Best & Fun Things To Do + Places To Visit In Tacoma, Washington. #Top Attractions

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Tacoma, Washington, will surely surprise you with its many wonders! Here is our hand-picked list of the top activities and attractions in Tacoma, Washington, so you can make the most of your time there. Scroll down for the best things to do in Tacoma, Washington, and the best places to visit in Tacoma, Washington. As a Web 3.0 travel startup, Wondrous Drifter has big plans to shake things up in the field.

This is the destination for those who enjoy art, food, parks, and urban life.

Tacoma is situated just on Puget Sound, about 30 miles south of Seattle, and is a thriving city.

Even while it displays differently from the metropolitan feel of Seattle, the city nevertheless has a wide variety of exciting activities and attractions to see.

Tacoma, Washington, is a city in the Pacific Northwest that celebrates art. World-renowned glass art in Tacoma has given the city a dynamic urban center filled with culture.

The Museum of Glass in Tacoma’s Museum District is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city.

Attractions for tourists in this city include the innovative environment and the sophisticated old and modern structures.

This city’s museums exhibit the Puget Sound area and its history, from cars to local history.                                                                           

However, Tacoma is also more than art.

Also just inside city borders are Washington’s iconic excursions, such as Point Defiance Park, a 760-acre park that dates back more than 130 years.

If you like art and museums or prefer to spend time outdoors, Tacoma has something to offer you. 

Museum of Glass

Museum of Glass, Tacoma, Washington
Museum of Glass, Tacoma, Washington / Casey Yee / Flickr

The Museum of Glass is one of the top attractions in Washington.

Spend the first day of your Tacoma vacation seeing this fascinating museum.

The Museum of Glass exhibits glassworks from throughout the world.

Also included in the museum is an exhibit that is a tribute to Tacoma-based glass artist Dale Chihuly, regarded as one of the world’s best.

You may think that it’s simply a typical museum, but that’s not quite the case!

The Museum of Glass is a vital aspect of the historical and architectural setting. In the heart of Tacoma, it was built on top of a former Superfund site.

The museum’s creation marked the beginning of attempts to restore the Thea Foss Waterway district in which it is located. 

Presently, the museum’s unique architecture is a downtown spotlight for the arts, culture, and economic development.

In addition to the museum’s exhibits, the museum’s glassblowing workshop and Hot Shop are the Museum of Glass’s main attractions. 

Located on the West Coast, this studio is the biggest and busiest glass shop in the area.

If you’re interested in learning how to blow glass, you may take a class or sign up for a demo!

When the museum is open, tourists can watch the Hot Shop Team in action as they create exquisite glass masterpieces.

Tacoma’s most popular tourist destination should be on your list of must-sees!

Address: 1801 Dock Street, Tacoma, Washington

The Chihuly Bridge of Glass 

The Chihuly Bridge of Glass, Virginia
The Chihuly Bridge of Glass, Virginia / Amit Chattopadhyay / Flickr

From the Museum of Glass, you will find a lovely place to wander.

The Chihuly Bridge of Glass is a unique pedestrian bridge that features three huge Dale Chihuly glass masterpieces decorating the pathway.

It spans Interstate 705 from the Museum of Glass to the Washington State History Museum and Union Station on the opposite side.

The Seaform Pavilion, one of the earliest exhibits of the bridge that originates from Pacific Avenue, displays a glass canopy packed with hundreds of tiny glass shards.

Moreover, the Crystal Towers, resembling giant rock candy sticks, is the second and most noticeable in the downtown area.

The blue sculptures underneath them are lighted during the nighttime, giving the glassy structure a fresh perspective.

Finally, the Venetian Wall is the third and final installation. More than 100 hand-blown glass vases are housed in a cabinet-like structure in this museum exhibit.

Furthermore, the Chihuly Bridge of Glass is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and the glassworks are illuminated at night.

Also, you’ll be able to witness a beautiful sunset while touring the bridge at the end of the day.

Once you’ve done that, you may explore the neighboring Thea Foss Waterway, which features a gorgeous illuminated boardwalk and many restaurants.

Check out the Chihuly Bridge of Glass as soon as you arrive in Tacoma.

