10 Reasons Why You'll Like Tacoma



*This post is in collaboration with Travel Tacoma. We received tours & a hotel stay . 
Photography: Valerie Hansen


I never thought I'd be writing an article about why you should like, or visit Tacoma. For years, it's been considered an undesirable location. The city has undergone a huge face lift in recent years. "Destiny City" is now a GO TO Northwest destination!

Last month we were invited to Tacoma by the tourism board for "You'll Like Tacoma Day." We had a blast and explored the city from top to bottom. Even after living in the area for several years, we discovered some new hidden gems. We've rounded up our favorite destinations to check out.


  10 reasons why you'll like Tacoma:

Foss Waterway & Seaport Museum


foss water way

This museum and waterway celebrate the amazing maritime history of the city of Tacoma. This tour was definitely one of the top highlights of our day. We were treated to an exciting boat ride by Destiny Harbor Tours. The boat tour takes you all along the downtown waterfront. The views are incredible and you will be positioned perfectly to photograph the breathtaking skyline:
Shake Shake Shake

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If you love old time 50's diners and retro vibes, do go grab a bite at Shake Shake Shake! It's around the corner from Stadium High School. The shakes are thick, creamy and oozing with home style goodness. Here you can capture an amazing shot for your instagram gallery under the iconic "EAT" sign.
Stock List Gifts & Goods



This new store offers a little of this and that and is the perfect spot to find souvenirs or a unique gift. Stock List has items to decorate your home, jewelry and all things Tacoma. It's conveniently located on Pacific ave and nestled among destination restaurants. Grab a bite to eat and shop til you drop!


Hotel Murano

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Experience top class accommodations in the heart of downtown Tacoma. This boutique hotel is the perfect spot for a stay-cation or a weekend getaway. There is everything to love here: the rooms, the view, the art themed decor and exceptional guest service. You will enjoy every minute of this home away from home.

Stadium High School


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Are you a Harry Potter fan? Then you will love Stadium High School! Well even if you aren't, you will still be fascinated by this Hogwarts style castle. It looks like a replica of Hogwarts, because of the soaring towers. A popular movie from the 90's " Ten Things I Hate About You", was filmed here.

The school was originally constructed in 1891 as a luxury hotel. A fire during construction ravaged and destroyed the property. The city of Tacoma purchased it for 1.00, and turned it into a schoolhouse. Stadium High was one of the first schools in the country to build a stadium. It is also one of the most photogenic public schools in America.

Tacoma Rainiers

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Enjoy hometown baseball at it's best, at historic Cheney Stadium. The Pacific Coast League baseball club has been in operation since 1960. A ball game with the Rainiers is the perfect way to spend a summer evening under the stars. It was fun to get a behind the scenes tour of the field and dug out.

"Buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks, I don't care if I ever get back!" Come experience Tacoma at a Rainier's game- you may never want to go back home!
Anthem Coffee

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This fast expanding chain is shaping up to be Tacoma's flagship coffee spot. We checked out the one close to the waterfront, on Pacific Ave. Take a stroll down museum row and then relax with delicious brew in the heart of downtown. Anthem on Pacific has a cool artsy vibe with sea creature murals and decor. Incredible roasted blends and five locations await you!

3uilt Restaurant @7 Seas Brewing Company

This new restaurant pronounced "Built" , is located inside the historic Heidelberg brewery building. 7 Seas Brewing of Gig Harbor also opened a Brewery in the same space. We were treated to scrumptious sandwiches and chopped salad for lunch.


You can dine and have a few beverages under the roof of the former Chihuly storage facilities. If you want a relaxing place to enjoy Friday night eats and a northwest vibe, this is the eatery to check out!

Museum of Glass


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The Glass Museum is a contemporary art museum featuring glass sculptures and a glass making studio. Several of the art displays are the creative work of famous artist Dale Chihuly, and are quite something to behold! The fountain out front is a beautiful. It also features Chihuly's work.

The Chihuly Bridge of Glass with 2400 pieces of glass is one of the most photographed spots in Tacoma. Take a scenic stroll from downtown to the waterfront on this pedestrian walkway.


Point Ruston



Just a few miles north of the Narrows Bridge, you will find a fabulous neighborhood called Point Ruston. It's Tacoma's newest up and coming area. This little haven overlooking Commencement Bay, is your answer to a perfect weekend getaway.

I'm obsessed with this area and I think you will be too! It's a great place to meet your bestie for coffee, ride bikes along the waterfront or feast on the best seafood in town. There are series of small parks along Ruston Way to visit as well. Check out all the details here!

