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Guidebook for Tacoma

Paolo

Guidebook for Tacoma

Sightseeing
We consider UPS our private garden during the summer. :) If you’re there during the quarter, you can get a cheap meal at the cafeteria and cheap coffee at the cafe!
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University of Puget Sound
1500 North Warner Street
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We consider UPS our private garden during the summer. :) If you’re there during the quarter, you can get a cheap meal at the cafeteria and cheap coffee at the cafe!
This isn’t just any high school. It’s known as the “Hogwarts of America” due to its architecture and was the location for the filming of “10 Things I Hate About You.” You won’t see another high school campus like it! This is also where Paolo went to high school. After visiting, head across the street to Shake Shake Shake for the (Stadium) Tiger’s Tail shake, which features our favorite local candy company, Almond Roca, in the blend.
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Stadium High School
111 North E Street
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This isn’t just any high school. It’s known as the “Hogwarts of America” due to its architecture and was the location for the filming of “10 Things I Hate About You.” You won’t see another high school campus like it! This is also where Paolo went to high school. After visiting, head across the street to Shake Shake Shake for the (Stadium) Tiger’s Tail shake, which features our favorite local candy company, Almond Roca, in the blend.
Parks & Nature
Point Defiance is a 760-acre city park, the 2nd largest in America behind Central Park in NYC. It includes a fantastic zoo & aquarium, waterfront (it’s a peninsula), and trails through old-growth forest. The “spine” trail is 2.6 miles roundtrip, the Triangle (inner loop) Trail 3.3 miles roundtrip, and Square (outer loop) trail 4.6 miles roundtrip. It’s all fairly flat with little elevation change. If you’re looking for the quick, sampler experience, just take the 5-mile drive by car. If you’re taking the drive at sunset, watch the raccoons line up like they’re watching a parade for food scraps.
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Zoo et Aquarium de Point Defiance
5400 North Pearl Street
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Point Defiance is a 760-acre city park, the 2nd largest in America behind Central Park in NYC. It includes a fantastic zoo & aquarium, waterfront (it’s a peninsula), and trails through old-growth forest. The “spine” trail is 2.6 miles roundtrip, the Triangle (inner loop) Trail 3.3 miles roundtrip, and Square (outer loop) trail 4.6 miles roundtrip. It’s all fairly flat with little elevation change. If you’re looking for the quick, sampler experience, just take the 5-mile drive by car. If you’re taking the drive at sunset, watch the raccoons line up like they’re watching a parade for food scraps.
Arts & Culture
You can go to the Bellagio in Las Vegas to see a Chihuly stained glass installation, or you could go to the McDonald’s on Tacoma Avenue (seriously). But the better experience is at the Glass Museum. Dale Chihuly grew up in Tacoma and attended Stadium High School. The Museum of Glass includes the work of Chihuly and other glass blowers around the world. Additionally “the cone” is where you can watch glass blowing demonstrations and watch work in progress by local artists. There are a few permanent outdoor exhibits, too. If you’re here on the third Thursday of the month, access to the Museum of Glass, Tacoma Art Museum and Washington State History Museum (more family oriented) is free 2-8 p.m.
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Museum of Glass
1801 Dock St
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You can go to the Bellagio in Las Vegas to see a Chihuly stained glass installation, or you could go to the McDonald’s on Tacoma Avenue (seriously). But the better experience is at the Glass Museum. Dale Chihuly grew up in Tacoma and attended Stadium High School. The Museum of Glass includes the work of Chihuly and other glass blowers around the world. Additionally “the cone” is where you can watch glass blowing demonstrations and watch work in progress by local artists. There are a few permanent outdoor exhibits, too. If you’re here on the third Thursday of the month, access to the Museum of Glass, Tacoma Art Museum and Washington State History Museum (more family oriented) is free 2-8 p.m.
Entertainment & Activities
The Tacoma waterfront begins at Old Town and stretches all the way to Point Ruston, dotted with restaurants along the way. (Head to Katie Downs for the pizza, or Duke’s, a northwest chain, for the happy hour seafood.) Point Ruston is “what’s new” in North Tacoma. Ruston is the name of a square-mile city between Tacoma and Point Defiance. It’s like our Vatican City. :) Point Ruston is a joint effort between the cities to revitalize an old mill area. The result is a great promenade walk, movie theater and series of restaurants. There's a farmer's market here on Sundays during the summer.
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Point Ruston
5005 Ruston Way
