11 Romantic Places to Eat and Things To Do In Seattle Southside

Quarterdeck Des Moines WA-11 (1)

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Seattle Southside is so much more than a Seattle bedroom community or the halfway point between Seattle and Tacoma. It’s a vibrant, thriving community with a unique history and bright future. Whether you’re in for a day or staying for the weekend, there are so many romantic things to do and places to eat and drink in Seattle Southside that you’ll wish you would have stayed longer.

Anthony's HomePort Des Moines Wa-15
Quarterdeck Des Moines WA-9 (1)

Cedarbrook Lodge

Every amazing adventure starts with a great home base that’s convenient and comfortable. The Cedarbrook Lodge is all that and more. The rooms were spacious and comfortable. They even offered complimentary airport shuttles and provided delicious on-premise dining that you could return your car early if you’re flying out or pick it up later if you’re on the way in.

However, staying at Cedarbrook goes beyond convenience; it’s an experience all by itself. The hotel is an urban oasis– nestled in an 18-acre cedar grove garden with art adorning the walls. There’s a spa, gym, and hot tub like you’d expect to find at one of the top-rated hotels in the Pacific Northwest. They also have a unique feature they call the living rooms, where you can chill in a common area with free snacks, including gourmet local Snoqualmie ice cream.

We met a local couple who routinely went to Cedarbrook for their staycations during one of our stays. I don’t think there’s higher praise for a property than the patronage of local, educated consumers who chose to enjoy the Cedarbrook experience for pure recreation. Remember the Cedarbrook Lodge if you’re looking for a getaway from your everyday life, an escape from the stress of traveling, or as a home base to explore Seattle’s Southside.

Cedarbrook Lodge Seatac Washington- Gardens
Cedarbrook Lodge Seatac Washington- Pool
Cedarbrook Lodge Seatac Washington- The Living Room
Cedarbrook Lodge Seatac Washington- Bedroom

Seattle Chocolate

I’ll be honest with you. I never really thought of Seattle as a chocolate town. That seems to be reserved for more tropical locations. However, the same can be said for coffee, and we all know about how that went…lol!

Seattle Chocolates are always delicious, earth-friendly, woman-owned, and ethically sourced. They’re also a work of art. Local artists create all of their packaging, and it’s almost too beautiful to eat. Cooler yet, their packaging is derived from eucalyptus, so it is also biodegradable! You can book a factory tour where you can see the magic happen and taste it too. While you’re there, check out their flagship store’s unique offerings and special discounts on ‘imperfect’ chocolates.

Seattle Chocolates-sign
Seattle Chocolates-Chocolate Tasting

Highline Heritage Museum

The Highline Heritage Museum tells the stories of the people who immigrated to this area and their contributions to the local culture. Which begs the question, what is the Highline area in the first place? Highline is the geographic area in Southwest King County, Washington, defined by Seattle on the north, 252nd street on the south, Puget Sound on the West, and I-5 on the East. The community of Highline is not a governmental entity but a school district, known locally as ‘401’ or the Highline School District, that covers White Center, Burien, Normandy Park, SeaTac, part of Des Moines, and a portion of unincorporated King County.

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The museum contains several hundred thousand 3-dimensional objects, photos, slides, films, and documents. It helps define this vibrant community and bring its stories to light beneath the shadow of its more notorious neighbors. If you’re planning a visit, be aware that they have limited hours and availability. Luckily, they have an extensive online collection to help tell these stories and preserve this history.

Highline Heritage Museum Burien WA- Entrance
Highline Heritage Museum Burien WA- community map

Museum of Flight

The Museum of Flight is the largest independent, non-profit air and space museum in the world! It’s huge and well worth a visit. In fact, more than a half-million people tour the museum every year to see their extensive drone collection, Boeing history, NASA artifacts, and more.

The standard tour with massive exhibits and information signage is phenomenal. However, you can take your tour to the next level by participating in a weekend family workshop, virtual reality experience, or flight simulator. If you plan ahead, you can even book an in-person docent tour.

The Museum of Flight Tukwila WA-10
The Museum of Flight Tukwila WA-9

Highline Seatac Botanical Garden

We’ve talked about the community spirit of Seattle Southside, but the Highline Seatac Botanical Garden puts those ideals into action. Instead of letting beautiful gardens get plowed over during a SeaTac Airport runway expansion, they were physically moved to a forever home that became the botanical garden.

Elda Behm’s Paradise Garden was one of the gardens moved from the shadows of SeaTac. It plays on the concepts of shade, sunlight, and water with flowing streams and a still pond surrounded by shade-loving plants. Another rescued garden is the Seiki Japanese Garden. It’s a traditional Japanese pond-and-mountain style garden featuring a 1,500 sq ft pond with a waterfall and a laceleaf red maple over 100 years old. It’s believed to be the largest relocation of a Japanese Garden ever attempted in the United States. There are also seasonal gardens of iris, roses, fuchsias, and daylilies.

Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden- Flower Gardens

Copperleaf Restaurant

The restaurant portion of this piece begins the same way as our things to do in Seattle Southside– at the on property dining at Cedarbrook Lodge, Copperleaf Restaurant. It is a farm-to-table restaurant featuring products from local farmers, fishermen, and artisans. They even use ingredients from the gardens at Cedarbrook Lodge. It’s so fresh, local, fun, and delicious that you’d want to come here even if you weren’t staying at the lodge.