I hope you can make a visit to Tacoma soon! Thanks for stopping by Maple Leopard and happy travels!
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36 comments

  1. To be honest, Tacoma was never really on my list until I saw this post! The Museum of Glass looks so cool!

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    1. Hi Megan,

      I live near it and used to think it was not so great..but oh my I LOVE it now!! Amazing transformation!~

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  2. Now I have to go go to Tacoma. It looks so beautiful and so much to do.

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    1. Hi Luci,

      For sure..its worth your time to check it out, endless experiences!

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  3. All of your adventures in Tacoma look great! It's been on our bucket-list for a while now :) The glass museum photo is so cool!

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    1. Thank you so much, hope you can make a visit soon, and yes the glass museum is a must see!

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  4. Tacoma sounds amazing! I would so love to visit.

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    1. Pack you bags and come on out, you will love Tacoma For sure!

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  5. Shake Shake Shake looks like my kinda place! Being Scottish, I'm a little Harry Potter mad so any excuse to pose outside Hogwarts-esque buildings is my kinda place!

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    1. Ha ha Lauren, well get yourself to Tacoma..You will love this Hogwarts look alike!

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  6. Tacoma looks like a lovely place to visit! I'm a fan of Chihuly artwork and would love to visit the Glass Museum. Thanks for sharing some great things to do in Tacoma!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, yes If you like Chihuly;s work, you'll love downtown Tacoma..so much of his work all around!

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    2. Thanks for stopping by, yes If you like Chihuly;s work, you'll love downtown Tacoma..so much of his work all around!

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  7. I have been visiting Florida so many times and even at some point lived in West Palm Beach but never got a chance to visit Tacoma. What a pity! Would really love to return..

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    1. Hope you can head to Washington State to visit Tacoma soon!

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  8. Lovely place to visit, this is the first I've heard of it! I would totally work my way through your top 10 list, especially that shake place tip 2 - yummy!

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    1. Hey there, wow so many are saying they never heard of Tacoma, which totally shocks me- It's the next major city south of Seattle, but I guess it has yet to be discovered!

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  9. Honestly, I didn't know about Tacoma Wa, well until now. The Museum of Glass looked like an interesting place to visit, definitely worth a try.

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    1. The glass museum is amazing.you would love it!

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  10. I never hearn about this place before! It looks amazing! thank you for sharing this

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    1. Thank you Sinjana...its not far from Seattle..amazing so many don't know of it!

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  11. I´d come to Tacoma just to see that High School ¨ten things I hate about you¨ was filmed at! I love movie inspired travel :) It´s taken me to some awesome off the beaten path places already.

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    1. I love movie towns as well! The high school is pretty kewl! I am from Vancouver BC...Hollywood North..tons of movies filmed there!

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  12. Museum of Glass is so creative one, it might looks very beautiful during night hour.

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    1. I am sure it does, I would love to see it at night!

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  13. To be honest, I'd never heard of Tacoma before. I'd love to visit the Glass Museum. It looks spectacular!

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    1. REally..wow..well now you should make a visit, you will love the city and yes the glass museum is amazing!

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  14. I am ALL OVER those 50s diners! I'm a sucker for that kind of retro kistchy stuff! So I had to google Tacoma at first to work out exactly where it was, and I came up with a bunch of cars. So if Tacoma's cool enough to have a car named after it, it's cool enough for me to visit!

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    1. Ha ha..yes Tacoma is super cool, you'd love it! Speaking of cars..it has the biggest car museum in North America called LeMay car museum, check it out!

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  15. I live in Tacoma and while these places definitely are touristy and fun, it looks like only the downtown Stadium District area was visited. There are lots of other amazing places to visit in Tacoma. Great local coffee shops like Valhalla and Blue Beard, so many cute boutiques and cool vibed restaurants and bars like Red Star Taco Bar and the Social, not far from the water. Hope if you get the chance to visit (or visit again) you can get a hold of a local for a real insiders tour!

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    1. I went to college in Tacoma (UPS), Washington and have lived there off and on. It has grown up and become such a destination city! I love going back and discovering other new places. One restaurant that combines the waterfront experience with great food is Johnny's On The Dock. You have to go through a bunch of train tracks to get there but it's worth it.

      Also near Stadium HS is Frisco Freeze, a cool truly old time burger joint that's been around forever. It's a drive-up. They make THE best and juiciest hamburgers in the world. I love their shakes, too.

      There's also a trolly sort of vehicle in downtown that will get you from one end of downtown to the other, and it's free. I would live there again if I didn't need to be close to the airport due to frequent travel for my job. Maybe I'll retire there.

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    2. Thanks for the suggestions. I go down there frequently, from Seattle. It's nice to have some additional places to try out.

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