Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Adventuring south—day trip to Des Moines

I don't usually focus on activities outside West Seattle but this is one worth sharing. Plus it's close-ish and no bridges or boats are required to get there.

So, get ready to discover a dog park that used to be missile site, a gravel pit turned into an interactive art installation, a mural about a UFO sighting nearby and more! It's all part of an adventure called Seattle Southside Scenes on the website for the Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority. There are nine stops in all exploring art, culture and history in Seattle's Southside region.

You can read fascinating facts about each stop—because who doesn't want to learn about a controversial fish statue—and watch entertaining short videos beforehand or as you go along. We also signed up for the free trail pass that had us check-in via a smart phone at each stop and offered additional info once we did. Bonus, if you do all nine stops there's a prize. 

For even more fun in Des Moines, here are some things we've done before and others we discovered while we were there and want to go back and check out. 

  • Walk or bike the Des Moines Creek trail.
    Paved path that's four miles round trip with a bit of elevation. We've usually started at the north end and rode bikes downhill to the beach, enjoyed lunch and beach time and then trekked back uphill. You could also continue from the beach into town or all the way to Saltwater State Park as described here. Last time we were there we parked at the beach and went letterboxing
    • North entrance: Des Moines Creek Park, 2151 S. 200th Street
    • South entrance: Des Moines Beach Park, 22030 Cliff Avenue South
  • Stop for a treat at Mini...The Dough Nut.
    21925 Marine View Drive South, Des Moines
    Mini-donuts with a whole menu of different toppings to put on top. Served out of a mini building with outdoor tables, including a mini one for kids.
    Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 9AM-5PM
  • Play pinball at the Waterland Arcade.
    22306 Marine View Dr. South, Des Moines
    Family-friendly arcade bar featuring vintage arcade games and beer.
    Hours: Monday-Saturday 12PM-11PM and Sunday by reservation.
    Prices: $9/Adult, $6/child (age 5-12), 4 and under are free with paid adult entry. Includes unlimited free gameplay of all the games except pinball.
  • Grab a bit to eat at the Des Moines Dog House.
    22302 Marine View Drive South, Des Moines
    Located next door to the arcade. Classic hot dogs to ones with a Colombian twist. Plus corn dogs, sausages and vegetarian options too.
    Hours: Everyday, 11AM-7PM
UPDATE 8/31/22: Version of this story now posted on Seattle's Child.