It’s the most beautiful time of year in the Pacific Northwest. Holiday festivities in Tacomainclude a visit from Santa at the mall, a dazzling display of lights at the zoo, mulled cider, and sleigh rides.
You are a travel enthusiast and are looking forward to exploring local places and become intimate with its culture. The United States of America has a plethora of places, cuisines, and cultures to offer, much to the delight of food connoisseurs and wanderlust lovers. In this article, we will have you covered about various places to visit in Tacoma, the delights in store for you in Olympia and possible places to explore in Seattle.
The name Tacoma itself tells a lot of stories. The port covers an impressive stretch of land that extends for over 2400 acres which makes it the 6th biggest port in North America. The skyline of Seattle is a vision to behold. It is a sacred place for all the coffee lovers as Starbucks was born there. The glamour of Seattle attracts ambitious people from all over the world and it has a string of restaurants to cater to different tastes and cultures. Olympia is also known as the cultural hub. It houses the Old State Capitol Building and derived its name from the fact that it provides a majestic view of the Olympic Mountains.
We will be your travel guide and take you to the right place and right eateries so that you can make the most out of your visit in Tacoma, Seattle or Olympia.
Things You Would Want To Do In Tacoma
We will give you a macroscopic view of Tacoma and also help you with the local events quotes Tacoma. There are some beatific hotels in this splendid place where you can check-in, relax and then go sightseeing. Some of the top-notch Tacoma hotels are Silver Cloud Inn, The Villa Bed and Breakfast, Hotel Murano, to name a few. Here we would like to take over as your professional travel guide Tacoma.
APicnic in Point Defiance Park – The beauty of this 700-acres park, nestled amidst the lap of nature will captivate you to no end. A picnic with your family in the woodlands, away from the chaos, in the presence of lakes and forests can be an enthralling experience. Here you will get a chance to discover nature like never before.
A Day Out In Point Defiance Zoo – Animal lovers are in for a visual treat of penguins, sea horses, polar bears to name a few in Point Defiance Zoo. Right from its opening time at 9:30 a.m. every day, the zoo witnesses a stream of visitors to marvel at the array of various exotic zoo inhabitants present. We assure you that you will have a marvelous time in the zoo surrounded by the view of the Olympic Mountains and Mount Rainer.
Trip To Chihuly Bridge – A trip to the Chihuly Bridge will be like a walk through the marvels of glass. The ocular treat offered by this place together with the splash of colors can enrapture any visitor.
Local events and Activities That Can Be Done in Tacoma
5 Mile Drive and Trails offer amazing hiking experience to the visitors. A nature walk amidst the mountainous views and sight of the waterfront can give a beautiful experience to the visitors. There is a Tacoma Scavenger Hunt which makes for quite an adventure for the participants to find out the hidden treasures of Tacoma. This scavenger hunt might cost around $8-$10. You can also go for local shopping in Tacoma and Pacific Northwest region to experience the variety of lifestyles in that place. Tacoma offers a wide array of products and the shop local pricing Tacoma varies between $5 and $100.
Tacoma also witnesses Annual Puget Sound Green Infrastructure Summit every year which focuses on strategies to improve the environment. The tickets cost anywhere between $85 and $100.
This place is packed with festivities throughout the year. It celebrates ip & Stroll’, Daffodil Festival, Gig Harbour Beer Festival, Car shows, and Oktoberfest Northwest Festival to name a few. The festivities are replete with dance, music, parades, beverages, good food and many more. The entry fee of getting into any of these festivals lies between $12 and $200.
Best Local Restaurants in Tacoma
Here we will guide you about some of the best restaurants in Tacoma and also help you with the best local restaurants cost Tacoma.
Olive Branch Cafe- The ambiance, the amazing food, and the hospitality are the talk of the town and would cost approximately $30 for 2 people.
Over The Moon Cafe- This is another popular cafe under the ambit of Tacoma which offers mouth-watering food at an average cost of $50 for 2 people.
