Located between Seattle and the state capital of Olympia, Tacoma has a unique, hometown feel. World-class museums, hotels and theaters draw thousands to the downtown core while the shores of Puget Sound and the statuesque Mount Rainier call out to adventurers. With a population of approximately 200,000, the city that incorporated in 1884 has grown from its historical roots as a home of sawmills, sailors and fishermen, and a bustling port that exported goods around the world to a center for international exports, the arts and healthy, affordable living. Tacoma’s downtown streets are filled with an intriguing mix of historic buildings, contemporary designs, unique shops, fine restaurants and pedestrian –friendly streets where you can shop, dine, explore, entertain and play.
Union Station/University of Washington—Tacoma
Located along Pacific Avenue, from 21st to 17th, this neighborhood contains some of the best examples of Tacoma’s historic architecture. It also offers great shopping, dining and night life. Union Station displays glass works designed by Dale Chihuly, and a beautiful restoration of the building, which is now occupied by the federal court house.
Tacoma has truly transformed with the emergence of a dramatic “Museum District” in the heart of downtown. Three major museums form an impressive triangle—the Tacoma Art Museum, the Museum of Glass and the Washington State History Museum. Linking them is the spectacular Chihuly Bridge of Glass and historic Union Station, also filled with Chihuly art. Tacoma has many cultural attractions within easy walking distance of each other and with light rail to parking. America’s Car Museum and the Foss Waterway Seaport Museum are also located just minutes from the Museum District.
The Theater District
Long known for its contribution to the performing arts, this district spans Broadway, from 9th to 11th, and South 9th from Market to Commerce. With theaters like the Pantages and Rialto, there is always a show to see. The neighborhood also boasts fine dining, fine jewelry and art, and downtown’s Christmas Tree and New Year’s Eve Celebrations.
Antique Row on Broadway and St. Helens between 9th & 7th is famous for its vast variety of vintage and antique goods.
Downtown’s oldest and newest district, this little slice of Tacoma is a collection of beautifully restored buildings and unique retail shops. Stroll along St. Helen’s, north of 9th, and veer off to the right, just past the guitar shop. It’s a step back in time to a more genteel era.
Historic Pacific Avenue
Located on a dramatic bluff overlooking Commencement Bay, Tacoma’s Historic Pacific Avenue reflects the city’s political, economic, and cultural past in significant architectural buildings and places such as Old City Hall, the Northern Pacific Building and Fireman’s Park. The area bustles with activity from a wide variety of trendy restaurants, cozy pubs, eclectic gift shops and restorative boutique salons and spas to infuse panache and vitality into your body and soul.
Thea Foss Waterway
Thea Foss Waterway is a 1.5 mile inlet off Commencement Bay that runs along Tacoma’s downtown shoreline. Over the past several years this waterway has been transformed into a shining example of economic revitalization with a waterfront walkway, public event plazas, marinas, shops, restaurants and cultural centers.Back