Located in the heart of the Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area, the city of Kent is often overshadowed by its two larger sibling towns. Indeed, it is smack-dab in the middle of Tacoma and Seattle, which are 19 miles south and north, respectively. However, Kent is the sixth largest city in the entire state of Washington and is growing fast.
We took a weekend road trip to Kent and found that it has plentiful opportunities for shopping, multi-cultural dining, and lots of outdoor activities. Here's what we did during our stay.
Weekend Itinerary - Where We Went
Where to Stay
Situated in Kent, this Best Western hotel is perfect for golfers as it is just a 10-minute walk away from the Riverbend Golf Complex. Also nearby is Hogan Park, Kent Valley Ice Center, and ShoWare Center. Overall, this hotel was a great home base for our weekend adventure around Kent.
Best Western Plus Plaza By the Green - 24415 Russell Road
Things to Do
Go shopping at Kent Station.
Kent Station is the transportation and entertainment hub of the city. It's where the Sounder train going to/from Tacoma and Seattle roars through. Kent Station is also a major shopping and dining hub. There's also a modern AMC Theater with IMAX and 3D movies. Within walking distance of Kent Station, you'll also run into the historic downtown and the weekend farmers market. When visiting the area, you'll definitely want to stop at Kent Station.
Take an art class at Artsy Fartsy.
Ceramic art cafes may be all the rage, but how often do you get to partake in a guided art class? Artsy Fartsy gives you an opportunity to unleash your inner Picasso. When booking in advance, you can choose your artistic medium from charcoal drawing and oil pastels to sewing and printmaking. For our particular class, we painted...with wine corks! It was a fun experience that resulted in pretty, textured canvas art that we now have hanging in our living room.
Hike the Soos Creek Trail.
There are a total of 73 parks within Kent's park system. Parks range in size from 4,300 square feet to over 310 acres. As a result, there are plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation. One great hiking path is the Soos Creek Trail. Stretching 12 miles roundtrip, this paved trail winds through wetlands and farmlands. It also connects to the longer, more rugged Lake Youngs Trail that can add 9 miles to your hike.
Swim at Lake Meridian Park.
Lake Meridian is an urban fresh-water lake located in Kent. It's surrounded by homes and a large green space with a public swimming area and fishing dock. The lake is also one of few in the county that allows for motorized boating. At any time, you might find wake boarders jetting across the lake, or peaceful kayaks drifting by. No matter what activity you choose, Lake Meridian Park is a relaxing oasis not far from the hustle of the rest of Kent.
Snap pics of Mount Rainier at West Fenwick Park.
At 37 acres, West Fenwick Park is pretty sizable. It's got picnic areas, a playground, trails, and even handball courts. But one of its main draws is the stunning view of Mount Rainier that can be seen from the park's hill. Head here around sunset for the best time of day to shoot photos.
Sip your way through Downtown Kent Wine Walk.
About once a quarter, Kent Downtown Partnership hosts a wine walk. Local winemakers take up residence inside storefronts and pour samples to attendees. To our surprise, many stops also included hearty snacks to compliment the wines being poured. Overall, this is a fantastic way to get to know some of the people who live and work in Kent while also sampling copious amounts of wine!
Featured partners of the Summer 2018 Wine Walk:
- Blackfish Spirits Distillery
- Michael Florentino Cellars
- Vino Aquino Winery
- Cloudlift Cellars
- Naches Heights Vineyard
- Davenport Cellars
- 2 Towns Ciderhouse
- Sidetrack Distillery
- Schilling Hard Cider
- Leony’s Cellars
Explore the Kent Farmers Market
Every Saturday, from June 2nd through September 29th, the Kent Farmers Market takes place in downtown Kent. Located at the city's new park, Town Square Plaza, you'll find vendors selling everything from fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables to arts and crafts. Be sure to pick up a bouquet of freshly arranged flowers and stop by the food trucks.
Where to Eat and Drink in Kent, WA
Since food and drink is very much our focus here at Gemini Connect, we made an entirely separate post AND video on the subject. Our mini food guide to Kent will show you where to find one of the only Mexican steakhouses in Washington state, as well as delicious Thai, Eastern European, and Indian food. We'll also show you a unique farm and distillery, plus a microbrewery.
Find our food guide to Kent here.
Over To You
In conclusion, the city of Kent offers a multitude of events and activities year-round. Not far from Seattle, Kent offers a slower-paced refuge for those seeking an alternative travel destination from the hustle and bustle of downtown Seattle. Have you visited Kent before? If so, let us know your favorite spots to visit in the comments below!
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