Black History Month in Tukwila

Black History Month is a time for us to celebrate, acknowledge, and learn about the achievements and resilience of African Americans in our communities and beyond. Below we’ve compiled some resources and links to help folks actively participate in Black history not just in February, but throughout the year — to continue to engage, honor, and learn.

Learn more about Tukwila’s history

Watch this first-hand account by local resident Wayne Perryman discussing his experience growing up around Tukwila before the development of Southcenter Mall.

Support a local Black-owned business

  • Halwo Kismayo and Grill: Casual spot very popular within the East African community, featuring Somali snacks, box lunches, chai tea, and friendly service.
  • Juba Restaurant & Cafe: Lively East African restaurant perfect for a quick bite, specialty desserts, and comfort food in a casual setting.
  • Sahara Cafe: Counter-serve eatery offering a range of traditional East African comfort dishes.
  • Salama Restaurant and Cafe: Laid-back restaurant offering a range of traditional African comfort dishes.
  • Spice Bridge Food Hall: Global food hall featuring a rotation of eight woman-owned immigrant eateries from around the world, home of the Food Business Incubator program.
  • The Brown Pecan: Mother and Daughter-run business providing candied pecans that are sweet with a little bit of heat.
  • Legacy Gaming Community: Gaming café hosting PC Gaming with the best graphics in HD, 4K, and preparing for 4H graphics to ensure they are cutting edge.

Continued Learning – Black History Month Resources
National Resources

Washington State Resources

King County Resources

Stream These Documentaries

  • African American: Many Rivers to Cross
  • Forgotten Four: The Integration of Pro Football 
  • High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America
  • Jimi Hendrix: Hear My Train Comin’
  • 13th  
  • Venus and Serena  
  • The Loving Story

Tukwila Makes Innovation Possible

Situated snuggly along the I-5 corridor just south of Seattle and east of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, the city of Tukwila is a basin of attraction for people with big ideas and even bigger dreams. Large manufacturing facilities and spacious warehouses fill gaps between restaurants, movie theaters, and small local businesses, offering ample opportunity for entrepreneurs looking to bring their first proof of concept to life or for the longstanding business owner who wishes to shift operations to a more welcoming and bustling area. Due in large part to the technology boom of the nineties and a long, storied history of aerospace advancements, Tukwila is known across the region as a hub for innovation. Now, look at some exciting businesses shaking things up on the southside.


Avalanche Energy:
In need of a new Orbitron? It may sound like a gizmo you would find in Doc’s garage from “Back to the Future,” but the Orbitron is 100% real and 100% game-changing. The brilliant minds over at Avalanche Energy are currently hard at work trying to make massive breakthroughs in fusion technology to bring this little microreactor to life and eventually to market. Inspired by a passion to help combat the climate crisis and move humanity toward a new energy future, the founders of Avalanche Energy chose Tukwila for their startup because of its prime location, availability of warehouse space, and being surrounded by other incredible minds in similar forward-thinking industries. Take a closer look at Avalanche’s work to make fusion energy possible.


Right now, there are hundreds of small satellites flying in low Earth orbit with thousands planned to join them by the end of the decade. Even more fascinating, some of those satellites got their start over in a little corner of Tukwila. LeoStella is a state-of-the-art small satellite manufacturing company, redefining how high-quality Earth observation constellations are built. Focusing primarily on satellite constellations, the team is leading the way in reducing development costs and time to bring a fully operational product online in just three to four months—about half the amount of time as other companies in the industry. Over the past five years, the company has delivered 19 small satellites to LEO with many more planned for near future. The space they occupy in Tukwila is rather unconventional for their type of work. Originally designed for standard office use, LeoStella renovated their space to include an ISO class 8 cleanroom/production floor for assembling the satellites. Take a closer look at this impressive operation that shoots for the stars. 


