TACOMA left: COURTESY OF TACOMA ART MUSEUM right: MUSEUM OF GLASS far right: SEYMOUR BOTANICAL CONSERVATORY; by tessa gilbertson
Tacoma is known as an entertainment destination. From cultural attractions to outdoor pursuits, the city offers an array of options. Consider dividing your time between culture, shopping and outdoor recreation. Start by learning about local history at the Washington State History Museum. Take a stroll across the Chihuly Bridge of Glass to view $12 million worth of ornamental glass in the Seafoam Pavilion and the Venetian Wall. The bridge leads to the Museum of Glass, a world-renowned contemporary artist hot spot, where the craft of creating works from molten glass happens live.
To observe natural beauty in the heart of the city, visit Wright Park and the1908 Seymour Botanical Conservatory, one of only three such Victorian greenhouses on the west coast. Enjoy 500 species of exotic and fragrant flowers, foliage and an on-site gift shop.
Taking in the museums builds up the appetite, and youâ€™re in luck! There are several spots to eat right on nearby Pacific Ave: Indochine Cafe, Pacific Grill and Harmon Brewery are all local favorites. After lunch, head north to the Tacoma Art Museum. Founded in 1935, the museum has a permanent collection of some 3200 artworks by European, American and Asian artists of the last two centuries.
At Bella Balls, you can choose from an extensive selection of hand blown glass balls: these pieces are unique and create a remarkable story. Pause for a spot of tea at the Healing Garden Tea Room or for lunch at the Hub Restaurant; their sweet potato fries are delicious.
Best Shopping There are plenty of noteworthy places to shop within a few blocks of the gardens. More than 100 stores create an eclectic mix of shopping opportunities.
Walk it off at Point Defiance Park where you can hike, beach-comb, meander through over half a
Travel Guide 2011