Skip the steep hotel and parking fees. Make Kent your basecamp for Pacific Northwest adventure. Kent offers ample and affordable lodging and camping sites, loads of restaurants, and easy access to Seattle sites, active adventure and more.
Mountain Adventures And Peak Experiences
Mount Rainier wildflowers during the summer (Photo Courtesy: Visit Rainier and Deby Dixon)
A visit to Mount Rainier from Kent makes for a perfect day trip, and there are some fun stops along the way if you want to pack in even more adventure. Spend day two hiking a summit closer to basecamp.
- Make a stop at Northwest Trek wildlife and adventure park. A tram tour features more than 200 North American animals in their natural habitat. Young ones will love the nature-inspired Kids Trek playground. Adventurers will like the zip-line challenge courses.
- Stop at historic Elbe for a burger and homemade shake from Scale Burgers. Hop aboard the Mount Rainier Railroad for a fun, friendly and scenic ride through the Mount Rainier foothills.
- The picturesque drive to the Paradise area of Mount Rainier offers switch-backing roads and peak views and leads you to the base of the 14,411-foot mountain. Stop in at the Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center (open weekends and holidays in the winter and daily May through early October) to find out what Mount Rainier is all about and learn more about what to do and see. Check ahead to confirm road and facility status. Learn more about how to make the most of your Mount Rainier visit.
- Refuel (and fuel up for tomorrow’s adventure) with some sauce-covered carbs from Mama Stortini’s Restaurant and Bar at Kent Station.
- Plan ahead and pack a lunch for the trail. The folks at Wild Wheat Bakery Café and Restaurant make their own baked goods and cold smoked lox.
- A 30-minute drive from Kent will land you at the Issaquah Alps, a popular hiking and recreation destination. If you’re looking for incline and views at the top, take the trek to Poo Poo Point, a knoll on the shoulder of West Tiger Mountain. Don’t let the name worry you. It refers to the steam whistle sounds heard throughout the Tiger Mountain area in early logging days.
A Sports-packed Weekend With Champions
The Seattle Thunderbirds play at the accesso ShoWare Center in Kent, Washington
Admit it. You have a giant foam finger in the trunk of your car. You’re a fan, and proud of it. Kent is the perfect place to be if you want to catch live sports action. Make a weekend of it with Kent’s own 2017 Western Hockey League champion Seattle Thunderbirds ice hockey team and the 2017 Major League Soccer champion Seattle Sounders FC soccer club.
- Your first night of sports action happens in the heart of downtown Kent. The accesso ShoWare Center offers up an intimate 6,500-seat arena that puts you close to every minute of the action. Parking is always free and plentiful.
- Arrive early to take advantage of pregame happy hour specials. You’ll have lots of food and drink options to choose from.
- Spend some of the money you’ve saved on parking and refreshments to buy soft foam pucks for the Chuck-a-Puck competition. Between the second and third periods, fans simultaneously hurl pucks onto the ice for a chance to win a big-money prize. You’ll want to be a part of the chaos.
- After the Birds leave the ice, have a nightcap and light bite at Kent Station. Duke’s Chowder House, Mama Stortini’s Restaurant and Bar, Agave Cocina and Cantina and Ram Restaurant and Brewery offer late-night happy hour specials.
- Kent is close to the Sounders’ home turf in Seattle, so leave your car at Kent Station and skip the huge parking tab and hassle of driving downtown. Sound Transit runs game trains for many daytime weekend matches. Otherwise, catch a bus from Kent to downtown Seattle or Uber your way to nearby Tukwila International Boulevard Station to hop the Link light rail. Grab a treat for the trek at Cow Chip Cookies.
- In Seattle, begin your Sounder experience with some pub grub from Fuel Sports Eats & Beats, the official team bar. Sounders co-owner and TV star Drew Carey sometimes shows up and buys a round for the house.
- An hour before kickoff, head to nearby Occidental Park to join the March to the Match, an American sports tradition.
- Scarves up! CenturyLink Field will be electric when US Men’s National Team stars Clint Dempsey and Jordan Morris, and the rest of the MLS champs, take the pitch.
- Toast the win back in Kent at JP’s Taproom and Grill. They have a great dinner menu and plenty of Northwest wine and beer on tap.
LEARN MORE The Seattle Thunderbirds play at the accesso ShoWare Center in Kent, Washington
Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington is a short drive from Kent, Washington
There’s so much to discover, experience and explore in Seattle. Nearby Kent is a great place to stay for day tripping to the big city, and offers transportation options to make exploring even easier.
- The Sound Transit center at Kent Station offers carefree and carless access to downtown Seattle, including weekday train service. Grab coffee and a breakfast treat at Dilettante Mocha Café before you start your Seattle adventure.
- Bus, train or light rail will get you close to Westlake Center, three levels of shops and dining. Head to the top floor to board the Seattle Center Monorail, your transport to Seattle Center and the Space Needle, Seattle’s most recognizable landmark. Bring cash. The 1960s-era monorail doesn’t accept plastic.
- On the return trip, visit the flagship Nordstrom store before setting out for nearby Pike Place Market to meander through shops and kiosks offering local produce, arts and loads of fresh seafood. Try one of several restaurants in the market, or opt for an oyster shot or shrimp cocktail from one of the vendors.
- From the Market, you’re steps from Seattle’s Waterfront, which could easily warrant a separate day trip. The Seattle Great Wheel offers a great vantage point to take in views. Nearby Seattle Aquarium is a favorite family destination.
- Make your way to Pioneer Square, Seattle’s historic birthplace. Plan to spend a little time at Smith Tower, the city’s original skyscraper. Ride the manually operated Otis elevator to the renovated observatory and bar where you can enjoy 360-degree views, locally inspired bites and Prohibition-era cocktails. But save room for a true farm-to-bottle experience as you end the evening in Kent. The fruit-forward liqueurs from Sidetrack Distillery are the dessert you deserve.
- A visit to The Museum of Flight and the Georgetown neighborhood means you’ve got a big day ahead of you. Start off with a hearty breakfast from Maggie’s on Meeker, a Kent hometown favorite, before making the 20-minute drive to Boeing Field.
- The Museum of Flight has more than 160 aircrafts and space vehicles, the original Boeing Aircraft factory, flight simulators, and dozens of interactive exhibits. In other words, there’s a whole lot to experience here, so do a little pre-planning to make the most of your visit.
- You’ll be ready for a little R&R after your visit, so make your way to nearby Georgetown to sample some of Seattle’s notable craft beers. This hip Seattle urban burb is home to several brewing companies including Lower Case Brewing, Counterbalance Brewing Company, Machine House Brewing and Georgetown Brewing. You’ve also got lots of food options, from vegan comfort food (Georgetown Liquor Company) to upscale Northwest fare (The Corson Building) to hipster pub grub (Brass Tacks). Don’t miss the Georgetown Trailer Park Mall, where artisans sell their goods inside Airstream trailers. (Really.)
- End your busy day with a sampler at Kent’s Airways Brewing. The name itself is worth a visit on your day of flights.