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From family-friendly to date-worthy, Kent offers it all: sports, entertainment, bike trails, parks, a vibrant beer and food scene, shopping and more. Learn where the locals like to eat, drink and play, and find out some of Kent’s best-kept secrets. Planning your Pacific Northwest vacation? Kent’s the perfect basecamp for all your adventures. Get the most out of your vacation with tips on travel packages, great deals and seasonal itineraries.

Make it a Memorable Fourth in Kent

Cue the fireworks and apple pie. The Fourth of July is coming and there's no better place to celebrate than Kent, Washington.
June 23rd, 2017

No matter how you choose to mark America’s birthday, Kent is the place to be on the Fourth of July. Spend the day and evening at one of the region’s biggest family-fun festivals, chow down on a super-hot hot dog, or treat yourself to some retail therapy. 

Make a splash from noon to night
The Fourth of July Splash (Noon-10:30 p.m.) on the shores of Lake Meridian is the ultimate Independence Day bash. Fill up at the food booths, enter the pie-eating contest, take a turn or 10 at the bouncy house and join in the old-time games. Live music and entertainment will be on tap, along with all the other fun that Lake Meridian Park offers—from splashing in the lake to trekking the trails. Just a reminder…the Fourth of July Splash is the only legal way to enjoy fireworks in Kent, so stick around. The sky lights up beginning at 10 p.m.  

Bite into a mandatory hot dog
Leave the grilling to the experts at The AC Tavern. Choose from a full menu of gourmet hot dogs, from the bare-bunned Naked Pooch to the ultra-creative Curt’s Sled Dog slathered in peanut butter, bacon and maple syrup. If you have a fondness for fire, order the AC Hellhound—17 inches of spicy deliciousness. Don’t worry…The AC has a slew of craft beers to help douse the flames.

Keep your cool at the spray park
The Fourth of July marks the real start of summer in the Pacific Northwest, and Town Square Plaza spray park is a great spot to keep the heat at bay. If you really want to keep your cool, stroll to nearby Kent Station and grab a shake or sundae from Cold Stone Creamery.

Celebrate in style at Kent Station
If you’re not up for all the holiday hoopla, spend the Fourth at this urban village of food, entertainment and shopping. 
•Jumpstart the day with an Americano from Dilettante Mocha Café.
•Catch a summer blockbuster stretched out in a cushy recliner at the 14-screen Kent AMC Theatre
•Satisfy your all-American appetite with a hamburger and fries from Johnny Rockets, or choose from an eclectic array of other dining options.
•Cruise the holiday sales—stores are open 11 a.m.–6 p.m. If you’re looking to log some extra Fitbit steps, stop in at Road Runner Sports for new gear and to sign up for the July 15 Adventure Run
•Raise a toast to America at Red’s Wine Bar. With all the reds and whites to choose from, you’ll have nothing to be blue about.  

With all there is to see and do in Kent, why settle for just a day? Extend your visit and spend a night or two. Many Kent hotels offer complimentary breakfast! 

Keepin' it Kid Friendly in Kent

Looking for some kid-friendly fun? Kent is a great family destination and offers loads of activities for all ages.
June 20th, 2017
Outdoors or indoors, in the water or on dry land, Kent has something for everyone. Here are a few suggestions for making some family fun in Kent.  

AMC Kent Station (426 Ramsay Way)
Relax in the cushy reclining seats and enjoy the latest flicks, including IMAX and 3D showings. Early-show discounts make it easier on the family budget.  

Create! (216 W Gowe St.) and Artsy Fartsy Art Lessons (218 W. Meeker St.)
Take an art class or two, and let the creative juices flow.  

Kent Valley Ice Centre (6015 S 240th St.)
From figure skating and ice hockey to batting cages and mini golf, Kent Valley Ice Centre offers something for everyone.

Lake Meridian (14800 SE 272nd St.)
The fun doesn’t end at this urban lake—boating, fishing, swimming, walking, picnicking, playing, perusing the public art… You get the idea.