Seattle Chocolate Company:
You know the packaging, you know the flavors, but did you know that Seattle Chocolate Company is located in Tukwila? It’s true! One of the most iconic names in chocolate can be found in a candy-colored building just south of town. It’s the stuff of dreams to have a neighborhood chocolate factory. As part of a larger rebrand in the mid-2000s, Seattle Chocolate Company moved operations to Tukwila where it has been raising the chocolate bar ever since. Owner, Jean Thompson claims that purchasing the building that would become the factory’s new home in Tukwila “was the single best investment I ever made.” With help from her daughter Ellie, Jean is setting an example for the entire industry by producing ethically sourced chocolate in their carbon-neutral Tukwila facility. Take a closer look at the amazing chocolatey concoctions they dream up.


And that’s just a small taste of the many incredible businesses operating out of Tukwila. Go anywhere around town and you’ll find pockets of innovation brimming with talented minds working together to bring new creative ideas to life. 

We love celebrating these businesses and the people behind the work. We even made a video to prove it! Be on the lookout for the launch of Tukwila Makes Anything Possible—a video highlighting the three companies above and how they contribute to the larger fabric of innovation here in Tukwila.

Tukwila’s 2023 Holiday Gift Guide

Nestled right there between Taylor Swift’s Eras World Tour, Barbenheimer, and Fat Bear Week is the 2023 Tukwila Holiday Gift Guide. This event comes just once a year, but the joy it produces is pretty much limitless. We’ve made our list and checked it twice. Now it’s your turn to give it a once over. You’ll see a lot of returning favorites as well as many new faces this year. So go ahead, dive in, dig around, and come away with amazing gift ideas that will help you win the holidays! 

For the Mega Fan:

    • Seawolves Jersey/2024 Season TicketsShow your commitment to the best rugby team in the universe (we’re not biased, promise). Sport a fresh new jersey, or go all in on season tickets for the Seawolves 2024 season!
    • OL Reign/Sounders Merch: Tukwila is overflowing with talent, which means you should be overloaded with swag. Grab the latest OL Reign and Seattle Sounders merch to complete your full #champstrainintukwila wardrobe. 

For the Sporty:

    • Mayweather Boxing: Here’s a gift that’s undefeated – a membership to Mayweather Boxing! Train like a champ in this one-of-a-kind, high-intensity gym that builds community and muscle. 
    • Starfire Camps for Kids/ Adult Drop-Ins: You can’t score a goal with an iPad. Give your kid the gift that keeps on giving them a reason to be outside. Starfire Sports has plenty of camps for kids eager to take to the pitch.
    • Foster Golf Links: There’s nothing quite like sending a tiny ball sailing through a hall of towering Douglas firs and lush ferns. Don’t miss out on the holiday special at Foster Golf Links!

For the Playful:

    • Sykart: This is an easy one because everyone loves go-karts. If they say otherwise, they’re lying. Take your gift-giving from 0 to 60 with Sykart – the PNW’s premiere indoor go-kart track. 
    • Dimension XR: Every year someone gives the gift of a VR headset. And every year a living room gets destroyed. This year, protect your house by leaving VR to the professionals. Book a reservation at Dimension XR today.
    • Legacy Gaming: Gaming lounges are a great way to enjoy classic video games and make friends. Legacy Gaming offers a wide range of packages for every type of gamer.
    • iFly: Experience what it’s like to drop from thousands of feet in the air while barely leaving the ground. iFly is a fun way for the whole family to experience a whole new level of joy this holiday season.
    • Tukwila Family Fun Center: Spend the holidays at everyone’s favorite fun center. Right now, Tukwila Family Fun Center is offering $10 off when you buy $50 in gift certificates. Go-karts, bowling, games, and more!
    • Defy: You haven’t trampolined until you’ve trampolined at Defy. Give the gift of defying gravity with a membership card + a Holidays Perks Passport.

