Posted by: RasmaSandra | August 1, 2022

Terrific Tacoma

Our armchair travels across the US have taken us to the west coast and the state of Washington.

Our first stop is Tacoma, a city that sits on the shoreline of Puget Sound and has a colorful waterfront district with restaurants and attractions.

One of the city’s highlights is the large natural space Point Defiance sitting on a peninsula that juts out into the Puget Sound on the far north end. The park offers different attractions like the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. The park has a scenic network of both hiking and biking trails.

While at Point Defiance Park, take the time to visit the Fort Nisqually Living History Museum. This is a replica fort that has been designed to resemble one of the first settlements in Puget Sound, dating back to 1883.

If you want to relax in the sun, head for Owen Beach while hikers enjoy the Five Mile Drive and Trails system.

The Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is the only combination of both zoo and aquarium in the Pacific Northwest. You can see animals from all over the globe. There are Sumatran tigers, red wolves, and polar bears. The zoo has different habitats, like the Asian Forest Sanctuary and the Arctic Tundra. Two massive aquariums represent the South Pacific and Pacific Seas.

The Chihuly Bridge of Glass stretches from the Museum of Glass over Interstate 705. The bridge connects to the Washington State History Museum and Union Station on the other side. This is a unique pedestrian bridge that has three massive Dale Chihuly glass artworks decorating the walkway. The bridge is open 24/7 and has lights illuminating the glasswork at night.

Seaform Pavilion is one of the first installations when you come from Pacific Avenue. It features a glass ceiling stuffed with thousands of tiny glass pieces.

Next is the Crystal Towers, which resemble massive rock candy sticks. The blue sculptures are lit underneath at night.

The Venetian Wall is the third installation and is a cabinet-like structure housing over 100 decorative glass-blown vases.

The Bridge of Glass is a great place to see the sunset. The nearby Thea Foss Waterway has a beautiful lighted walkway and several local restaurants with menus you can check out.

America’s Car Museum is a world-renowned repository of classic and modern automobiles. These cars are part of the personal collections of Tacoma residents Harold and Nancy LeMay. There are hundreds of cars that span the last century of manufacturing. Over 300 cars are on display. Permanent exhibits focus on themes such as Route 66 and the British Invasion. Among the highlights is the popular “Speed Zone” package, including a ride in a racing simulator. The museum also hosts outdoor events, including several classic car shows.

The Museum of Glass, or MOG, is located in downtown Tacoma. The museum was constructed atop an old Superfund site. It is in the Thea Foss Waterway neighborhood and has unique architecture. The museum offers several exhibits dedicated to different glass and glassblowing arts. Exhibits rotate regularly, and one permanent exhibit features the world’s most renowned glassblowing artist, Dale Chihuly, a Tacoma native. The main attractions of MOG are the Hot Shop and glassblowing studio, which is the largest and most active glass studio on the West Coast.

The Washington State History Museum features the natural and cultural events that shaped the US state of Washington. It is located opposite the MOG and connected by the Bridge of Glass. The main exhibit is the Great Hall of Washington History which is a multi-room exhibit spanning the time before dinosaurs to WW II and beyond. Another permanent exhibit tells the story of immigration and how people found a second home in the Pacific Northwest.

The Tacoma Art Museum is housed in a lovely building. The Haub Family Collection of Western Amercian Art is one of the largest collections of Western American Art in the Pacific Northwest. Dale Chihuly also has some pieces on display. The museum regularly rotates exhibits. The museum offers art classes to kids, teens, and adults, as well as family programs.

The Foss Waterway Seaport is the northernmost museum in the Tacoma Museum District. It is housed in a former wheat-transfer plant from the early 1900s. It tells about the maritime history of the city, There are boats on display along with photographs and maritime artifacts.

Wright Park is a beautiful natural space near Tacoma’s Theater District. The park acts as an arboretum with interpretive information about the different trees. There is a playground and splash pad. You can also find a tranquil pond and fountain.

W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory is also within this park and offers amazing displays of flowers all year long.

Mount Rainier National Park is a great day trip to take. Mount Rainier is the largest mountain in the state and the most prominent peak in the Pacific Northwest, The Nisqually entrance to the park is one of the closest areas and most visited from Tacoma. You can stop and spend the night in the Longmire Historic District and Cougar Rock Campground. The entrance gives you access to Paradise, a region on the mountain’s southern flank.

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  1. Wow, Tacoma really likes its glass, doesn’t it? I enjoyed reading this!

    • Glad you enjoyed the tour, Tacoma has a creative way with glass,

  2. Had no idea Tacoma was such a touristy town!

    • That has just happened in recent years. My mother, many years ago, had a friend living in Tacoma, and I also visited, and this was back in the 1980s. It was a beautiful city but certainly at that time did not have too many attractions. For excitement, you would have to head for Seattle, Now it has all been built up and is completely different and of course our friend is no longer with us so I have never returned there,

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