Pie Lab (12966 S.E. Kent Kangley Rd.)
Bring the whole family for a pie-baking class. There’s no such thing as too many cooks in this kitchen. Create—and eat—a sweet or savory masterpiece. 

PGP Motorsports (31003 144th Ave. S.E.)
Produce your own family version of The Fast and the Furious at this go-kart-racing paradise.

Riverbend Golf Complex (2019 West Meeker St.)
Swing in for a round of family fun, or sign up for a group lesson.

Kent offers miles and miles of bike trails to suit every age and ability. Learn more about Kent’s scenic bike trails for seasoned cyclers and carefree cruisers. 

Kent also offers special family-fun events throughout the year, including the Kent Farmers Market, which runs June through September. The Summer Concert Series features four weekly performances, including just-for-kids tunes at Town Square Park at 2nd Ave. and Smith St., and family date night at Kent Station.

Learn more about all there is to do and see in Kent, and check out the calendar for upcoming and ongoing events.

A Cornucopia of Fun

Kent Cornucopia Days, July 14-16, is one of the region’s biggest bashes—and a great weekend of family fun.
June 14th, 2017

Looking for the ultimate in summertime celebrations? Kent Cornucopia Days is one of the region’s biggest (and most popular) family-fun festivals. Now in its 46th year, the 2017 edition is bigger and better than ever, and offers three full days of fun, food and entertainment. Check it out July 14-16—Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Here’s a taste of what to expect:

Street fair fun
Downtown Kent plays host to one of the Northwest’s largest street fairs, covering nearly 20 city blocks. The street fair features hundreds of vendors offering food, merchandise, one-of-a-kind handcrafted items, artwork and more. 

Sports of all sorts
The Kent Cornucopia Days Dragon Boat Races on Lake Meridian draws paddlers from all over the Pacific Northwest. Racing begins Saturday at 8:30 a.m.
Landlubbers looking for some friendly competition will want to take part in the 5K Fun Run and Walk at 9 a.m. Saturday morning. 
The weekend will be full of headers and hat tricks. The Kent Youth Soccer Association Cornucopia Cup tournament takes place Friday through Sunday.

Entertainment…times two
Take in live entertainment at the Town Square Plaza Stage and the Gazebo Stage. From the Miss Cornucopia coronation (2 p.m. Friday), to country music and dance, this year’s Friday), to country music and dance, this year’s Friday), to country music and dance, this year’s Friday), to country music and dance, this year’s lineup offers something for everyone.

A taste of Cornucopia
Pace yourself. This year there are three food courts of yummy stuff, from roasted corn to kettle corn and a delicious array of ethnic fare. Grab a bite from the Main Food Court or East Food Court, or enjoy a beer and nosh from the Gazebo Park Food Court while enjoying some music from the nearby stage.   

Make your way to Kent for a summer weekend jam-packed with fun. Kent Cornucopia Days is just one of the exciting things to is just one of the exciting things to see and do in Kent.

Fresh from the farm

Fruit, veggies and a whole lot more. Get a taste of Kent’s farm-fresh bounty.
June 6th, 2017

Carpinito Brothers is one of the many local Kent treasures with a full stock of juicy fruit, crunchy veggies and hand-selected items from across the Pacific Northwest. 

Kent’s rich and fertile Green River Valley has been producing farm-fresh fare since the 1800s. Even today, this bustling urban community is still growing strong. From spring rhubarb to summer berries and sweet corn, and a bounty of pumpkins in the fall, Kent is all about growing and eating local. Here are few ways to enjoy the harvest:  

Family owned and operated for more than 50 years, this bountiful nursery and produce stand operates June through December. Pick up some Carpinito Brothers’ freshly harvested fruits and vegetables, along with hand-selected items from other Washington state farms.
This small, family-owned farm features produce fresh from the fields at Cosmo’s Farm Market. Operated by the youngest farmer, 12-year-old Cosmo, is open for business June through October. Drop by Thursday evening (5–7 p.m.) and Saturday afternoon (noon–2 p.m.).

