By Darren Griffiths

Things to Do in Tacoma

19th January 2024

Nestled in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, Tacoma, Washington, is a treasure trove of history and culture, offering a kaleidoscope of attractions that cater to an array of interests and preferences. This city, marked by its rich historical tapestry and a pulsating art scene, presents a myriad of experiences for both its residents and visitors. It’s a place where the past and present coalesce, creating a vibrant urban landscape.

For those embarking on a journey to Tacoma, whether as new residents or curious visitors, the city unfolds as a canvas of diverse attractions including many free things to do. The historical landmarks in Tacoma are not just silent witnesses to the past but are living stories, echoing the city’s evolution from a bustling port to a modern urban center. Here, history buffs can immerse themselves in the intricate tales of old, discovering how the city has shaped and been shaped by the events of the past.

In essence, Tacoma is a city that beckons to be explored, promising a unique blend of experiences that cater to all tastes and interests. Whether you’re moving to the city or just passing through, Tacoma welcomes you with open arms, offering a world of discovery at every turn. For those looking to make Tacoma their home, exploring reliable movers can ensure a smooth transition to this captivating city.

Historical Sites

Fort Nisqually Living History Museum

Step back into the 19th century at the Fort Nisqually Living History Museum. This museum brings history to life with live-action roleplayers and self-guided tours of historical structures, including smokehouses, barns, and orchards. It’s a unique way to experience the region’s fur trading and agricultural history​​.

Job Carr House Museum

Explore the life of Tacoma’s first European settler at the Job Carr House Museum. This reproduction of Job Carr’s mid-19th century cabin offers insights into early settler life in the Pacific Northwest, complete with period furnishings and antiques. It’s a valuable educational experience for visitors of all ages​​.

Art and Culture

Tacoma Art Museum

The Tacoma Art Museum, a key fixture in the downtown Tacoma Museum District, boasts a collection of over 5,000 artworks, including the world’s largest collection of Dale Chihuly glass artworks. It offers a range of classes and family programs, making art accessible and enjoyable for all ages​​​​.

Museum of Glass

The Museum of Glass is a marvel of modern architecture and artistry. It features stunning glass artworks and offers visitors the chance to see glassblowing in action. The museum’s collection and live demonstrations make it a must-visit for art enthusiasts​​.

Outdoor Adventures

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

The Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, nestled within Point Defiance Park, is home to a wide variety of species, including Sumatran tigers and polar bears. It’s a popular destination for family outings, offering educational and entertaining experiences​​​​​​.

Foss Waterway Seaport

Discover Tacoma’s maritime history at the Foss Waterway Seaport. Located in a century-old building, this museum offers insights into the region’s seafaring past. It’s an ideal spot for those interested in boats, marine life, and the history of Puget Sound​​.

Family-Friendly Activities

Children’s Museum of Tacoma

The Children’s Museum of Tacoma provides interactive and educational experiences for children, with themed areas and rotating exhibits. It’s an ideal destination for families, especially on rainy days, offering hands-on learning experiences​​.

Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium

Revisit the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium for its diverse range of over 9,000 animals and 367 species. The zoo and aquarium provide educational and entertaining experiences for visitors of all ages, making it a highlight for any family trip to Tacoma​​.

Unique Experiences

Tacoma Glassblowing Studio

Experience the art of glassblowing at the Tacoma Glassblowing Studio. Visitors can watch glass blowing demonstrations and even participate in creating their own glass pieces. This interactive experience is both educational and memorable​​.

Odd Otter Brewing Company

Enjoy local craft beer at Odd Otter Brewing Company. This brewery, run by war veterans, offers a unique selection of ales, IPAs, pilsners, and seltzers. The taproom’s vibrant atmosphere makes it a great place to unwind and sample some of Tacoma’s finest brews​​.

Exploring Nature

Chambers Bay Golf and Sunset

Chambers Bay, known for its championship golf course, also offers hiking trails and stunning sunset views over Puget Sound. The area is ideal for golfers, hikers, or anyone looking to enjoy a serene sunset by the bay​​.

Swan Creek Park

Swan Creek Park is a green oasis perfect for mountain biking and nature walks. Its trails cater to both beginners and experienced cyclists, making it a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts looking for a day of adventure​​.

Heritage and Museums

LeMay – America’s Car Museum

Car enthusiasts will marvel at the extensive collection at LeMay – America’s Car Museum, which showcases a vast array of vehicles from different eras. The collection reflects the passion of collectors Harold and Nancy LeMay and offers an insightful look into the history of automobiles​​​​.

Buffalo Soldiers Museum

The Buffalo Soldiers Museum offers a unique perspective on military history, highlighting the contributions of African American soldiers. It’s a significant site for understanding the diverse history of the Tacoma region and the United States military. The museum’s exhibitions and programs offer a deeper understanding of the important roles played by these soldiers in American history​​.

Relaxation and Leisure

Bluebeard Coffee Roasters

For coffee enthusiasts, Bluebeard Coffee Roasters is a must-visit in Tacoma. This local cafe is known for its ethically sourced beans and provides a cozy atmosphere for enjoying a variety of coffee brews. Whether you prefer a classic espresso or something more exotic, Bluebeard’s has something to satisfy every coffee lover​​.

Duke’s Seafood

Duke’s Seafood is an award-winning restaurant in Tacoma, offering fresh seafood platters. It’s a perfect spot for enjoying the local cuisine and the picturesque views of Puget Sound. The restaurant is renowned for its commitment to sustainability and the quality of its seafood, making it a top dining choice for both locals and visitors​​.


Tacoma, Washington, is a city that seamlessly blends history, culture, and nature. Whether you’re interested in exploring museums, enjoying outdoor activities, or simply relaxing at a local cafe, Tacoma has something to offer everyone. Each attraction in Tacoma is a unique opportunity to experience the vibrant spirit and rich history of this Pacific Northwest gem. With its diverse range of activities and sights, Tacoma is a destination that promises memorable experiences for all who visit.