There’s nothing quite like the great outdoors in the Pacific Northwest. Western Washington is filled with the soothing serenity of Puget Sound, walkable parks, and lush, green trails. Seattle Southside has it all, with the added benefit of many of the parks and trails being more “off the beaten path” or “hidden gems,” that the crowds haven’t discovered yet. Time to get outside and explore more!
Start your day off with a leisurely stroll through the beautiful Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden. Here you will find plenty of roses, lilies, and fuchsias, not to mention a beautiful, traditional Japanese garden. This natural wonderland is only a few blocks away from the airport, but you wouldn’t think so while basking in the sun next to the babbling brook.
After the botanical garden, stop by Bob’s Burgers and Teriyaki and pick up a bacon cheeseburger or some delicious yakisoba, then head to Angle Lake Park for a picnic and a dip in the lake! This park is great for kids; in addition to the swimming areas on the lake, there’s also a playground, a wacky spray park and plenty of room to run around. It’s also quite easy to get here since the Link Light Rail Angle Lake Station recently opened in 2016.
If you have any energy left, take a bike (or rollerblades/longboard/running shoes) to the Interurban Trail where an interweaving 14.7-mile natural landscape trail connects multiple cities. From Auburn to Tukwila, you’ll enjoy the fresh air and paved trail which leads right to the Southcenter shopping area, where you can get a much-deserved meal after all that exercise.
Day two starts at the true “hidden gem” of Seattle Southside, Des Moines Beach Park. The park itself is a favorite among the locals, but it’s seldom overcrowded. This means you’ll have plenty of space to walk on the shores of Puget Sound, explore the Des Moines Creek Trail, watch the native Northwest birds, and even take a rented kayak or paddleboard from Olympic Outdoor Center and explore the waters of the South Sound.
There’s so much to do at Des Moines Beach Park, you just might want to spend the whole day there. But after the sun sets, you should head to the Des Moines Marina and get some fresh seafood Anthony’s HomePort.
The final day of your outdoor adventure requires a bit of a mini-road trip. About 45 minutes east of Seattle Southside sits Western Washington’s most famous waterfall, Snoqualmie Falls. The 270-foot waterfall welcomes over 1.5 million visitors each year and for good reason. The observation deck provides the perfect opportunity for breathtaking photos, which should be posted directly to your Instagram account (don’t forget to tag us and use #seattlesouthside!).
Only a few miles down the road from Snoqualmie Falls, Mount Si features one of the best hiking trails in the Pacific Northwest. The eight-mile hike can be a bit strenuous, but the views from the top are worth every arduous step (and every calorie burned!). If an eight-mile hike sounds a bit too difficult, the far more moderate 4.7-mile Little Mount Si hike also boasts some incredible views and is fantastic for families!
After a great day of hiking, head back to Seattle Southside and get some dinner at the iconic Italian restaurant, Grazie Ristorante. With a classic Italian atmosphere and plenty of delicious pasta and spiced meats, there’s arguably no better restaurant in Seattle Southside for a good carb-loading session.