For the Experiential Type:

    • Meadmaking ClassHere’s a pretty sweet idea for the holidays – mead-making! Connect to thousands of years of history with a private mead-making class from Jon Oppegaard, the Owner and Head Meadmaker for Oppegaard Meadery. Want to read more about the business before you commit? Check out the blog on our recent meadery visit!
    • Seattle Chocolate Factory Tour: Speaking of sweet, what’s a holiday gift guide without Seattle Chocolate? Treat your family and friends to a factory tour of this Tukwila institution to see how much love goes into making your favorite bar of chocolate.
    • Tickets to Rainier Symphony: For all the music lovers out there, Tukwila is home to one of the finest community orchestras around. Grab tickets for a night at the Rainier Symphony listening to all your favorite holiday classics.
    • Museum of Flight Membership: A full-size airplane won’t fit in a gift box, but a membership to The Museum of Flight will! With over 175 aircraft and spacecraft, dozens of exhibits, and thousands of artifacts, it’s the perfect gift for the history buff in your family. While you’re on their site, check out their rocking gift guide for more inspiration.

For the Foodie:

    • Spice Bridge Shop: Everyone knows Spice Bridge for their amazing rotating menu of globally inspired dishes. But did you know they also have a swag shop? Pick up a tote or gift card for that special foodie in your family!
    • Bacovino Wine: A wine tasting never misses. Take that special someone out for a romantic night at Bacovino Wine. There’s a tasting room in Tukwila? You bet your cork there is!

For the Stylish: 

    • SouthcenterWhen you don’t know how to shop for someone, just give them the gift of shopping! Westfield Southcenter has gift cards for all the amazing brands in Washington’s favorite mall.
    • The Cool NW Clothing: Help them update their wardrobe with The Cool NW – a lifestyle boutique that has been creating elevated streetwear in Tukwila since 2009.

Thank You, Tukwila

Brisk autumn air has finally swept through Tukwila, shaking the green from leaves and blowing festive wool scarves and knitted hats out from their seasonal hiding places. We’re just days out from one of the biggest hits of the holiday season, Thanksgiving. All that matters is family, food, and appreciating the many wonderful moments we get to experience in this life. So why don’t we all gather around the proverbial table and share a little bit about what we’re most thankful for. Here, we’ll go first! 

Our Diverse Dining Scene

We’re thankful that Tukwila has cultivated such a diverse dining scene. There are so many unique ways to break bread in this city and so many wonderful people providing it. From enjoying worldly dishes cooked up by immigrant and refugee chefs at Spice Bridge to gathering family and friends for a round of wings and football at Billy Baroo’s, Tukwila is home to every way to enjoy a delicious meal.

Our Inspiring Champions

We’re thankful for the many professional sports teams that inspire us and wow us throughout the year. There’s nothing quite like weaseling your way into the middle of a roaring crowd at Starfire Sports as the Seawolves clinch another playoff appearance. Starfire is also where we love watching legends like Megan Rapinoe train with OL Reign during the final season of her illustrious career and the Sounders put in hours to launch them into the Western Conference Semifinals.

Tukwila is where champions train and where fans become one with the team.

Our Spacious Parks 

We’re thankful for all the amazing natural spaces that are just right outside our front door, and for all the amazing people that keep them beautiful. Towering trees, flowing rivers and streams, and cliffside views can all be reached within city limits. Nearly every weekend, volunteers from all over work together as part of Green Tukwila to conserve these natural spaces so that we can continue enjoying them well into the future.

Our Beautiful Art 

We’re thankful for the many unique ways this city expresses itself through art. Take a quick stroll around Tukwila and you will find many commissioned pieces on the sides of buildings, utility boxes, or even under bridges. Many wonderful sculptures also dot the landscape, sometimes asking you to venture to rarely visited corners of our lovely parks.

Our Endless List of Activities 

We’re thankful for never having a lack of things to do in Tukwila. Never is there a day when we’d rather be lying on the couch than out experiencing new things in our amazing city. We can whip around the track at SyKart Indoor Racing, join a drop-in game at Starfire Sports, shop till we drop at Southcenter, play a round or two at Foster Golf Links, or even glimpse the future with a round of VR laser tag at Dimension XR. And that’s just one day around town!

