TRAVEL TACOMA + PIERCE COUNTY 2014-15
BEST NW EATS + MOUNTAIN HIKES + BOUTIQUES AND BARS + LOCAL LINKS
OFFICIAL VISITORS' GUIDE
TACOMA MUSEUM DISTRICT
Museum of Glass WA State History Museum
Foss Waterway Seaport Tacoma Art Museum
HISTORY GLASS BOATS ART PLAY DOWNTOWN TACOMA
PUBLISHED BY Tacoma Regional Convention + Visitor Bureau 1119 Pacific Ave, Ste 1400 | Tacoma, WA 98402 800-272-2662 | traveltacoma.com
PRESIDENT + CEO Bennish Brown DIRECTOR OF MARKETING + COMMUNICATIONS Andrea Mensink MARKETING MANAGER Jenny Curtiss COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR Grace Reid BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER Melinda Lowe
10 CITY WALKS
From boutiques to bars, Tacoma’s hip microhoods revel in the hyperlocal life. By Angela Cabotaje
14 20 SEARCHING FOR RAINIER GOLFER’S PARADISE The magnificent mountain inspires amazing adventure. By Julie H. Case and Nicholas O’Connell
Tee off in Pierce County, where regional courses make for one stunning golf utopia. By Dan Raley
SOUNDOUT Discover the wonders of Pierce County with vintage cars, glass art, local events, and historic sites.
FAMILY From getting creative to going wild, Pierce County promises hands-on fun for the whole family.
SCENE Hit the town like a local, sip craft cocktails, and get cultured at top museums, galleries, and theaters.
FEAST Can’t-miss dining means fresh oysters, cool shakes, and plenty of adventurous eats.
WILD+LIFE Hike a trail, sail away, hit the slopes, and more ways to get out in Pierce County.
2 + TRAVEL TACOMA + PIERCE COUNTY 2014-15
PLAN Comprehensive lodging options from around the region.
MAPS How to get around Tacoma and Pierce County.
Get revved up at LeMay— America’s Car Museum, page 5.
PRESIDENT Nicole Vogel VICE PRESIDENT, CUSTOM MEDIA Jeff Adams ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Stephanie Ducharme SENIOR ADVERTISING COORDINATOR Danielle Williams SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, EDITORIAL & OPERATIONS Bill Hutfilz SENIOR EDITOR Julie H. Case ASSOCIATE EDITOR Angela Cabotaje COPY EDITOR Margaret Seiler ART DIRECTOR Chuck Kerr CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Amanda Castleman, Leslie Forsberg, David Hanson, Megan Hill, Melena Jankanish, Adrienne Kuehl, Chelsea Lin, Nicholas O’Connell, Dan Raley, Craig Romano, Corinne Whiting, Jessica Winterbauer CONTRIBUTING DESIGNER Jenica Wilkie PRODUCTION MANAGER Mary Bradford Travel Tacoma + Pierce County is a publication of SagaCity Media in conjunction with the Tacoma Regional Convention + Visitor Bureau. For advertising inquiries contact Jeff Adams at 206-454-3007. For editorial inquiries contact Julie H. Case at 206-454-3028. All rights reserved.
ON THE COVER Reflection Lakes in Mt. Rainier National Park. Photo by Danny Warren/ iStockphoto
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: MICHAEL HANSON, WILL AUSTIN, COURTESY LEMAY—AMERICA’S CAR MUSEUM, DAVID PATTERSON
PUBLISHED IN CONJUNCTION WITH SAGACITY MEDIA
EVERY CAR HAS A STORY EXPERIENCE YOUR AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Celebrate Americaâ€™s love affair with the automobile. Open 7 days a week | 10am to 5pm lemaymuseum.org
2702 East D Street Tacoma, WA 98421 253.779.8490
Restaurant Seafood Brunch
www.lobstershop.com (253)759-2165 4015 Ruston Way, Tacoma, WA 98402
La Quinta Inn & Suites Tacoma Conference Center
• Full-Service Accommodations
• 7,000 sq. ft. of Meeting Room Space
• Free Continental Breakfast • Free High Speed Internet.
