Outdoor Attractions for Tacoma Newcomers
Moving can be stressful, but when you move to Tacoma, you’re going to have a lot of outdoor exploring to do once you get settled. Tacoma ranks as one of the most walkable cities in America, so lace up your boots and check out some of these attractions just outside your door.
The Pacific Bonsai Museum is one of only three dedicated bonsai museums in the world. Admission is donation-based, and the “gallery” of bonsais is in a large forest in Federal Way. Only 50 to 60 of the museum’s 150 specimens are on display at any given time. These miniaturized trees are part of an ancient traditional art form and are far, more impressive than you can imagine. This must-see museum is open six days a week.
Explore this 340-acre park in nearby Lakewood. In addition to the athletic fields, it boasts an extensive trail system. It’s perfect for pedestrians or cyclists and includes a 22-acre dog park.
This 27-acre park features an extensive arboretum with more than 600 trees. If you’re a plant or tree lover, you can download a tree guide to the park to help identify the species. The new Wright Park Bridge is a marvel of modern engineering logistics: it’s 54 feet long, eight feet wide, and weighs more than ten tons. It was constructed off-site and then placed with a crane.
Minutes away from Tacoma’s bustling Museum District is the Ruston Way Waterfront. It’s a paved two-mile stretch of trail hugging the coastline, with stunning views of Puget Sound. To the west, you have a clear view of Mount Rainier, and to the east, the Olympic Mountain Range rises up majestically over the bay. If you’re lucky, you can catch sight of seals playing in the surf or lounging on the beach.
Covering 760 acres, this is the largest city park in America west of the Mississippi River. Much more than just a park, it encompasses a combined aquarium and zoo, and the Fort Nisqually Living History Museum. There are five separate points within the park where you can rent picnic facilities. Inside this park, you can experience an old-growth forest, see a remarkable rose garden, rent an ocean kayak, and see some harbor seals at play.
Between the park’s formal gardens, forest hiking trails, boat rentals, waterfront promenade, beaches, and off-leash dog areas, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
As you can see, there is a multitude of amazing attractions in Tacoma– and this list is only the tip of the iceberg. Yards in Tacoma average in 10,800 sqft. — so, while the great outdoors awaits, don’t forget to enjoy the little sliver of land right outside your home. Tend to it wisely, and the rest of Tacoma’s offerings will feel like a treat made for a day spent exploring.
(See Also: Hidden Moving Costs to Pay Attention To)
Francesca Singer, Guest Blogger
Francesca Singer is a DIY enthusiast who splits her time between Texas and rural France. When not writing or wrangling a toddler, she can be found wielding power tools or working in the garden.