The Buetow family of four is on a mission to produce fresh, local, organic vegetables, eggs and homemade goods. For now, this growing operation is open by appointment only, but the Buetows are more than happy to accommodate visitor requests.

Smell the farm-fresh flowers, pick up some of your favorite local produce and sink your teeth into an ear of fresh roasted corn. Located downtown at Town Square Plaza, the Kent Farmers Market is open June 3 through September 23. Stroll down the streets and drop by vendor booths every Saturday (9 a.m.–2 p.m.).
Hungry yet? Farm-fresh fare is just one great reason to visit Kent. Learn more about all there is to see and do

Make a trek to iconic Seattle

Watch fish fly, take a spin on the big wheel and experience some of the classic sights and bites of Seattle. It’s all just a short (and easy) trek from Kent.
May 31st, 2017

Skip the hassle (and the big price tag) that comes with driving and staying in downtown Seattle. From Kent, a fun and full day of Seattle is just a short hop away. And the Sound Transit center at Kent Station offers carefree and carless access.

  • First stop….shopping. Bus, train or light rail will get you close to Westlake Center, which includes three levels of shops and dining. Visit the flagship Nordstrom store across the street. 

  • Meander the Market. Take an easy downhill walk to Pike Place Market, where you can stroll through shops and kiosks offering local produce, arts and loads of fresh seafood. (Watch for flying salmon at the fish markets.) Try one of several restaurants in the market, or opt for an oyster shot or shrimp cocktail to go. 

  • On the waterfront. From the Market, you’re steps from the Seattle Waterfront. The Seattle Great Wheel offers a great vantage point to take in views of the Space Needle, Seattle skyline and Mount Rainier. 

  • Good old Seattle. Make your way to Pioneer Square, Seattle’s historic birthplace. Visit Smith Tower, the city’s original skyscraper, and enjoy 360-degree views, locally inspired bites and Prohibition-era cocktails from the top.   

That’s just a slice of Seattle. Read the full Iconic Seattle itinerary, along with some other great day trips you can take Kent.

Celebrate the world at the Kent International Festival

The Kent International Festival June 3 offers entertainment from around the world
May 24th, 2017
Photo: Melanie Mosshart

Kent is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the country…and it shows. The city offers a wide and wonderful assortment of ethnic restaurants, shops and other cultural opportunities, and its residents speak more than 130 languages.

Once a year, the community comes together at ShoWare Center for a big, bold extravaganza that acknowledges its rich diversity, and draws thousands from in and around the area. The ninth annual Kent International Festival June 3 will be jam-packed with entertainment, spectacular native attire, an array of cultural booths, unique shopping and delicious authentic cuisine. Here’s a glimpse of what to expect:

Just follow the dancing Chinese lion
The fun begins at 9:30 a.m. at Town Square Plaza (2nd Ave. and Smith St.) with a festival kickoff and half-mile World Wide Walk to ShoWare Center.

Nonstop entertainment
With musical and dance performances on three stages throughout the day, you’ll want to plan accordingly. Crowd favorites include the Rowan Fae Irish dancers and Taiko drummers. Entertainment from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Travel the world under one roof…"passport" suggested
Wonder what it’s like to be a kid in Thailand? Curious about some of the customs in Kenya? The festival’s many cultural booths offer information, insight and a lot of fun activities. Visit them all with your festival "passport." Booths open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

A global food fest
Bring your appetite. The International Taste of Kent Food Court features cuisine from some of Kent’s most popular ethnic restaurants, including Fil Cuisine, Thai Chili, Jot Indian Sweets, Agave Cocina and Cantina, Spring Kitchen and more. Food court open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The fun doesn’t end at 5 p.m. You won’t want to miss the World Dance party (5-6 p.m.) and the grand festival finale (6-8 p.m.).

Join the fun. Experience the cultures of the world. Get a taste of what Kent has to offer. Find out more about the Kent International Festival, and check out all there is to see and do in Kent.

