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26 Best & Fun Things To Do In Tacoma (Washington)

There’s no reason you shouldn’t consider a vacation in Washington’s scenic city Tacoma.

About 30 miles south of Seattle, on the Puget Sound coast, is this thriving city of Tacoma. 

This city has more than 200,000 inhabitants and a vibrant waterfront zone dotted with several eateries and activities. 

Most of the museums in the renowned Tacoma Museum District are among these tourist attractions and are consequently the most well-known.

Tacoma’s museums throw focus on everything from antique vehicles to the extensive natural history of the state. 

The allure of Tacoma extends beyond its scenic waterfront and museums. 

Whether you want to spend a moment or two wandering past parks or going on boat tours, you’ll find them at a giveaway.

Wondering what to do in Tacoma?

Our choice of the top things to do in Tacoma will help you enjoy your upcoming trip to the Pacific Northwest.

Things To Do In Tacoma, Washington

1. Foss Waterway Seaport

Things to do in Tacoma

Foss Waterway Seaport

For an adventure amidst the sea, visiting seaports can be an option.

There are a few seaports in Tacoma, however, finding the right one to explore won’t cause much hassle.

If what you want to feel is wholesomeness amongst sea materials, make your way to the Foss Waterway Seaport.

The Foss Waterway Seaport honors Tacoma’s maritime legacy and provides visitors with an intriguing look into an essential element of Tacoma’s history.

Literally, it is the Tacoma Institution District’s farthest-northern museum.

It offers an extensive view into the world of boat and ship manufacturing. 

This museum is housed in a century-old wheat warehouse that was previously supplied by rail and sent out to sea. 

Significantly, this building, which is almost a century old, was a key part of Tacoma’s early development as a wheat-transfer business in the early 1900s.

Its museum is dedicated to heritage and education.

Visitors can explore several intriguing displays that will appeal to history aficionados and boat enthusiasts.

There are replicas of commercial vessels built by Tacoma shipbuilders and canoes produced by the Willits Brothers between 1908 and 1967.

Also, you’ll find early scuba equipment, vintage fishing lures, sculptures of marine trash, and classic leisure boats. 

Although there are several exhibits and equipment to feast your eyes on, there’s one major highlight.

A vintage wooden boat shop.

Volunteer shipbuilders made this functional vintage wooden boat shop.

Today, it’s exciting to experience all of this history by entering the Foss Waterway Seaport.

While exploring, ask questions if you ever get confused.

Address: 705 Dock Street, Tacoma, WA 98402, United States 

2. Tacoma Art Museum

Things to do in Tacoma

Tacoma Art Museum

The Tacoma Art Museum occupies a prominent location in the city’s Museum District. 

It has a stunning, modern structure that fits in well with the cityscape. 

And within, there is a magnificent collection spread across numerous galleries.

The closest gallery to the ticket window is The Haub Family Collection of Western American Art. 

Herein, you’ll find almost 300 works dating from the late 1700s to the present. 

Additionally, it’s one of the largest Western American art collections in the Pacific Northwest.

A number of Dale Chihuly’s works, which span his multi-decade career as a glassblower, are also on show. 

Periodically, it changes its displays so that visitors may always see something fresh.

This museum does feature artwork from throughout the world, even if its themes are frequently inspired by the Pacific Northwest.

In that light, this museum not only has a physical presence in downtown Tacoma, but it also has a big influence on the neighborhood.

For recreation and learning, it provides a variety of workshops throughout the year, in addition to family activities. 

Visitors can witness a number of well-known events, such as Neighborhood Nights.

If you get the opportunity, head down to these museums and see some artworks.

Address: 1701 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, WA 98402, United States

3. Tacoma Nature Center

Things to do in Tacoma

Tacoma Nature Center

There’s no greater feeling and delight than sightseeing at a nature center with all those animals.

For animal lovers and enthusiasts, this is an ideal option to try in Tacoma.

If you count timeout amidst nature to be fun, then this is ideal for you.

The Tacoma Nature Center is a vast 71-acre nature park on Snake Lake and its wetlands. 

This forested park is ideal for trail treks and animal viewing since it is home to cottontail rabbits, red foxes, and black-tailed deer. 

Even the rarest of animals are not out on this list, there is a wide range of exotic animals.

While visitors can take the liberty to roam through this center touching and seeing animals, there are other options.

Several birds make this nature center home, and you can see a handful of them chirping ever brightly.

