A Guide to Tukwila Strolls

Sun’s out, run’s out. That’s our latest motto here at Experience Tukwila, now that we’re finally back to warmer, brighter days for the next few months.

It’s time to lace up your tennies and dig up the sunscreen. We’ve put together a handy little guide of all our favorite routes in Tukwila. There’s a level for everyone here, from the seasoned marathon runner to the “just out for a stroll” casual walking group. You’ll explore new neighborhoods, get elevated views of the city, and find perfect post-stroll drink and food spots. So go ahead, try all five and then let us know what you think.


The Routes

#1 The Framed Tree


Miles: 2.7
Elevation: 411 feet
Description: While this route may be short, it packs a punch. With over 400 feet of elevation, expect to get those legs burning on the hills. This route is mostly paved but has some sections of trail.

Highlights:
Crestview Park, where you should absolutely take a breather and check out the cute dogs at the dog park
Crystal Springs Park — pack your rackets and paddles, since there are tennis and pickleball courts here too

#2 The Bank to Bank Run


Miles: 3.2
Elevation: 131 feet
Description: A relatively flat course, apart from the Duwamish Hill Preserve, which takes you on a scenic 100-foot climb — but the views from the top are worth it! This route is mostly paved but has some sections of trail. The majority of the route takes place on designated biking/hiking trails along both banks of the Duwamish River, so car traffic is kept to a minimum.

Highlights:
Tukwila Community Center
Duwamish River
Green River Trail
Duwamish Gardens Park
Duwamish Hill Preserve
Duwamish Park

#3 Fire and Water


Miles: 4.7
Elevation: 41 feet
Description: This is a flat course and perfect for a speed workout, if that’s your thing. The route is mostly all bike paths and parks. Along the way, you’ll get VIP views of Starfire Sports and the Green and Black rivers.

Highlights:
Starfire Sports/Fort Dent Park
Quick little visit to our friends over in Renton to run around the Black River Riparian Forest and Wetland and to check out the artwork at Waterworks Gardens
Views of the Green and Black rivers
Explore parts of the Green River Trail, the Lake to Sound Trail, and the Springbrook Trail

#4 Cross-Town Craze


Miles: 10.9
Elevation: 229 feet
Description: This route is for the marathon trainer. Ease into a good pace and get ready to enjoy some relaxing miles through Tukwila’s parks and long stretches of bike paths. Be sure to have a plan for hydration, since this is a long one!

Highlights:
Duwamish Hill Preserve
Starfire Sports/Fort Dent Park
Duwamish River
Green River Trail
Tukwila Park

#5 The One and Done

Miles: 0.2
Elevation: 5 feet
Description: Begin your route at the front of Foster Golf Links. Walk around the building once (no running!) and then head inside toward the Billy Baroo’s counter. Watch out for occasional obstacles on your path, like a misplaced dining chair or an exuberant Seawolves fan. Once at the bar, order a pint of your favorite local brew, find your leisurely sipping pace, and enjoy!

Highlights:
Foster Golf Links
Billy Baroo’s
Requires no fitness experience
Beer


Think you’ve got what it takes to conquer every Tukwila route? Then give it a go on a nice, sunny day, and don’t forget to share your experience with friends and family on your favorite fitness apps. We’re so grateful to have such a wide variety of paths throughout the city. Even if you’re not a runner, these routes are perfect for exploring new areas of Tukwila at a leisurely pace. As always, be sure to pack plenty of water and sunscreen, and wear high-visibility clothing while running, walking, or biking around the city.

If you have any questions about these routes or would like to submit your own route, simply reach out to us via email or on social media.

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! 

Seawolves Star Experiences Tukwila

Our good friend and Seattle Seawolves legend, Eric Duechle recently tried his hand at packing as many Tukwila-themed experiences as he could into a single day. He got pretty far. But honestly, it only scratched the surface of what our amazing city has to offer. 

Follow along, as Eric attempts the #TukwilaInADayChallenge.

