The industrial powerhouse of Tacoma has recently turned its attention to manufacturing art and culture instead of paper. You won’t regret lingering for a couple of days in Washington’s third-largest city, where local favorite Point Defiance Park boasts a stand-out zoo and aquarium complex to balance the miles of recreation paths that connect it to Tacoma’s revitalized waterfront. Use the free streetcar to cruise around downtown, popping into museums, snacking your way through the café scene, and wandering the genteel streets of the Stadium Historic District – all within minutes of a solid range of hotels.
Things to see
Point Defiance Park is one of Puget Sound’s finest, a vast waterfront social spot where miles of recreation paths wind past its renowned zoo and aquarium that really shines during December’s Zoolights period.
Tacoma’s Stadium Historic District is one of Washington’s most impressive neighborhoods, starring over 100 gorgeous Victorian mansions and broad leafy streets ripe for a stroll.
The eye-popping glassworks collection by native genius Dale Chihuly is reason enough to visit the Tacoma Art Museum. But rest assured, the other sleek galleries hold equally breathtaking treasures.
The wild wooly history of Washington State is presented at the city’s History Museum like no other venue. High-tech innovative displays interact with you, making history both fun and engaging.
Hotels in Tacoma
Tacoma is traditionally a business-oriented city, with a good range of lodging for every budget. The accommodation here leans towards affordable chain motels on the south end of the city and upscale historic hotels in the central downtown core. Couples looking for local ambiance will find plenty in the historic bed and breakfasts of the northern residential district of Tacoma.
Where to stay
Classy downtown is best for historic hotels, walking to dinner, and easy access to the city’s main attractions and businesses.
Bed and breakfasts make the quiet, upscale, neighborhood of North Tacoma a fine choice for travelers in search of home.
Where Interstate 5 meets South Tacoma there is a solid selection of chain motels that allow for quick driving into the city.
How to get to Tacoma
Seattle and Tacoma share a huge international airport just 30 minutes north of Tacoma with flights from all over America and Asia.
Amtrak stops its Coast Starlight train in Tacoma once a day between Los Angeles and Seattle.
Greyhound and Northwestern Trailways buses pull into Tacoma’s Puyallup Avenue terminal daily from destinations all across America.