Most people on the Portland to Seattle route frequently stop to visit Tacoma as they make the drive north on Interstate 5 to visit the most popular destination in all of Washington State, the Emerald City of Seattle.
Though for many years Tacoma had a reputation of being an industrial, military town, it has recently begun to see cosmetic changes that is improving the economy and encouraging visitors to stay longer than it takes to fill up the tank and grab a snack.
Tacoma Washington has been able to preserve some of the atmosphere of yester-year, which is quickly disappearing from Seattle. Go to Museum Row, where, in addition to the Museum of Glass, the America's Car Museum and the Working Waterfront Museum, you can explore the state's past and the past of Tacoma in the Washington History Museum.
The past comes to life at Antique Row, which is an area between 7th and 9th street, from Broadway to St Helens. Here you can find the perfect thing you"ve been looking for, or just admire fine furnishings from the days of old. Continue walking on St. Helen's past 9th and you will find yourself in Opera Alley. You will love the vintage charm of the newly restored buildings of this fine district in Tacoma Washington.
Tacoma is home to the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, which has animals from the South Pacific, and is an outstanding example of a world-class facility, with its polar bears and beluga whale.
One attraction that draws visitors from all over the state is the Tacoma Dome. This modern arena in downtown Tacoma Washington is host to giant events like Tae Kwan Do exhibitions, hot rod shows and giant blowout sales. Having been a landmark in Tacoma Washington since 1983, the Tacoma Dome also has a restaurant onsite for visitors who spend most of the day here. McKinley's serves Redhook ales in a casual atmosphere suitable for the events in the Tacoma Dome.
You won't find any lack of quality or variety when you're dining in Tacoma. Johnny's at Fife is an institution with more of a reputation than just about any other restaurant Tacoma has. The pan-fried oysters and charbroiled steak are good enough to satisfy your need for tender flavorful beef. For something more exotic, the Galanga Thai can confidently be called the best Thai restaurant Tacoma has to offer. The savory herbs, fragrant spices and fresh ingredients combine to make an unforgettable dining experience.
The popular Silver Cloud Inn on the shores of commencement bay is one of the affordable hotels in Tacoma with waterfront views. The uniform standards of larger hotel chains such as Days Inn, Ramada, Best Western are frequented regularly by travelers. The Sheraton is a hotel Tacoma visitors use often, with its spacious comfortable rooms.
If you like shopping, and want more variety besides the quaint shops in downtown Tacoma Washington, a visit to the Tacoma mall will surely satisfy your needs. Just drive four miles south to visit the 140 stores in the Tacoma mall, including favorites of designer hungry shoppers like Nordstrom and Macy's. The Tacoma mall is a great way to finish a lively and interesting visit to Tacoma.