Address: Bridge of Glass, Tacoma, WA 98402, United States

Washington State History Museum

Washington State History Museum, Tacoma, Washington
Washington State History Museum, Tacoma, Washington / SounderBruce / Flickr

Take this opportunity to stock up on your knowledge about Washington State if you have any.

Visitors to the Washington State History Museum can learn about the state’s heritage while also having a great time in the museum’s engaging and interactive displays.

The museum exhibits the environmental and cultural factors influencing the present-day state of Washington.

The Museum of Glass is located just across from the Chihuly Bridge, which connects to the museum.

When it was founded in 1891, the Washington State Historical Society was just beginning its second century of service. 

Its mission is to collect, preserve, and accurately represent Washington’s rich and fascinating heritage.

Researchers, academics, historians, and critical thinkers can use the Historical Society’s wide range of services.

Moreover, you should also view the major exhibit, the Great Hall of Washington History. From the time of the dinosaurs to the end of World War II, this display has it all.

Among the topics discussed are Native American culture, statehood, and the expanding railroad industry.

There is also a permanent exhibit that is dedicated to the history of immigration to and from the Pacific Northwest.

Visitors will likely feel like they’ve been transported across time and space in the Great Hall’s many exhibitions.

Tour the Washington History Museum’s Great Hall to satisfy your curiosities!

Address: 1911 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, Washington

Up for an adventure? Washington has a lot to offer! Olympia and Vancouver are places you should not miss when in this state! To get the most out of your vacation in Washington, hop over to the best things to do in Olympia, Washington and the best things to do in Vancouver, Washington

Ruston Waterfront

Ruston Waterfront, Tacoma, Washington
Ruston Waterfront, Tacoma, Washington / Jett Brooks / Flickr

The Ruston Waterfront is one of the best things to do in Washington.

One of Tacoma’s best sites for strolling is Ruston Waterfront, which is only a few blocks from downtown.

Ruston Waterfront is a great place for locals, visitors, stores, and restaurants in Point Ruston.

It is perfect for tourists that want to relax and take in some of the best views of Commencement Bay.

Essentially, Ruston Waterfront is just a two-mile stretch of gorgeous beachfront with a stunning view of Commencement Bay that separates The Lobster Shop from Duke’s Chowder House.

From Ruston Way to Point Defiance Park, it provides stunning views of Mount Rainier and Commencement Bay from the beach.

Moreover, the place is an excellent area if you want to go swimming, boating, and fishing along Ruston Way’s beachside.

Experience the best vistas of Commencement Bay while you stroll, run, or rollerblade along the shoreline if you prefer land activities!

Furthermore, artworks depicting sea animals unique to Puget Sound can be found along the Ruston Waterfront.

All in all, you can take a long walk along the Ruston Waterfront or rent a bicycle from Wheel Fun Rentals and take a tour around the water.

Get yourself going and make the most of your time in Tacoma!

Address: Ruston WayTacoma, WA, USA

Tacoma Art Museum

Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma Washington
Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma Washington / SounderBruce / Flickr

The Tacoma Art Museum is one of the best places to visit in Washington.

Tacoma is indeed home to several noteworthy museums, but this one ranks out the most.

Situated in the Puyallup Tribes’ ancestral homelands, Tacoma Art Museum is a cultural institution.

The Tacoma Art Association, a group of local volunteers, was established in 1935.

As of now, it has exceeded the capacity of the original five exhibition halls and has become a national model for smaller, regional museums.

With lots of meaningful exhibitions, engaging activities, and enlightening activities, the museum acts as a centerpiece for the city’s downtown and a location where people can come together to be inspired by art.

Among the museum’s more than 5,300 artifacts are from the Pacific Northwest and the rest of the western United States.

In fact, you’ll find the largest museum exhibit of Dale Chihuly’s glass art and the biggest collection of studio art jewelry from Northwest artists in its collections.

Because of its sleek, contemporary aesthetic, the Tacoma Art Museum appears to be part of the city itself.

With so many rooms in the museum to explore, there’s no shortage of options here.

Since the admission counter is just next to it, tourists could easily access The Haub Family Collection of Western American Art. Nearly 300 works of art from the late 1700s to the present day are housed in this private-to-public collection.