Dirty Oscar’s Annex – One of the best breakfast eateries of Tacoma is DOA which flaunts of offering stuffed waffles, pancakes, toasts with melted cheese. Serving for 2 people would cost approximately around $30. Other breakfast eateries in Tacoma include Viva, Shakabrah Java, to name a few.
Cliff House Restaurant- This amazing restaurant in the Pacific Northwest region is a delight for steak lovers. This Pacific Northwest price Tacoma ranges from $31 to $50. It costs approximately $100 for 2 people when drinks are included.
There are other restaurants in Tacoma like Marzano’s, Pacific Grill, Harvest Buffet, to name a few and these best local restaurants cost Tacoma ranges from $30 to $100.
Things You Would Want To Do In Seattle
Experience Boeing – Seattle can give you the experience to witness the factory of the airplane giant which flies millions of passengers all over the world. It is a thrilling experience in itself to observe the making of Boeing as well as get a glimpse of what the future of the aviation industry has in store for us.
A Stroll through the Pike Place Market – This area is the ultimate place for coffee lovers. If you want to see the local culture of Seattle up, close and personal, a trip to the Pike Place Market will suffice. This is the place where Starbucks was born and the world got a taste of heavenly coffee. You can get a glimpse of the public market which attracts 20,000 to 30,000 visitors every day
Local Life – You can go pay a visit to the Capitol Hill and experience the vibrant entertainment and night clubs that can make you fall for Seattle. It also has a lot of stories in store for music lovers. You can visit the house of the iconic musician, Kurt Cobain and also get a glimpse of the school attended by music giants Jimi Hendrix and Quincy Jones.
Amazing Eateries – Seattle can flaunt to have some of the best restaurants which can get your taste buds tingling.
1. Dacha Diner- This restaurant in Capitol Hill is an ultimate bliss for the food lovers who can get hooked to the aroma of Georgian pizza and pork dumplings. The variety and vibe make it one of the best in Seattle.
2. L’Oursin- This restaurant is a delight for all the wine lovers with its amazing collection together with mouth-watering food.
Now that you have mentally experienced Tacoma and Seattle, some of the quick things to do in Olympia would be to visit Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, Washington State Capitol, Hands On Children’s Museum and the Farmers Market.
We have got you covered on the activities you can treat yourself to in Tacoma, Seattle and Olympia together with the best eateries where you can indulge your taste buds. We have also got you covered on the best local restaurants cost Tacoma. We hope you have the time of your life when you visit these places and we would be very happy to have guided you in this endeavor.
Tacoma, known as the city of destiny, is home to world-renowned museums, vibrant artists and beautiful natural landscapes. There are also a ton of fun and free things to do in Tacoma.
Read on for a list of 8 free things to do in Tacoma.
A Connecting Point in The South Sound
First Built in 1940, the Narrows Bridge has been a vital route for locals and industry for over half a century. It connects the Olympic Peninsula to Tacoma and the surrounding areas. There are plenty of things to do in Tacoma within site of The Narrows Bridge. The area offers opportunities to enjoy culture, cuisine and the outdoors. Read on to learn a bit about the current attractions, the history and watch videos of Galloping Gertie’s plunge into Puget Sound and some great things to do in Tacoma.
Titlow Park and 6th Avenue
Tacoma has a number of beautiful parks and areas that offer great views of the Narrows Bridge. One of the best spots to enjoy the water and a view of The Narrows Bridge is from the beach at Titlow Park.
Titlow Park offers playfields, ball-courts, forest trails, covered picnic areas and a playground. A short hike allows access to the beach and views of the Bridge.
Local bird watchers are often seen with their long lenses along the shores of Titlow Park’s duck ponds. Titlow Lodge, a former hotel built in the craftsman tradition, sits on the park property. It has been refurbished and is available to the public for events.
Within talking distance of Titlow Park is Boathouse 19, which offers American cuisine, a full bar and its own view of the Narrows Bridge. Just up the road, off 6th Ave is the Tacoma Musical Playhouse, and one of our favorite spots to grab a donut, Pao’s Donuts.