First up, Green Tukwila Day at the Duwamish Hill Preserve. On a beautiful blue-sky November day, Eric joined a group of volunteers to help spruce up this local treasure. A place of deep cultural significance, Duwamish Hill Preserve has been stewarded by Indigenous communities that have called this area home since time immemorial. Expounding upon this fact was Ken Workman, Tribal Council Member and descendant of Chief Seattle.

Next on the schedule was Mayweather Boxing + Fitness. Eric met up with Jen and Miracle to jump into the ring and get a closer look at how Tukwila trains. The studio offers four different styles of classes throughout the week formulated with the perfect combination of boxing, strength, and cardio conditioning.

Rounding out the day was a stop at one of Tukwila’s most popular bar and grills, Billy Baroo’s. Surrounded by friends and bipedal whale mascots, Eric toasted to a day full of wonderful new experiences. 

How do you think Eric did? Could you fit more Tukwila experiences into your day? Give your best shot, and don’t forget to let us know how it goes on social media. 

Best of luck!

The Seawolves Teach Us Rugby 101

If you couldn’t tell from the bazillion posts about The Seawolves, we’re kind of obsessed. So much so that we took to the field with our friends over at Explore Seattle Southside to get an up close and personal look at this incredible sport. Read up on the experience and get amped for the start of the 2023 season. 

“You’re not afraid of heights are you?” 

Not exactly the type of reassurance I was looking for after just volunteering myself to be vaulted fifteen feet in the air by two giant strangers who tackle other giant strangers for a living. That didn’t matter though. Before I could think it through, they grabbed my legs, lifted me up, and signaled for another giant stranger to throw a rugby ball towards my face. Reacting more on reflex than skill, I instinctively reached out and caught the ball just before impact. Overjoyed that I avoided catastrophe.

“Nice catch, ” the coach congratulated me as I landed back on my own two feet. 

“But you forgot to pass it to the nine.” 

Communication is everything in rugby. Kees Lensing, lead performance analyst for the Seattle Seawolves, will be the first to tell you that. He takes no restraint in reminding everyone of this essential aspect of the game he loves. Originally from Namibia, Kees has traveled the world as a professional rugby player and coach. He appeared in two world cup events and was captain of the Namibia national team for a number of seasons. Nowadays, Kees is helping lead the Seawolves to Major League Rugby championships while also helping educate the general American public on this exciting game. 

As part of their initiative to grow attendance and local interest in the game, Kees, along with Seawolves head coach Allen Clarke, invited folks from Explore Seattle Southside and Experience Tukwila to come learn the ins and outs of rugby and share it with our audiences. A chance to play rugby with professional rugby players? It was a no-brainer. 

On an unusually sunny and warm morning, we met out on the Starfire pitch, most of us without a clue of what to expect next. After introductions and a brief overview of rugby basics, the whistle blew and we set off back and forth across the grass going through a variety of warm-up drills. Talking about rugby is one thing, but to truly understand what the game is about, you need to dive in head first. 

The coach tossed us a few rugby balls and told us to partner up.

I linked up with one of the Seawolves players and got a crash course in spin passing. What looks like a pretty simple motion from afar is actually much more technical than I expected. When you pass in rugby you have to essentially lob the ball to your teammates, but it has to be either a diagonal pass or a backward pass; forward passes are not allowed. After struggling to get a proper spin on the ball while tossing to my right, we switched sides and that’s when it all started to click. Tossing a rugby ball feels very foreign, especially for someone who grew up in a state where football reigns supreme. It’s almost twice the size of a football and less angular, almost like tossing some kind of hollow gourd. Once you get the hang of it and nail that perfect spiral it’s surprisingly fun, and I would have been totally satisfied just tossing the ball back and forth for the remainder of the morning. But that wasn’t the plan. 