Wine to Water

Enjoy the view this spring with a road trip from Kent to some of Washington's best wine and water attractions
May 17th, 2017

Allow a full day to explore scenic Pacific Northwest views—like Snoqualmie Falls—and unique attractions just miles from Kent, Washington. 

What says Washington more than water and wine? You can get a hefty dose of both with a day trip to Woodville Wine Country and Snoqualmie Falls

You’ll need some ballast for the day, so enjoy a classic breakfast with the locals at the Golden Steer in the East Hill neighborhood of Kent (23826 104th Ave SE). This old-school diner is legit. 

Head north on I-405 to small and scenic Woodinville, home to more than 100 wineries and tasting rooms segmented into four districts. A visit to the grand Chateau Ste. Michelle is a must, along with stops at some of the state’s unique and acclaimed boutique wineries. Remember, it’s totally ok to split or spit, especially if you’re visiting more than a couple tasting rooms. Many tasting rooms have nice areas for picnicking. 

From Woodinville, take scenic and relaxing WA-202 along the Snoqualmie River through the Cascade Mountain foothills, small towns and farms to Snoqualmie Falls. The 268-foot waterfall is one of the state’s most popular natural attractions, and spring snowmelt usually means a spectacular show. Enjoy misty views from the observation area, explore the trails, and stop by the gift shop for a package of Snoqualmie Falls pancake or waffle mix. 

Once you return to Kent, stop by See’s Candies to pick the perfect chocolate pairing to go with your Washington merlot. 

Serving up a big slice of happy: Pie Lab Bakery

Kent’s East Hill Pie Lab Bakery is winning over palates from near and far, one delicious bite at a time.
May 13th, 2017

National Travel and Tourism Week puts the spotlight on the faces and places that make Kent a flavorful destination—like Pie Lab Bakery, a confectionary delight on Kent’s East Hill. 

Pie Lab general manager Marie Price dusted off the flour long enough to talk about her passion for baking, and how Pie Lab’s delicious creations bring about happiness, joy and the occasional marriage proposal.

How long have you been in the hospitality business?

I’ve been baking my whole life. I’ve been doing it professionally for over nine years.

Why did you choose hospitality? 

Baking has always been my passion. I like to say I can change the world one palate at a time. It starts with math and science, and then you get to see the reactions from people when they taste your creation. When the flavor fusion and texture combines, it’s an art.

What made you want to manage this business? 

With Susan, the owner, I saw a reflection of my own passion and a like-minded love for excellence. Her motto is "engineering happiness," which is my goal when baking. 

What is unique about your business?

First, the product itself is amazing! It is the best pie I have tasted in my life. Second, we want the experience for our customers to be an unforgettable journey. 

We have a large following of regulars. Some come to try the "from the lab" recipes, which are unique flavor combinations such as "Ring of Fire," a pineapple habanero cream pie. Others have their favorites that they love. 

What is your favorite customer memory? 

We were sampling at a local event, and the lines were really long. One gentleman took a sample, tasted the pie, and his face had this completely shocked look. He finished chewing and said, "This is the best pie I have ever had in my life. Will you marry me?" I have a lot of really fun memories like that. It’s why I like working here and I’m so proud of our product.

Where are your customers from? 

We have people across the country email and message us on Facebook because they have heard from friends about our pie and want to request shipments. That’s not currently possible, but we hope to change that soon. Every day we have people who drive over an hour to get here.

What do you think it means to the Kent community to have locally owned businesses like yours?

Pie symbolizes the American family dessert. Plus, we are local and creating relationships between employees and customers. Our product tastes amazing and brings happiness and joy to people’s lives, but it also helps provide tradition and stability. 

What is the best part of your job?

When I see my passion reflected in my employees. It changes my life when they enjoy what they are doing and their eyes are opened to a vocation. It’s not just a job. 

Fill in the blank: A Kent resident should invite their friends and family to visit Kent because…

It has the best pie in the world! 

Treat your palate to a Pie Lab creation, and invite your friends and family to get a taste of Kent, and use #WeAreKent on social media. It’s just a slice of all there is to see and do in your own backyard. 