Our Innovative Businesses 

We’re thankful for the many businesses that have chosen Tukwila to be home for their wildest dreams. Every year businesses celebrate their grand openings right here in Tukwila. It’s humbling to see long-standing institutions like The Museum of Flight and Foster Golf Links continue to innovate and inspire visitors, as well as to watch newcomers like Seattle Chocolates, Oppegaard Meadery, and LeoStella take their respective industries by storm.

Happy Thanksgiving!

As you can see, there are unlimited things to be grateful for in this wonderful city, and it’s all thanks to the loving people who call it home. From all of us here at Experience Tukwila, we hope you have a very cozy Thanksgiving full of delicious food and surrounded by the people you love.

Champions Train in Tukwila, and Soar on the Field!

On October 6, a guest blogger from Experience Tukwila was invited to attend the final regular season home match of Megan Rapinoe’s stunning career with the OL Reign. Check out a recap from the night! 

The lights from Lumen Field lit up the skyline on a brisk Friday night in early October. Fans gathered in droves around the outside of the stadium. A mixture of excitement and hesitation filled the air. Such a historic night was ahead, but not without the closing of a chapter that has come to shape so much of Seattle’s soccer culture. 

It was the final regular season home match of the beloved Megan Rapinoe — the legendary OL Reign forward who will be retiring at the end of this season after a decade with the team. In her tenure, Rapinoe has emerged as one of the most defining soccer players of the last decade, winning two World Cup titles and an Olympic gold medal. Off the field, she played a major role in issuing the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint against the U.S. Soccer Federation for gender discrimination. She was later awarded a Presidential Medal of Honor for her victory in helping to close the gender pay gap in professional soccer.

OL Reign played their inaugural NWSL season at Starfire Sports back in 2013. After a decade-long stint of training in Tacoma, they returned to Starfire last year due to its proximity to their new home stadium, Lumen Field, in downtown Seattle. Starfire Sports — which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year — has long been a central hub of soccer and culture here in the Pacific Northwest, so it was only natural to have the team back at their original training facility.

Ahead of the game, fans displayed their Rapinoe merch and looks, sporting extensions, wigs, facepaint, and other rose-colored regalia. Lumen Field was a sea of pink, alive with music, people, and celebration.

As fans gathered into their seats, a video tribute of Rapinoe’s career began — featuring family, competitors and colleagues, fellow sports icons, and elected leaders celebrating her remarkable career. The memories brought smiles and tears across the stadium. As the video concluded, a massive “THANK YOU MEGAN” message spelled out by adoring fans in the lower bowl popped into view across the pitch.  

The match was a fierce defensive battle. Megan, along with all the players on the pitch, dazzled fans with incredible footwork and explosive action, but by the 90-minute mark, no team had been able to put one away. It ended in a 0-0 tie, thanks in large part to the incredible saves by goalkeeper Claudia Dickey, who later earned NWSL Save of the Week for her strategic dive into the left side of the goal.

The crowd was electric, and soccer fans from all over showed up in support of one of our city’s greatest stars. Game attendance was the highest in NWSL’s 10-year history across all teams, with 34,130 people filling the stands. 

Since our chance to see her play, Rapinoe has played a massive role in sending her team to the playoffs, scoring two goals in their must-win final match of the season. Now the team is looking for a win in the semifinals on November 5 against the San Diego Wave FC to send them into their third finals appearance and the chance to win their first NWSL championship title. Regardless of the outcome, Megan will forever be our champion! 

Tukwila Is Buzzing With Art

No matter where you go, the feeling in Tukwila is always electric. Whether you’re buzzing after a game-winning goal at Starfire Sports, feeling the tingle of spice from traditional Congolese food at Spice Bridge, or getting shivers gazing at a space exhibit in the Museum of Flight, every experience packs a jolt of excitement and wonder.

Even the actual electrical current that runs through our city and powers businesses and homes has been given the Tukwila treatment. Over the past few years, our city has enlisted the help of local artists to dress up utility boxes around town, using them as their very own blank canvases. The result was a bloom in creativity seen all over the city. We absolutely love coming across one of these beautiful pieces out in the wild. Take a tour of this unique urban gallery below and then go see the real pieces for yourself!