The whistle blew again and now came our ultimate test—a real rugby match. Well, not exactly a real rugby match, more like a truncated version of rugby without the tackling and organized play structure. But it was the perfect way to get a feel for the flow of the game. In rugby, it’s all about constant movement. Playing this simplified version of rugby is meant to encourage new players to always be on the move, to feel the rhythm of tossing, catching, and running. As we scrambled back and forth across the pitch, I quickly gained an appreciation for the no-overhand throwing rule. Lobbing the ball to teammates requires you to be much more creative with your passing. You have to find clever ways to thread the needle between the sea of players.

After the final score, or as they call it in rugby, the final “try,” it was time to gather round and learn a little more about what actual rugby gameplay involves. So let’s walk through some of the highlights and learn a little rugby 101 terminology:

Scrum

First up was the “scrum.” Kees called on a few Seawolves players and within moments they were locked together arm in arm in a mass of muscle. You’ve probably seen the sight before, two walls of players pushing against each other with incredible force. A scrum is one of the defining characteristics of rugby. Similar to a faceoff, once the two groups are pressed against each other, another player rolls the ball underneath the web of bodies. A player called a “hooker” then uses his feet to grab the ball like a hook and kick it back toward the rest of his team. According to Kees, at any one time during a scrum, the hooker is experiencing upwards of 2,000 lbs of force per square inch on their upper body. With all that force focused on one person, it’s imperative that the other players are there to support. That’s what the majority of the players in the scrum are there for. It takes a horde of people just to protect the hooker as they fight for possession. For obvious reasons, we were not asked to participate. 

Breakdown

Next up was the “breakdown.” A breakdown occurs immediately after a player is tackled and requires rapid-fire reflexes from both teams. The player who is tackled must remain on the ground with the ball and the player who tackled must roll to the side out of the way. Then it’s up to other players from both teams not involved in the initial tackle to rush toward the down player and attempt to get the ball. The down player attempts to contort their body in such a way that protects the ball from the defensive players while providing an opening for their teammates to grab it. But the offensive players can’t simply run to the downed player from any direction, they must enter through a tiny invisible area called the “gate” which is defined by the position of the downed player’s body. Offensive players enter through this small area and quickly set up a wall on the downed player, protecting the ball from the opposition and allowing for another player to snatch it up and return to play. If the defensive players get to the downed player first, then they can grab the ball, resulting in a turnover. Confused yet? It’s honestly much more intuitive than it sounds. But apparently, there are even more rules/details about the breakdown that Kees wouldn’t get into because of the complexity. All in all, though, it’s a really impressive display of strategy and muscle.

Lineout 

Lastly was the “lineout.” The lineout is a way of returning the ball into play after it has gone into touch, or what we usually understand as “out of bounds.” This involves a player simply passing the ball into play. One of the most popular methods to receive the ball is to lift a player high into the air out of reach from the defending team. Once again, Kees wrangled a group of Seawolves players to show us how it was done. After running through the routine a few times, Kees asked for volunteers. Realizing that I might not ever get this opportunity again, I raised my hand and took the chance. The Seawolves players lifted me up and tossed the ball. It sounds stupidly simple, but it was actually a pretty disorienting experience. It wasn’t so much a lift into the air as it was a push into the air, almost like a cheerleader jumping up and being held by their feet. Add in a rugby ball spiraling towards your face, plus a group of strangers watching you from below, and it quickly becomes a high-stress moment. What you’re supposed to do after catching the ball is toss it out to an open player. But I simply held onto the ball and celebrated the fact that I both caught the pass and didn’t topple over in the process. After explaining the expectations again, Kees let me go for a second attempt, this time completing a proper pass to the outside player. Go me! 

After finishing up the demonstrations, Kees and the rest of the staff took a moment to explain the many benefits of rugby for communities. “No matter what happens out on this field, I have never left it feeling sad,” Kees explained. Beyond the many fitness benefits of playing the high-intensity sport, rugby also provides a strong sense of connection and camaraderie for players—a key characteristic which Kees sees as necessary personal armor against mental health issues. He, along with the rest of the staff, hope to see the sport grow in not just Seattle, but the entire country, to help provide kids with a hobby that can lead to lifetime friendships as well as provide endless high-action entertainment for sports fans. 