Bird watching and bird photography will be great to do here.

There’s also a lake in this center and if you enjoy the water, take the time to explore it.

Wood ducks, mallards, Canada geese, and even western painted turtles live on its lake. 

You’ll find them roaming all through the water body in search of food.

The interpretive center also has exhibits about nature preserve ecosystems and animal life.

You can learn more about the animals here if you need to.

At the corner, you can find a gift store full of unique items you can stock.

Summer day camps, nature programs, and even birthday parties are available at the nature center, which doesn’t charge entry. 

Visit the gift shop and pick up as many souvenirs as you can before leaving.

Address: 1919 S. Tyler St, Tacoma, WA 98405, United States 

4. Wright Park

Things to do in Tacoma

Don Oppedijk / Wright Park

On the north side of downtown Tacoma, Wright Park is a pleasant natural area close to the Theater District. 

It spans 27 acres and has a variety of tree kinds. 

The entire park serves as an arboretum, providing explanatory data on the various trees. 

Nevertheless, whether or not you understand these messages, it’s still quiet to stroll through the dense vegetation.

A well-liked playground and a sizable splash pad are all in the park. 

In the southwest area of the park, close to the public facilities, are these two kid-friendly attractions.

An attractive pond and fountain that provide a great location to sit are also on the park’s northwest side.

Wright Park is home to the W. W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory as well. 

This vibrant botanical garden hosts a number of breathtaking floral exhibits all year long. 

Both the park and the conservatory have a rich connection to the city and have been among Tacoma’s top attractions for more than a century.

Visitors can spend time roaming through the arboretum and looking at flowers.

Better still, you can scour the options of a splash on its pools.

Address: 501 S I St, Tacoma, Washington, United States.

5. Five Mile Drive and Trails

Things to do in Tacoma

Chad Baxter / Five Mile Drive and Trails

Hikers and skateboarders will find a hike through the Five Mile Drive and its trails relatively fun to do around Tacoma.

Five Mile Drive and its routes are in Tacoma, Washington’s Point Defiance Park on Puget Sound.

The inner circle of the park is open to vehicle traffic, whereas the outer loop is solely open to walkers and bicycles. 

There are various well-marked paths ranging in length from 14 miles to 42 miles. 

Trails around the park are in good condition and go through old-growth forests, beaches, and rocky cliffs.

Hikers and trail enthusiasts can try their go at hiking.

A hike through those cliffs and beaches is something you should look forward to.

Grab a skateboard and see how far you can master the trails and if you can beat your stopwatch.

Truly, trails can be quite a hassle, and not everyone may buy the idea of hiking all day under the sun.

For something different, try relaxing, picnicking, or even reading a book in the beautiful rhododendron garden within the park.

It’s as scenic as scenic can be.

Visitors will enjoy listening to the nearby waters splashing against rocks and the jolly sound of birds singing from between the trees.

Hikers will be rewarded with stunning sights of Puget Sound, Vashon Island, and the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. 

If you are amply lucky, you may even encounter animals while strolling around the park.

However, beware, feeding the animals is punishable by a large charge, so make sure not to feed them.

Bald eagles, red foxes, squirrels, and raccoons are among the park’s wildlife.

You’ll even see sea lions, and humpback whales migrating by the water’s edge.

However, be careful and make sure to keep your distance.

Address: Tacoma, Washington, United States 

6. See Flowers in Point Defiance Park

Things to do in Tacoma

Jessica Myers / Point Defiance Park flowers

Amongst the most enjoyable things to do, for something quieter, you could spend time smelling flowers.

Point Defiance Park delivers some of the most wonderful selection of flowers, all brightly colored.

Flowers are spread all through its paths with each giving off a peculiar scent.

The park’s many chances for exploration and natural landscape are two of its key draws. 

After looking at the flowers and taking pictures of them, you can then wander through some of its close attraction sites.

Visit Owens Beach for a spacious area to spread out near the sea and get some sun. 

You can also try The Five Mile Drive and Trails system, which spans much of the peninsula, a popular destination for hikers. 

These beautiful drives and walks enable you to explore a world unspoiled by the adjacent urban development.

You’ll find this exceptional and unique to do around Tacoma, especially if you’re a florist or love flowers.

Address: 5400 North Pearl Street, Tacoma, Washington 98407, United States.

7. American Lake 

Things to do in Tacoma

David Boggs / Flickr

You can’t afford to tour Tacoma and miss out on exploring her lakes.