1425 East 27th Street Tacoma, WA 98421 Reservations: 253-383-0146 800-Sleep LQ (753-3757) http://685.lq.com
Famed glass artist Dale Chihuly observes his work Monarch Window in Tacomaâ€™s Union Station.
Countless masterworks blur the lines between reality and fantasy in Tacoma, where glass artist Dale Chihuly has studded his hometown with everything from fiery pinwheels to an iconic bridge of glass. This sense of wonder has taken hold all across Pierce County: majestic Mount Rainier looms on the horizon, a greens-and-dunes wildland tees up a taste of Scotland, and local communities offer adventurous pursuits and endless charm in turn. traveltacoma.com + 5
LeMay— America’s Car Museum
The hot shop at the Museum of Glass
Tacoma’s hot commodity proves a cut above Throughout the city, talents transform functional materials into awe-inspiring art. Creative forays have been made in the means of wood, metal, and paper, but the most notable medium, by far, is glass—melted, sculpted, fused, and blown into innumerable works that are as amazing to admire as they are to make. Much thanks should go to internationally renowned glass artist, and Tacoma’s native son, Dale Chihuly, who has left his indelible mark across the city. In 1971, he opened the Pilchuck Glass School at the foot of the Cascade Mountains, built upon the pioneering spirit of the American West and the anti-mainstream ideals sweeping artist communities in that era. “At that time, the studio-glass tradition had barely started, and the sense of freedom and open-ended opportunity to create an experimental glass studio in the wilderness must have been exhilarating,” marvels Museum of Glass curator David Francis. For 1994’s Chihuly at Union Station, the glass-art pioneer created five installations, which, at the time, amounted to the largest glass exhibition presented by a single artist. That same year, he helped found Hilltop Artists, a glassblowing program for middle-
and high-school students. Then came the acclaimed Museum of Glass, with its sleek hot-shop cone, and the Chihuly Bridge of Glass, a 500-foot-long pedestrian overpass studded with thousands of Chihuly masterpieces, in 2002. Tacoma’s glass scene has continued to expand: In 2003, Patrick and Rachelle Cahill’s Area 253 Glassblowing became the city’s first public-access glass studio. In 2006, the Tacoma Glassblowing Studio opened its hot-shop doors. And in 2013, the University of Washington Tacoma and Museum of Glass created the Institute of Glass, a comprehensive archive devoted to the art. For visitors, one way to get glassy is by shadowing a craftsman during a hands-on glass workshop (Tacoma Glassblowing Studio, Museum of Glass, and Area 253 all have great options), but perhaps the best way to sightsee in silica is to get out and explore. Watch modern-day masters hard at work in the Museum of Glass hot shop—within its gallery halls, the institution dazzles with international and local works—or join Tacoma Art Museum on a Chihuly Walking Tour to peruse the maestro’s public works around town. —Corinne Whiting
CARS: Cruise the Narrows gigharborcruisers.com / Goodguys Pacific Northwest Nationals good-guys.com / Griot’s Garage 3333 S 38th St, Tacoma; griotsgarage.com / LeMay—America’s Car Museum 2702 E D St, Tacoma; lemaymuseum.org / LeMay Family Collection at Marymount 325 152nd St E, Tacoma; lemaymarymount.org / USA of Yesterday 455 St Helens Ave, Tacoma; collectorcar.com • GLASS: Area 253 Glassblowing 2514 S Holgate St; area253glassblowing.com / Chihuly Bridge of Glass 1801 Dock St / Museum of Glass 1801 Dock St; museumofglass.org / Tacoma Art Museum 1701 Pacific Ave; tacomaartmuseum.org / Tacoma Glassblowing Studio 114 S 23rd St; tacomaglassblowing.com / Union Station 1717 Pacific Ave
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FROM TOP: KEN EMLY, COURTESY LEMAY—AMERICA’S CAR MUSEUM
