As one of the fastest growing cities in the United States, Kent, Washington has a lot to offer. Check out nine facts that make the city stand out from the crowd.
March 22nd, 2017
In the 1920s and '30s, Kent was known as the Lettuce Capital of the World. Festival-goers stand on top of a float at the 1936 Lettuce Festival in Kent, Washington. Courtesy Photo: Greater Kent Historical Society Museum
Did you know Kent is the fastest growing city in Washington state? Not only that, WalletHub® ranked Kent as the fourth-fastest growing city in the United States. Here are some more fun facts about Kent.
- Kent was incorporated in 1890 with a population of 793
- Today, Kent has a population of nearly 126,000 and covers 34 squares miles
- Kent is ranked in the top 10 as one of the most culturally diverse cities in the country, and in the top three among mid-sized cities. More than 130 languages are spoken in Kent homes, businesses and schools.
- Kent is the fourth-largest manufacturing and distribution center in the nation
- More than 8,000 businesses call Kent home, including Amazon, Boeing Space and Defense, Oberto Sausage Company, REI, Tazo Tea and one of only five Starbucks' roasting plants in the United States
- The city’s extensive park system includes more than 70 parks, playfields, trails and open spaces
- Kent Station is the midpoint for the Seattle Sounder train between Tacoma/Lakewood to the south and Seattle to the north. In addition to weekday commuter runs, the Sounder operates special trains for many weekend Mariners, Seahawks and Sounders games
- Kent was originally named Titusville after one of the original settlers, James Henry Titus. So why the name change? Hops production was the town’s major source of income during its early days. That’s why in 1889 the founding folks changed its name for the County of Kent, a major hops-producing area in England
- In the 1920s and ‘30s, Kent was known as the Lettuce Capital of the World. The lettuce fields eventually made way for the Boeing Space Center where the Apollo Lunar Rover was built in 1965
Love bacon and eggs? Visit five cafes, bakeries and restaurants in Kent for a mouth-watering breakfast.
March 20th, 2017
Got a hankering for a hearty breakfast? Whether you’re corralling the family for a weekend meal, looking for an early-morning date spot, or just want some alone time with good grub and hot coffee, Kent has some great places to eat and greet the day…and at a bargain to boot.
A hot spot for locals. Try the house-made corned beef hash or Maggie’s Mess—sautéed onions and sausage or ham over hash browns and slathered in gravy. Weekend visitors can opt for a slice of Maggie’s special quiche. Kids will like the fruit-face pancakes.
- Breakfast served: 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
- Location: 307 W. Meeker St.
Mary’s Fine Foods
A Kent East Hill fixture and favorite for decades, Mary’s is noted for its exceptional breakfast selections and 70s-era décor. California Eggs Benedict is a favorite.
- Breakfast served: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday
- Location: 23641 104th Ave. SE.
Sara’s Coffee Shop
This old-school diner is legit. No frills, just a cozy, classic downtown spot serving up traditional breakfast fare morning to night. The corned beef hash gets rave reviews.
- Breakfast served: Daily 5 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Location: 212 Central Ave. N.
Yeah, yeah…the name’s a little corny, but the authentic Hawaiian food is no joke. Try the Haleakala breakfast with Portuguese sausage, Kailua pig with rice and eggs, or macadamia nut pancakes. Kids will love the Mickey Mouse hotcakes.
- Breakfast served: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
- Location: 6621 S. 211th St.
This airy corner café offers a friendly vibe and fresh artisanal dishes including classic breakfasts, gourmet omelets and "Grandma Minnie’s Blintzes." Baked goods and cold smoked lox are made on site, and the cafe roasts its own coffee. Sidewalk seating lends a European flare.
- Breakfast served: 7 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday
- Location: 202 1st Ave. S.
This is just a taste of what Kent has to offer. Be sure to check out more dining options
…for breakfast and beyond.
Explore St. Patrick's Day events in Kent, Washington—from traditional to out-of-the-ordinary.