One of the few beautiful and significant lakes in Tacoma is the American Lake.

American Lake is in the neighborhood of Lakewood, which is south of Tacoma. 

The Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife stocks it with rainbow trout and kokanee.

Around the lake, there are natural populations of largemouth bass, rock bass, yellow perch, coastal cutthroat, and brown bullhead catfish. 

It is a well-liked location for fishing and is very popular amongst fishing enthusiasts.

Regularly, you’ll find locals and even visitors casting their nets to welcome big catches.

If fishing is not an option you’ll consider, then try boating or kayaking through the waters.

There is a two-lane concrete boat launch accessible from the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Leave your feet splashing against the waters and feel the cooling sensation.

Also, two public parks on the lakefront have beaches that draw people who enjoy swimming, sunbathing, picnicking, and fishing.

Both parks provide shore fishing, and there is nice, clear water for swimming as well as chairs, picnic tables, and bathrooms.

Of course, where there’s fish, there’ll be birds.

You’ll find bald eagles plunging into the lake in pursuit of kokanee, and probably you’ll see deer.

Wait till the sun comes out, you’ll adore the beauty which almost radiates back.

Address: 9222 Veterans Drive SW, Lakewood, Washington 98439, United States.

8. Tour LeMay – America’s Car Museum, Tacoma

Things to do in Tacoma

America’s Car Museum, Tacoma

Car enthusiasts and lovers of vintage cars will love this option.

A collection of cars, both obsolete and new arranged in an exquisite manner.

You’ll find this mind-boggling collection at the LeMay – America’s Car Museum, Tacoma.

The America’s Car Museum is a well-known collection of vintage and contemporary vehicles. 

All vehicles at ACM are from Tacoma residents Harold and Nancy LeMay’s private collection.

At the time of his passing, Tacoma businessman Harold LeMay possessed more than 3,500 vehicles.

This feat made him the owner of the greatest private automotive collection in the whole world. 

350 of his vehicles from various automobile manufacturers and historical periods are on display at the LeMay-Car America’s Museum. 

Automobile enthusiasts come from all over the world to visit ACM. 

Visitors who visit can view race vehicles from Lotus and Ferrari as well as a 1966 Ford Mustang.

There’s even a 1929 Cadillac, a 1932 Packard, a 1913 Daimler, and a 1926 Ford Model T truck.

Also, the museum features displays of BMWs, British automobiles, alternative fuels, historic cars, and Harold LeMay. 

LeMays is a place where you could easily spend the entire day just admiring cars.

A visit to the museum can be extended by special activities, such as the well-liked “Speed Zone” package, which comprises a ride in a racing simulator. 

Several historic car displays are among the outdoor activities that the museum frequently sponsors.

They also provided guided tours for visitors who want to spend a moment looking through cars.

There is a family zone where kids can unwind and play, as well as a Formula 1 racing simulator for more interactive activities. 

Immerse yourself into a world of cars and let your feet roam.

Address: 2702 E D Street, Tacoma, Washington 98421, United States

9. Eat out at the Pick-Quick Drive In

Things to do in Tacoma

Henk / Pick-Quick Drive-in

Another beautiful eatery you cannot afford to miss around Tacoma is the Pick-Quick Drive-In.

Pick Quick Drive Washington State has been served by the Pick-Quick drive-in restaurant brand since 1949. 

They offer delectable fast food and take pleasure in using natural, fresh products, and recyclable packaging.

People dine outside on picnic tables or in their cars. 

The eatery offers a range of ice cream delicacies such as cones, sundaes, old-fashioned malts, and floats.

Not just that, they also offer tasty burgers, hot dogs, french fries, and chili fries. 

Go for a bite, try the burger alongside any ice cream of your choice.

You’ll come back wanting more.

Order a pack or simply sit by and enjoy the tranquility of the area.

Literally, Pick-Quick is a terrific location to go if you need tasty meals quickly and attentive, efficient service.

Great cuisine to try and attentive people to help you enjoy it.

Address: 4306 Pacific Highway East, Tacoma, Washington 98424, United States

10. Watch Performances at the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts

Things to do in Tacoma

Broadway Center for the Performing Arts

For something to do around Tacoma that is artistic, consider watching an act.

You’ll only find a few performing arts centers with skills rivaling the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts.

The Pantages Theater, the Rialto Theater, as well as the much more recent Theater on the Square, make up the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts. 

