Redondo BeachNestled along the southeast corner of Puget Sound, the Des Moines/Redondo area of Seattle Southside is often referred to as the “hidden gem” of the Pacific Northwest. Take a drive down there on a sunny day (or even if it’s cloudy!) and you’ll see what we're talking about. Beautiful scenic views, a friendly, beach community, and plenty of delicious seafood abound in this southside town.

Wallys ChowderIf you start at the Seattle Southside Visitor Center in SeaTac, you can take 509 South straight through to Redondo and get there in about fifteen minutes. That’s fine and dandy if you’re in a rush, but I recommend taking the scenic route. Take Marine View Drive South and start off with some lunch. What are you in the mood for: seafood, or hot dogs? Stop by Wally’s Chowder House for some mouth-watering seafood delights. It’s simple stuff: fish and chips, prawns and chowder, fish tacos, etc., but man, they do it right. It’s no wonder they’re currently sitting at the #1 spot on TripAdvisor’s top restaurants in Des Moines.

Arepa and sausgaeOn second thought, maybe you should hold off on seafood, because I’m going to recommend another seafood spot for dinner. Well, just up the street from Wally’s sits the Des Moines Dog House. Here you’ll find plenty of unique hot dogs and sausages, many with a Columbian twist. Some of my favorites are the Columbian chorizo dog, arepas and sausage, mango habanero chicken sausage and the empanada combo. Of course, they also have plenty of corn dogs for the kids (or kids in us). It may sound corny (hehe), but I’m getting legitimately hungry thinking about this place…

Saltwater State ParkAfter your lunch, head back to Marine View Drive for some scenic (marine) views of Puget Sound. In no time at all, you’ll find yourself driving through Saltwater State Park! They’ve got a great beach area, playgrounds and volleyball courts, hiking trails, and arguably the coolest thing at a Washington state park: an artificial reef for diving! You’ll probably spend most of your day here, but when you’re ready to get back on the road, it’ll only be a few minutes until you reach your final destination.

Marine Science and Technology Center StarfishRedondo Beach is more than just a beach. It’s a feeling, man! It’s a dream! Just kidding with all the hippie stuff...in addition to the beach, they have the recently renovated boardwalk, which really gives you the “walking along Puget Sound” sensory experience. They also have the Marine Science and Technology or MaST Center. It’s a marine biology aquarium, home to over 250 native Puget Sound marine species. The best part about MaST Center: it’s FREE to the public on Saturdays and Thursdays during the summer!

Salty's at Redondo Beach SunsetRight next door to MaST, sits a Seattle classic: Salty’s. The iconic Salty’s at Redondo Beach offers everybody's favorite menu options at a location where you can catch breathtaking views of Puget Sound and Maury Island. If you come for dinner (which you would be, if you followed this itinerary), you just might catch a gorgeous sunset over the Olympic Mountains as you enjoy a nice cabernet and lobster tail. Can you imagine?