A place you can call your own: Airways Brewing

It’s all about great craft beer, locally sourced food and meaningful connections.
May 12th, 2017

Owners Dione (left) and Alex Dittmar serve up brews and locally sourced food at Airways Brewing in Kent, Washington. 

What better way to celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week than by celebrating the people and places that make Kent such a fun destination—like Airways Brewing. Owners Alex and Dione Dittmar have been brewing and pouring great craft beer at Airways Brewery and Taproom for more than seven years. Five years ago, they took the leap and opened Airways Brewing Bistro, serving up creative, locally sourced food. They believe Kent is the best place to do business. 

Why did you choose hospitality? 

Alex: The brewery was something that I wanted to do for quite a while and the taproom naturally came along with it. Then we decided to be in the restaurant business as well and took a leap of faith.

Why Kent?

Alex: When we were looking for a place to open, we knew we wanted to be in the area south of Seattle. Part of the reason was to avoid a long commute and part because we felt like, at the time, the area was underserved.

What is unique about your business?

Alex: We have so much focus on retail, and we decided to bring an upscale experience to Kent. I wanted a place where people could come and say, "Wow this is nice and the beer is really good." We also knew there was a market beyond the standard pub fare and we saw an opportunity.

What is your favorite customer memory?

Alex: It’s hard to pinpoint one. We’ve had several friendships built between customers who met by coming to the brewery. We have had people meet and start dating, and some have even gotten married. And it’s really cool to be able to say that. 

Where are your customers from?

Alex: When we first started, we had folks from Australia. They were here for work, and they helped keep us in business during the first six months. Others have come from Hawaii, the East Coast and Germany. People happen to be in the area looking for a good place for to eat or grab a beer and they find us. Hopefully they leave happy.

What do you think it means to the Kent community to have locally owned businesses like yours?

Alex: Sometimes the area south of Seattle ends up with a lot of chains and big business, and there are not a lot of places for people to call their own. We provide a place to call your own. We help provide revenue for the city and local jobs, and that is really important.
Dione: I think that’s true, I think it’s also the fact we started so small and the community has watched us grow up here. We have customers who have been coming in since day one, and they have been part of us growing and changing. I think that’s something people like to be part of. 
Alex: Yeah, we had 19 seats in our original taproom in 2010 and our current space can accommodate 110. The Bistro expanded from 35 seats to 70 indoor and 70 outdoor. So we have over 200 seats in Kent now.

What is the best part of your job?

Dione: Drinking the beer [chuckles]. No, it’s the people. It’s such a social atmosphere. There is an energy that helps you through the long, tough days of being a small-business owner. 
Alex: I would agree with Dione. We do all of the non-glamorous things like paying bills and taking out the trash, but once in a while you stop and say, "Hey, we make beer."

Fill in the blank: All Kent residents should invite their friends and family to visit Kent because ______?

Alex: We have a lot more to offer than people realize! There are a lot of great locally made products, like bread from Macrina Bakery, coffee from the Starbucks Roasting Plant and beer from Airways Brewing.

Airways Brewing is just one example of what makes Kent a wonderful place to live and visit. Explore your backyard. Invite your family and friends to find out for themselves why Kent is a destination city and use #WeAreKent on social media. Learn more about all there is to see and do in Kent.

Your hometown team: Seattle Thunderbirds

Don’t let the Seattle fool you…the T-birds are 100 percent Kent’s hometown team.
May 11th, 2017

National Travel and Tourism Week is the perfect time to tout all Kent has to offer, including top-notch competitive sports. Kent is home to the Seattle Thunderbirds, a major junior ice hockey team and part of the Western Hockey League. 

A Thunderbirds game offers fun for everyone–from fast-paced action on the ice to the always-popular "chuck a puck" (thousands of soft-foam hockey pucks simultaneously lobbed by fans onto the ice). The intimate 6,100-seat ShoWare venue brings fans close to all the action. And yes…it gets loud in there.