Whereas, the Tacoma Symphony, Tacoma Youth Symphony, and Tacoma Concert Band are within it.

Northwest Sinfonietta, and even the Tacoma City Ballet all call the Broadway Center, in Tacoma’s downtown theater area, home.

Great artists, including Mae West, the Marx Brothers, Harry Houdini, and Babe Ruth, have all performed here.

Dave 10. Barry and even Jack Benny have had their performances at the complex during the course of its almost 100-year history. 

In the three theaters, every seat is comfortable, and the great acoustics enhance the performances.

If you wish to watch art shows and performances, that’ll delight you, then there’s no way else.

Above all things, you just have to come. There’s a lot going on.

Address: 901 Broadway, Tacoma, WA 98402, United States.

11. Chihuly Bridge of Glass, Tacoma

Things to do in Tacoma

Chihuly Bridge of Glass

Dale Chihuly, a native of Tacoma, is known across the world for his distinctive glass artwork. 

The pedestrian bridge, which crosses the Foss Waterway and Interstate 705, is 500 feet long and partially covered. 

It connects Museum Row and Tacoma’s downtown to the Museum of Glass. 

Over 2,000 glass pieces are suspended from a ceiling installation on the covered portion of the bridge called the Seaform Pavilion.

Closely, it gives the observer the impression that they are viewing a coral reef from below.

Towers constructed of blue transparent crystal that are further down the bridge collect and reflect daylight.

During the night, their lighting is from below. 

There are three enormous Dale Chihuly glass sculptures gracing the pathway of this unusual pedestrian bridge.

Firstly, the Seaform Pavilion.

It has a glass roof covered with tens of thousands of small shards of glass.

It’s one of the first art pieces to emerge from Pacific Avenue.

Secondly, the Crystal Towers, which are like enormous rock candy sticks, is the next structure visible from the city streets and are most noticeable.

The last piece on the bridge is Venetian Row, an 80-foot wall with 109 museum-quality glass sculptures.

Observing the glass sculptures along the Venetian Wall is a visual pleasure, and each one deserves a moment of astonishment.

There is no fee to cross the bridge, and from there, travelers can see Tacoma and Mount Rainier in spectacular detail.

Bridge of Glass is a fantastic location to see the sunset. 

After dusk, there are numerous adjacent restaurants with menus to browse through.

Be sure not to miss this Tacoma gem.

Address: 1801 Dock Street, Tacoma, WA 98402

12. Swan Creek Mountain Bike Park

Things to do in Tacoma

Swan Creek

Undoubtedly, for hikers, hiking is one of the best ways to spend time.

Consequently, Tacoma offers some of the best hiking trails in the city.

One of such hiking trails is in the Swan Creek Mountain Bike Park.

This green space, known as Swan Creek Park, is hidden between East Tacoma and Pierce County. 

It is traversed by the salmon-bearing Puyallup River and has lush forested canyons.

Paths, both unpaved and paved, are major highlights and some of the immediate draws to its trails.

A Community Garden, a recently constructed mountain biking park, and other expansions too.

As Tacoma’s first and only mountain biking park, it accepts all kinds of non-motorized bicycles.

For safekeeping, it suggests that helmets be worn at all times. 

Take a hike through its trails or even cycle around.

It’s a good way to build your endurance skills while breaking and setting new records.

While exploring, be sure to explore the Hustle and Flow trail.

Ground Control, Hustle and Flow, an easy perimeter trail, an advanced trail, Major Tom, and a technical skill-building zone are all present.

Let some steam off and build those muscles.

Address: 3997 E Roosevelt Ave, Tacoma, WA 98404, United States.

Want more things to do around Washington? See our list of the best things to do in Tri-Cities, Bellingham, and Spokane!

13. Children’s Museum of Tacoma

Things to do in Tacoma

Children’s Museum of Tacoma

Children learn the most when playing, according to the Children’s Museum of Tacoma

If you’re looking for something that’d suit a child and helps them learn in Tacoma, this is a must-see.

The Children’s Museum of Tacoma is one of the greatest learning centers in Tacoma.

There are various distinct playscapes for kids to explore at this museum, even for babies up to 8 years old. 

At the Water portion of the museum, there are provisions of rubber aprons which youngsters may use their hands to play in the rushing water and the waterfall.

Meanwhile, the Woods section of the museum offers logs, raised platforms, pulleys, and fort-building materials.