Interurban Ave South:

Transition 21

Jennifer L. Towner

All the Homes We’ve Made in the Margins

Clare Johnson

Tukwila Wildlife Relief Prints 

Susan Hass

Southcenter Boulevard:

Dancing Night

Nikita Ares


Cable Griffith

Bloom Where You Are Planted

Hoa Hong

Tukwila International Boulevard:


Julisha Kim

Going Places

Stephanie Krimmel 

All Are Welcome 

Cecelia “Mousy DeVilla” Deleon

Southcenter Parkway

Baker Boulevard:


Elizabeth Gahan

Taking Flight 

Elizabeth Gahan 


Our Food Is Immigrant-Led

Sophia Fang

Full of Sparkles

Xin Xin

Rainbows of the Day & Night

Blanca Santander


Taylor Tingshi 

River Trail Block Party

Carmel Mercado 

Volunteer With Tukwila’s Public Art Program

Inspired by all the amazing utility box art? Well, now you too can help beautify our city with art. Simply sign up for one of the listening sessions below to learn more about the program and help us plan the future of Tukwila art!

First Community Session (virtual)
Tuesday, October 3, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Second Community Session (virtual)
Thursday, October 12, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Third Community Session (in-person, Tukwila Community Center)
Saturday, October 14, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Language interpretation support and activities for participants with children to be provided.

Can’t wait to see you there!

A Taste of Oppegaard Meadery

Since 2017, Oppegaard Meadery has been producing some of the most celebrated mead in the region, and even the world. People come from all over to visit this meadery nestled in a little corner of Tukwila. Experiencing somewhat of a renaissance, mead is an alcoholic beverage made by fermenting a simple mixture of honey and water; its origins stretch far back through human history. Mead has been celebrated for tens of thousands of years, making countless appearances in stories and poetry from cultures all across the world. Today, Tukwila is quickly becoming one of the focal points of the great mead revival. 

We sat down with owner and founder Jon Oppegaard to learn more about mead and what makes Oppegaard Meadery such a special place for passionate connoisseurs and newcomers alike.

How do you describe mead to someone?

The variety that’s possible is so huge, but trying to explain that to people is the hardest thing. When someone comes in and asks what mead tastes like I’m like, “Uh, anything?”

How much mead have you made?

We’ve done like a hundred-something varieties at this point. The variety is endless. 

What inspired you to make mead?

So, I’m a nerd. I grew up reading fantasy books like The Lord of the Rings. My ancestors came from pretty much all over Europe. But my name comes from Norway, specifically. My great-great-grandfather came here from Oppegaard, Norway. As a kid, I was obsessed with Vikings and anything Norwegian, and if you read enough about that stuff, you’ll come across mead. It didn’t really click [for me] that it was an actual drink you could get in the modern era. It wasn’t until eventually somebody that I worked with was like, “Hey, you know you can buy mead at the grocery store, right?” That blew my mind. I immediately bought a bottle after work and fell in love with it. So, I learned how to make it as a way to save money. It started out terrible. But I’m pretty persistent. I started getting the hang of it. Got involved with a lot of mead forums online. Eventually starting a meadery was the natural progression of things; it kind of outgrew my house. I never planned on quitting my real job as a mechanic. It kind of just grew, and one day I walked out on my job. My plan was to see how long I could go without a job. That was 7 years ago. 2016 is officially when we opened.

Is mead becoming more popular in Tukwila?

Did you know there’s another meadery right across the street from here? That one opened a little over a year ago. Yeah, we’re the only place in the entire world that has two meaderies across the street from each other. We joke that we’re going to become the Woodinville of mead.

Do you host or sponsor events?

We get food trucks here a couple of times a month. We do a lot of tasting events. We do mead-making classes here. We’ve had tattoo artists giving Viking-themed flash tattoos here. We’ve hosted a band and even had a person playing a hurdy-gurdy here in the corner. The plan is to do more. I also supply all the mead for the Renaissance Faire in Monroe. We’ve talked about more local events, but since Covid just ended, everyone in the mead world is still struggling. We were probably one of the slowest alcohol sectors to recover. It was tough. I became a full-time delivery driver for a moment. 

