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Ideas for an afternoon/ evening in or near Tacoma.

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Dec 6th, 2018, 02:00 PM
  #1
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Ideas for an afternoon/ evening in or near Tacoma.

I agreed to a quick work trip to Tacoma.
Day 1 - I'll fly to SEA and drive south.
Day 2 - I'll work in the morning.
Day 3 - I'll fly back, probably on a late morning flight.

I've been to Seattle many times and have explored north and east.

I've not explored Tacoma or its surroundings

Any suggestions for a very quick trip? Unique restaurants, places to see, things to do?

i will have a rental car.
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Dec 6th, 2018, 02:22 PM
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Dec 6th, 2018, 03:15 PM
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When will this be?
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Dec 6th, 2018, 06:23 PM
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Next week.
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Dec 6th, 2018, 07:31 PM
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Museum of Glass and the LeMay car museum would be my picks.

Also, on your arrival day you could hit the Museum of Flight.
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Dec 6th, 2018, 08:44 PM
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Where are you staying/working? I stayed at the Hotel Murano which I loved. It is walking distance to several museums (Museum of Glass, State History Museum, Art Museum, etc) restaurants and close to the Link light rail line.
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Dec 6th, 2018, 09:46 PM
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Over the moon cafe for dinner.

Second prior museum and hotel Recs
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Dec 7th, 2018, 06:48 AM
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I'll echo the museum suggestions (including the Chihuly Bridge of Glass, which is free.) However note the Museum of Glass is only open Wed-Sat from 10 to 5 at this time of year; don't know if that works with your schedule. Also remember daylight is in short supply, so any afternoon excursion out of town is likely to end in the dark.

Do you have to spend the second night in Tacoma? 'Cause if you didn't, then you could combine a wee road trip with relocation to lodgings that might be more convenient to the airport, or which would allow you to make a one-way trip out of any excursions.

A couple of short trips you could make if you want to see something:

- Gig Harbor. Gig Harbor is a very pretty waterfront town reached by crossing the Narrows bridge(s). If you're lucky enough to have a clear day, the views of Mt. Rainier over the water, and at sunset, can be terrific.



There are numerous cafes and restaurants in Gig Harbor if you want to have dinner there.

Olympia - Washington's capital city is actually very pleasant, with a fine "old town" vibe in the downtown area, a number of excellent restaurants and cafes, and the capitol grounds are very beautiful, even in winter.

Redondo - If you want a pleasant drive and a nice place for dinner (killer sunset views if it's not cloudy) head north around Dash Point up to Redondo Beach (not the one south of LAX) and hang out at Salty's at Redondo - https://www.saltys.com/south-seattle/ .
Here's a map showing the location of these various places; it's not intended to be an actual drive, but just to orient you. https://goo.gl/maps/GEsPPXDi4122

A final idea that would only work if you're able to relocate to a different hotel that night would be to take a drive up Vashon Island. Vashon is a lovely and quite big island that reaches from just a short distance from the Ruston/Point Defiance area of Tacoma (reached by traveling along the Commencement Bay waterfront and nice "old town" parts of Tacoma) and extending north to where the north-end ferry takes you to West Seattle. Along the way there are a couple of picturesque little towns like Burton, a terrific lighthouse with a driftwood-covered beach and fab views of Mt. Rainier, and funky Vashon town, with a few galleries and cafes. You could spend the afternoon driving up the island, then have dinner on Alki Beach in Seattle with views of the city skyline, the Olympic mountains in silhouette, and passing ferries. Then head to the airport area for the night. If it was me, and if your schedule would allow it, I'd do this drive in a heartbeat. Map - https://goo.gl/maps/E7kTwHf4Xsp

Point Robinson lighthouse and views -





Views from Alki Beach



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Dec 7th, 2018, 08:34 AM
  #10
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Thanks so much for the great ideas!
I can stay wherever I want to. I've made reservations near the airport but can change that.
Love the ideas! Thanks so much!
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Dec 7th, 2018, 09:05 AM
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>>I've made reservations near the airport but can change that. <<

Seatac is a long way from Tacoma - about 30 miles from downtown. Where are you gong to be working?
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Dec 7th, 2018, 11:10 AM
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Seatac is a really uninteresting area to stay. I would change locations ASAP
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Dec 7th, 2018, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by janisj View Post
>>I've made reservations near the airport but can change that. <<

