Considered the home base for reunion groups traveling to the Pacific Northwest, Seattle Southside checks all the boxes for planners of military reunions. When it comes to accessibility, our three communities are 10 minutes or less from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and 15 minutes from downtown Seattle, with complimentary airport shuttles to hotels. When it comes to hospitality and affordability, there are more than 30 hotels with meeting and event space, and hotel rates are typically priced 20 to 30 percent less than downtown Seattle (with many including special reunion pricing).
Like many unique groups, military reunion attendees have particular needs and interests while gathering together, including what they do. Take a look at some special tours, historical experiences and memorable dining spots to help round out your itinerary.
Take to the Skies at The Museum of Flight!
As the wonder of flight comes to life, so will your group at The Museum of Flight. The 15-acre campus features historical air and spacecraft, the original Boeing Aircraft factory, flight simulators, interactive exhibits, the Aviation Pavilion—a 3-acre, open-air gallery, showcasing 18 of the world’s most important airliners and military aircraft—and much more. Your group can experience the only full-scale NASA Space Shuttle Trainer, the beautiful Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and the Air Force One that served presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon. Tours at the museum typically last an hour and are guided by trained docent tour guides who are experts in specific exhibits and aircraft.
Fuel Up at Wings Café
Located in The Museum of Flight, Wings Café is an enjoyable and convenient spot for group dining after the tour. The 132-seat eatery features a substantial menu from snacks and pastries to healthy cold classics like salads and grilled chicken on pita, and hot entrees like burgers, wings and chili. The café also serves domestic and microbrew beers. Afterward, relax on the airport patio and take in all of the runway action.
See the Future of Flight
After seeing how far aviation has come at The Museum of Flight, the Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour is a memorable segue into where it’s going. Home of the world-renowned Boeing Assembly Plant Tour, the Future of Flight facility is the largest building in the world (by volume) and an unforgettable experience just 30 miles north of Tukwila. The tour offers virtual experiences and interactive exhibits on the innovation of aviation and allows your group to see 747, 767, 777, and 787 Dreamliners on the assembly line before they take flight!
Sky High to High Seas
Explore a piece of maritime history with your group by touring the USS Turner Joy (DD-951) Naval Destroyer Museum Ship. Located in Bremerton, Washington, attendees can take a quick 30-minute ferry ride from Seattle across the Puget Sound to see the famed Navy ship. As the last Forrest Sherman class destroyer built, the ship remains close to her original 1959 configuration and has been restored to reflect the appearance during her active years between 1960 and 1982.
Discover the ‘Museum of Bite’
Your group can experience a good old-fashioned diner and aviation museum in one unique setting at Randy’s Restaurant. Randy’s is one of Tukwila’s most beloved and iconic dining spots and has been a staple for more than three decades. From the nostalgic atmosphere and the civilian-military artifacts and memorabilia to the charming staff and, of course, the food, your group will feel like they’re eating among family as they’re transported back in time.
Take a reverent stroll through a sacred garden
The Seike Japanese Garden at the Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden includes a traditional Japanese pond and mountain garden, as well as a memorial to the tragic history of Japanese internment in the Pacific Northwest during WWII. More than 100,000 Japanese-Americans were interned in camps during WWII, and Shinichi Seike and his family were no exception. Even though all three Seike sons fought for America during the war, and middle son Toll was killed in action in France, the family was still forced to remain within the confines of their internment camp. After the war, the family constructed what would become the Seike Japanese Garden as a memorial to their son and brother, Toll. This story is told on signs within the garden and in a Seattle Times article.
Put us to work!
Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority will assist you with any needs to help you make the most of your itinerary. After all, there’s a lot of forethought that goes into planning reunions and events for the armed forces, from ADA compliance to complimentary services that are customized for your group. Let us get to work for you by submitting your RFP.