonal cocktails, craft beers, and exclusive wines while overlooking the beautiful lawn and terrace of Cedarbrook Lodge. Odin Brewing Company has a great outdoor patio and is a family-friendly brewery and trop room serving mouthwatering BBQ alongside their famous brews. For waterfront patios, enjoy fresh and local seafood at Anthony’s HomePort Des Moines or Salty’s at Redondo Beach.

Explore Southside Parks, Gardens and Beaches

Seattle Southside offers nearly a dozen city and state parks to explore. Walk the waterfront and beachcomb for seashells at Des Moines Beach Park or head to Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden to explore the 10.5 acres of one-of-a-kind gardens created to preserve the area’s most treasured gardens.

For outdoor sports, visit Tukwila Skate Park for HUNA ramps, quarter pipes and grinding rails, or North SeaTac Park for a BMX track and outdoor sport fields. The Interurban Trail links Tukwila, Kent, Auburn, Algona and Pacific along a near-straight 14-mile trail following the historic Interurban Rail Line. On a sunny day, visit Angle Lake Park for views of Mt. Rainier, picnicking, swimming and a water spray park.

Play Inside Tukwila: Indoor Skydive, Laser Tag, Go-Karts and Seattle Chocolates Tour

Rain or shine, take the family to Tukwila for indoor fun. The newest adventure has kids and adults jumping, climbing and defying gravity at Defy with over 50,000 sq. ft. of extreme attractions such as angled wall trampolines, launching decks and extreme dodgeball.

Whether you are looking to bowl, play mini-golf or video games, Family Fun Center is full of attractions to keep the family active and entertained for hours. Fulfill your need for speed at Sykart, and race against friends and family for gold. This indoor racing center is fit for ages eight and up, with mini karts ready to race seven days a week. Visit Virtual Sports Laser Tag, the only tactical laser tag in the Pacific Northwest. Enjoy action-packed, competitive games, complete with theatrical lighting and sound. Round 1 Bowling & Amusement is a state-of-the-art facility offering 14 bowling alleys, private karaoke booths, tournament sized billiards and top-of-the-line, exclusive arcade games.

Families with children 6 years old and over can tour the Seattle Chocolates factory Monday through Saturday. Taste a smorgasbord of chocolate samples, see what a chocolate bean looks like and learn about how the sweet sensations are made from bean to bar.

Watch the Pros at Starfire Sports

The training grounds for the Seattle Sounders FC, Starfire Sports is a soccer fanatic’s paradise, with over 54 acres of space and 12 turf and natural-grass fields. Here you can watch the Sounders at work during practice and get close to the athletes and action. It is also the home field for Seattle’s Major League Rugby team, the Seattle Seawolves. Kids and adults can join year-round training camps and leagues fit for all skill levels, or enjoy a night out watching an exciting game of rugby.

Soar Above Seattle Southside

Seattle Southside is home to signature aviation experiences. Let your child be the pilot at the Museum of Flight, where they can strap on flight harnesses to test their piloting skills in one of two hang-gliding simulators. Experience a 3-D movie, or step inside the original factory, “The Red Barn” of wooden planes, and learn about inspiring innovators. See long-lost rocket engines at the new Apollo exhibit, which focuses on the technological advances in space travel during the Cold War.


Special Events in Seattle Southside

  • Backyard Wildlife Festival & River Run 5K – May  12

Start the morning by dressing up in a “backyard-wildlife” themed costume, getting a free face painting, and running or walking along the beautiful Duwamish River Trail. Then, visit The Backyard Wildlife Festival which features over 50 vendors that will educate and inspire gardeners and urban wildlife enthusiasts. Ciscoe Morris and other guest speakers will be sharing their insights throughout the day, on May 12, 2018. tukwilawa.gov.

  • Special Olympics at Angle Lake Park – July 2 & 3

This year, Angle Lake Park will be the venue for the Special Olympics USA Games stand up paddle board (SUP) competition on July 2 and 3, 2018. The mission of the games is to showcase the abilities of athletes with intellectual disabilities through world-class competition, inspirational experiences, and modeling inclusion for all. Spectators can come and view the competition paddle across the gorgeous Angle Lake from a 10-acre park on the west side of the lake. specialolympicsusagames.org

  • Fourth of July in Seattle Southside – July 4

Watch fireworks and celebrate Independence Day from all around Seattle Southside. Begin the day at Angle Lake Park in SeaTac where there will be a water spray park, children’s bouncers, and live entertainment. Then head to Tukwila’s Family 4th at the Fort, the place to be for live music, food trucks, inflatable bouncers and more. When the sun goes down, watch fireworks  launched over the historic Des Moines waterfront. Firework shows will be occurring at the SeaTac and Tukwila events as well.

  • Des Moines Waterland Festival & Parade – June 20, 21 & 22

Bring your family to the Marina District to enjoy a Waterland tradition since 1959. The weekend begins with a Kids Carnival, then moves into the traditional Waterland Parade and Wheels & Keels show, featuring cars, motorcycles, and wooden boats. This year, Destination Des Moines will be partnering with NW Art Alliance to add a 2-day Arts Festival on Saturday & Sunday of the Waterland Festival. 75 of the area’s most intriguing artists and craftspeople will be featured, making for an exciting addition to your summer calendar. destinationdesmoines.org.

  • Poverty Bay Blues & Brews Festival - August 25

The Des Moines Rotary Club invites you to attend the annual Poverty Bay Blues & Brews Fest on August 25. This event is the prime fundraiser for its Music4Life program, which expands music education for youth in our schools. Enjoy a day filled with local blues together with a variety of local brews, hosted at Des Moines Beach Park. blakemesser.wixsite.com


About Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority

Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority (RTA) is the official destination marketing organization for SeaTac, Tukwila and Des Moines. The organization is responsible for competitively marketing the area as an ideal travel destination for leisure and business travelers who wish to explore Western Washington and an idyllic place for meeting and event planners to hold their events. The Seattle Southside RTA is funded by a self-assessed hotel fund and supported by a lodging tax from the cities of SeaTac, Tukwila and Des Moines. For more information, please visit www.seattlesouthside.com or call (877) 885-9452.