Furthermore, Tacoma Art Museum provides a wide variety of workshops for children and adults and activities for families.

Overall, the museum’s exhibits are constantly rotated, so there’s always something fresh to view.

You know where to begin to get the best out of Tacoma’s art scene!

Address: 1701 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, Washington

Washington will surely surprise you with its many wonders! View our noteworthy trip ideas for Spokane and Seattle. Have a fun time on your vacation! Look out for more terrific things to do in Spokane, Washington, and the best things to do in Seattle, Washington.

LeMay – America’s Car Museum

LeMay - America's Car Museum, Tacoma, Washington
LeMay – America’s Car Museum, Tacoma, Washington / tour geek / Flickr

The fascinating museum in Tacoma is a must-see for any road trippers who are automotive fans!

The LeMay – America’s Car Museum is a world-famous collection of vintage and contemporary cars.

If you enjoy automobiles, this non-profit museum will not disappoint at all!

In addition to the 165,000-square-foot museum, there is also a 3.5-acre exhibition area with more than 300 automobiles on show.

The collection of Tacoma residents Harold and Nancy LeMay is the source of the automobiles on display at the museum.

While the vehicle exhibitions come and go all year, a few year-round exhibits focus on Route 66 and the British Invasion, accordingly.

Currently, there are hundreds of automobiles from the past century on display at the museum.

A visit could be made even more memorable by engaging in one of the museum’s various activities, such as the famous Speed Zone package, which features an experience in a virtual racing simulator.

Outdoor activities such as vintage vehicle shows are also often held in the museum.

Everyone can have a great time looking at and learning about vintage automobiles at LeMay’s!

There’s no better place for an unforgettable car experience in Tacoma, Washington, than the LeMay – America’s Car Museum!

Address: 2702 E D Street, Tacoma, Washington

Point Defiance Park

Point Defiance Park, Tacoma Washington
Point Defiance Park, Tacoma, Washington / pfly / Flickr

Navigate your way to the beautiful nature that is Tacoma’s most precious treasure.

Tacoma’s crown jewel, Point Defiance Park, is on a peninsula extending towards Puget Sound at the city’s far northern tip.

Its 760 acres of open area is equivalent in size to that of Seattle’s Discovery Park as well as Portland’s Washington Park.

For those desiring a stress-free environment to spend the day, this is an excellent pick!

The park’s scenic beauty and many exploration options are some of its key highlights.

Some of its tourist attractions are within the park’s proximity, such as the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, the gardens, and even an amusement park.

Likewise, the park has the Fort Nisqually Living History Museum and the Zoo and Aquarium.

Let yourself get immersed in the streets and roads that run through this pristine woodland!

When it comes to views, Mount Rainier, Puget Sound, and an ancient forest all come together to provide an experience of a lifetime.

Point Defiance Park in Tacoma, Washington, is one of the greatest destinations to go for an outdoor adventure!

Address: 5400 N Pearl St, Tacoma, WA 98407, United States

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, Tacoma, Washington
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is one of the best places to go in Tacoma, Washington

In contrast to Point Defiance Park, you should also tour Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium!

Even though traveling with children might be a hassle, you won’t have to worry about them being bored at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.

The Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, located in Point Defiance Park, is the only zoo and aquarium in the Pacific Northwest.

It is estimated that 700,000 people visit Point Defiance every year to see a diverse variety of animals from throughout the world.

Additionally, the zoo has distinct environments for Asian Forest Sanctuary and Arctic Tundra. The complex also features two huge aquariums, one for the South Pacific and one for the Pacific.

For those who don’t mind getting their hands dirty, this could be the activity for you.

You could feed and snuggle the goats in the touch zone, where you could also engage with some marine life.

Suppose you have any concerns regarding care for these incredible animals. In that case, there are talks arranged every day that you can attend and learn from.

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma is a fun place to visit a day with the family!

Address: 5400 N Pearl Street, Tacoma, Washington

Wright Park

Wright Park, Tacoma, Washington
Wright Park, Tacoma, Washington / Ben Brooks / Flickr

To take a casual stroll or let your kids run about, come to Wright Park.

