What is There to do in Tacoma, Washington?

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  • Written By: Diana Bocco
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 22 September 2019
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With over 200,000 inhabitants, Tacoma, known to locals as "The City of Destiny," is one of the largest cities in the state of Washington. Located over Commencement Bay and near the Mount Rainier National Park, Tacoma is an important military center, with several bases both in and out of the city limits.

Tacoma is home to two unique museums: the LeMay America's Car Museum and the Museum of Glass. The LeMay America's Car Museum, still under construction, is being funded by a private donor to showcase over 2000 cars representing the best in design, speed, equipment, etc. The Museum of Glass is a series of buildings and outdoor construction showcasing the art and technology behind the production of glass. Besides objects and artifacts, the museum features reflecting pools, a giant glass bridge, and live glassmaking.

Tacoma was named as "the most walkable city" in 2004 and 2006, thanks in part to the many parks and trails around the area. Point Defiance Park and Wapato Park are clear examples of large green areas that cater to walkers and visitors. Point Defiance Park, in particular, is extremely diverse, featuring a zoo and aquarium, a beach and boardwalk, a classic rose garden, and a historical construction and "living-history museum" known as Fort Nisqually.


Other great walking areas in Tacoma include Wright Park and the Wright Park Arboretum, which abound in hiking trails and green areas that attract visitors year around. Those visiting Tacoma in April can enjoy the Daffodil Parade, which crosses Tacoma as part of its inter-county display. The parade is popular with local high schools, from where a queen is chosen, and local businesses, which benefit from the added visitor traffic.

The William Ross Rust House is a historical landmark located in Tacoma. The 1905, 18-room mansion belonged to magnate William Ross Rust, and is now a popular sight in Tacoma. Another popular area sight is the Fireboat No. 1, which served the city of Tacoma until 1983. The 96-foot (29.4 m) boat is a registered historical landmark, a rarity among ships. Bob's Java Jive, a local coffee house built in the format of a giant teapot, is a cultural landmark that has been featured in many films over the past three decades. The cafe, which is extremely popular with tourists visiting Tacoma, also offers live music on weekends.


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Post 2

I had some great times there in late 1949 and mid 50s. I was stationed at Ft Lewis and was with the 2nd Inf. Div. I'll never forget it. Was there until we shipped out to Korea around Aug.5,1950. Darn it, never had a chance to go back. -- Bob Y

Post 1

They used to talk about the "aroma of Tacoma" because the paper or pulp mills gave off a smell that could be smelled throughout the city. It has gotten much better in recent years though!

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