Russ Farwell, governor, president and general manager of the Thunderbirds, shares more about the organization, and what it means to oversee Kent’s hometown team.

How would you describe your role to someone from out of town or not familiar with the Thunderbirds/WHL? 

I oversee all aspects of the organization with a focus on the hockey operations of the team. Hockey operations includes putting together the team roster, scouting and identifying young hockey players for future teams, and representing the team to the league on all matters pertaining to the playing of the games and the rules of the game.  

In your 23 years with the organization, what is your favorite interaction with a fan? 

Looking back, my favorite interactions were with all the fans I met and talked to as we went through the ShoWare Center construction process. It was great to hear from fans that were just as excited as I was and the team was on building ShoWare Center. 

Besides the hockey, what is the best part of the fan experience at a game? 

It’s a fun time. We have been voted "the best place to take a first date" because there is never a dull moment and the night carries itself. It’s a credit to our staff that we’re always coming up with new promotions and unique entertainment for fans, like 2-for-Tuesday Nights, Pub Nights and Family Nights. 

What do you think it means to the Kent community to have the Thunderbirds call Kent home? 

We are growing the number of fans from Kent each year and we are making inroads with potential corporate partners in Kent and the surrounding communities. These are positive signs for us that the community is engaged with the team. People come to Kent to watch the Thunderbirds that would never have had a reason to come before, and it brings business and interest to the community. 

What is the best part of your job? 

Developing hockey players and coaches that move on to a pro career in the NHL or Europe, and developing young men who go on to successful careers outside of hockey. 

All Kent residents should attend a Thunderbirds game because…

There really are no down moments from start to finish, and they will have a fun night out with family and friends. We are Kent’s team, and it’s great to follow your hometown team. 

The Seattle Thunderbirds are just one of the great attractions that makes Kent a great place to be. Be a tourist in your own town, take in a game or two, and share the experience with your family and friends, and use #WeAreKent on social media. Learn more about all there is to see and do in Kent.

Making space for art: Create!

Kent-based Create! art studio is a place to create, inspire and build community.
May 9th, 2017

Deborah Larson (left) and Dorothey Allen work at Create! Art Studio in downtown Kent, Washington. 

National Travel and Tourism Week celebrates the people that keep the hospitality and travel industry humming. People like Dorothey Allen and Deborah Larson, co-managers of Create!, an art studio in Kent offering access to creative space and equipment, embody tourism.

Dorothey and Deborah sat down recently for a Q&A session to talk about their one-stop creative studio, their new bar, and what it is about that downtown Kent vibe that drew them in.

How long have you been in the hospitality business?

Deborah: We had our grand opening last month and soft opening in February. During the soft opening, we had five artists with their displays and live music. And probably about 50 people. Not bad for a first night.

What made you want to open your business?

Deborah: It started with a glass piece that I cut out and put together. I called around trying to find kiln space. And everybody either didn’t have a kiln for glass or they didn’t have one that was the right size or... you know. And so, I started thinking, I can’t be the only one who does this and would like to find some place to do it. It kind of grew from glass to ceramics, because they both use kilns, and painting. It just kind of evolved from there. It kind of turned into a convenience stop for artists.

Why did you choose Kent?

Deborah: I’ve lived in the Kent area for the last 12 years…and I just like the downtown vibe. There are several art galleries nearby. And Third Thursday Art Night is so much fun. It just felt like this is where it needed to be.

Can you describe the kind of people who come in? Have most of them been Kent locals? Visitors?

Deborah: I think most of our customers have been Kent locals, but we have also had some from Aberdeen and Tacoma.

What is unique about your business? Why should people come and visit?

Dorothey: There is not anything like this anywhere in or near Kent. And it’s a one-stop shop. You can do all your art here in a unique space. It’s a really creative feel. It’s a community where you can get inspiration from other people and work together. 

You have a bar as well. How long has that been open?