A kid’s imagination may grow on the Voyager, which has ropes to climb, wheels to move, and other fun features. 

Besides, they are safe and in place so that a child can’t get hurt.

Becka’s Studio includes a ton of supplies for messy, imaginative painting projects.

In the Invention Studio, you’ll find building blocks, boards, textiles, and tubes for developing gross motor abilities and teaching early math concepts. 

However, the museum strictly prohibits strollers and has a tiny snack bar and rental lockers available.

Pick some snacks and let the children have a good time.

Address: 1501 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, WA 98402, United States.

14. Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier National Park

You can’t visit Tacoma and deny yourself the amazing view of the tallest mountain in the state.

Not only is it the loftiest mountain in the state, but also the most notable peak in the Pacific Northwest.

That credit goes to none other than Mount Rainier.

In addition to seeing it from city streets, Tacoma residents and visitors can even travel less than 70 miles over gorgeous terrain to reach the mountain’s foot.

William McKinley established Mount Rainier National Park, the country’s sixth national park in 1899. 

It is enormous, covering 236,000 acres, and the summit itself stands out from the Cascade Mountain Range.

It’s about 14,411 feet, making it the seventh tallest mountain in the United States. 

Old-growth forests, enormous glaciers, waterfalls, steep canyons and valleys, and even alpines with wildflowers are all over the park.

Its wildlife holdings are unique and you’ll find plenty of species of animals.

Golden eagles, bald eagles, and spotted owls soar over the stunning park.

Cougars, black bears, deer, elk, mountain goats, and many other creatures wander freely.

Through the park, visitors may trek, camp, climb, sled, cross-country ski, and even snowboard.

Do take note that camping overnight requires a permit.

One of the nearest and busiest entrances to the park is at Nisqually. 

This entry passes via notable locations to pause or spend the night, such as the Cougar Rock Campground.

However, the main draw of the Nisqually entry is the two-hour trip from Tacoma to the area of Paradise on the mountain’s southern slope.

Although Paradise lives up to its title, it only makes up a small portion of the vast landscapes of the national park. 

Reach it if you can.

Address: 55210 238th Ave E, Ashford, Washington, United States 

15. Fort Nisqually Living History Museum

Fort Nisqually Living History Museum

Alice / Fort Nisqually Living History Museum

The Hudson’s Bay Company centered its fur trade and agricultural activities at Fort Nisqually when it extended to the west coast of North America. 

This fort gradually closed in 1869 when the fur trade declined as a result of the subsequent decades of local unrest. 

However, at the granary and keeper’s house, two of the fort’s original structures were renovated in the 1930s.

Fort Nisqually Living History Museum tells the never-ending story of the fur trade in Tacoma.

With the inclusion of a real blacksmith’s shop, a working kitchen, a home, a trading store, and costumed docents, the museum is now a fantastic resource for learning about Washington’s past.

Visitors who visit the museum can explore its brinks and see all the original furnishings.

Both adults and kids may engage in a variety of hands-on activities, such as making bread and churning butter. 

Even groups from schools are also welcome for research and history learning purposes.

There’s also a tiny gift store in the museum where you can pick some souvenirs and items.

Perfect way to learn a great deal about Washington’s history.

Uniquely astounding, give it a try when you can.

Address: Point Defiance Park route, 5400 North Pearl Street, Tacoma, Washington 98407, United States

16. Owen Beach, Tacoma

Owen Beach 

Owen Beach

There are a handful of beaches in Tacoma and beaches are fun places and ways to kill time in Tacoma.

Just the feel of the water gushing under your feet.

Or even, the warm and hot sands grabbing closely to your sole are a few of its delightful reminders.

If you’d prefer a moment building sand castles and letting warm water run through your feet, then consider this.

The oceanfront Owen Beach is in Point Defiance Park. 

It’s a wonderful location in the summer for activities like swimming, tanning, and fishing from the coast.

Playing beach ball, walking dogs, and even strolling along the concrete seaside path are some activities to enjoy.

Because it is quite scenic and can be very quiet and tranquil most afternoons and evenings, it’s great for picnics.

Besides, numerous picnic tables and a picnic shelter can even be reserved up to a year in advance.

Moreover, just sitting on the sand can serve its own momentary delight.

There’s even a kids’ play area, bathrooms, and numerous food booths available along the beach.

If you ever get hungry at any point, the food booths offer special delicacies and ice creams.

Asides from that, you’ll capture beautiful views of Vashon Island from the beach. 

