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Located 32 miles southwest of Seattle, Tacoma is a large city that has something to offer all kinds of travelers. Tacoma was historically a railroad town and served as the Puget Sound terminal on the Northern Pacific Railway. It experienced rapid population growth at the end of the 19th century. Today, this port city is a hotspot for breweries, hiking, and art. Tacoma is home to the world’s largest wood-domed arena! The Tacoma Dome hosts many events, such as concerts, sporting events, and conventions.
Things to do in Tacoma
For a great way to spend an afternoon with family members of all ages, take a trip to the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. While the zoo and aquarium are enough to keep you busy for an afternoon, their proximity to the park, Seymour Botanical Conservatory, and gardens make it an ideal place to visit. Take a trip into downtown’s museum district for access to world-renowned art collections. Six major museums line the streets here, offering art for every taste. You can choose to visit just one, or purchase a museum pass for a flat rate to see all of them. The pass is good for seven days, so you don’t have to worry about rushing through each one! If you happen to be in town on the third Thursday of the month, be sure to participate in the art walk, which allows visitors to go to some museums for free. Union Station, decorated with Chihuly glass art, will remind travelers of Tacoma’s golden age of rail. This historic building now functions as a courthouse, but visitors are welcome and admission is free.
Day Trips from Tacoma
30 minutes north of Tacoma, Seattle offers countless opportunities for eating, shopping, and sightseeing. To get away from tourists, try venturing out into some of the quirky neighborhoods that make up the city. Visit Ballard for vibrant nightlife, find unique shopping opportunities in West Seattle, and head over to Queen Anne for parks that offer beautiful views of the city skyline. There are also many museums, such as the Museum of Flight and the Chihuly Garden and Glass, which are wonderful locations that artists and families alike will enjoy. Trade the noise and speed of city life for a slower pace on Vashon Island. It can only be reached by ferry, so plan to depart from the Point Defiance terminal towards Tahlequah. Only a 20-minute boat ride away, Vashon Island provides many opportunities for beach exploring, eccentric restaurants, and fun festivals. Visit in July to be a part of a century-long tradition—the Vashon Island Strawberry Festival! Mount Rainier, for which the city of Tacoma was named, is the main attraction of Mount Rainier National Park only an hour and a half away. You don’t have to summit the 14,410-foot volcano to enjoy beautiful hikes and abundant nature. In the summer, this national park is renowned for its wildflowers. Overnight travelers can try tent camping, though reservations are suggested during warmer months, they can also choose to stay in one of the hotels there.
Accommodation in Tacoma
Search for the perfect vacation rental for your Tacoma vacation on Tripping.com. There are nearly 300 properties available, many of which are on the waterfront. Tacoma has retained much of its old charm, and some rentals are craftsman-style homes, which reflect the city’s rich history.
Transportation in Tacoma
Tacoma is a short drive from Seattle Tacoma International Airport. Travelers who visit the city by car can reach it via I-5 from the north and south. Once you arrive, there is an impressive public transportation system that includes a light rail, buses, and many opportunities for biking.
Popular Day Trips Near Tacoma