March 13th, 2017
When it comes to St. Patrick’s Day, aren’t we all Irish? From traditional to tropical, Kent offers some great options to celebrate the patron saint of Ireland.
Kiss me, I’m an Irish pub
For a wee cover charge of just $5 per person, The Celtic Club Irish Pub
offers an evening packed with music, Irish fare and triple-distilled/triple-blend whiskey. Live bands will be on tap, offering folk and Irish melodies, and an Elvis tribute thrown in for good measure. Order up the corned beef and cabbage, bangers and mash, or Irish stew. Wash it down with a Tullamore D.E.W. whiskey Irish mule or one of several Irish beers available.
Brisket and brews
Located in Kent’s historic downtown, Airways Brewing and Bistro
will be honoring St. Paddy with some tasty Gaelic fare, including a unique spin on a St. Patrick’s Day favorite—corned buffalo brisket. Pair your entrée with a pint of Airways Irish Stout, released just for the occasion. You can also sip the stout, along with a lot of other great craft brews, at the Airways Brewery and Tap Room, located just a couple miles away.
Aloha, St. Paddy
Looking for a less traditional St. Patrick’s Day evening out? Maybe something that conjures up more beach than Blarney Stone? Take in a swingin’ evening with Kahulanui
at the Kent-Meridian Performing Arts Center. The Grammy-nominated ensemble blends traditional Hawaiian music with big band stylings of the 1920s and ‘30s. You might not be moved to do an Irish jig, but the unique blend of horns, guitars, ukes, bass, drums and steel will have surely have you doing the hula or dancing the jitterbug.
Whether you are a frequent visitor to Kent or a resident, you’ll see a lot of public art throughout the city – downtown Kent, East Hill, West Hill and the Kent Valley.
September 29th, 2016
Whether you are a frequent visitor to Kent or a resident, you’ll see a lot of public art throughout the city – downtown Kent, East Hill, West Hill and the Kent Valley. In fact, we pride ourselves on the beauty of our city and enhancing it with work from local artists. Here are a few notable examples you’ll want to put on your "must see" list during your next visit to Kent, Washington. Enjoy!
See fall colors and learn about seasonal birds firsthand at Soos Creek Botanical Garden’s Red Barn Event in Kent WA on Wednesday, Sept. 21
September 27th, 2016
Fall is such a beautiful time of year, particularly in Kent, Washington. Ideal for Outdoor Enthusiasts, Kent has a mild climate with temperatures in the 60s and 70s and our leaves change color early in the season. See fall colors and learn about seasonal birds firsthand at Soos Creek Botanical Garden’s Red Barn Event on Wednesday, Sept. 21 (12:30 PM – 1:30 PM).
Photographer Jay Galvin, a Washington native, will uncover what seasonal birds and fall colors he’s seen at the Soos Creek Botanical Garden
and explain how we can help these beautiful birds have a safe journey to their winter destinations.
Soos Creek Botanical Garden is also hosting their annual plant sale on Friday, Sept. 23 and Saturday, Sept. 24 from 10 AM to 4 PM each day. Guests can purchase a growing selection of perennials, trees and shrubs propagated at the garden.
The Seattle Thunderbirds, the 2015-16 WHL Western Conference Champions, are returning to the ice for the 2016-17 pre-season at ShoWare Center in Kent WA
The T-Birds return to the ice for the 2016-17 pre-season at ShoWare Center in Kent.
September 22nd, 2016
Are you ready for some hockey, Sports Nuts? The Seattle Thunderbirds
, the 2015-16 WHL Western Conference Champions, are ready for you.
The T-Birds return to the ice for the 2016-17 pre-season at ShoWare Center
in Kent. They face off against the Everett Silvertips in pre-season play on Friday, September 16.
Their Home Season opener against the Portland Winterhawks is Saturday, October 1 at ShoWare. Immediately before the game which starts at 7:05 PM, the T-Birds will host a Party on the Plaza with food, music and beer garden (21+ only) and more!