What is the production process like?

Honey and water and yeast and then … wait. That’s it! Usually six to eight weeks. There’s a lot of unique ways to approach the same simple process. And you know, there are a lot of misconceptions about how to make mead online. I just trial-and-errored my way through it when I first started out. Eventually, I figured out the many tips and techniques that are commonplace among professionals. I did eventually make connections and now have a group chat with friends in the mead world, and we’re constantly talking back and forth about our process and new ideas. The other day, someone even called me an OG of the mead industry! 

How important is mead to Washington?

Washington is one of the hubs for mead. We are one of the only states in the country that recognizes mead as separate from wine. Everyone else lumps it in with wine. There are a lot of state rules that just don’t make sense for mead. 

Are there a lot of regulars that visit Oppegaard?

You know, we have the Viking Mead Club. There are 300 people in it. It’s capped at 300. It’s pretty much always full. But we get all kinds of people coming in here. It’s pretty wild and really flattering how many people come through here, this random mead house in Tukwila. 

Where does all the art inside the tasting room come from?

Pretty much everything on the wall and the tables themselves has a story. A lot of people who are into mead are really artistic people. So, most of the art on the wall are from people who have a connection to the meadery. And I try to travel around as much as my bank account will let me. So, some of this stuff is from my travels also. I like to joke that the meadery is just an excuse to display all my stuff. Like one of these axes on the wall, the blade is between 1,700 and 2,200 years old. It’s basically like a horse axe.

What makes you proud? 

I quit my job knowing full well that I only had enough money for 3 months, expecting that I would go get a real job again, and then I just didn’t. And it’s been 7 years with no signs of slowing down. That was never something I really expected. It was my wildest dream. I never have a bad day. 

What makes mead so special?

People have been drinking mead for probably tens of thousands of years more than we know about. So, it’s like embedded in your DNA. Everyone back in the day drank mead; it didn’t matter where they were in the world. If there were bees nearby, there was mead. 

Oppegaard Meadery 

Oppegaard Meadery is located at 600 Industry Drive in Tukwila, WA, and is open Tuesday through Thursday, 12 PM to 6 PM, and Friday through Saturday, 12 PM to 8 PM. Stop in for a tasting and say hello to Jon! 

Make Your Summer a 10: Things to do in Tukwila

This summer has been unusually sunny—so much so that people all over the Pacific Northwest are at a loss for what else to do with all the sunshine. Well, we’ve got you covered. Tukwila is overflowing with activities and experiences perfect for those long summer days. Check out a few of our favorites below, inspired by the winners of our recent photo contest—Mikkell Jackson Roeland, Rene Hough, and Ric Meyer!

Catch Some Shade at Duwamish Hill Preserve and River 

Starting things off, we have the perfect remedy for these crazy-high temperatures. A walk through the Duwamish Hill Preserve or along the Duwamish River is a great way to cool down and find some shade from the sun while still enjoying the outdoors.

Power Up at Family Fun Center 

All this extra sun means tons of extra energy to put towards games! Dip into Family Fun Center for bowling, putt-putt, go-karts, bumper boats, batting cages, laser tag, arcade games, pizza, and much more. Honestly, you could spend all summer inside this place! 

All Fore Fun at Foster Golf Links

Other golf courses just have golfing. In Tukwila, we do it a little differently. One of our favorite summer experiences is “First Fridays” at Foster Golf Links. Enjoy live music and a movie at sunset out on the green while loading up on your favorite food from Billy Baroo’s restaurant just a few steps away. 

Soar Above the Heat at the Museum of Flight 

What would a trip to Tukwila be without a visit to the Museum of Flight? A staple of our city for decades, the Museum of Flight is a favorite way to soar above the heat and explore the history of flight.

Make a Splash at the Tukwila Pool 

Dive into one of the coolest places in Tukwila, the Tukwila Pool! But make sure it’s only in the deep end! This favorite summer pastime never fails. Enjoy a leisurely float, jump off the diving board, or sign up for classes today! 

