Welcome to the Seattle’s Backyard, the hidden gem of the Pacific Northwest. Have you heard about Seattle Southside? If you’ve ever traveled to Western Washington, odds are you’ve visited here and didn’t even know it. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, there’s just so much to love about this area that it’s difficult to choose just ten. Here’s a list of ten reasons to love Seattle Southside.
Nestled along Puget Sound in Western Washington, Seattle Southside is centrally located between Seattle and Tacoma. The three cities of SeaTac, Tukwila, & Des Moines compromise the area also known as “Seattle’s Backyard.” There’s plenty to experience here, not to mention, everything else that’s just a stone’s throw away from the airport. Take a short trip up north to Downtown Seattle on the Link Light Rail, take a tour with Tours Northwest to Mount Rainier National Park, or take a tour of the San Juan Islands on a Victoria Clipper.
9. Festivals & Events
Seattleites love their festivals, and that feeling extends to Seattle Southsiders as well. Do you like comicons? Every year, the DoubleTree in SeaTac hosts Aki Con for anime enthusiasts, Crypticon for horror buffs and since 1978, Norwescon has been a comicon juggernaut for fans of fantasy & sci-fi. There’s the Poverty Bay Blues & Brews Fest every summer on the shores of Puget Sound, the delicious Des Moines Waterfront Farmers Market, the stellar UFO Festival in Burien, Hops & Props at The Museum of Flight, 4th of July at Fort Dent Park, and that’s not even scratching the surface of all the exciting events in Seattle Southside and Western Washington.
Shopping ‘till you drop is quite possible in Seattle Southside. In fact, that feat could probably be accomplished at one place: Westfield Southcenter. Westfield Southcenter is the largest shopping center in Washington State, and is home to dozens of boutique shops, big box stores, restaurants, and even an AMC theatre. Step out of Westfield and the shopping options continue in the Southcenter area with jewelry, books, recreation and sports stores and so much more.
This sort of goes along with location. You really don’t need a car in Seattle Southside to get to where you want to go. The Link Light Rail goes as far south as Angle Lake and as far north as Husky stadium, making travel to downtown Seattle a breeze. Staying in a hotel in SeaTac? Take the free Southside Express mall shuttle to Westfield Southcenter for all your shopping and entertainment needs. If you’re looking to get out into the evergreen side of the Evergreen State, take a tour with Tours Northwest or Customized Tours to Mount Rainier or Snoqualmie Falls.
There’s no doubt about it, downtown Seattle is expensive. Whether you’re talking about parking fees, hotel rates, or anything travel related, it’s going to cost you a bit more up there. Seattle Southside has over 50 value-priced hotels, with rates typically 20-30% less than their downtown counterparts. Even if downtown Seattle is your priority, you’re just a quick light rail ride away. The Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority also offers the free Do More-Save More Passport to Savings, which functions like digital coupon book to the area’s top attractions, restaurants, and even some hotels.
Sports are a big deal in Seattle Southside. Head down to the sports megacomplex, Starfire Sports, and watch the Seattle Sounders practice or play a game yourself! Also, coming to Seattle Southside in 2018, Starfire Sports will be home to the Seattle Seawolves, one of the founding teams of Major League Rugby in the United States. If you’re a thrill seeker, you need to try indoor skydiving at iFLY Seattle. Looking for a leisurely game of golf? Play 18 holes at Foster Golf Links along the Duwamish River. Of course, if you want to catch a Seahawks or Mariners game, hop on the light rail and you’ll be there in no time.
4. Family Fun
Seattle Southside has always been a great destination for families. The hotels are family friendly, there’s a great selection of restaurants, but the main draw for families and kids would have to be the attractions. You can take to the skies on one of The Museum of Flight’s flight simulators, or iFLY Seattle’s vertical wind tunnel (they cater to ages 3-103). Spend a day at Family Fun Center with go-karts, batting cages, mini golf, and more. Bowl and game to your heart’s desire at ACME Bowl and Round 1 Entertainment, experience the future of laser tag and virtual reality at Virtual Sports, take a sweet factory tour of Seattle Chocolates and sample some delectable delights. After a day of fun, head to California Pizza Kitchen or Bahama Breeze for a dinner the whole family can agree on.
Speaking of dinner, Seattle Southside is home to a world-class dining scene. The emphasis should be on “world,” as the international dining scene is booming! Try Din Tai Fung’s famous Taiwanese dumplings, Arashi Ramen’s savory tantan men, shrimp & chorizo tacos at Moctezuma, sweet crispy garlic chicken at Bai Tong, rich Ethiopian coffee at Star Coffee and so much more. Not to mention, you can’t come to the Pacific Northwest and not try some fresh seafood. Try the chowder at Salty’s at Redondo, Anthony’s HomePort, Wally’s Chowder House, and Duke’s Chowder House and see which one’s your favorite.
Locals are proud of their cultural and ethnic diversity in Seattle Southside. People from all around the world have laid roots in these cities and now call Seattle Southside home. In fact, residents of SeaTac, Tukwila, and Des Moines speak over 80 languages, with the Tukwila School District owning the distinction of being the most diverse in the entire country. So yes, they are about as diverse as it gets and they’re quite proud of it! This would also partly explain the amazing international restaurant scene…
1. Uniquely Northwest
The number one reason to love Seattle Southside just about combines all previous items on this list as Seattle Southside is home to a unique blend of nature and urban land/cityscapes. They’ve got the giant mall, but there’s also beautiful Des Moines Beach Park on the shores of Puget Sound. There are 50+ hotels all sitting in the shadow of Mount Rainier. There’s plenty of indoor recreation like bowling and gaming, but there’s also plenty of hiking trails and beaches for walking. Seattle Southside is close to Seattle, close to the mountains, close to the water…they’ve got it all! Spend a vacation or staycation in Seattle Southside and experience this natural/urban wonderland called Seattle’s Backyard.