THERE’S NO BETTER PLACE than Pierce County to get your motor running. LeMay—America’s Car Museum houses one of the largest collections of vintage vehicles in the Northwest, with more than 350 cars, trucks, and motorcycles on display in its 165,000-square-foot campus. Experience three exhilarating driving simulators, and let children build their own pinewood car before sending it zooming down a track in the museum’s Family Zone. All vehicles in LeMay’s collection are kept in pristine—and often, working— condition, ranging from a massive railway express truck to the mini, one-door BMW Isetta. Check out a “Hugger” orange 1969 Camaro or the museum’s oldest vehicle: an 1863 high-wheel bike. Or bring your own car to the free drive-in movie nights in summer and early fall. Another 500 autos from the LeMay family private collection of more than 1,500 vehicles are on display at LeMay Family Collection at Marymount. A number of car-themed summer events also help Pierce County rev things up. The 16th annual Cruise the Narrows event showcases vintage vehicles of all makes and models in Gig Harbor (August 3). Drift over to the Goodguys Pacific Northwest Nationals (July 25–27), held at the Washington State Fairgrounds in Puyallup, where thousands gather to show off their collectible cars. For year-round fun, Griot’s Garage’s flagship retail store has a showroom of rare and classic vehicles as well as a rotating schedule of meet-ups and events, while USA of Yesterday has an impressive display of more than 50 classic automobiles for sale in its showroom. And, yes, shipping and delivery is available worldwide. —Melena Jankanish
THE 11 WONDERS OF TACOMA
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Murray Morgan Bridge, the city voted on its top attractions last year. Check out Tacoma’s most glorious—and curious—sights. 1. Point Defiance Park + Zoo Pierce County’s no. 2 tourist destination unfolds spectacular views of the sea and mountains, plus shark, red wolf, and clouded leopard sightings. pdza.org
PHOTOS CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: COURTESY TACOMA PUBLIC SCHOOLS, STEVE RUSSELL, COURTESY TRAVEL TACOMA + PIERCE COUNTY, SHUTTERSTOCK. COLLAGE: SHUTTERSTOCK
2. Union Station Monarch butterfly–colored blossoms soar across the grand, arched window of the federal courthouse: just one of five works there by the glass-art giant and hometown hero Dale Chihuly. unionstation rotunda.org
3. Ruston Way Waterfront Skate or stroll past fishermen along this two-mile trail on Commencement Bay. Pause at Dickman
Mill, which bustled during Tacoma’s “Lumber Capital of America” days. Today, seawater bathes the ruins of the waste-wood furnace: a haunting industrial relic. metroparks tacoma.org/ruston-way 4. Tacoma Narrows Bridge What was the world’s third-longest suspension span once threaded the almost-mile-wide channel here. Prone to bouncing, it earned the nickname “Galloping Gertie,” and a 1940 windstorm collapsed the bridge after just four months. A replacement opened in 1950, with a second span added in 2007. Catch a great view from Narrows Park in Gig Harbor. penmetparks.org 5. Views of Mount Rainier The Lower 48’s most glaciated peak looms large at 14,410 feet high. Wander along the new Foss Waterway esplanade at sunset for superb views of Washington’s iconic mountain. theafoss.com
6. Stadium High School The 1893 depression halted construction of this grande dame hotel. After a fire swept its shell, Tacoma bought “The Castle” and turned it into a majestic high school with turrets overlooking Commencement Bay. tacoma.k12.wa.us
7. Wright Park Thirty state-champion trees shade the 27-acre arboretum: one of the urban oasis’s biggest draws, alongside a sprayground and bocce green. metroparkstacoma .org/wright-park
8. Museum of Glass Enter the molten core of the modern-glass movement. Inside the silvery 90-foot steel cone burns the world’s largest hot shop, where guests watch artists work over 2,000-degree-Fahrenheit furnaces. museumof glass.org 9. Fort Nisqually Step back into 1855 at the first European settlement on Puget Sound, where reenactors demonstrate blacksmithing, butter-churning, and other fur-trader skills. fortnisqually.org 10. Octopi under the Tacoma Narrows Bridge Galloping Gertie’s submerged remains— a registered Historic Place—form one of the world’s largest man-made reefs. Divers can explore crannies packed with vivid marine life, including giant Pacific octopi, the largest and longest-lived of their kind.