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The Tacoma waterfront begins at Old Town and stretches all the way to Point Ruston, dotted with restaurants along the way. (Head to Katie Downs for the pizza, or Duke’s, a northwest chain, for the happy hour seafood.) Point Ruston is “what’s new” in North Tacoma. Ruston is the name of a square-mile city between Tacoma and Point Defiance. It’s like our Vatican City. :) Point Ruston is a joint effort between the cities to revitalize an old mill area. The result is a great promenade walk, movie theater and series of restaurants. There's a farmer's market here on Sundays during the summer.
If you’re here on a Thursday, head to the downtown market on Broadway Street. You’ve already accepted you’re not in Seattle, so don’t have Pike Market expectations, but this is a wonderful market where you’ll find fresh flowers, local jewelry and downtown workers lined up for lunches at food trucks.
Theater District Station
If you’re here on a Thursday, head to the downtown market on Broadway Street. You’ve already accepted you’re not in Seattle, so don’t have Pike Market expectations, but this is a wonderful market where you’ll find fresh flowers, local jewelry and downtown workers lined up for lunches at food trucks.
Food Scene
Sure, you could go to Starbucks, but what about a Tacoma coffee roastery? Bluebeard is where you can get real coffee with real Tacomans. Only light pastries here, so plan elsewhere for breakfast. $2-4/drink.
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Bluebeard Coffee Roasters
2201 6th Avenue
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Sure, you could go to Starbucks, but what about a Tacoma coffee roastery? Bluebeard is where you can get real coffee with real Tacomans. Only light pastries here, so plan elsewhere for breakfast. $2-4/drink.
Our favorite greasy spoon, with options to order at the counter or get full-service waitstaff in the dining room. Go for the avocado and bacon omelette. Make the potatoes “magic.” If you have a sweet tooth, go for the apple pancakes. $8-$14/plate.
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Shakabrah Java
2618 6th Ave
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Our favorite greasy spoon, with options to order at the counter or get full-service waitstaff in the dining room. Go for the avocado and bacon omelette. Make the potatoes “magic.” If you have a sweet tooth, go for the apple pancakes. $8-$14/plate.
This is a happening night scene, but don’t underestimate the breakfast. We like the chicken & waffles and elk hash! $11-$20/plate.
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Dirty Oscar's Annex
2309 6th Avenue
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This is a happening night scene, but don’t underestimate the breakfast. We like the chicken & waffles and elk hash! $11-$20/plate.
Our favorite place for a special occasion. A seasonal rotating menu featuring absolutely delicious, shareable plates and memorable entrees. Reservations recommended. $11-30/plate.
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The Table
2715 6th Ave
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Our favorite place for a special occasion. A seasonal rotating menu featuring absolutely delicious, shareable plates and memorable entrees. Reservations recommended. $11-30/plate.
Argentine-style steak house. Need we say more? This is the place for an impressive, hearty meal. Also, a great spot to grab happy hour and sit outside and people watch in the summer weather when the garage doors are open. Reservations recommended for dinner. $31-$60/plate.
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Asado
2810 6th Avenue
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Argentine-style steak house. Need we say more? This is the place for an impressive, hearty meal. Also, a great spot to grab happy hour and sit outside and people watch in the summer weather when the garage doors are open. Reservations recommended for dinner. $31-$60/plate.
If you see a line out the door on 6th Ave, it’s not for a band. Ice Cream Social delivers fantastic, artisan ice cream. Our favorite on the standard menu is the butter pecan and salted caramel. Layla, the owner, mixes up the rotating menu weekly. Go twice and you might see different flavors. They also have a second location at Point Ruston. Pay the extra $1 and get it in a waffle cone. $3-5/item.
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Ice Cream Social
2914 6th Avenue
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If you see a line out the door on 6th Ave, it’s not for a band. Ice Cream Social delivers fantastic, artisan ice cream. Our favorite on the standard menu is the butter pecan and salted caramel. Layla, the owner, mixes up the rotating menu weekly. Go twice and you might see different flavors. They also have a second location at Point Ruston. Pay the extra $1 and get it in a waffle cone. $3-5/item.
Drinks & Nightlife
Gourmet hot dogs and an excellent tap. Now that’s a pairing. It’s also super popular, so if you arrive at peak times for lunch or dinner expect to wait for a table. $7-10/plate.
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The Red Hot
2914 6th Avenue
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Gourmet hot dogs and an excellent tap. Now that’s a pairing. It’s also super popular, so if you arrive at peak times for lunch or dinner expect to wait for a table. $7-10/plate.