Sea lions and seals frequently land to bask in the sun, and you can see them.

According to the rules, you are not allowed to approach marine wildlife or let your pets do so within 100 yards of them. 

So, remember to keep your distance and keep pets on a leash.

On the shore, there is a kiosk where you may hire kayaks and canoes.

For couples, this is a romantic way to spend a quiet time together in Tacoma.

Address: 5605 Owen Beach Road, Tacoma, Washington 98407, United States.

17. Tacoma Glassblowing Studio

Tacoma Glassblowing Studio

Tacoma Glassblowing Studio

The husband and wife pair behind the Tacoma Glassblowing Studio has been running the business since 2006. 

Visitors to the studio have the option of taking courses and purchasing one of the stunning works of art that are on exhibit.

If you want none of that, you could simply go to admire the artwork. 

Classes begin after a while and are very productive.

However, the wait is worth it because classes fill up months in advance.

The studio provides 1-day seminars, 4-week and 6-week programs, as well as 2- or 4-hour long private sessions. 

Participants in the one-day program create glass ornaments for trees or pumpkins. 

Additionally, the glassblowing workshop is well-known for its enormous glass pumpkin patches.

Each of these patches includes 1,000–2,000 pumpkins of various shapes, sizes, and prices.

It’s one of the museum’s major highlights and you should be sure to see it.

Address: 114 S. 23rd Street, Tacoma, Washington 98402, United States

18. Point Defiance Park, Tacoma

Point Defiance Park

Point Defiance Park

On a peninsula that projects into Puget Sound at Tacoma’s extreme north end, Point Defiance is the city’s crowning natural beauty.

Unlike most parks in Tacoma, this urban park has a lot more amenities than the average city park. 

This 760-acre public area is akin to Portland’s Washington Park or Seattle’s Discovery Park. 

Overall, it boasts of a vast zoo, an aquarium, a boardwalk, a beautiful coastal beach, and an off-leash dog park.

There is also a boathouse and marina, hiking paths, and an old-growth forest with Douglas firs about 450 years old.

A rose garden, a rhododendron garden, a dahlia garden, and a Japanese garden are just a few of the many gardens in the park. 

Visitors may see bald eagles, seals, sea lions sunbathing, and wolves at the park, which is home to a teeming population of wild wildlife. 

Moreover, a beautiful network of hiking and bicycling paths connects the park’s attractions.

All throughout the year, rangers lead classes and environmental hikes.

Make Point Defiance Park your destination for the entire day.

Watch the wildlife roam and do their things.

Perhaps you could even go for a quiet moment in its garden or even try yoga.

Rentable amenities like the Japanese pagoda, rose garden, and picnic shelters make Point Defiance Park a popular location for special gatherings.

You’ll find locals, visitors, and foreigners from all walks of life coming to see these animals.

Wait till you see the sunset and enjoy the cool breeze that comes with the evening.

Address: 5400 North Pearl Street, Tacoma, Washington 98407, United States.

19. Job Carr House Museum

Job Carr House Museum

Job Carr House Museum

Museums are spread throughout Tacoma and you can spend some time looking at some.

Another great museum to see in Tacoma is the Job Carr House Museum.

In 1813, Job Carr, a restless individual, was born in New Jersey. 

His fervent anti-slavery beliefs propelled him to serve in the Union Army for three years, during which time he suffered a critical injury. 

He initially relocated to Indiana, then to Iowa, and in 1864.

After learning that the government had approved the construction of a railroad to the Pacific Northwest, he sold all of his lands and became the first European to settle in the Tacoma region. 

He and his cat, Tom, resided beneath a cedar bark shelter while he was building their cottage.

What visitors see now is a replica of the original cabin that has been equipped with antiques and designed to seem as it would have in the middle of the 19th century. 

Looking through all the professional docents will give you a lot of information about Job Carr and the reasons why people settled in the Pacific Northwest. 

Visitors can dress up in costumes and play with vintage items while exploring.

Luckily, there are no entrance fees, making it one of the free things to do in Tacoma.

Address: 2350 North 30th Street, Tacoma, Washington 98403, United States

20. Asado Cucina Argentina

Asado Cucina Argentina

Asado Cucina Argentina

There’s no way you’ll visit Tacoma and not try its cuisine.

While Tacoma offers a delightful range of different intercontinental cuisine, there’s something for everyone.

For anyone who wants a taste of Argentine delicacy, plan a visit to the Asado Cucina Argentina.