“With their three hearts, copper blood, ability to learn, and wicked sense of humor, they are a vivid reminder how alien the undersea world is and how little we know about it,” notes filmmaker and underwater explorer Laura James of Beneath the Looking Glass Productions.
11. Murray Morgan Bridge The city rehabbed this elegant, vertical-lift bridge—linking Tacoma and her industrial port— just in time for its 100th birthday last year. historictacoma.org —Amanda Castleman
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Calendar of Events April 10–13 Spring Fair (Puyallup) Leap into the new season with fair fun, from pig races to a demolition derby. thefair.com/spring-fair April 15 Daffodil Festival Parade (Tacoma, Puyallup, Sumner, Orting) See 150 daffodildecorated floats and performers during this four-city event. thedaffodilfestival.org
May 10 Gig Harbor Beer Festival Northwest craft breweries and restaurants team up for this sudsy event. gigharborbeerfestival.com June 27–29 Taste of Tacoma Savor food, desserts, and beverages from about 50 different restaurants and vendors. tasteoftacoma.com July 13–14 Rhubarb Days (Sumner) It’s all about rhubarb with food, craft vendors, music, and more. rhubarbpiecapital.com July 13–14 SummerFEST (Lakewood) Celebrate the season with kids’ activities, live music, vendor booths, and a movie at dusk. cityoflakewood.us September 5–21 Washington State Fair (Puyallup) One of the nation’s largest fairs attracts a million-plus fairgoers. thefair.com/ state-fair September 7 Pacific Northwest Concours d’Elegance (Tacoma) See everything from muscle cars to antiques. lemaymuseum.org September 20–21 Maritime Fest (Tacoma) Celebrate the region’s maritime heritage with boat races, boat tours, and other water-themed fun. maritimefest.org October 9–16 Tacoma Film Festival Watch indie short and feature-length films at Grand Cinema. tacomafilmfestival.com November 28–January 4, 2015 Zoolights (Tacoma) Point Defiance Zoo + Aquarium lights up as a holiday display, while a scuba-diving Santa spreads some cheer. pdza.org
Pierce County is packed with plenty for history buffs It’s no wonder Tacoma’s Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum is guarded by cannons. It’s part of a national network that shares the world’s largest private collection of rare manuscripts. Venture inside to find a rotating display of items, such as the first printed Ten Commandments and the original draft of the Wizard of Oz screenplay. Or peruse glass-encased pages penned by the likes of Einstein, Galileo, and Mozart. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, head to Engine House No. 9 for burgers and beer. What is now a charming red brick restaurant used to be a fire station that housed Tacoma’s last horse-drawn fire wagon. A century later, the original brass fire pole still stands, and antique fire helmets hang from the walls. Another eatery steeped in history can be found in Steilacoom, where The Bair Bistro retains the charming façade of its past life as a post office and drugstore. Today, the only orders filled are for classic comfort-food dishes, but the storefront sign still reads Bair Drug + Hardware, and the bistro’s interior is lined with apothecary bottles and postal boxes. Next door, authentic 19th-century tools used by pioneer blacksmiths and wainwrights are displayed in the Wagon Shop, a replica of an early Puget Sound workshop. For a fully immersive experience, head to Tacoma’s historic Browns Point Light-