Seatac is a long way from Tacoma - about 30 miles from downtown. Where are you gong to be working?
I get in late the night before. I was going to get an early flight out after the second night, but booked a later flight on Day 3. Where I stay is flexible, but I always book a hotel I can cancel so I can be sure I have a place without much driving when I arrive in a city. I think most people do the same. Most of my peers do.
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Dec 7th, 2018, 08:27 PM
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I wouldn't stay at Seatac unless it was for a really late arrival and an early flight out the next morning.
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Dec 8th, 2018, 04:47 AM
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That is clear. Got it.
My question is not where to spend the night. I handle that successfully virtually every work night of the year. I'll adjust WHERE I spend the night based on what I decided to do while I am there.
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Dec 15th, 2018, 06:29 AM
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It was a super short trip but I did have time to get to Gig Harbor and I fell in love. I definitely will return, so there's time to explore.

Dusk was falling as I was driving in. Stopped at Starbuck's to figure out where I would head to dinner. Thanks to TripAdvisor reviews, I chose a waterfront restaurant. Great choice! Dinner at Anthony's on the water. Their $25 dinner was a steal of a deal -
https://www.anthonys.com/restaurants...-at-gig-harbor
Sunset_FINAL2018(7).pdf

I had the little shrimp cocktail, the crab chowder was wonderful!. I ate half of the pan fried oysters (took the other half "home" and loved their almond rice). I asked the server her recommendation for dessert and the brunt cream (creme brulee) was fabulous. I took half of that home too, but didn't eat any of the leftovers. Too much food but what a great meal! Service was wonderful and the staff was very friendly. Just a happy place to eat and beautiful views of the boats and docks decorated in holiday lights.

I drove around a bit to admire the views and decided I needed to buy a home with a view on Bayridge Avenue (in my dreams). Friendly locals walking their pups and chatted briefly with one who commented on what a gorgeous night it was. Unfortunately, I only had a few free hours, but it was a lovely place to spend them.

Stopped at the general store for a few minutes and bought a banana for the morning and a couple of Christmas ornaments. Would love to try their cafe on a return visit.
https://www.harborgeneral.com/

In the end, I'm glad I stayed at SeaTac. I was so tired when I arrived after working on the east coast and flying west on the same day. I started the Hilton check-in process on my smartphone, but decided to wait. I was surprised to receive a text and that started a very nice dialogue that continued for the three days (with Divinia, Bryan and Stephanie). Via text I asked for a view if there was one to be had. Instead of choosing from Floors 1 to 3 on the phone, "Bryan texted me to say that I had been upgraded to a room with a view. What a room! 10th floor. View of the airport and I loved watching the planes take off. Best of all, I had a balcony, but what a balcony! I was in a corner room and I had a wraparound balcony that would have been a great party space for dozens of my best Dance Party friends!

I really loved the Doubletree. Gorgeous fireplace with sitting area as you enter. Coffee shop and gift shop available. I was in the room working a lot so just ordered room service and both the food and service were very good - and of course my view was great. LOVED the text service. Late morning when I received a text to check on things I mentioned that I didn't get the famous cookie at check-in nor the Diamond waters, I was told that my waters should be in the room. Only the ones with the price hang tags on them, but I said that was fine. A few minutes later there was a knock at the door and housekeeping had brought bottles of water. Just amazingly great service.

In reality, I called the hotel the day before to ask about their cancellation policy and it was 72 hours in advance. I thanked them and knew I was too late to change my lodging. In the end, I was very glad I didn't change. It was great to be in the room in a few minutes after landing. My room was lovely and the upgrade to the high floor view was a great perk. I was very pleased with the location, especially when I decided to catch an earlier flight back on departure day. I stayed in the room too late, because the presale opened up at 10 eastern for Michelle Obama's event in Atlanta, but being so close I had the time to spare to try to snag tickets. I did like the convenience of staying near SeaTac. It worked great for me.

I really thought I could at least squeeze in Chihuly's bridge on this trip but it was far too short a period of time to even get that in. My work event was in afternoon instead of morning so I had virtually no flexible time. That's okay, because it was a business trip but I do plan to return. My only other stop was a quick stop at Best Buy near the mall to pick up a duplicate of something I needed since I forgot the original and it was still in my car back home. I built in an extra hour for drive time and was glad I did. I was surprised at how heavy the traffic was, even in early afternoon.

Thanks to all for the great ideas! Returning to Tacoma is on my bucket list so I can see the things that you suggested. And I would love an overnight or two in Gig Harbor! That wasn't an option for a business trip but would be great for a weekend trip.

Last edited by starrs; Dec 15th, 2018 at 06:34 AM.
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