Single game tickets and season tickets are on sale now. Buy tickets and download the 2016-17 Seattle Thunderbirds hockey schedule at SeattleThunderbirds.com
Coming to Kent for the game but don’t want to drive home after the game? Check out some of Kent’s hotels, conveniently located within miles of ShoWare Center. Visit our Stay page
Here are some of the newest restaurants, taverns, and tap rooms in Kent, WA for visiting foodies to try.
September 20th, 2016
Kent is growing and, as a result, we’ve got some new hot spots for Kent visitors to try. Here are a few of the newest restaurants, taverns and tap rooms for visiting Foodies to try:Macrina Bakery
Founded in Seattle in 1993, Macrina Bakery (19215 66th Ave. S., Kent) has moved its production facility to the Kent Valley. Along with baking the deliciously fresh breads and pastries Macrina is known for, Macina also opened a café, open weekdays from 6 AM to 3 PM. Visitors can enjoy a tasty treat off the breakfast menu like a brioche egg sandwich, café quiche or a dill scone with cream cheese, or stop by for lunch out on the patio with a carne salad, demi baguette sandwich or three-cheese macaroni with turkey.
Scotch and Vine
at Riverbend Golf Complex
Scotch and Vine opened its original restaurant in Des Moines, but has since expanded to serve golfers and guests at the Riverbend Golf Complex (2019 W. Meeker St., Kent) just outside of downtown Kent. Serving new American cuisine and a selection of whiskey and wine, the restaurant is open daily from 11 AM to 9 PM for lunch and dinner. We recommend the bacon cheeseburger and fries or the beef and bleu salad.
Airways original Tap Room opened in Kent in March 2010, but quickly expanded to include a bistro in downtown Kent. Airways has grown again, replacing its original Brewery and Tap Room
with a spacious new location at 8611 S. 212th St. in the Kent Valley. Airways serves its own craft beers. Though it doesn’t serve food, guests are welcome to bring in food from surrounding Kent restaurants and food trucks. Airways is debuting a few new brews, so this is a great time to sample their offerings: Jumbo Juice IPA and Mosaic Pale.Togo’s
If you think you know a great sandwich, Togo’s will make you think again with its West Coast Original sandwiches. Located at Kent Station
(438 Ramsay Way, Ste. 111, Kent), Togo’s has a variety of hearty sandwiches (hot, cold or toasted), signature sandwiches, veggies, salads, salad wraps, sandwich wraps, soups and sides. Open daily, 10 AM to 8 PM. Togo’s Kent location offers delivery, catering, free WiFi and an outdoor patio.
Hosted by ShoWare Center, Kalalaya is proud to present Maestro Padma Bhushan IIaiyaraaja, India’s most famous music director, in Kent on Wed., Sept. 14 at 7 PM.
September 15th, 2016
Hosted by ShoWare Center
, Kalalaya is proud to present Maestro Padma Bhushan IIaiyaraaja, India’s most famous music director, in Kent on Wed., Sept. 14 at 7 PM. Visiting for the first time, Maestro IIaiyaraaja will conduct a live concert in Tamil and Telugu. He is coming with popular cine singers and more than 50 artists from Symphony Orchestra.
He will be here for one show only, so get your tickets today
! Tickets start at $39. VIP tickets are available and include a "meet and greet" with select performers. Doors open at 6 PM, but we encourage you to come early and enjoy dinner in beautiful downtown Kent. Visit our Dining page
for dozens of options.
To kick off South King Country Pride weekend, volunteers are hosting South King County Pride Bingo to benefit Kent Youth and Family Services who will use the proceeds to expand its LGBT counseling program.
September 13th, 2016
Seattle celebrates Pride month in June, but in Kent and South King County, we celebrate Pride in September. To kick off South King Country Pride weekend, volunteers are hosting South King County Pride Bingo
to benefit Kent Youth and Family Services
who will use the proceeds to expand its LGBT counseling program.