house Park. Near the rocky shoreline of this stunning waterfront property stands a boxy white lighthouse that has guided military ships to safety since 1901. Rent out the neighboring cottage, and you can spend a weekend carrying out some of the traditional light-keeping duties of its first tenants. Across Commencement Bay, smoke billows from log cabins behind the wooden stockade that encircles Tacoma’s Fort Nisqually Living History Museum. Guides roam the grounds in traditional attire at this reproduction of Puget Sound’s first nonnative settlement. To see two of the original site’s structures, peek into the Granary and the Factor’s House. Make a pilgrimage to the fort’s first locale, DuPont. Dynamite trains like the one exhibited at the DuPont Historical Museum once transported explosives for World War II from the DuPont Powderworks Plant. In 1910, just as the dynamite rail’s last tracks were laid, more than 25,000 Tacomans packed into bleachers for the Stadium Bowl’s opening ceremonies. Set within a ravine beside the French chateau–style Stadium High School, this two-acre playfield boasts a killer view of Commencement Bay. As you look out over the water, know that spectators before you have included Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Babe Ruth. —Jessica Winterbauer
HISTORY: The Bair Bistro 1617 Lafayette St, Steilacoom; thebairbistro.com / Browns Point Lighthouse Park 201 Ton-A-Wan-Da Ave NE, Tacoma / DuPont Historical Museum 207 Barksdale Ave, DuPont; dupontmuseum.com / Engine House No. 9 611 N Pine St, Tacoma; ehouse9.com / Fort Nisqually Living History Museum 5400 N Pearl St, Tacoma; fortnisqually.org / Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum 407 S G St, Tacoma; rain.org/~karpeles / Stadium High School 111 N E St, Tacoma / Wagon Shop Main St and Rainier St, Steilacoom
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FROM LEFT: SHUTTERSTOCK, COURTESY FORT NISQUALLY LIVING HISTORY MUSEUM
May 2–11 MayFest (Lakewood) Enjoy beautiful flower displays, live music, and textile art at Lakewold Gardens. lakewoldgardens.org
Fort Nisqually Living History Museum
AROUND THE COUNTY CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: PATRICK HAGERTY, COURTESY TACOMA REGIONAL CONVENTION + VISITOR BUREAU, SHUTTERSTOCK, COURTESY EMERALD QUEEN HOTEL + CASINOS, COURTESY TACOMA REGIONAL CONVENTION + VISITOR BUREAU, COURTESY BROWN + HALEY, OLIVIA BRENT
Local communities up the regional charm
Settled by wagon-train pioneers in 1853, this small town of less than 10,000—dubbed the Rhubarb Pie Capital of the World—serves up a slice of good old-fashioned Americana. Vintage streetlights and historic brick buildings line Main Street, while cafes and restaurants slice generous wedges of the city’s signature dessert: rhubarb pie. Sample this regional delicacy at Berryland Cafe (1), where sweetas-jam rhubarb is tucked beneath a flaky crust, or Dixie’s Home Cookin’ for a strawberry take.
More than one million people flock to Puyallup each year for the Washington State Fair (2) (Sept 5–21, 2014), but it’s a historic home and rows upon rows of antiques that keep them coming back. Take a self-guided tour of Meeker Mansion, the 124-year-old Italianate Victorian home of Oregon Trail pioneer Ezra Meeker, or stroll over to the Puyallup Antique District, where nearly 200 vendors pack 25,000-plus square feet with estate jewelry, period furniture, and sports memorabilia.
Boaters tie up at Gig Harbor Marina (3) and outside regional institution Tides Tavern, where waitstaff occasionally venture down to the docks to take orders for their coastal chow. On land, this maritime village dials up the charm with waterfront parks, a quaint downtown strip, and the Harbor History Museum (4), a tribute to the area’s boat-building heritage. Another nod to the past? Netshed No. 9, housed in a converted netshed, serves breakfast and lunch faves like bacon cinnamon rolls.
Nestled between Chambers Bay in University Place—the site of the 2015 U.S. Open—and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Lakewood has plenty in terms of stunning outdoor sights. Head to 340-acre Fort Steilacoom Park to traverse tranquil forests and rolling prairieland on miles of trails, or splash into the water at five-acre American Lake Park, featuring a public boat launch and swimming beach. At Lakewold Gardens (5), nearly 900 rhododendrons and lush lawns surround a stately Georgian-style manor.
