Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Kent, WA

  • Published 2022/09/30

Kent is a vibrant city in King County, Washington State, 19 miles from Seattle.

Incorporated in 1890, the city has a rich heritage—from its early agricultural successes to seeing the development of the Apollo Moon Buggie in 1970.

Pioneer settlers arrived in the area in the mid-1800s, farmed the land, and established trading businesses.

Hops was one of the crops they successfully cultivated, which spurred transportation development in the area.

Agricultural production continued to sustain the city in the early 20th century until it transformed into an industrial center in the latter part of the century.

With beautiful nature spots, over 70 parks, sports venues, and lively downtown, the city offers plenty of opportunities for rest, relaxation, and family-friendly activities throughout the year.

The city’s location also provides convenient access to adventures in the Pacific Northwest.

To get you started on exploring this city, here are some of the best things to do in Kent, Washington:

Go Fishing at Lake Meridian Park

Scenic view of Lake Meridian Park

Nima ZANDI, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Head to Lake Meridian Park for a day of lakeside recreation and breathtaking views of Mount Rainier.

The 16-acre park has good shoreline access, a fishing pier, and a boat launch.

Cast a line and catch rainbow trout and kokanee.

The lovely lake is also teeming with largemouth bass, brown bullhead, and yellow perch.

After fishing, have a barbeque with friends, or hit the trails and explore its beautiful nature spots.

If you’re visiting in the summer, you might even catch a concert at the park.

You can find Lake Meridian Park along 272nd Street.

See Fascinating Earth Sculptures at Mill Creek Canyon Earthworks Park

Experience the fascinating intersection of art, architecture, and ecology at Mill Creek Canyon Earthworks Park.

Built in 1982 by prominent designer Herbert Bayer, this unique park comprises “earthworks”—pathways, sculpted earth, water, and lawns.

Take a hike along the trails and enjoy lovely views of nature and these earthworks that balance form and function.

These landscape art function not only as artworks but also as part of the stormwater retention structure.

In 2008, it was named Kent’s first City Landmark.

Mill Creek Canyon Earthworks Park is located along Reiten Road.

Hike at Lake Fenwick Park

Go on a relaxing hike through the forest and by the lake at the picturesque Lake Fenwick Park.

This 140-acre park features lush green spaces, hiking trails, walking paths, a picnic area, and a boat launch, offering plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation.

Hike along the trails and enjoy lovely views of Mount Rainier, birds, and wildlife.

If you’re into nature photography, this park’s beautiful nature sceneries are worth capturing.

You can also fish at the lake, catching yellow perch, black crappie, and pumpkinseed sunfish.

Lake Fenwick Park is located along Lake Fenwick Road.

Bike along the Soos Creek Trail

If you prefer cycling while sightseeing, explore the Soos Creek Trail.

Hop on your bike and ride along the six-mile trail by Soos Creek.

The trail will take you through the lovely woods, meadows, and wetlands, where you’ll get to see herons, eagles, river otters, and other wildlife.

The seven-mile paved trail has a gentle grade, which is great for leisurely exploring.

The trailheads of the Soos Creek Trail are located along 124th Avenue and 148th Avenue.

Unwind at Airways Brewing

After a day around the city, head to Airways Brewing to unwind and sample local craft beer.

There are plenty of flavors to choose from at this microbrewery, as they create dozens of brews throughout the year.

Sample a pint or two at their tap room.

You can enjoy your pint in their outdoor area if the weather is good.

Have some snacks, or pair your beer with food from the nearby restaurants.

Don’t forget to pick up some cans so you can sample more of their brews back home.

You can find Airways Brewing on South 212th Street.

Catch a Show at accesso ShoWare Center

Exterior of accesso ShoWare Center

Ian Dewar Photography /

When visiting the city, don’t forget to check what’s happening at the accesso ShoWare Center.

This entertainment and events arena hosts sporting events, concerts, community events, and shows.

Enjoy a family-friendly musical show or a rock out to a band on tour.

Building sign of accesso ShoWare Center

Ian Dewar Photography /

See some sporting action at the hockey games—you can even catch a home match between the Seattle and Tacoma teams.

You can find accesso ShoWare Center along West James Street.

Hockey game in accesso ShoWare Center

Temescal, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Check Out the Local Art Scene at the Centennial Center Gallery

See local art at the Centennial Center Gallery, the city’s art center.

Stroll around the gallery and view lovely paintings from diverse artists.

The exhibits rotate throughout the year, presented in individual and group displays.

In the summer, the gallery hosts the Kent Summer Art Exhibit, an annual event showcasing artworks from Washington State artists.

It also hosts exhibits featuring student art.

You can find Centennial Center Gallery along West Gowe Street.

Visit the Kent Historical Museum

Glimpse into the city’s storied past and heritage when you visit the Kent Historical Museum.

Run by the Greater Kent Historical Society, the museum is housed at the Bereiter House along East Smith Street.

In the history room, learn about local indigenous stories, the museum’s collection of artifacts, and indigenous art.

Walk the hallways and view the displays on the Boeing Lunar Rover and old banknotes.

In the various rooms in the museum, see many vintage home furnishings, a 1925 grand piano, a 1910 record player, and other early 20th-century musical instruments.

Throughout the year, the Kent Historical Museum also features various rotating exhibits that highlight the city’s rich history.

Don’t forget to check out the outdoor exhibits on the museum grounds, which you can tour at your own pace using their tour brochure.

