13 Best Places and Things To Do in Tacoma, Washington

Tacoma, Washington, often referred to as the “City of Destiny,” is a vibrant and diverse city located in the Pacific Northwest. Nestled on the shores of Puget Sound, Tacoma offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural attractions, and outdoor adventures. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Tacoma:

1. Point Defiance Park

File:Point Defiance Forest.jpg

Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Point_Defiance_Park

Spanning over 700 acres, Point Defiance Park is a must-visit destination for nature lovers. The park features stunning gardens, walking trails, a zoo and aquarium (Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium), and beautiful views of the water. It’s an ideal spot for picnicking, hiking, and enjoying the great outdoors.

2. Museum of Glass

File:Museum of Glass, Tacoma.jpg

Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Museum_of_Glass

Tacoma is renowned for its glass art, and the Museum of Glass is a testament to the city’s rich artistic heritage. This contemporary art museum showcases stunning glass sculptures, offers live glassblowing demonstrations, and hosts rotating exhibits that highlight the work of local and international glass artists.

3. Tacoma Art Museum

File:Tacoma, WA - Tacoma Art Museum 01.jpg

Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tacoma_Art_Museum

Located in downtown Tacoma, the Tacoma Art Museum (TAM) houses an impressive collection of American art. The museum features works by renowned artists such as Dale Chihuly, Mark Tobey, and Jacob Lawrence. TAM also offers educational programs, art classes, and engaging exhibits that explore various art forms and cultural perspectives.

4. LeMay – America’s Car Museum

Image Source: https://www.tripadvisor.in/Attraction_Review-g58775-d3203900-Reviews-LeMay_America_s_Car_Museum-Tacoma_Washington.html

Car enthusiasts will find paradise at the LeMay – America’s Car Museum. This impressive museum showcases a vast collection of vintage, classic, and modern cars, providing a comprehensive look at the history of automobiles in the United States. The museum features interactive exhibits, educational programs, and even hosts car shows and events.

5. Titlow Beach Park

Image Source: https://www.tripadvisor.in/Attraction_Review-g58775-d4323745-Reviews-Titlow_Park-Tacoma_Washington.html

Enjoy a day at the beach at Titlow Beach Park, which offers stunning views of the Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. This family-friendly park has picnic areas, a playground, a spray park for kids, and a waterfront boardwalk for leisurely walks.

6. Ruston Way Park

Image Source: https://www.tripadvisor.in/Attraction_Review-g58775-d12706829-Reviews-Ruston_Way_Park-Tacoma_Washington.html

Ruston Way Park is a picturesque waterfront park with a walking and biking path that stretches along Commencement Bay. Enjoy stunning views, watch boats pass by, and take advantage of the picnic areas and beach access for a relaxing day by the water.

7. Chihuly Bridge of Glass

Image Source: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g58775-d7376159-Reviews-Chihuly_Bridge_of_Glass-Tacoma_Washington.html

Admire the stunning Chihuly Bridge of Glass, a pedestrian bridge adorned with colorful glass sculptures by renowned artist Dale Chihuly. It connects downtown Tacoma to the Museum of Glass and serves as a captivating outdoor art gallery.

8. Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum

File:Karpeles Manuscript Museum.JPG

Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karpeles_Manuscript_Library_Museums

History and literature enthusiasts will appreciate the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum. This museum houses rotating exhibits featuring original manuscripts, including historic documents, rare books, and letters written by notable figures.

9. Titlow Park

Image Source: https://www.tripadvisor.in/Attraction_Review-g58775-d4323745-Reviews-Titlow_Park-Tacoma_Washington.html

Titlow Park features a sandy beach area where you can relax, soak up the sun, or take a leisurely stroll along the shoreline. The beach offers a calm and peaceful atmosphere, making it an ideal spot for a family outing or a quiet day by the water.

10. Tacoma Chinese Reconciliation Park

Image Source: https://www.tripadvisor.in/Attraction_Review-g58775-d3871308-Reviews-Tacoma_Chinese_Reconciliation_Park-Tacoma_Washington.html

The park is a testament to the history and struggles of the Chinese community in Tacoma. It commemorates the 1885 expulsion of Chinese residents following the violent anti-Chinese riots that occurred in the city. The park stands as a symbol of reconciliation and a commitment to fostering understanding and harmony among diverse communities.

11. Browns Point Lighthouse Park

Image Source: https://www.tripadvisor.in/Attraction_Review-g58775-d17451856-Reviews-Browns_Point_Lighthouse_Park-Tacoma_Washington.html

The focal point of the park is the Browns Point Lighthouse, a picturesque white lighthouse with a red roof. This historic landmark has stood on the site since 1887 and played a crucial role in guiding ships safely through the waters of Puget Sound. You can explore the lighthouse grounds and learn about its rich history and maritime significance.

12. Job Carr Cabin Museum

Image Source: https://www.tripadvisor.in/Attraction_Review-g58775-d6403700-Reviews-Job_Carr_Cabin_Museum-Tacoma_Washington.html

The museum is centered around the Job Carr Cabin, which is a replica of the original log cabin built by Job Carr in 1864. Job Carr was the first permanent European-American settler in Tacoma and played a crucial role in the early development of the city.

13. Metro Parks

Image Source: https://www.tripadvisor.in/Attraction_Review-g58775-d8746708-Reviews-Metro_Parks-Tacoma_Washington.html

Metro Parks Tacoma oversees a vast network of parks and open spaces throughout the city. These parks offer a variety of amenities, including playgrounds, sports fields, walking trails, picnic areas, and natural habitats. Some notable parks managed by Metro Parks Tacoma include Point Defiance Park, Wright Park, Swan Creek Park, and Wapato Park.