South King Country Pride Bingo
Friday, Sept. 9, 6 – 9 PM
Kent Senior Activity Center
600 E. Smith St., Kent, WA 98030
Come to Kent to help us celebrate South King County Pride weekend and enjoy laughs, food, drinks and fun while making a difference in the lives of vulnerable youth in South King County. Kent is proud of our diversity, and we welcome people of all backgrounds.
If you are a family fun seeker, you can’t miss the Washington State Fair in Puyallup from Sept. 2 through Sept. 25 (except Tuesdays).
September 8th, 2016
If you are a f
eeker, you can’t miss the Washington State Fair
in Puyallup from Sept. 2 through Sept. 25 (except Tuesdays). Just a 20-minute drive from Kent on Hwy. 167, you are in for a great day of fun in the warm fall sun. Here are a few of the activities and attractions at this wildly popular state fair:
- Columbia Bank Concert Series with stars including Kid Rock, Tim McGraw, Smash Mouth, Alan Jackson, Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy and more!
- Discover the Dinosaurs
- Big Washington Meet & Greet
- Beer Haven
- Timber Gulch
- SuperHero Headquarters
- Free Music and Shows
- Midway Rides and SillyVille Kids’ Rides
- Animals including Piglet Palace, Fair Farm and Draft Horses
- Arts and Culture
- Activities just for kids
- Tractor Tracks
- Cowboy Boot Camp
- Wool Riders Only
- Interactive Fun
- Fair exhibits
And, of course, there will be great fair food which is always a treat! There is so much to see and do at the Washington State Fair that you might want to make a weekend of it. Book a hotel in Kent
and drive to the fair from here. We’ve got clean, comfortable, affordable family-friendly hotels eager to welcome you to Kent!
Do all your back-to-school shopping in Kent!
September 6th, 2016
Whether your kids have gone back to school already or will start soon, they undoubtedly need extra clothes, shoes, backpacks and school supplies – including household items and furnishings for their dorm rooms. We’ve got it covered.Do all your back-to-school shopping in Kent!Big 5 Sporting GoodsClaire’s
(in Covington, just minutes from Kent)Fred Meyer
(2 stores in Kent, 1 in Covington)IKEA
(in Renton, 10 minutes from Kent)Kent Station
(in Covington, just minutes from Kent)Office Depot
(in Covington, just minutes from Kent)
The Outlet Collection
(in Auburn, 15 minutes from Kent)Payless ShoeSource
(Kent and Covington)PriceCoRossSouthcenter Mall
(in Tukwila, 10 minutes from Kent)
Kent has so much to see and do that it is hard to do it all in one day, but it is perfect for a long weekend like the upcoming Labor Day weekend!
August 18th, 2016
Kent has so much to see and do that it is hard to do it all in one day, but it is perfect for a long weekend like the upcoming Labor Day weekend! Come for an event, stay to shop and dine, and visit our great parks, museums and other attractions. There is always something to do in Kent, and it is always more fun when you stay overnight.We recommend the following Kent hotels for your next stay:
Hampton Inn & Suites
Best Western Plaza by the Green
Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham
Marriott TownePlace Suites
Red Lion Inn & Suites Hotel
Whether you are looking for a family-friendly hotel or accommodations for extending your next business trip, Kent has the right hotel for your needs and budget. Visit our Stay page
for details including contact information.
We look forward to seeing you soon!
Located on Kent’s East Hill, Sports Nuts will LOVE the Wilson Playfields Sports Complex (13028 SE 251st St., Kent, Washington), the perfect place for baseball, softball or soccer for daytime or nighttime games.