Wright Park is a pleasant natural environment on the north side of downtown Tacoma, near the Theater District.

The Tacoma Property Company granted a 20-acre block of land to Tacoma in 1886 under the direction of its president, Charles B. Wright.

To begin with, the park was just 20 acres, but it has since grown to its present 27-acre size, which encompasses 10 city blocks.

Wright Park is currently home to a famous playground and a vast splash pool.

Located on the park’s northwest side, a serene pond and fountain draw attention and provide a comfortable spot to relax and unwind.

More than 600 trees can be found in the 27-acre arboretum, which has a wide range of plants.

You won’t be disappointed by its rich greenery for a relaxing stroll.

Additionally, you may visit the W. W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory, which is also located in the area of Wright Park. 

Throughout the year, the vibrant botanical center puts on a variety of breathtaking floral exhibits.

Explore Wright Park in Tacoma on a bright day to make the most of it!

Address: 501 S I St, Tacoma, WA 98405, United States

Foss Waterway Seaport

Foss Waterway Seaport, Tacoma, Washington
Foss Waterway Seaport is one of the best places to go in Tacoma, Washington

In Tacoma, this maritime history is a must-see attraction!

An ancient wooden wheat warehouse erected in Tacoma’s early years for rail and sail freight is now home to the Foss Waterway Seaport on the waterfront.

One of the main attractions in this area is the Thea Foss Waterway and the Balfour Dock Building. At one time, the building served as an early wheat transfer station, and it had a significant impact on the growth of Tacoma.

Other museums like the Museum of Glass were built in the downtown area during this time period.

Moreover, Foss Waterway Seaport is one of Puget Sound’s leading maritime history, education, and event centers that attract visitors of all ages from all walks of life.

The city’s magnificent maritime history is waiting for you to discover!

Furthermore, you’ll discover how Tacoma’s past has affected its present and transformed its vision of Puget Sound’s natural beauty.

All of this and more may be found in the museum’s extensive archive of marine artifacts and images.

The Foss Waterway Seaport is a nice place to visit now because of its history.

Address: 705 Dock Street, Tacoma, Washington

Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier National Park , Tacoma Washington
Mount Rainier National Park, Tacoma, Washington / Jeff Hollett / Flickr

Take a pause from your stressful life and appreciate the tranquility of Tacoma’s beautiful landscapes.

Mount Rainier National Park is the biggest mountain in Washington and perhaps the most visible summit in the Pacific Northwest.

Apart from admiring it from downtown streets, Tacoma locals and tourists can travel just under 70 miles to the foot of Mount Rainier.

Before establishing the National Park Service, Mount Rainier National Park was formed in 1899.

John Muir, the well-known naturalist, and Bailey Willis, a U.S. Geological Survey employee, headed the drive to make Mount Rainier a national park for its exceptional beauty.

To witness subalpine flower fields around the freezing volcano in this park is a fantastic experience for visitors. At the same time, an old forest covers the lower slopes of Mount Rainier.

Located in the continental United States, Mount Rainier has the most glaciated summit.

Likewise, the park’s habitats are home to a wide variety of wildlife.

On the other hand, the park has set aside specific locations for centuries to execute Native American religious rites.

Mount Rainier’s weather can change anytime, so be ready for that.

However, climbing Mount Rainier will not be a simple task, but the outcome will be priceless.

Overall, the beauty of Mount Rainier should not be overlooked!

Allow yourself to chill out and enjoy a vacation to Mount Rainier National Park, where you’ll discover a world of wonders.

Address: Washington, United States

Stadium High School

Stadium High School, Tacoma, Washington
Stadium High School, Tacoma, Washington / Jeff Hitchcock / Flickr

One of Tacoma’s most renowned schools, Stadium High School welcomes tourists to see its campus.

As a historic landmark in Tacoma, Washington, Stadium High School has been operating for the past century.

Locally known as the Brown Castle, Stadium High School was originally intended as the most fabulous fancy hotel on the Pacific Coast by investors.

As a consequence of the railroad’s economic bankruptcy, The Tacoma Land Company and the Northern Pacific Railroad Company failed to build the hotel.