In Tacoma’s well-known 6th Avenue eating area lies this steakhouse with an Argentinian flair. 

Every night for supper, as well as Monday through Friday for lunch, Latin America food is offered. 

All the beef on the menu is prepared over a mesquite grill in the display kitchen, sending enticing fragrances into the dining area. 

The dining area is furnished with dark wood, metal accents, and a mural of rural life in Argentina.

There’s a long list of Argentine delicacies visitors can try and take home.

Butternut squash soup, empanadas, ceviche, serrano-wrapped prawns, chorizo crab cakes, and fried calamari are a few of the appetizers available. 

There are even options for mesquite-grilled steak, chicken, and quinoa bowls.

Sandwiches, lamb shanks, pasta, and salads are some of the entrée options. 

Noteworthy, all these mouth-watering delicacies come out really well and may stop you from exploring other eateries.

Stop by and grab lunch.

Full-service off-site catering is also offered by Asado.

Call them if you want special deliveries at home, or you can also order.

Address: 2810 6th Avenue, Tacoma, WA 98406, United States.

21. Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum

Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum

Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum

The greatest private collection of manuscripts in the world was acquired by California real estate billionaires David and Marsha Karpeles.

They are on display in eleven different U.S. locales. 

These museums want to promote cultural literacy, and because the entrance is free, anybody who is interested can visit and view the manuscripts.

If you like looking at manuscripts, then you should take the time to explore these grounds.

There’s a handful of them with a ton of information therein.

Moreover, you could also take the time to explore the unique architecture of the building.

Its huge Greco-Roman structure is enticing to the eye and quite rare to find.

In addition to pencil sketches by Norman Rockwell, it also houses manuscripts of the Bill of Rights and other works by notable authors.

Including the likes of Charles Dickens, Ludwig van Beethoven, and even Christopher Columbus.

Let’s say you want a ton of history and manuscripts, then this is perfect.

Address: 407 SG Street, Tacoma, WA 98405, United States.

22. See Wildlife at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

There’s also something for animal lovers and enthusiasts to enjoy in Tacoma.

The delight and opportunity of exploring a zoo and aquarium all together.

Besides, it’s quite rare to find a zoo and an aquarium all at one point with diverse animals, but this is it.

360 different kinds of animals total more than 9,000 at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

It has for long been a pioneer in the protection and breeding of the endangered red wolf since its opening.

Malayan tigers, Asian elephants, porcupines, gibbons, and Sumatran tigers can be seen at the Asian Forest Sanctuary.

Visitors may witness polar bears, Arctic foxes, muskox, and reindeer at the Arctic Tundra display. 

However, the most prevalent inhabitants of the Rocky Shore display are puffins, harbor seals, walruses, and sea otters. 

At the aquarium, you’ll find some of the most distinct animals and watch them thrive.

There are enormous octopi, sharks, fish, corals, and eels in the aquarium.

Most of them are split into parts representing the north and south Pacific. 

While there are a ton of things to keep you busy, be sure to check out the shark tank scuba diving.

It provides the one-of-a-kind experience of shark tank scuba diving. 

Also, a fantastic children’s zoo and daily animal talks round out the features of this tiny but superb wildlife park.

If at any point you decide to spend a moment looking at wildlife, then you should opt for this.

Address: 5400 North Pearl Street, Tacoma, Washington 98407, United States

23. Take a Look at the LeMay Family Collection

LeMay Family Collection

LeMay Family Collection

Amongst all the history, you should take your time to go through Tacoma LeMay Family Collection.

The LeMay family is quite reputable in Tacoma, with a trail of incredible history.

Harold and Nancy LeMay, established a very successful waste company that collects the trash in five counties around the state. 

They also put together the biggest private automobile collection ever. 

Although America’s Car Museum, in Tacoma, has some of its collection, Marymount is home to the majority of it. 

These Sisters of St. Dominic ran Marymount, a military school for boys, from 1919 until 1975.

Its grounds and the buildings have been kept up since they sold the property to the LeMay’s in the 1980s. 

At any given moment, there are 500 automobiles on exhibit, and there are guided tours led by exceptionally experienced docents. 

Along with automobiles, there are military vehicles, motorbikes, buses, trucks, RVs, and unusual custom vehicles on display.

Nancy LeMay continues to run the museum, which hosts yearly charity auctions.

You’ll find it fulfilling looking through all they have on showcase.