It’s all fun and games in Fife, where more than 1,490 machine games light up day and night at Emerald Queen Hotel + Casinos (6). (A sister location in Tacoma has table games, nightclubs, and live entertainment.) Fuel your hot streak with a stop at Brown + Haley (7) for a bulk buy of the foil-wrapped chocolate and toffee confections called Almond Roca, or make a pit stop at beloved fast-food joint Pick-Quick Drive In for hand-cut fries and a tasty fresh-beef burger. —Angela Cabotaje
FIFE: Brown + Haley 3500C 20th St; brown-haley.com / Emerald Queen Hotel + Casinos 5700 Pacific Hwy E; emeraldqueen.com / Pick-Quick Drive In 4306 Pacific Hwy E; pick-quick.com • GIG HARBOR: Gig Harbor Marina 3117 Harborview Dr; gigharbormarina.com / Harbor History Museum 4121 Harborview Dr; harborhistorymuseum.org / Netshed No. 9 3313 Harborview Dr / Tides Tavern 2925 Harborview Dr; tidestavern.com • LAKEWOOD: American Lake Park 9222 Veterans Dr SW / Fort Steilacoom Park 8714 87th Ave SW / Lakewold Gardens 12317 Gravelly Lake Dr SW; lakewoldgardens.org • PUYALLUP: Meeker Mansion 312 Spring St; meekermansion.org / Puyallup Antique District antiquedistrict.net / Washington State Fair thefair .com • SUMNER: Berryland Cafe 1101 Main St; berrylandcafe.com / Dixie’s Home Cookin’ 15717 Main St E; dixieshomecookin.net
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By Angela Cabotaje PHOTOS BY WILL AUSTIN
Sixth Avenue from Alder Street to State Street Part hipster haven, part happy-hour hangout, this North End commercial corridor is one quirky, cool drag. Stroll Sixth Avenue by day to spot yarn-bombed bike racks, or wait until the sun sets to bar hop with friendly locals and coeds from the University of Puget Sound.
1. MASA Citrus-muddled margaritas, streetstyle tacos, and an all-Sunday happy hour fuel crowds at this Tex-Mex hot spot, while the weekend brings breakfast offerings like a spicy chorizo scramble. In summer, the breezy rooftop deck is especially popular for drinking in views of all the Sixth Avenue action. 2811 Sixth Ave; 253-254-0560; masatacoma.com
2. LEGENDARY DOUGHNUTS Hedonistically decadent doughnuts ensure this bakery lives up to its epic name, with tasty specimens such as the Coastie (a massive bacon-andcheddar-stuffed doughnut) and the Elvis (a glazed ring smothered with peanut butter and banana chips). 2602 Sixth Ave; 253-3271327; legendary doughnuts.com 3. CORK! Grab a glass at this casual wine bar, which rolls up the
garage door when weather permits, to toast Pacific Northwest wines, draft beer, tapas, and even whiskey. Another bonus? Happy-hour specials last all night Tuesday and Friday. 606 N State St; 253212-5593; corkwine bars.com
have just opened in November 2013, but its racks of on-trend womenswear—think premium denim, casual staples, and distinctive dresses— have already made it a local fashion fave. 2503 Sixth Ave; 253-272-0910; satoriboutique.com
4. BLUSH BEAUTÉ BAR AND ORGANIC SPA Slip into this swanky day spa for a Swedish massage before browsing a lovely selection of all-natural bath goods. In stock: fizzy bubble bombs, vegan-friendly soaps, and hand-poured soy candles. 2501 Sixth Ave; 253-302-5904; blushbeautebarand spa.com
6. BLUEBEARD COFFEE ROASTERS In this airy cafe, patrons sip their pour-overs beneath rough-hewn timbers, while bearded and plaid-clad baristas roast coffee beans in a classic Probat behind the counter. 2201 Sixth Ave; 253272-5900; bluebeard coffee.com
5. SATORI This boutique may
7. HI-VOLTAGE RECORDS More than 20,000 LPs and CDs pack
this record store to the gills, where rock, psych, soul, and blues are always in heavy rotation. Score a rare vinyl find, or stop by to sell or trade in your old tunes. 2612 Sixth Ave; 253-6274278; hivoltage records.com 8. ART ON THE AVE The largest free festival in Tacoma includes a restaurant grub crawl, plus more than 100 craft booths, art installations, and live-music stages. July 13, 2014; artontheave.org
TRAVEL TACOMA + PIERCE COUNTY
Proctor Street from 28th to 24th Street With vintage street lamps and painted daffodils, Proctor is all about warm, old-timey charm. Shake the hand of Tacoma pioneer Allen C. Mason, who is replicated in bronze beneath a century-old oak tree in Mason Plaza, before wandering along the shop-lined blocks to keep an eye out for public art cemented in the sidewalk.