It was closed up for several years until it was purchased by the Tacoma School District.

Since that day, Stadium High School, one of the most iconic building institutions in the country, has had four floors, four attic levels, and three basements.

The structure has 575 windows and a floor area of 196,642 square feet.

It is a special location, and everyone who visits its doorway is left feeling as though they, too, are a part of something remarkable.

Fun fact about the school – it was the location for the blockbuster movie “10 Things I Hate About You.”

In addition, Pretty Gritty Tours in Tacoma conducts Stadium High School Tours and other events.

Come visit Stadium High School if you want to relive a scene from “10 Things I Hate About You” or just see a spectacular structure!

Address: 111 N E St, Tacoma, WA 98403, United States

The Grand Cinema

The Grand Cinema, Tacoma, Washington
The Grand Cinema is one of the best places to go in Tacoma, Washington

Despite the numerous cinemas constructed over the years, this old cinema building is still running fine.

The Grand Cinema, housed in the iconic Merlino Arts Center, is South Sound’s non-profit cinema showcasing independent, foreign, and indie movies.

As soon as you step inside the cinema, you’ll be transported back in time.

But don’t be deceived by that idea! The Grand Cinema is a historic movie theater, yet it operates just like any other in the city.

Tacoma Film Camp, Tacoma’s film festival, the 253 Short Film Party, and many other exciting film courses and special events are all hosted at The Grand Cinema.

In addition, The Grand Cinema is enthusiastic about showcasing local items wherever possible.

By then, you could purchase locally brewed beer and wine inside their facility if you’re in the mood for a drink.

Is there anything you’d want to eat? You can pick up Tacoma-made cookies and ice cream, prepared with local ingredients, which are available for purchase in the movie theater concession stand.

To spend a romantic evening with your loved one or to host a movie night for your close friends and family, the Grand Cinema is the ideal location!

Address: 606 Fawcett Ave, Tacoma, WA 98402, United States

Tacoma Book Center

Tacoma Book Center, Tacoma, Washington
Tacoma Book Center is one of the best places to go in Tacoma, Washington

The Tacoma Book Center is a paradise for bookworms since it is the largest bookshop in Washington State!

Thousands of titles line the shelves of Tacoma Book Center, a landmark institution open for more than three decades.

As long as you enjoy reading, you’ll have a lot of pleasure exploring the bookshelves for old favorites.

There’s really no lack of them at Tacoma Book Center’s store when it comes to books.

If you don’t mind the scent of old books, you’ll find enough to sniff in here!

Surprisingly, the store owners have appeared calm, lounging behind the counter, most likely reading something.

If you ask for assistance, they will provide it; if not, they will leave you to your own means.

All in all, the chances of finding what you’re looking for are about 100%! 

The Tacoma Book Center will create a lasting impression on those who wish to read books.

You may buy a book as a keepsake for your vacation to Tacoma!

Address: 324 E 26th St, Tacoma, WA 98421, United States

Jack Hyde Park

Jack Hyde Park, Tacoma, Washington
Jack Hyde Park is one of the best places to go in Tacoma, Washington

Would you like to see some views of Tacoma’s skyline?

As one of Old Town’s most treasured green spaces, Jack Hyde Park on the riverfront is a favorite with locals and visitors alike.

Jack Hyde Park had been renamed in honor of Tacoma Mayor Jack Hyde, who was instrumental in developing the Ruston Way waterfront.

Beach access, picnic areas, an interpretative court, a sundial, and magnificent views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains are all part of the park’s offerings.

As one of the top ten greatest 21st Century American Heritage Parks, it has been recognized by the American Parks and Wildlife Association as well.

Running, walking, and rollerblading are enjoyable activities along the two-mile picturesque beachfront.

You could hire a paddleboard at Dolan’s Board Sport if you really want to give it a try.

In this grassy area, visitors can take in incredible views of Vashon Island, Commencement Bay, and the Olympic Mountains.

Want to go fishing in Tacoma? At the Les Davis Pier, fishers can set up and cast their lines.

On the other side, there are public art installations that appeal to a trip down Ruston Way, in which you’ll find various eateries.