August 16th, 2016
Located on Kent’s East Hill, Sports Nuts will LOVE the Wilson Playfields Sports Complex (13028 SE 251st St., Kent, Washington), the perfect place for baseball, softball or soccer for daytime or nighttime games. The synthetic turf is almost new, replaced in the summer of 2014. Other amenities at Wilson Playfields include:
• 3 baseball/softball fields
• 3 soccer fields
• 3 flag football fields
• Field lights for nighttime games
• 270 parking stalls, including disabled parking access
• Restrooms with picnic shelters and tables
• Drinking fountains
• Public art
To learn more about the Sports Complex, click here
, or to schedule your teams’ games, click here
If you love car shows or the Seattle Seahawks, you’ll love KDP’s annual Hawktoberfest held in downtown Kent on Meeker Street between First and Fourth Avenues. Wilson the Pony will make a special appearance. There will also be a live DJ, kids’ activities,
August 11th, 2016
Kent Downtown Partnership
is rustling up some fun events next month, ideal for Sports Nuts and Outdoor Enthusiasts.
Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016
Kent Downtown Partnership Golf Tournament
$100 per golfer, teams of 4
Games, Prizes, Raffles and a Dinner Catered by Down Home Catering
Hole-in-one prize is a chance to win a 2017 Ford Truck for two years from Bowen Scarff Ford Lincoln.
First Prize: $100 gift card to Riverbend Pro Shop per player on the winning team
Second Prize Team: $75 gift card to Riverbend Pro Shop per player on the winning team
Third Prize: gift card to Riverbend Pro Shop per player on the winning team
Proceeds will help support Kent Downtown Partnership and downtown Kent. More details here
Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016Annual HAWKtoberfest Car Show
11 AM – 3 PM
Free to the Public
If you love car shows or the Seattle Seahawks, you’ll love KDP’s annual Hawktoberfest held in downtown Kent on Meeker Street between First and Fourth Avenues. Wilson the Pony will make a special appearance. There will also be a live DJ, kids’ activities, surprises and more.
Come discover downtown Kent at this fun, free family event! Interested in entering a car decorated for everyone’s favorite football team? Vehicle registration is $20 per car and begins at 10 AM the day of the event. Contact KDP at 253-813-6976 with questions.
Come to Kent for the event and stay for the weekend! We’ve got lots of family-friendly, affordable hotels and motels
to choose from. Stay in Kent
If you are an Outdoor Enthusiast, Family Fun Seeker, or Sports Nut, you’ll Kent4Health’s Summer "Walk to Wellness" Trail Walks, held every Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning through September 28.
August 9th, 2016
If you are an Outdoor Enthusiast, Family Fun Seeker, or Sports Nut, you’ll Kent4Health’s Summer "Walk to Wellness" Trail Walks, held every Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning through September 28.
Tuesday evening walks are 6 PM to 7:30 PM and Wednesday morning walks are 9 AM to 11 AM. Trail walks are self-guided but are well-attended, so there is usually someone to accompany those new to the trails. It is toasty warm in Kent this time of year, so bring a bottle of water to stay hydrated and wear good walking shoes. Here is the schedule for the rest of the summer:
August 23: Soos Creek Trail South, trailhead at Gary Grant Park, SE 208th St. at 136th, Kent
August 24: Green River Trail North/Riverview Park, Hawley Rd. at S. 255th, Kent
Aug. 30: Clark Lake Park, entrance on 248th, 12711 SE 248th St., Kent
Aug. 31: Soos Creek Trail, trailhead near Lake Meridian, 148th Ave. SE & SE 266th St., Kent
Sept. 6: Chestnut Ridge Park, 9901 S. 203rd St., Kent
Sept. 7: Green River Trail/Three Friends Fishing Hole, 2021 Green River Trail, Kent
Sept. 13: Green River Trail/Three Friends Fishing Hole, 2021 Green River Trail, Kent
Sept. 14: Van Doren’s Landing/Puget Power Trail, 21901 Russel Rd., Kent
Sept. 20: West Fenwick Park, 3808 Reith Rd., Kent
Sept. 21: Glenn Nelson Park, 3216 S. 268th St., Kent
Sept. 27: Morrill Meadows Park, 10600 SE 248th St., Kent
Sept. 28: Morrill Meadows Park, 10600 SE 248th St., KentGet additional info. here
including what to know before you go, download a current schedule, subscribe to the Kent4Health email list, or view photos from previous walks. Hope to see you on the Kent trails this summer!