Book Your Summer with Fun

The Tukwila Library not only has a large selection of books, but also a whole calendar full of exciting activities and experiences, like Math Club, Arabic Story Time, Arts & Crafts, and plenty more.

Try a New Lane at Bowlero Bowling 

Strike off a classic summer activity on your list with Bowlero Bowling. At Bowlero, they pull out all of the stops to make your bowling experience unforgettable. In between games, you can enjoy delicious food, refreshing drinks, billiards, a full arcade, and more. Bowling sure has changed since we were kids! 

Experience Tukwila on Two Wheels 

The summer fun never tires in Tukwila! At 14 miles, the Interurban Trail is a favorite among cyclists and runners. It’s the perfect way to take in all of the sights and sounds of Tukwila. Think you can conquer it in a single day? You probably could—14 miles is long but not, like long-long. 

Kick the Heat at Starfire 

Still stuck on ideas? Here’s an assist: grab a soccer ball and take to the pitch at Starfire Sports! Anyone can reserve a spot to play a pickup game, host a party, or even go all in on a full tournament. Inside and outside fields available. Champions train in Tukwila, and many of their careers begin right here at Starfire. You could be the next star! Or just a casual weekend player—that’s cool too! 

Freshen Up at the Farmers Market

There’s nothing more refreshing than fresh food, and we know just the place to fill your tote with locally grown fruits and veggies. Tukwila Village Farmers Market is your classic community market, providing locally grown produce. When you shop here, you’re also supporting local immigrant and refugee growers. Take a stroll through the market every Wednesday afternoon, now until mid-October!

Now it’s time to get out there.

Phew! That was a lot of activities and experiences to get through—we’re breaking a sweat! Time to go cool off at one of the many amazing restaurants in Tukwila…or maybe we’ll see a movie…or maaaaybe we’ll go to the VR arcade! Oh wow, so many more things to do in this town. Guess we’ll have to compile another list soon! 

We hope this list was helpful and will bring you some more summer joy. Enjoy your time in Tukwila!

A Piece of Tukwila History

Our history begins first with acknowledging that the City of Tukwila is located on the ancestral lands of the Coast Salish people. We acknowledge their continuing connections to the land, waters, and culture. We pay our respects to their elders, past, present, and emerging.

It’s easy to appreciate the many wonderful experiences our city offers today. But learning about how Tukwila came to be makes those experiences even more rewarding. Join us as we travel down memory lane and take a look back at what propelled Tukwila to the amazing city it is today. 

Tukwila is a hub of culture, commerce, and all-around great times. People from all over Washington visit our wonderful city to experience sights, sounds, and activities they can’t find anywhere else. Behind those experiences is a rich history of a little city south of Seattle making waves along the banks of the Duwamish and Green Rivers.

Like all cities in the area, Tukwila was first and foremost Tribal land. The Coast Salish people were the original peoples who made their homes here. Shaded under lush forests along the banks of the Black, Green, and Duwamish Rivers, they eventually settled on the name Tukwila, which is Chinook jargon for the Duwamish word for hazelnut. A reference to the hazelnut trees that grew in the area.

European pioneers arrived in the Tukwila and surrounding Seattle area thousands of years after the Coast Salish people. A common name seen around the city today, Joseph Foster was the most well-known among the first European settlers. His namesake is strewn across Tukwila, including Foster High School and the much-loved Foster Links Golf Course

As industry ramped up across the country, Tukwila’s location at the confluence of three major rivers (now two) put it right at the center of the action. Dozens of riverboats carrying valuable resources like coal traversed these waters daily, boosting the local economy and shaping the future of our city. Prosperity struck again when a newly electrified America introduced electric rail lines to our area. Soon enough, starting in 1902, people could peruse the region aboard electric trains on the Seattle-Tacoma Interurban Railway. A route that is now a 14-mile multiuse bike path linking Tukwila, Kent, Auburn, and other South Seattle regions. 