Spending a day in Jack Hyde Park will make your day trip more enjoyable.

Address: 1741 N Schuster Pkwy, Tacoma, WA 98402, United States

Dorky’s Bar Arcade

Dorky's Bar Arcade, Tacoma, Washington
Dorky’s Bar Arcade is one of the best places to go in Tacoma, Washington

Bring out the inner kid in you, and have a blast in this arcade!

Dorky’s Bar Arcade is all about vintage video arcade games and pinball machines!

It first debuted on Tacoma’s Pacific Avenue in 2010, and it has been there ever since.

Dorky’s Arcade is an excellent place to reminisce about the good old days for those who can’t travel back in time.

This eccentric location has been a local gamer’s delight for a decade!

It’s amazing how well-maintained most old arcade gamers from the 1980s and 1990s still are!

After playing, you’re sure to get hungry! Aside from the arcades, Dorky’s Bar Arcade serves you some of the best pizza and beer in town.

In addition to their awesome pizza menu, there are other meal specialties, such as handmade soups and Taco Tuesday tacos.

There’s always something new to try, and they offer the finest gaming selection in the South Sound.

Adults and children will have a great time playing in this retro arcade.

When you’re done with your outside adventure, it’s time to play games!

Address: 754 Pacific Ave, Tacoma, WA 98402, United States

Tacoma Dome

Tacoma Dome, Tacoma, Washington
Tacoma Dome is one of the best places to go in Tacoma, Washington

Probably Tacoma’s one of the most well-known landmarks is its famed dome.

The Tacoma Dome is, in fact, one of the world’s largest wood domes.

The dome entertains tens of thousands of people with world-class shows every year.

The Venues & Events Department of the City of Tacoma is the entity that owns and manages the venue.

As the biggest indoor facility in Washington, the Tacoma Dome can hold 1,000 to 21,000 people.

In recent decades, the Tacoma Dome is now an integral part of the city’s identity.

The Varaz System, designed by architects from Western Wood Structures in Beaverton, Oregon, was used to make the dome. As the name implies, this technology makes use of “glulams,” or triangle pieces of laminated and glued timber.

Furthermore, there are sports held in the Tacoma Dome, including ice hockey, soccer, basketball, and football.

The Tacoma Dome also hosts legendary performances by artists like David Bowie, Professional Bull Riders Association, Monster Jam rallies, and WWE fights.

Take the time to enjoy its beauty or attend one of its events if you ever come across this dome!

Address: 2727 E D St, Tacoma, WA 98421, United States

T-Town Cafe

T-Town Cafe, Tacoma, Washington
T-Town Cafe is one of the best places to go in Tacoma, Washington

Is your stomach rumbling right now? At T-Town Cafe, you’ll be transported to South Korea!

Yes, you read that one correctly. Tacoma is now home to a new Korean dessert restaurant.

Visitors to this Korean-inspired cafe could enjoy a variety of Korean delicacies that are perfect for sharing.

The restaurant also creates teriyaki waffles filled with Nutella, ube soft serve, and other treats that visitors would request.

You’re probably hungry for more. Try adding fresh fruits, jellies, and boba to your snowflake (bingsu-style) shaved ice.

If you’re searching for some quick Korean snacks, there’s a wide variety to choose from at T-Town Cafe.

You can get Korean street food, including bulgogi fries, honey toast, hotteok, and elote dogs.

Additionally, the cafe also offers breakfast and lunch. If you’re heading out in the morning, make sure to eat here!

It’s not simply Korean food that’s offered in T-Town Cafe. Traditional American fare, such as pancakes, sandwiches, and toast, is available.

T-Town Cafe is a great place to start your day or stop in for a snack after a long day of exploring Tacoma!

Traveling and having fun in the USA? You have to check out this page – the best states to visit in USA for the most fun and unusual travel ideas.

Address: 8515 S Tacoma Way, Tacoma, WA 98499, United States

Volunteer At Animal Shelters

Animal Shelters in Tacoma, Washington
Animal Shelters in Tacoma, Washington

Is there anything else holding you back from making Tacoma, Washington, your next vacation destination? Click here for all the reasons to visit Tacoma, Washington, at least once in your lifetime here.

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