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They’re open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even special events like wine tastings and spirit classes. Guests can order room service, dine in the restaurant by the fire, or eat out on the garden terrace. The incredible dining experience at Copperleaf is part of why staying at the Cedarbrook Lodge is more than just a room for the night; it’s the cornerstone of a true weekend getaway.

Cedarbrook Lodge Seatac Washington-17
Cedarbrook Lodge Seatac Washington- Carpaccio
Cedarbrook Lodge Seatac Washington- Steak dinner
Cedarbrook Lodge Seatac Washington-Desert

Patty’s Eggnest

Patty’s Eggnest is a regional Seattle chain known for breakfast all day. And you know, you can’t have breakfast all day if you don’t start in the morning. They’re a scratch kitchen serving up eggs any way you like them and stacks of fluffy pancakes. Their commitment to quality is why they’ve been in operation since 1999 and have won Seattle’s Best Breakfast Award and the National Golden Egg Award.

Patty's Eggnest - It's what's for breakfast

Spice Bridge Global Food Hall

Spice Bridge Global Food Hall, where immigrants, new and old, prepare their dishes for the entire community. This business incubator helps women of color, immigrants, and refugees start and grow thriving businesses in South King County. It serves as not only a bridge to welcome these people into the community but as a place where they can showcase something special from their background, and everybody benefits from the exchange.

As much as I love the backstory and intention, I loved the food even more. The smells and flavors delighted my senses and there was so much selection and diversity. I felt like I could taste the world in an afternoon if only I could keep eating. There is no shame in returning to Spice Bridge International Food Hall again and again so you can try it all, or at least try😉.

Spice Bridge Tukwila Wa-6
Spice Bridge Tukwila Wa-12
Spice Bridge Tukwila Wa-8
Spice Bridge Tukwila Wa-9

Contrivance Wine and Mead

I love honey. I love wine. And I doubly love honey wine, aka mead. So, not surprisingly, I loved visiting Contrivance Wine and Mead. Contrivance means the use of skill to bring something about or create something. Used in a sentence, Amanda and Cosmo used contrivance to make extraordinary mead.

However, more than just the spirits, I love the spirit of the Washington people. They’re a little weird, a little whacky, and just perfect. Contrivance has a steampunk-themed tasting room that somehow is an ideal metaphor for bees. I mean, their iconic steampunk bee is pretty dang cool. But the way that bees gather together with a relatively low-tech base and create hives with the most perfect geometry embodies the essence of steampunk to me. If nothing else, they were fun folks to spend an afternoon with whether you’re taking a tour, enjoying a tasting, or just picking up a bottle of mead for later.

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Contrivance Wine and Mead Tukwila WA-7
Contrivance Wine and Mead Tukwila WA - mead tasting
Contrivance Wine and Mead Tukwila WA- Award winning mead
Contrivance Wine and Mead Tukwila WA- mead and mead accessories

Quarterdeck

One of my favorite things about Washington State is the fresh, local cider. And one of my new favorite places to get a local cider is Quarterdeck at Des Moines Marina. They also serve wine and coffee, but you have to try Washington State cider at least once in your life.

The building is quite simple, just a repurposed shipping container, but the views from Des Moines Harbor are phenomenal. This harbor is the only commercial harbor between Seattle and Tacoma, with little of everything from a small fleet of sailboats to dive charters. For me, what I really enjoyed was that it faced west to the Puget Sound so I could watch the sunset over the water. It’s such a beautiful place that they even host a farmers market with live music and food trucks on Saturday afternoons and select Wednesday evenings during the summer.

Quarterdeck Des Moines WA- Exterior
Quarterdeck Des Moines WA- Extensive drink selection

Anthony’s

If you’re looking for the perfect date night, consider starting your evening with drinks (cider 😉) at Quarterdeck and then strolling hand in hand at sunset through the harbor down to Anthony’s at the waterfront. Trust me, this works. You might not even need that bottle of mead you picked up earlier 😛.

Anthony’s started as a wholesale seafood business in Seattle, so they know about fresh, local fish. Their seafood is fresh, local, and cooked to perfection. My only advice is that you shouldn’t get so fixated on the waterfront views that you forget to look over your shoulder and see Mt. Rainier towering on the horizon.

Anthony's HomePort Des Moines Wa- View from the deck
Anthony's HomePort Des Moines Wa- Entrance
Anthony's HomePort Des Moines Wa- pasta and more
Anthony's HomePort Des Moines Wa- Sunset at the harbor

Wrapping up Things to do and Places to Eat in Seattle Southside

Seattle Southside is more than a Seattle suburb or SeaTac stopover. It’s a community unto itself with its own history, culture, vibe, and spirit. The activities, accommodations, drinks, and delights offer visitors plenty to see and do, eat and enjoy whether they’re staying for the night or the weekend.

Disclosure: A big thank you to Seattle Southside for hosting us and setting up a fantastic itinerary! For more travel inspiration check out their InstagramFacebook, Twitter, and YouTube accounts.

As always, the views and opinions expressed are entirely our own, and we only recommend brands and destinations that we 100% stand behind.

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Outside Cedarbrook Lodge
View from Anthony's Balcony Seattle Southside
Post in Seattles Southside

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