1. SUGAR Adorable doesn’t even begin to describe the oh-socute charm of this closet-sized candy store, which stocks retro picks (AbbaZaba, anyone?) and other sugary treats. Outside, a giant limegreen lollipop makes for one sweet photoop. 3901 N 27th St; 253-759-0461; proctorsugar.com
2. EUROPA BISTRO Rustic warmth pervades everything here, from the patina on the walls to the bottles of herb-
infused olive oil at every table. Order a glass of Tuscan vino to pair with a plate of house-made sausage ravioli. 2515 N Proctor St; 253-761-5660; europabistro.net 3. COMPASS ROSE Get your fix of bespoke accessories—from on-trend jewelry to whimsical gifts and housewares—at this hip, spacious shop. Bonus: A portion of proceeds goes to local and international nonprofits. 3815 N 26th St; 253759-0077; compass roseolympia.com/ tacoma
4. CHALET BOWL Follow the retro neon sign to this family-owned bowling alley, the longest continually operating one in the state, where 12 lanes and weekend glow bowling cater to budding kingpins. 3806 N 26th St; 253-7525200; chaletbowl.com 5. PROCTOR FROZEN YOGURT Housed in a quaint bungalow—porch seating, striped awning, and all—this self-serve fro-yo shop caters to choosy patrons with eight frosty flavors and 18 types of toppings.
2510 N Proctor St; 253-272-1565 6. OLD HOUSE MERCANTILE Residing in a converted 1907 house, this homey store packs every nook and cranny with charming domestic goods: Fiesta dishware, Polish pottery, embroidered linens, and colorful candles. 2717 N Proctor St; 253-759-8850; old housemercantile.com 7. POUR AT FOUR This casual wine bar is a go-to for
its complimentary tastings once a week, plus flatbread pizzas and truffle mac and cheese that are served till late. 3814 N 26th St; 253-7618015; pouratfour.com 8. PROCTOR ARTS FEST Nearly 10,000 people flock to the Proctor District for this daylong celebration of art and craft, featuring a juried art show, three live-music stages, a parade, and a dog fashion show. August 2, 2014; proctorartsfest.com
Court C, Seventh Street, and St Helens Avenue Small yet mighty may be the best way to sum up this hideaway just up the street from Tacoma’s Theater District. Vibrant murals adorn the colorful buildings down Opera Alley, where everything from a jazzy barcafe to a citywide summer block party holds court. Around the corner, trendy shops and a local brewery add to the buzz.
