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Your guide to Tacoma
All About Tacoma
Tacoma is a vibrant city 30 miles south of Seattle on the banks of Puget Sound in Washington. Within a one-hour driving distance from Mount Rainier National Park and home to museums, historic neighborhoods, and a two-mile-long scenic waterfront, Tacoma draws travelers with its natural beauty and unique city attractions. You don't even have to leave the city to enjoy a great hike. The Point Defiance Trail System in Tacoma offers 15 miles of trails of different lengths and difficulty levels. One of the more popular routes is the 4.6-mile Square Trail, which traces the outer loop of Point Defiance Park. When you’ve worked up an appetite, grab market-fresh seafood by the water or sample beer from one of the local breweries in town.
Tacoma houses numerous museums and galleries dedicated to Pacific Northwest artists, like the Tacoma Museum of Art, and mediums they’ve helped elevate, like the Museum of Glass. In the downtown museum district you’ll also find the Washington State History Museum, a Children's Museum, and a Car Museum.
Vintage collectors may want to explore Tacoma’s Antique Row, a downtown district known for its antique and vintage homewares, sports memorabilia, clothing, and other treasures from decades gone by.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Tacoma?
Tacoma has warm yet short summers, while winters are cold, cloudy, and wet, with a chance of snow in December and January. Spring and fall tend to be rainy with more overcast days occurring in the fall season. However, fall is a popular time for hiking among the changing fall foliage. Spring is the best time to see the rhododendrons in bloom. Stroll Point Defiance Park to see the riot of color at the Rhododendron Garden — peak season usually runs mid-April to mid-May. If you miss the rhododendrons, maybe you'll visit in July or early August in time to see (and smell) the Rose Tunnel at Point Defiance Park in full bloom. The state’s largest Fourth of July event occurs every year in Tacoma with fireworks, live music, and an air show.
What are the top things to do in Tacoma?
Museum of Glass
The 75,000-square-foot Museum of Glass, housed in the birthplace of a renowned glass artist, is dedicated to the medium as an artform. You can explore its collections of production glass, studio glass, and contemporary glass, and also witness glass-blowing demonstrations.
Point Defiance Park
Point Defiance Park sits at the north end of the city with 760 acres of trails, gardens, and views of the Salish Sea. The Japanese Garden is a highlight here, with its pagoda, footbridge, and cherry blossoms. Consider a visit to Fort Nisqually Living History Museum, located in the park. Staff and volunteers at this restored Hudson Bay Company outpost wear period costumes and demonstrate what 19th-century life was like in the area.
Ruston Way Waterfront
The Ruston Way Waterfront coastal walkway runs from downtown to Point Defiance Park, offering up scenic views of South Puget Sound. There's no better spot to admire the city skyline against the backdrop of Mount Rainier in the distance, or the views of the South Puget Sound. Watch for seals basking or playing in the water nearby.