Address: 325 152nd Street East, Tacoma, Washington 98445, United States.

24. Museum of Glass, Tacoma

Museum of Glass

Museum of Glass

The Museum of Glass (MOG) in Tacoma has a strong bond with the community.

It’s in the center of Tacoma and was built on a former Superfund site.

Since its completion in 2002, the striking Museum of Glass is a landmark in Tacoma. 

This conical structure was created by renowned Canadian architect Arthur Erickson.

Its glass-blowing demonstrations at the museum make it a fantastic visit for anybody who enjoys glass art. 

In addition to a 145-seat amphitheater, this museum houses two unique pieces.

Pieces from the Kids Design Glass program, which creates glassworks using children’s drawings as inspiration.

Then, permanent collections of glass art from the 20th and 21st centuries. 

Even the most well-known glassblowing artist in the world and a native of Tacoma, Dale Chihuly, is featured in one permanent display.

While the displays are interesting, the Museum of Glass Hot Shop and glassblowing workshop are the center of attention.

The brilliance of the Museum of Glass is completed with a top-notch gift store and changing displays.

Today, because of its distinctive architecture, the city is a shining example of art, culture, and rebirth.

Visitors will see the Hot Shop Team create exquisite glass artworks every day the museum is open. 

For something unusual to do in Tacoma, try this.

Address: 1801 Dock Street, Tacoma, WA 98402, United States

25. Destiny Harbor Tours

Destiny Harbor Tours

Destiny Harbor Tours

Going on boat tours can give you a good view of the city and are some of the top ways to see Tacoma.

A good place to go for boat tours around Tacoma is the Destiny Harbor Tours.

Visitors and locals can choose between two excursions that Destiny Harbor Tours offers on their U.S. Navy boats. 

There is the Puget Sound Tour and the Point Defiance to Narrows Bridges and Salmon Bridge Gig Harbor.

The Puget Sound Tour explores the Thea Foss Waterway.

It passes through Old Town and passes by real working ships and tugboats while offering stunning views of the city and its bridges.

While at it, visitors frequently have the opportunity to point out a ton of local wildlife.

Also, there are eagles, hawks, basking seals, herons, sea lions, and leaping salmon.

The Point Defiance to Narrows Bridges and Salmon Bridge Gig Harbor Tour offers breathtaking vistas of Mount Rainier and the Olympic Mountains.

All these scenic displays as it makes their way to these locations. 

Up to 33 individuals in a group can go on a tour at a time. 

However, you may not be comfortable going with a group and may want to see these good views comfortably.

In this regard, Destiny Harbor Tours also provides private charters and holds a license for at-sea memorials.

Whether or not you intend on scattering ashes.

Rent a boat and take your partner on a cruise.

Address: 8829 Harborview Drive, Gig Harbor, WA 98332, United States

26. Washington State History Museum

Washington State History Museum

Washington State History Museum

Visit the Washington State History Museum to fully douse yourself in the state’s rich and dynamic past. 

All the cultural occurrences that shaped the state of Washington today are on display at the Washington State History Museum.

The museum, which is run by the Washington State Historical Society, features five permanent exhibitions in addition to a number of rotating ones. 

The Great Hall of Washington Past, which houses several antique relics illuminating the state’s early history, is their largest permanent display. 

This multi-room display covers a wide time period, from the age of the dinosaurs to modern times.

The exhibit also includes first-person narratives of immigration to Washington and the evolution of the state over time.

Indigenous traditions, early statehood, and the thriving railroad industry are also on display.

Additionally, there’s a permanent exhibit describing the long-term impacts of Executive Order 9066.

Executive order 9066 resulted in the detention of Americans with Japanese ancestry in 1942.

Note that Tuesday through Sunday is museum hours. 

Every third Thursday of the month, this museum stays open later and extends its free entry time until 8 p.m.

A visit to this museum will undoubtedly inspire a fresh appreciation for Washington State.

It will also inspire your appreciation for the beauty of art, community, and human experience.

Notwithstanding, there is a ton of history on display and should not go unnoticed.

Address:  1911 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, Washington 98402, United States.

Final Remarks

Tacoma will fill you in on what you need to enjoy a vacation.

Besides, not only will you enjoy a vacation timeout here, but you’ll also want to visit again.

There’s a whole list of the best things to do and explore on its grounds and you’ll find them fulfilling to do.

Take advantage of these teeming options and enjoy a fun moment in the city.

Safe Travels.