Guest article from TBEX North America 2022/Spring Sponsor, Seattle Southside

Where do we start?! Situated just a few miles south of downtown Seattle, Seattle Southside (which includes the towns of SeaTac, Des Moines, and Tukwila) is known for its convenient location – and family-friendly vibe – and it’s the perfect home base for urban explorers. Here, you can experience the authentic Pacific Northwest, where beaches, green spaces, and attractions ease you into Seattle-area culture. Seattle Southside and its communities are diverse, friendly and relaxed—the kind of place you’ll want to return to after an eventful day exploring the city’s most popular sites.

What’s there to love? Let us count the ways…

10) Location

Nestled along Puget Sound in Western Washington, Seattle Southside is centrally located between Seattle and Tacoma. The three cities of SeaTac, Tukwila, & Des Moines comprise the region. 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 (ORCA), 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.  We’ve got 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.

Des Moines Waterfront (Photo Credit: Seattle Southside RTA)

8) Shopping

Shopping ‘till you drop is quite possible in Seattle Southside. In fact, that could probably be accomplished at one place: Westfield Southcenter. Westfield Southcenter is the largest shopping center in Washington State, home to dozens of boutique shops, big box stores, restaurants, and even an AMC theater. Step out of Westfield and the shopping options continue in the Southcenter area with jewelry, books, recreation & sports stores, and so much more.

Seattle Southside
Sound Transit Link Light Rail approaching the Tukwila station (Photo Credit: Seattle Southside RTA)

7) Connectivity

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 Northgate Mall, making travel to downtown Seattle and beyond a breeze. 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.

6) Affordability

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 60 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–no expensive downtown parking required! 

Seattle Southside
Seattle Seawolves Rugby (Photo Credit: Seattle Southside RTA)

5) Sports

We’ve got ‘em. Head down to the sports megacomplex, Starfire Sports, and watch the Seattle Sounders practice, or play a game yourself! Starfire Sports is also home to the Seattle Seawolves, one of the founding teams of Major League Rugby in the United States. #TogetherWeHunt! If you’re a thrillseeker, 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, the stadiums are just a quick light rail ride away.

Family Fun Center, Tukwila WA. (Photo Credit: Alabastro Photography)

4) Family Fun

Seattle Southside has always been a great destination for families. The hotels are family-friendly, and 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. Take a sweet factory tour of Seattle Chocolates and sample some delectable delights. After a day of fun, head to Bahama Breeze for a dinner the whole family can agree on.

Seattle Southside
World Class Dining in Seattle Southside (Seattle Southside RTA)

3) Cuisine (from all around the world!)

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! We’ve got Din Tai Fung’s famous Taiwanese dumplings, at-your-table BBQ at Sumi Korean Grill, Arashi Ramen’s savory tantan men, shrimp & chorizo tacos at Moctezuma, sweet crispy garlic chicken at Bai Tong, incredible Ethiopian cuisine and coffee at Star Coffee and so much more. Also, 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, and Duke’s Chowder House and tell me which one you prefer. 

2) Diversity

We’re proud of our cultural and ethnic diversity in Seattle Southside. People from all around the world have laid roots in our 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, we are about as diverse as it gets, and we’re proud of it! This would also partly explain our amazing international restaurant scene.

Des Moines Beach Park. (Photo credit: Alabastro Photography)

1) Nature-Urban Blending

The number one reason to love Seattle Southside just about combines all previous items on this list as we are home to a unique blend of nature and urban land/cityscapes. We’ve got the giant mall, but we also have beautiful Des Moines Beach Park on the shores of Puget Sound. We’ve got 50+ hotels all sitting in the shadow of Mount Rainier. We’ve got indoor recreation like bowling and gaming, but we have plenty of hiking trails and beaches for walking. We’re close to Seattle, close to the water…We’ve got it all! Spend a vacation or staycation in Seattle Southside and experience this natural/urban wonderland.

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