If you’ve never been to Tacoma, you’re in for a pleasant surprise.
Although there is an endless supply of fun things to do in Seattle, sometimes it’s nice to have a chance of scenery and explore a neighboring city. Tacoma is only about 40 minutes south of Seattle, making it an ideal destination for a weekend day trip. Many in the Pacific Northwest love Tacoma for its museums, celebration of art and culture, and many stunning parks and outdoor spaces that you can explore for free.
Ready to spend a day exploring Tacoma? We put together an itinerary that includes an exciting new VR experience, a great place to get brunch, one of the best museums in Washington, and a completely free activity at the end.
One of the coolest things to do in Tacoma right now is The Infinite: An Out-Of-This-World Immersive Experience. This interactive virtual reality adventure is the closest you’ll ever get to journeying into outer space. In this experience that is open for all ages, you get to put yourself into the shoes of an astronaut, explore a life-size recreation of the International Space Station, and see mind-blowing views of Earth during a 3D virtual reality spacewalk.
Get more information and your tickets here.
Location: Tacoma Armory
Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Cost: $60 for adults
ALMA Tacoma is a lively multi-purpose space that offers live rooftop shows, patio dining, an all-ages lounge, and a brand-new cozy cafe. After you’ve worked up an appetite from your space mission, swing by ALMA for a delicious brunch in their cafe or on their patio. Take note below that their cafe and patio hours differ, although their kitchen serves brunch to both spots.
Location: 1322 Fawcett Ave, Tacoma, WA 98402
Hours: Wed-Sun, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. (Cafe); Wed-Sat 9 a.m. to midnight and Sundays 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Patio)
- Casey Yee via Flickr
You could easily spend two to three hours at this 75,000-square-foot museum dedicated to the art of glass. Every day the museum has live glass art-making demonstrations in the Hot Shop. A daily public tour of the museum is included with your admission, or you can spend an extra $10 for a tour that guides you through the outdoor art and architecture of the museum as well as the Chihuly Bridge of Glass and Thea Foss Waterway. The museum also offers hands-on workshops in which you get to make a glass mosaic, dish, and other projects that you then take home.
Location: 1801 Dock St, Tacoma, WA 98402
Hours: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (closed Monday and Tuesday)
Cost: $12 for adults
After spending much of the day inside, you’ll enjoy a chance to see the natural beauty that Tacoma has to offer. Head over to Wright Park and check out the 27-acre arboretum. The park’s historical Victorian greenhouse has free admission and recently underwent an extensive renovation. It reopened this past May with improvements such as a floor-to-ceiling living plant wall, new lighting, and many new and unusual plant species.
Location: 316 S G St, Tacoma, WA 98405
Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed Monday and Tuesday)