There was a small 3 month gap when I lived in Tacoma, Washington as a travel nurse before I moved to India. I used this time to work overtime therefore saw only in and around Tacoma rather than travel since I didn’t really have the time.
Tacoma is a town outside of Seattle right on the water. Not known for much, it’s a little bit of a “um, why do you live there?” place. To be fair, it was a cute town in my opinion. There were lots of breweries, restaurants, and bars. It was a little hipster like Seattle and no one really dressed up (except Britani and I). It’s right on the water and there are tons of little restaurants on the coast and even a zoo. You’re close to Seattle and only a ferry ride from Vancouver!
If you live in Tacoma, most of what you can do is goout to eat and party but I”m not going to detail that. These are more like weekend activities if you live in Tacoma.
Things to do in Tacoma (and near)
1. Skagit Tulip Festival
Located in Mount Vernon, this is a quick drive from Tacoma and perfect for your Saturday off work. From what I remember, it was muddy as hell so don’t wear your good shoes. Do take your good camera! I didn’t and my photos are kind of meh. In my defense, I didn’t know I was going to be a travel blogger then. More information here. It’s in April and there is a market nearby where you can buy all kinds of goodie. I got a glass nail file with ladybugs painted on, a handmade children’s book for my friend Babu’s baby, and LOTS of food.
2. Hiking Mt. Rainier
I could see Mt. Rainier from my window! There are a couple hiking options and we showed up not all all prepared for the big one as the park rangers laughed while informing us. Instead we did the short circle one and then a little side hike. It was beautiful regardless. To prepare adequately here is more information from the National Park Service. There was so much snow and it was very cold. No dogs and bicycles allowed.
3. Point Defiance Park
This is a little area with nature walks, amazing views of the coast, the zoo and aquarium. You can make a day of it! Even just driving through or going for a picnic is nice.
Hiking, flowers from Ben, Alex visiting from LA at Point Defiance Park, and Brit and I on a night out, overdressed as usual.
4. LeMay Car Museum
I didn’t make it here, but people rave about it so I figured I’d mention it if you’re a car lover.
5. Cheney Stadium
Watch the Tacoma Rainier’s play minor league ball for only 10 bucks! Eat cheap hotdogs and drink beer all day! I used to love baseball games but literally only for the 10 cent dogs and because I love how neatly the grass is kept. Yes, I’m weird.
You just have to brunch. It’s some kind of unwritten law in areas like Seattle and Portland. I don’t know why they are known for such great brunch, but Tacoma was no exception.
view of Rainier from my window, bar scenes, brunch, and when a bar called the police on me because they thought my North Carolina ID was fake and I was underage! What!
7. Museum of Glass
There are a number of shops that sell blown glass and teach you how to make it. This is the most popular museum in Tacoma, and is quite contemporary with a glass garden. It received the TripAdvisor Excellence award for 2014.
8. Tacoma Farmer’s Market
There are 3 actually and they are so cute! Fresh bread, lots of food vendors, snacks to take home, flowers, soaps.. you name it.
1. 6th Ave Tuesday 3pm-7pm
2. Broadway Thursday 10am-3pm
3. South Tacoma Sunday 11am-3pm
Overall Tacoma was a short but memorable stop over. I’m not sure why it has such a bad reputation because the food, shopping, markets, and nature were wonderful. I miss my Saturday afternoons at the mall and Panera being in India! I loved that there was hiking, safe city area, and laid back bars.
While I was here, Ben came to visit just after we went to an off the beaten path beach in Mexico.
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