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More than a side trip from Seattle, this once gritty mill town is a destination unto itself. Left behind in the rush to demolish and build anew, Tacoma retains a great deal of its 19th-century architecture as well as several quaint neighborhoods. Grand old theaters like the Pantages and Rialto and other impressive downtown structures such as the Old City Hall stand as testament to Tacoma's former prominence as a logging center. Today Tacoma boasts the seventh largest container port in the US; the new Working Waterfront Museum gives a close-up look at the action. Past the iconic Tacoma Dome, the city spreads across a high peninsula tapering ...

More than a side trip from Seattle, this once gritty mill town is a destination unto itself. Left behind in the rush to demolish and build anew, Tacoma retains a great deal of its 19th-century architecture as well as several quaint neighborhoods. Grand old theaters like the Pantages and Rialto and other impressive downtown structures such as the Old City Hall stand as testament to Tacoma's former prominence as a logging center. Today Tacoma boasts the seventh largest container port in the US; the new Working Waterfront Museum gives a close-up look at the action. Past the iconic Tacoma Dome, the city spreads across a high peninsula tapering to a tip of old-growth forest at Point Defiance Park. Some of Puget Sound's best seafood restaurants are found along Ruston Way, on the way out to the point, with sunsets over Commencement Bay as a backdrop for grilled salmon or steamed mussels. When the clouds disperse, Tacoma's inhabitants enjoy views of majestic Mount Rainier to the east and the peaks of the Olympic range to the northwest. Tacoma is home to Dale Chihuly, one of the world's finest glass artists, whose work is on display in the Museum of Glass, the old Union Station, and a unique glass-lined pedestrian bridge. Nearby, the Washington State History Museum tells the story of the people of this land, beginning with those who lived off the salmon long before the Europeans came.

Myra Ingmanson
About the Expert

Myra Ingmanson and Daniel C. Schechter worked together on various titles for Lonely Planet, particularly the Pacific Northwest and Mexico books. Together they coauthored chapters for Lonely Planet's Eastern Caribbean.

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Myra Ingmanson for Triporati

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    Late spring, summer, fall