The 2023 MLR season is just around the corner and the Seawolves are poised for another dominant year out on the pitch. Don’t miss out on viewing this exciting game before it inevitably blows up across the country. That way you can say you liked rugby before it was cool.

 

All images courtesy of Explore Seattle Southside.

10 Things To Do in Tukwila in the Rain

AHHHH! WHAT IS THAT?! 

Oh right, rain. 

After what felt like an eternity with that giant mass of fire in the sky, the rain has once again returned to its rightful realm: the Pacific Northwest. And what makes this place so special is how unbothered everyone is by a little water. Simply put, it’s all a matter of perspective. If you fight the rain, you only fight yourself. Accept the rain and you free yourself to enjoy all the amazing things this region has to offer. 

Buuuuuuut, if you really just don’t want to deal with it all, then we have a few recommendations on where to spend a nice rainy PNW day right here in Tukwila. So go ahead, check out our Top 10 Rainy Day Activities in Tukwila!

 

Escape in a Game Room

Does the rain have you wanting to escape to a new reality? Maybe one where you’re not stuck inside seeing daylight rainy skies move into dark rainy skies at 4pm? Then stop by Tukwila’s premier gaming destinations—Dimension XR and Legacy Gaming—and get transported to a new dimension filled with adventure where anything and everything is possible.

 

Get a Thrill at iFly

Feeling couped up inside? We have the perfect place for you: iFly. The indoor skydiving craze has taken over the country, and now you can try it for yourself. Like Superman in training, don the fancy jumpsuit and helmet and then shoot off into the stratosphere* with guidance from one of the skydiving professionals. 

*more like 20 feet, but you can use your imagination.

 

Fill Your Belly at Spice Bridge

Rain + gray = give me cozy comfort food right now. Duck on into one of Tukwila’s most vibrant displays of world cuisines: Spice Bridge. This global food hall is home to immigrants and refugees who bring with them insane culinary talents. With a rotating selection of food businesses, there’s always a new exciting dish to try. It’s the perfect place to cozy up with a hot meal.

 


Hit the Lanes at Bowlero

Bowling is an absolute classic rainy-day activity. So, it should come as no surprise that Tukwila has one of the best bowling spots around, Bowlero. What more do you need to know? It’s bowling. You get it. Ball, lane, pins. Done. Now go do it and have a killer time inside not getting wet.

 

Race at SyKart

There’s a common joke in this area that people don’t know how to drive in the rain even though it’s raining all the time. What that says to me is that more people need to hit the go-kart track for some high-intensity practice. Sykart is the place for all your go-kart needs. Situated right here in Tukwila, it’ll provide the much-needed boost on a gloomy rainy day.

 

Jump Around at Defy

If you hate jumping in puddles, might we recommend jumping into giant pits filled with foam instead. That’s just the start of the fun at Defy, a trampoline park in Tukwila. Foam pits, trampolines, rock walls, basketball, this list goes on. This one-of-a-kind action park is filled with challenges that are fun for the whole family. So, what are you waiting for? Don’t feel the FOAMO. Visit Defy today!

 

Watch a Movie at AMC Southcenter

When it looks like Waterworld outside, it’s best to stay inside and watch a movie… like Waterworld. Research studies show that the best place to watch new movies is in a movie theater, and I definitely didn’t just make that up. Regardless, Tukwila is home to AMC Southcenter, featuring Dolby Cinema and IMAX theaters. Escape the rain and immerse yourself in a story far far away.

 

Stay Active at Mayweather Boxing

Just because it’s raining doesn’t mean you can’t still stay active. Train like the champion you are at Mayweather Boxing and Fitness. The studio offers four different styles of classes throughout the week formulated with the perfect combination of boxing, strength, and cardo conditioning. Get drenched in sweat, not rain.