Tukwila was officially incorporated as a city in 1908, just a few years before Boeing airfield was built—one of the city’s most defining features throughout the twentieth century. A new exciting era was swiftly ushered in on the wings of developments in transportation. This propelled the city in a direction that created more jobs and welcomed more people from all kinds of backgrounds to the Tukwila area. The city’s residents spent the next few decades balancing enhanced industrialization with commercial business creation.

Tukwila is still making history every day. Home to the Seattle Seawolves, our city is making waves in the world of professional sports thanks to incredible opportunities made possible by Starfire Sports Complex. We also have a bustling culinary scene with unique restaurants and food halls like Spice Bridge making foodies from all over rave about this best-kept secret. 

Time may evolve how our city looks, but one thing remains constant across generations: a deep appreciation and celebration of diversity, friendship, and opportunity. All are welcome here in Tukwila. We hope to see you around soon! 

Celebrate Earth Month in Tukwila!

Happy Earth Month, Tukwila! Our beautiful city is home to over 150 acres of open space, including 20 parks and 12 miles of multi-use trails. This month, we’re highlighting our Green Tukwila Partnership and showcasing the many ways you can get involved in protecting Tukwila’s open spaces. The more people that lend a hand, the easier it is to create a healthy ecosystem in which both wildlife and the Tukwila community can thrive.

In 2016, Tukwila became an official “Green City” after the city council adopted a 20-year Green Tukwila Partnership Stewardship Plan led by Forterra. Together with Forterra, EarthCorps, Duwamish Alive Coalition, Dirt Corps, King County Parks, and the Tukwila community, the partnership works to restore and maintain 138 acres of Tukwila’s urban forest. 

For Earth Month, we sat down with Tukwila Parks & Recreation’s Olena Perry to talk about the importance of the Green Tukwila Partnership and the impact it’s had on Tukwila’s urban forest and community.

Experience Tukwila: How much progress has Green Tukwila made in the preservation of Tukwila Parks and Wildlife since the Green Tukwila 20-Year Stewardship Plan started?

Olena Perry: Walk through one of the restoration sites — Tukwila Park, Green River Trail by Bicentennial Park, Crystal Springs Park, Cottonwood Corner and Duwamish Hill Preserve — to see the impact. As the program installs a diverse pallet of plants and trees, and removes invasive plants like English Ivy and Himalayan Blackberry, we will see the return of wildlife and a balanced ecosystem. We measure the success of the partnership by carefully tracking the square feet of noxious weeds removed and the number of native shrubs, groundcovers, and trees planted. 

ET: What makes Tukwila’s landscape special in the broader Duwamish watershed?

OP: Tukwila landscape is unique for many reasons; we have a wide variety of habitats that lend themselves to various native plants and wildlife, from upland forests and riparian zones to grasslands. Healthy green spaces work as filter systems, cleaning stormwater, and airborne pollutants. Tukwila’s impact on the Duwamish River directly affects Orca, salmon, and marine life in Elliot Bay.

ET: Where would you like to see Green Tukwila go in the future? Any exciting new things on the horizon? 

OP: Lots of excitement for Green Tukwila; the partnership is growing. Every year we see more and more volunteers and stewards join the conversation and the work. We have launched environmental programming with the Department of Fish and Wildlife, Partner in Employment is returning with their Green Jobs program, Dirt Corps is starting a large project at Crystal Springs Park, and the Service Board has returned for another year of stewardship at Duwamish Hill Preserve. The work is essential, and the community is strong; Green Tukwila is growing and making significant yearly impacts. 

ET: What’s Tukwila Parks’ message to people during Earth Month? 

OP: Earth Day is a time of reflection, to think about our impact on this precious planet and what you can do to support a healthy tomorrow. Get involved in Green Tukwila’s events, learn about your local environment, and make an impact!

Interested in answering Olena’s call to action and getting involved with Green Tukwila? Check out these upcoming Earth Month events: 

Experience Tukwila regularly highlights Green Tukwila work parties, so keep an eye out on our events page and social media to catch future volunteer opportunities!