Deborah: It opened in time for the grand opening. We really emphasize local products. Our beers are from Airways Brewing in Kent, Northwest Brewing in Pacific and Black Raven Brewing in Redmond.
Dorothey: Alki Bakery provides our food, and we purchased our pottery in Tacoma. We get as much as we can here in Washington. It’s important we trade right here.

What do you think it means to the Kent community to have locally owned businesses like yours?

Deborah: We’ve had people come in and say that just walking in makes them feel more creative. Which is the best compliment I could ever think of.

What is the best part of your job?

Dorothey: I like interacting with the members and the guests. We’ve got some really cool members. So, it’s a lot of fun…just interacting with the people. I love that part. 
Deborah: It’s the only job that I’ve ever had where, if you don’t have any tasks that need doing, you can play.

Fill in the blank: All Kent residents should invite their friends and family to visit Kent because …

Dorothey: It’s a very diverse population.
Deborah: We love the diversity here.
Dorothey: And there is a lot of creativity and friendly people. And we’re here!

Feeling creative? Create! can take care of that, right here in Kent. Explore your backyard and find out all there is to see and do. And be sure to invite your family and friends to share the experience and use #WeAreKent on social media.

So close you can touch it: Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum

Kent is home to a one-of-a-kind museum dedicated to powerboat racing.
May 8th, 2017

National Travel and Tourism Week is a great time to take stock of all there is to see, do and experience right here in Kent. Like the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum, home to memorabilia, rare racing footage and a collection of vintage hydroplanes spanning seven decades, and the only place in the world where you can get up close and personal with high-speed powerboats. 

At the helm of it all is Executive Director David Williams, who recently sat down for a Q&A session about one of Kent’s most popular attractions. 

How long has the museum been around? Has it always been in Kent?

We opened in 1982 and moved to Kent from South Seattle in 2003.

How long have you been with the Hydroplane & Raceboat Museum?

Nearly 20 years—I began volunteering at the Hydroplane Museum in 1993 and joined full-time in 1996.

What is your favorite customer memory? 

A neat thing happened the other day. We had three separate groups in a for a tour—a senior group, a troop of Boy Scouts and a group of developmentally disabled individuals. Despite the differences between the groups, the experience we offer—being able to touch and feel the hydroplanes—hit the mark with all three at once. It’s a pretty cool feeling.

What do you think it means to the Kent community to have a tourism attraction like yours?

There is no other museum like it in the country! We are the nation’s only public museum dedicated solely to powerboat racing.  

What is the best part of your job?

You could ask me this question every day and I would have a different answer for you. One day it’s finishing a restoration, the next it’s sharing our powerboats on a group tour, another night it’s hosting a work party for our volunteers who help restore our boats. This place is alive, almost like Santa’s Workshop, and every day is unique. 

Fill in the blank: All Kent residents should invite their friends and family to visit Kent because…

…of the unique flavor and experiences our city offers. Whether you want fresh Northwest seafood or authentic barbeque, or want to get close enough to touch a powerboat, we have the place for you.

The Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum is one of many attractions right in your backyard. Take a spin around Kent, and invite your family and friends to join you for the adventure, and use #WeAreKent on social media. Learn more about all there is to see and do in Kent.

National Travel and Tourism Week Kent Prize Pack

Love Kent? Tell us why your friends and family should experience the city to enter to win local prizes!
May 7th, 2017

National Travel and Tourism week is upon us! Cities nationwide are celebrating the people who create unique, authentic experiences in their communities. From May 7 to May 13, we’re introducing the Faces of Kent. Follow us on Facebook and share why your friends and family should experience Kent for a chance to win a prize pack, which includes:
Contest closes at midnight Pacific Time on Sunday, May 14. Don’t delay—tell us on Facebook why visitors should experience Kent! A winner will be announced Monday, May 15 at 3 p.m. Winner will be chosen at random, using a winner generator tool. 

The Road to Paradise

Kent is the perfect basecamp for your Washington state adventure, with affordable and family-friendly overnight options perfect for mini road trips.
May 3rd, 2017

Allow a full day to explore some of the Pacific Northwest's most beautiful and adventurous sites.

