Tacoma is the 3rd largest city in the state of Washington and is also the capital city of Pierce County. The city is named after Mt. Rainier, the volcano that can be seen from any part of Tacoma, because of its original name “Takhoma” given by the local natives. The Port of Tacoma, which is Washington's largest seaport, serves as one of the main international trade routes on the West Coast.
Many families are drawn to Tacoma’s delightful neighborhoods for its sweeping mountain, city, and water views. There is a multitude of hospitals, museums, art exhibits, and parks, along with some very interesting historic landmarks. Because of the city’s devotion to eco-friendliness, they have built a network of bike trails for bikers and commuters to use to get to their destinations quicker and safer. The Tacoma Public Schools contain 10 high schools, 11 middle schools, 36 elementary schools, 1 technical school, 1 community college, and 2 universities.
The Tacoma Dome
This is one of the largest arenas with a wooden dome in the world, as well as the largest indoor arena in the state. The Dome was constructed from the trees that were uprooted during the Mt. St. Helens eruption of 1980. It has entertained over 25 million guests since it has been built and can seat up to 23,000 people at a time. Many different types of events are held at the Tacoma Dome including indoor soccer, basketball, hockey, football, figure skating, live concerts, bull-riding events, wrestling, and monster truck rallies.
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
Located within the 760-acre Point Defiance Park lies the only combined zoo and aquarium in the Northwest. With an array of habitats ranging from the Asian Forest Sanctuary to the Arctic Tundra, this facility houses over 9,000 animals from 367 different species. Besides exploring the park and seeing all the amazing creatures, you can also interact with some animals by going to the petting zoo.
There are often events held at the zoo such as Art Fridays, science fairs, animal films, behind the scene tours, and live animal shows. Plus, every year around the holidays, you can either walk or drive around the zoo to witness the famous Zoolights! The entire zoo is decorated with over 700,000 LED lights to display gorgeous 3-D depictions of zoo animals and landscapes.
This 27-acre arboretum contains over 700 trees, of which about 100 of them are exotic and native species. The park accommodates a generous playground, a large field for lawn bowling and bocce ball, picnic area, basketball court, horseshoe pits, and a fitness station. The W. W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory that can be found within the park houses over 550 plant species in its perpetual collection.
Four impressive museums line Tacoma's downtown to form the Museum District. Here you can view some of the world's most unique art and interesting history.
The Tacoma Art Museum features over 5,000 works of art that have been collected since the founding of the museum in 1935. The Museum of Glass, co-founded by famous glass sculptor Dale Chihuly, has earned a reputation for hosting stunning and intriguing glass artistry.
The Washington State History Museum, which has been around since 1891, is dedicated to preserving Washington state’s rich history, as well as displaying it for the world to appreciate. And finally, America’s Car Museum is one of the United States’ most recognized car shows that helps to educate people in how vehicles have shaped our civilization over the years. It includes a 3.5-acre field full of vehicles from different eras, as well as a banquet hall and a gallery.
There are many highly regarded restaurants that line Commencement Bay in Tacoma. Harbor Lights has been around for 50 years and has built an impressive reputation for serving enormous plates of fresh seafood. They also sell packages of their signature spices used in their dishes. Duke’s Seafood & Chowder House has become famous for their fresh seafood that they order straight from Alaska. They have also won awards for 5 of their homemade, all natural chowders.
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