 

Visit a Meadery

Breweries are everywhere in the Seattle area. But only a few special places have meaderies. And situated right here in Tukwila is one of the best around, Oppegaard Meadery. Warm your belly and your spirits in this Viking-clad tasting room.

 

Go on a Hike

Okay, you got us. This activity won’t protect you from the rain. In fact, it puts you directly in its path. BUT, hear us out. Taking a walk or run along the Green River Trail or at the Duwamish Hill Preserve in the rain is a really unique activity that many won’t experience. So, if you work up the courage, grab that rain jacket, lace up those boots, and just lean into it.

 

As you can see, Tukwila is filled with all kinds of activities that make a rainy day actually something you will look forward to. So next time the clouds roll in and the rain starts falling, just make your way over to Tukwila to help brighten up your day.

Until then, head on over to our Activities and Events pages to stay up to date on all the exciting things going on in our city.

 

Starfire Welcomes More Champions

The list of professional teams that play and train in Tukwila keeps on growing! Today, the OL Reign announced a multi-year agreement with Starfire Sports. The very fields which have hosted champions of every caliber and represent the fiery spirit of our city will now serve as the OL Reign’s official training site beginning February 2023.

“We are very excited to partner with OL Reign and have the team call Starfire home!” said Starfire Sports President and CEO Ben Oliver. “Partnering with OL Reign is an amazing opportunity for our community, and especially our kids, to witness these world-class athletes and further the soccer experience here and in the greater Seattle area we serve.”

The OL Reign is one of the founding members of the National Women’s Soccer League, which began in 2012. Since then, the team has been busy filling their trophy shelf. In just nine seasons, the OL Reign has made five postseason appearances and taken home the NWSL Shield twice. 

Once they begin their residence at Starfire, the OL Reign will have exclusive access to top-quality fields, training equipment, and locker room space. The partnership will also open up additional opportunities to engage with the youth. Starfire is committed to providing extra field space for OL Reign Academy, a program that will provide more accessible playing opportunities for kids.

“This move is a monumental step for us, and we are excited to call Starfire home and to create a partnership with them to support the community,” said OL Reign CEO Vincent Berthillot. “Along with our move this season to Lumen Field, a priority for us has been to secure a top-level training facility near our new home venue that would support our club, its world-class players, and overall operations as we continue to grow.”

We’re on the cusp of an exciting new era for Starfire Sports and the city of Tukwila. Please help us in welcoming the OL Reign to this one-of-a-kind sports community!

 

HangarFest at The Museum of Flight

On a cool Saturday evening, we made our way to The Museum of Flight for HangarFest. While not my first time at the museum, I was excited to realize that the “hangar” in HangarFest meant that I got to visit an area I’ve never been before: the Charles Simonyi Space Gallery and Aviation Pavilion! We made sure to get there early, so we would have time to check out the displays and interactive exhibits before the main event.

Around 7:00, we made our way out to the hangar for the start of the festivities. The Aviation Pavillion is a more recent addition to the Museum of Flight, having opened in June of 2016, and highlights the drastic development aircraft and commercial airlines underwent from 1930 to today. The three-acre lot features over 15 airplanes, several of which visitors could walk through, from nose to tail.

Peppered throughout the exhibit among all the aircraft were over 25 different breweries, wineries, and distilleries. We talked with many local vendors, including the women-run San Juan Seltzer and a firefighter-run brewery from Lacey – Top Rung Brewing. Many vendors were local, from Lakewood (Valhalla Mead) to Seattle (Republic of Cider) to Anacortes (Anacortes Brewery) to Centralia (Talking Cedar); but some traveled much further, like Lone River Ranch Water from Texas, or JuneShine kombucha and spirits from California. Everyone we spoke with was friendly and excited to share more about their offerings. 