That majestic mountain in the distance is closer than you think. A visit to Mount Rainier from Kent is a perfect day trip, and there are some fun stops along the way.
  • Northwest Trek
    Kids of all ages won’t want to miss Northwest Trek wildlife and adventure park. A narrated 50-minute tram tour features more than 200 North American animals grazing in fields, meandering through forests and sometimes standing alongside the tram. Young ones will love the nature-inspired Kids Trek playground. Adventurers will like the zip-line challenge courses.
  • Historic Elbe
    Make a lunch stop at Elbe. Grab a burger and home-made shake at Scale Burger and hop aboard the Mount Rainier Railroad for a fun, friendly and picturesque ride across the glacial-fed Upper Nisqually River through the Mount Rainier foothills. The train tour includes a visit to a logging museum.
  • Welcome to Paradise
    Spring time is a must time to visit Mount Rainier. Fewer crowds make for a more leisurely visitor experience. And while a lot of the park is still under snow, you’ll have access to some great sites and activities. The scenic drive to Paradise offers switch-backing roads and peak views and leads you right to the base of the 14,411-foot mountain. Stop in at the Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center to find out what Mount Rainier is all about and learn more about what to do and see. A family-friendly walk from Paradise on the Edith Creek Trail will take you to Myrtle Falls and one of the most photographed views in the park. Remember, Mount Rainier makes its own weather, so be prepared. Check ahead to confirm road and facility status. Learn more about how to make the most of your Mount Rainier visit

Celebrate Mother's Day away in Kent

From painting to picnicking, Kent has some great options for celebrating the best mom ever.
May 1st, 2017

May 14 is Mother’s Day, and Kent is a great place to celebrate that special woman in your life. She’s kind of a big deal, so make a weekend of it and stay at one of Kent’s many hotels or Airbnb accommodations. Here’s a weekend worth of fun:

She’s the macaroni-art queen, after all
Give Mom some time with her budding Pablo Picasso or Freda Kahlo. Artsy Fartsy Art Lessons is hosting a Mommy and Me Paint and Tea Party, 4 p.m. May 13. Cost is $30 per mom and child; $5 per additional child. Seating limited to 15 moms.  

Dine al fresco at Lake Meridian Park
Pick up lunch at Jersey Mike’s Subs and enjoy a day out in nature at Lake Meridian Park. While the kids play on the colorful and creative lakeside playground, Mom can stroll the sandy beach or stretch out with a good book. Make the day complete with a visit to Rita’s Italian Ice and Frozen Custard

Saddle up the family and bike to Emerald Downs
Emerald Downs racetrack is less than five miles from Kent via the Interurban Trail. In addition to horse racing, Emerald Downs will offer a special Mother’s Day buffet, family activities and special giveaways. Admission is always free for children 17 and under. 

Cross the finish line in downtown Kent, and park the bikes at Airways Brewing Bistro so Mom can enjoy some locally sourced bites and a Jumbo Juice IPA.

Nothing says Mother’s Day like brunch
Transport Mom to Italy with a visit to Paolos Italian Restaurant. The Tuscan-inspired eatery will serve a Mother’s Day Italian brunch buffet and special dinner-menu options. Duke’s Chowder House, in the heart of Kent Station, will have special Mother’s Day brunch selections on the menu, alongside Duke’s renowned chowder and wild Alaskan salmon. 

Just relax, Mom!
Treat Mom to a massage at Hand and Stone Massage and Facial Spa at Kent Station (where U.S. National Women’s Soccer star Carli Lloyd unwinds). Post-massage hydration is a must; include a gift card for Reds Wine Bar where Mom can enjoy a glass of Washington wine with a big side of H2O.

Evolve Yoga and Massage in downtown Kent is a great place where Mom can stop, breath and reconnect. A home-baked goodie from nearby Wild Wheat Bakery is the perfect compliment to a session on the mat.

That’s just a taste. Check out more dining options—along with all there is to see and do—in Kent.



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