One of the best views o the Bridge can be found nearby at the War Memorial Park, which offers a unique view down the span of the Narrows Bridge
Visitors to Tacoma should always make a little time for Five Mile Drive in Tacoma’s Pt. Defiance Park. The park is the second largest City Park in the United States. It is home to a Marina, Zoo, Gardens, Restaurants, Beach and forest trails. (Click to learn which park is the largest).
Five Mile Drive offers a number of trails and parking areas that offer views of the bridge. Don’t be surprised if you see some deer or raccoons along the side of the road. Just remember not to feed the wildlife! If you do have a hankering to hand feed some critters, head into the Budgie exhibit at the zoo.
Across the bridge from Tacoma is the maritime city of Gig Harbor, which offers its own unique way to experience the waters of Puget Sound. The downtown area offers shopping, dining and views of he harbor an Mt. Rainier. Heart Rock Beach at Gig Harbor’s Narrows Park offers a great view from the western shore of the narrows (Click Here For Some of The Best Restaurants in Gig Harbor).
Bald Eagles and Osprey patrol the waters below the Narrows Bridge, their nests in the nearby tree line. Below the surface are lingcod, salmon and octopi.
If you are lucky you might just see a pod of orcas or a humpback whale swim by. The whale population has been increasing in recent years, and with innovation of the cell phone camera, more and more folks are recording their experiences ( Check out this footage from 2017 ). Porpoises have been missing for many years, but in recent years, porpoise sightings are increasing. Stellar Sea lions and harbor seals are abundant in the area.
Experience The Waters of The Narrows Bridge
When looking for things to do in Tacoma, look no further than Sea kayaks and Stand Up Paddle-boards that are available to rent from a number of local beaches and businesses. Owen Beach in Pt. Defiance Park is one spot to find rentals in the Summer.
If you’d like a view below the surface, look into scuba diving! Cold water scuba Divers often take the plunge to inspect the waters and supports below the bridge. It’s advisable to have a boat, but some divers leave from nearby Titlow Beach, where grown men once wrestled octopi (click to learn more about the Giant Octopus of the Narrows Bridge).
Many locals enjoy the bounty of Puget Sound by crabbing or fishing the waters nearby. Make sure to check this map before clamming the beaches. If you are unfamiliar with the local waterways it may be best to charter a boat and hire a guide. This can make for a great experience as everything is taken care of, even the baiting of your hook! (Click here to charter a boat in Tacoma, WA)
If riding a bike is your thing, many folks enjoy a brisk ride along Five Mile Drive. Others will rent a bike or carriage from Wheel Fun Rentals at Point Ruston. Ruston Way offers a number of parking areas to stop and unload your own bike or take a walk to enjoy the waters and restaurants along Commencement bay.
History: A Tale of Three Bridges
As you explore the area it’s always nice to know a little bit of the History.
Constructed between 1938 to 1940, the first Narrows Bridge earned the nick-name Galloping Gertie, as it would jump up and down during windstorms. Just 4 months after opening, the bridge fell apart and crumbled into the waters during a windstorm (watch original news reel footage).
Reconstruction was stalled by the war efforts of World War Two. The second bridge was finally completed in 1950. This bridge currently holds the West Bound lanes of Highway 16. The third bridge, which supports the Eastbound lanes of highway 16, opened to traffic in 2007. Going east bound will cost you though — click here for the current toll price of the Narrows Bridge.
All three versions of the bridge are Suspension Bridges. The benefits of a suspension bridge are that it can span great lengths, can be built high above the water and is relatively inexpensive to construct. One major drawback is that the flexibility of a suspension bridge makes it susceptible aeroelastic flutter (that’s a mouthful!), which brought down Galloping Gertie, the original Narrows Bridge, in 1940 (Who’s to blame for the collapse of the Narrows Bridge?).
The first bridge was designed by Leon Moisseiff, famous at the time for designing the Golden Gate bridge and several suspension bridges in New York. The failure of the original Narrows Bridge affected him deeply. Sadly, Moisseiff died just three years after Galloping Gertie’s fateful plunge.
In 1992, Galloping Gertie’s wreckage was placed on the National Register of Historic places, to protect it from looters and salvage. Watch “The Story Of The Tacoma Narrows Bridge 1938 – 1940”