Go for Some Action Sports at Arbor Heights 360 Park

If you’re a fan of action sports, a visit to Arbor Heights 360 Park is a great way to check out the city’s skateboarding scene.

This 2.8-acre skatepark features a half-pipe and an exciting full pipe designed for skateboards and BMX.

This cool park also has climbing structures, including a 39-foot pinnacle.

Alternatively, you can just stroll along the walking trail, see some public art, or have a picnic.

Arbor Heights 360 Park is located along 240th Street.

Go Shopping Downtown

A visit to the city would not be complete without checking out the shops downtown.

Kent’s lovely downtown features a great variety of merchants.

If you’re artsy, visit the gift and crafts shops for home decor, art pieces, and accessories.

Shop for souvenirs to take home.

You can also shop for some retro stuff, games, pop culture items, and books.

Various restaurants and food shops are also around downtown, so you can go for lunch after shopping or grab a sweet treat in between exploring.

Play a Round at Riverbend Golf Complex

Daytime view of Riverbend Golf Complex

Joe Mabel, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Have some tee time in the city at Riverbend Golf Complex.

Opened in 1989, this public golf facility near the Green River features a beautiful 18-hole course and a driving range.

Play a round, enjoy the lovely views and serene atmosphere, or practice your swing at the 32-stall driving range.

Its learning center also provides golf instruction and playing lessons.

You can find Riverbend Golf Complex along West Meeker Street.

Take a Stroll at Clark Lake Park

If you’re looking for a relaxing place for some quiet time, visit Clark Lake Park.

This 130-acre nature park offers lakeside recreation and trails.

Take a leisurely walk around and explore the meadows.

Enjoy mesmerizing views of the lake against the lush greenery and blue skies.

See wildflowers and spot some wildlife.

You can find Clark Lake Park along 240th Street and 127th Avenue.

Enjoy Fall at Carpinito Brothers

If you’re visiting in the fall, stop by Carpinito Brothers to enjoy the season’s favorite farm activities.

Visit their pumpkin patch and pick some beautiful pumpkins with lovely views of Mount Rainier in the background.

Whether you’re picking a pumpkin for a pie you’ll be baking or for this year’s jack o’ lantern, there’s plenty to choose from on this 20-acre farm.

Don’t miss out on their beautifully designed corn mazes, which are expertly constructed starting from planting season.

Carpinito Brothers’ pumpkin patch is located along West Valley Highway North.

Go Ice Skating at Kent Valley Ice Centre

Take the family for some fun on the ice at Kent Valley Ice Centre.

This expansive ice entertainment center features an NHL regulation ice rink, offering fun skating for everyone.

Rent some skates and enjoy a session on the rink with some great music and lights in the background.

If you want more action on the ice, grab a stick and join a hockey session.

After fun on the rink, head for snacks and refreshments at their cafe and bar, where you can watch skaters around on the ice.

You can find Kent Valley Ice Centre along South 240th Street.

Learn about Powerboat Racing at the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum

Get to see a magnificent collection of race boats when you visit the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum.

Established in 1983, it is the only public museum in the country for powerboat racing and serves as the leading resource for the history of hydroplane racing.

You can see the various vintage hydroplanes, including award-winning ones.

Apart from the boats, the collection also includes an extensive catalog of books, publications, photos, and other memorabilia.

Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum is located along South 196th Street.

Other Things to Do Nearby

There are many other nearby attractions you can explore from Kent.

Here are some spots you can add to your travel list:

Camp at Saltwater State Park

The waters of Saltwater State Park

GeorgeColePhoto /

Take your friends camping at Saltwater State Park in the nearby city of Des Moines, 15 minutes from Kent.

The 137-acre park features a campground, a stretch of the Puget Sound shoreline, picnic areas, and trails, offering plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventures.

The grounds of Saltwater State Park

GeorgeColePhoto /

Set up camp, enjoy nature, and explore Saltwater State Park.

Come sundown, don’t miss out on the spectacular sunset view by the waters.

Picnic tables at Saltwater State Park

GeorgeColePhoto /

Admire the Flowers at Soos Creek Botanical Garden

Stroll along the fascinating native and exotic plants at Soos Creek Botanical Garden in Auburn, 15 minutes from Kent.

This 22-acre garden features gorgeous gardens perfect for those looking for some quiet time in nature.

Take a leisurely walk along the pond garden and admire the scenery.

Explore the woodlands and see native plants such as twinflowers, ferns, and bleeding hearts.

Visit the aviary to see and hear the beautiful sounds of birds.

Soos Creek Botanical Garden is also home to over a hundred rare perennial plants.

Explore Diverse Marine Life at The MaST Center Aquarium

Exterior of The MaST Center Aquarium

Joe Mabel, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Watch various sea creatures and other marine life at The MaST Center Aquarium in Des Moines, 30 minutes from Kent.

Featuring several tanks, you can view over 250 species of marine life native to Puget Sound and its surrounding waters.

There are sea stars, jellyfish, octopus, schools of fish, and other interesting marine species.

There are also two touch tanks where you can interact with several marine creatures.

The MaST Center Aquarium is Highline College’s marine biology and aquarium facility.

Final Thoughts

Kent is a city worth exploring for its arts and culture, heritage, and beautiful natural setting.

Play and relaxation opportunities abound at this exciting destination throughout the year, from its lovely parks, open spaces, and sporting venues to its lively downtown with great shopping and dining options.

Start planning your trip to experience some of the best things to do in Kent, Washinton State.

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