Tacoma Travel Guide

The mid-sized urban port city of Tacoma sits on a peninsula at the southern corner of Washington’s Puget Sound. It is nicknamed the ‘City of Destiny’ because the region was selected to be the location of the Northern Pacific Railroad’s terminus in the late 1800s. Tacoma presents its visitors with a mixture of historic sites, cultural attractions, outdoor activities and natural beauty, which is unfortunately tainted by pollution and a bad reputation.

Since the early 1990s, Tacoma has undertaken numerous steps to revitalize its image, particularly that of the downtown area. The University of Washington set up a branch campus here and the historic Union Station was re-established. In 2002, the Museum of Glass opened and showcases local and international glass art. The city has become a gathering place for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender culture, and boasts some god history and art museums.

Tacoma presents tourists a wealth of cultural highlights, fine boutique shopping, ethnic restaurants and night-time entertainment ranging from tribal casinos to jazz clubs. Outside the city, you can go cycling or rollerblading along the Ruston Way Promenade, or discover Point Defiance Park’s salt-water beaches, hiking trails and Zoo and Aquarium.


Tacoma Art Museum: the museum displays the remarkable glass art by the world’s premier glass artist Dale Chihuly, a native of Tacoma.

Museum of Glass: the 90-foot tall, angled silver cone-shaped construction houses a working Hot Shop amphitheater where skilled artisans operate with molten glass.

Washington State History Museum: visitors will be told stories of the people and places that have formed this state; the museum features interactive exhibits, historical artifacts, high-tech displays and a fun History Lab only for kids.

Broadway Center for the Performing Arts: three unique theaters are placed in Tacoma’s Historic Downtown: Pantages, Rialto and Theater on the Square, all of which host rich, cultural perennial performances.

Antique Row: the Victorian buildings lining this stretch attract shoppers with their antique shops and historic curios.