Provided throughout were outdoor games, like cornhole, giant Connect 4, foosball, and giant Jenga; as well as a craft station and photo booth. Outside the hangar, there were a half dozen food trucks, with such tantalizing options that we couldn’t choose just one. We ended up trying a Lumpia plate from the Big Boys Kainan Filipino food truck, based out of Kent, and a chicken cordon-bleu savory meat pie from 314 Pie, which you can find in a variety of locations up and down the I-5 corridor. When I asked how business had been for the event, he simply grinned and gestured at all the empty pie trays on his table.

Back in the hangar, Prom Date Mixtape was blasting a very 80s cover of  “Sunglasses at Night” as we made our way inside a hulking 747. Inside, there was a peek-a-boo floor down to the inner workings below.

Next, we boarded the newest aircraft in the collection, the 787 Dreamliner. The ultra-cush interior even had that new-plane smell. It seemed appropriate to walk through this one last, as it represented the culmination of all the innovations that had come before it to create the ultimate comfort air travel experience. 

We rounded out the night stopping at Letterpress Distilling. The distributor was thrilled for us to make him our last stop before last call. Sipping on a smooth glass of Amaro Amorino Riserva, we took in the last of a night that was nothing short of delightful. It was shocking to think of how little people know about HangarFest. As we look forward to next year’s event, I’m having difficulty deciding whether I want to keep it a secret or invite everyone I know to this party in the “sky.”   

 

Redfin Recommendations in Tukwila

We’re in the thick of summer and enjoying this incredible sunshine right now, but let’s be real here, the gray isn’t far away. But you can get ahead of the gloom and look forward to the rainy days by planning weekend adventures with a little help from our friends over at Redfin. They put together the perfect list of things to do around the Seattle area once the rainy weather starts approaching.

They’ve included two highlights from the City of Tukwila and are spot on with these recommendations. Check them out! 

The Museum of Flight 

When the rain comes, The Museum of Flight has got you covered. Located in Tukwila, play, stroll, contemplate and even learn a few things while being sheltered from the rain. Forget the weather in a windowless gallery, or engage your seasons of emotions surrounded by a glass building that touches the sky.

Seattle Chocolate Factory tour

Everyone knows Seattle for its coffee, but craft chocolate is the true gem of the Emerald City. To try some of the best chocolate in the area, Experience Tukwila recommends “Indulging your sweet tooth with a tour of the Seattle Chocolate Factory. Founded in 1991, this Seattle staple creates bold new chocolatey creations that are a must-try for everyone passing through.” 

So, next time you’re looking for something to do when the weather has you trapped inside, just head on over to Tukwila!

The Seawolves Championship Hunt Begins With A Stunner

Guest blogger, David Drown details the experience attending the Seawolves’ Western Conference Semifinal—his first ever rugby match.

My first time going to a Seattle Seawolves match was a lot like my first time going to a Seattle Sounders match: both were playoff matches and both were unforgettable. But what set the Seawolves apart was its intimacy. The ability for a stadium a fraction of the size of most pro arenas to produce such a vibrant atmosphere left me questioning the value we place on our big box entertainment venues. 

Don’t get me wrong, watching a professional sport alongside 30,000+ screaming fans in an architectural superstructure is an incomparable experience. But as stadiums grow in size and amenities, the actual sport itself often becomes lost amidst the fanfare. All kinds of distractions seep in, forcing your attention toward everything but the game. What I experienced this past Sunday in Tukwila felt like the antithesis to that. Watching the Seawolves in the Western Conference Semifinal at Starfire Stadium felt like a return to the purity of sport, a practice in athletic mindfulness that reoriented the fan-athlete relationship and reminded me of why we even show up in the first place.

The threat of rain loomed overhead as my partner and I made our way to the front gate of Starfire, a common backdrop for many Seattle sporting events. Teenagers tossed a rugby ball back and forth in the parking lot, weaving their way in and out of the sea of couples, families, and groups of friends funneling toward the stadium. I studied their movements in detail, hoping to get a crash course in the general flow of rugby before watching my first ever match. 

