A trip to Seattle offers many options for travelers, from Space Needle-ing to Pike Place Market-ing. For those looking to explore a different side of the Emerald City, NTA-member Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority recommends heading, well, south.
The organization can put travelers in touch with nature at many places in the cities it represents: SeaTac (where the airport is), Des Moines, and Tukwila. One of the local highlights is Des Moines Beach Park, which is a favorite of residents.
As they roam the less-crowded shores of the waterfront park, visitors can take in sweeping views of the Puget Sound and Vashon Island across the way. Tours with a nature guide can be arranged for those wishing to find out more about the tide pools and the sound’s ecosystem.
The park’s Des Moines Creek Trail heads away from the beach and into a deciduous forest. The two-mile paved path ambles along its namesake creek and through mossy trees, blackberry vines, and wildflowers. The walk is particularly scenic in the autumn, when the colors are more pronounced, and in the spring, when waterfalls appear.
Other seasonal favorites near the park are the Des Moines Farmers Market and the Olympic Outdoor Adventure Center. Vendors set up right along the waterfront for the market, which operates Wednesdays and Saturdays from May to October. The Adventure Center in nearby Federal Way rents kayaks and stand-up paddleboards, and guided tours for small groups are available.
Top photo: Des Moines Creek Trail
Photo by Alabastro Photography