Tacoma is a gateway to unique communities, recreation and attractions not found anywhere else. Tacoma is a gem, often overlooked in the razzle-dazzle about Seattle. Life is more of a walking pace than a rat race.
Tacoma surrounds one of the best deep-water natural harbors anywhere. 19th century sailing ships loaded logs and lumber at wharves right along the beach in Commencement Bay. Today modern container ships, some among them the largest in the world, load and unload at a state- of-the-art intermodal port facility. About one in six jobs in the County are related in some way to Port activities, and those jobs pay about 41% more than average.
Fascinating downtown attractions include the Museum of Glass and it's hot shop where you can watch artists at work or take a class and make your own object d’ arte. A must see is the Chihuly Glass Bridge - a 500 foot pedestrian bridge that connects the Museum to downtown Tacoma.
Be sure to also visit the Tacoma Art Museum, Washington State History Museum and the LeMay-America’s Car Museum , a car lover's dream come true with a collection of cars spanning over a hundred years and a constant influx of new exhibitions featuring cars from collections worldwide.
For art lovers be sure to check out "Artwalk" now known as "Art Mingle" which has been going strong since 1989 and is on the third Thursday of every month from 5pm to 8pm. Meet participating artists and see their art.
For Music and theatre lovers, you will enjoy a wide selection of venues and groups. Enjoy the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra or visit the Tacoma Opera. Also, be sure to check out the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts.
Downtown Tacoma is the place to find condominiums (some upscale, some not), urban lofts and plenty of restaurants (some offbeat, some not). Taste the amazing seafood cuisine that Chef Gordon Naccarato (one of Food and Wine Magazine’s “10 Best New American Chefs of the Year”) at Pacific Grillin Tacoma. Not only will you be able to enjoy the magnificent food but you will also be able to feast your eyes on a beautiful array of aqua-influenced artwork.
There’s more: Point Defiance Park, operated by Tacoma Metro Parks, is a 702-acre public park originally set aside by President Grover Cleveland. Its grounds include the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, a favorite of residents from far and wide. Check our the 27 acre Arboretum Wright Park in Tacoma.
Zoo Lights is a uniquely NW event. While there, try Anthony’s Restaurant down by the ferry terminal. You’ll get a great meal along with great views over the Sound toward Vashon Island, or watch the start of a sailboat race at the Tacoma Yacht Club.
There are many more intriguing places to visit, including Mt. Rainier.
History buffs should check out the Northwest Room at the Tacoma Public Library for a trove of resources about Tacoma’s past. Want more local history? Read Murray Morgan's Puget’s Sound and The Mill On the Boot, by Murray Morgan.
Last – surely not least – should you like boating, well, you’ll be in heaven. You can navigate over salt water from Tacoma right out to the broad Pacific Ocean (about 170 miles from here), or you can island-hop. Not into saltwater? Visit one of many large lakes in the County – Lake Tapps, Spanaway Lake, American Lake, Crescent Lake, Alder Lake and more.