Before I knew it, we were inside the stadium. But something about that distinction didn’t feel right. Unlike most sports venues, there wasn’t a clear boundary between inside and out. The grounds felt open and fluid, almost indistinguishable from the surrounding neighborhood. This feeling extended to the Starfire staff themselves, with ticket sellers, concessions operators, and merch vendors all operating like a tight community—like they knew each other well beyond their occupations. After exploring the merch tents, we grabbed ourselves a couple of drinks and a giant pretzel for pennies on the dollar and headed for our seats.

The thundering roar of fireworks announced the introduction of the Seawolves. Fans stood and cheered wildly, many still pinching themselves, happy to be back in the postseason. John, a season ticket holder from West Seattle and Seawolves fan since day one, explained that “last season was a tough one… [but] it’s good to see all the fans out tonight.” What sets Seawolves games apart for John is the camaraderie, even “the way [opposing] fans are welcomed” here at Starfire. There isn’t the fan aggression you might encounter at some other professional sporting events. “There’s something special here,” John says.

The match began with a flurry of action. Their opponent, the San Diego Legion, took an early lead, making a try just a few minutes into the first half. Even as a new fan my heart sunk, worried that this could spell the beginning of a long and painful night. But the Seawolves answered back and then kept answering back. Soon they were ahead with what felt like a comfortable lead heading into halftime. I hesitated to get too excited though. Superstitious tendencies from my days religiously following my favorite hockey team bubbled to the surface. Just 40 minutes into my time at Starfire and I felt a connection with the sea of green and blue filling the stands, and I hesitated to say anything that might jinx the game.

At the start of the second half, we made our way down behind the endzone to get closer to the action. The Seawolves maintained their momentum, charging back and forth down the pitch with ease. A young fan next to me piped up, “Come on dad!”, as the horde of giant players tumbled toward us. It marked a surreal moment when the lives of the professional athletes transcended the pitch. Not something usually experienced in giant sports stadiums, I suddenly looked around and realized that many of the people near me had direct connections with the players; some even family; some even “dad.”

What just 50 minutes before looked like a mess of players frantically running about knocking into one another quickly crystallized into an organized sway of forces. The flow of the game has a way of revealing itself even if you have no knowledge of strategy. The groups of players move about the pitch like flocks of starlings, their murmurations crafting complex shapes and patterns that ask the viewer to let go of rigid expectation. “Rugby is a continuous play sport,” describes Brent, a Seawolves fan and wheelchair rugby player, “those types of sports [just] take longer to gain traction.” But like most Seawolves fans, Brent is optimistic that the Seattle area is becoming more open to this often underappreciated game.

It became clear well into the second half that this was a night for celebration. As we hit the 80 minute mark the game ended just as it began, with a thunderous display of fireworks. The final score, Seawolves 43 – Legion 19. Standing along the perimeter of the pitch transfixed by the lights and sounds, my partner and I were caught off guard when the gate suddenly opened and fans rushed out onto the grass to congratulate the players. This sort of interaction was so foreign to us. Fans are fans and athletes are athletes, we thought. But Starfire seemed unconcerned with that distinction which pervades so much of pro sports.

After we made our way back through the parking lot, I worked my way through memories from the night. I tried parsing out the moments, segmenting the groups of fans, sectioning off chunks of time in an attempt to more easily understand the night. But this felt counter to what I had just experienced. It quickly became evident to me that what separated watching a Seawolves match from other pro sporting events was its very lack of separateness at all levels. From the openness of the stadium to the interaction between players and fans, there was no clear beginning or end to the Seawolves experience. The Seawolves are a team within a family, within a community; there is no division; there are no distractions. This is sport at its essence.

With this huge first round win, the Seawolves head to Houston to take on the SaberCats in the Western Conference Final on Saturday, June 18th at 4pm. Head over to Billy Baroo’s in Tukwila for the official watch party where the Seawolves community will come out in full force—including Rucky, the beloved team mascot—to cheer on the hometown heroes.