1. B SHARP COFFEE HOUSE Come to this cafe to enjoy a cup of slowbrewed joe or to sip locally brewed suds. Stay for the regular performances, from acoustic covers and cool jazz to spoken word and poetry. 706 Opera Alley (Ct C); 253-2929969; bsharpcoffee house.com 2. GIRAFFE Shop for a cause at this artisan shop, where owner Priscilla Schleigh stocks only ethically sourced, handmade
goods like mangowood plates and quilted sari throws. 622 St Helens Ave; 253-212-2188; giraffevashon.com 3. PUGET SOUND PIZZA A pizza parlor meets a dive bar at this no-frills joint, where craft beers are served by the pitcher and primo pies come topped with Italian sausage and artichoke hearts. 317 S Seventh St; 253-3834777; psptacoma.com 4. DWELLING For vintage-inspired furnishings and
décor, peek into this chic home store, where pressed-glass goblets, mercuryglass candlesticks, luxurious soaps, and other stylish curios reside. 626 St Helens Ave; 253-761-1889; dwelling626.com 5. OVER THE MOON CAFE This hidden gem in Opera Alley delivers with cozy interiors, featuring exposed-brick walls and romantic lighting, plus a menu of fantastic Northwest fare. 709 Opera Alley (Ct C); 253-284-3722; overthemooncafe.net
6. TACOMA BREWING COMPANY This laid-back taproom definitely has a sense of humor— doors open at 4:20pm Wednesday through Friday—but it’s all business when it comes to brewing up a slew of fullbodied stouts and ales. 625 St Helens Ave; 253-242-3370; tacomabrewing.com 7. DOWNTOWN BLOCK PARTY Hang with Tacomans at this free outdoor festival, where a beer garden, an end-of-
night dance party, hands-on art activities, and party games create a lively summer scene. August 2014; dtownttown neighbors.com
TRAVEL TACOMA + PIERCE COUNTY
Hwy 167, Exit 24th St. 253-299-0205 www.hiexpress.com/sumnerwa Enjoy our Complimentary Amenities: • Express Start Hot Breakfast • Indoor Heated Pool & Whirlpool • Complimentary WiFi • Complimentary Area Shuttle • Pet Friendly • Room Service Available
Hwy 167, Exit 24th St. 253-299-0205 www.hiexpress.com/ sumnerwa
Enjoy our Complimentary Amenities: • Express Start Hot Breakfast • Indoor Heated Pool & Whirlpool • Complimentary WiFi • Complimentary Area Shuttle • Pet Friendly • Room Service Available
se a r c hing fo r
RA I N I into the wilds of one of the world’s most massive volcanoes
14 + TRAVEL TACOMA + PIERCE COUNTY 2013–14
Mount Rainier and Bruniâ€™s Snow Bowl Hut
by julie h. case photography by michael hANSOn
traveltacoma.com + 15
Damp earth and moss. Spring seeping up. Then pine, wet stone, and glacial dust being washed downstream. Summer arrives, exploding with the yellow scent of wildflowers and drying earth. Fall is all leaves, evergreen, and a world of mycology fruiting. It is downed needles and duff so sweet that when you return home from a hike with the dog, you want to bury your face in her fur to absorb the smell. It’s the nectarine scent of chanterelles, and—if you’re lucky—cinnamon. Red Hots, to be exact, the candies my mother put on top of cupcakes when I was a child. This is from a matsutake, the elusive mushroom that hides beneath moss-covered forest floors, smells like cinnamon, and tastes like rain washed off a pine bough. I have traipsed Mount Rainier’s higherelevation wildflower fields around Paradise and stood agape at the giant trees that tower in the Grove of the Patriarchs, but it is the lower-level forests that truly beckon me. I have spent years clambering over logs, trudging up and down knotty hills, circling her base in search of mushrooms, bent over like some ascetic. The miles I’ve put on here might put summiteers to shame. Perhaps. Spring and fall are when I first fell in love with the mighty Tahoma—as she was called by the area’s first inhabitants—if somewhat from afar. At 14,410 feet, Mount Rainier—a massive, active stratovolcano—is the tallest glaciated peak in the Lower 48. For these reasons—the mountain’s height that rises far above the treeline, her massive glaciers, the towering ancient redcedar forests far below—Mount Rainier often appears in a muted palette of color. Brown stick, green boughs, the slate of rock, and occasionally, the ruby crest of a bird—but she is a riot in smells. Even in winter, when pine disappears behind the brine of breath surging cold air, behind wet wool. Just beyond the smell of snow, though, rises something intangible. Sap. Pine sap, sticky and cold against bark. I’m on snowshoes when I discover this, falling in love with Mount Rainier all over again. The plastic snowshoes clank beneath my feet as I slowly haul myself up steep slopes just south of the iconic peak, among North America’s largest no-fee hut-tohut trail system—created and run by the volunteer-led Mount Tahoma Trails Association (MTTA)—a place even few locals know about. Here, 50 miles of trails access three huts and a yurt, each more than 4,000 feet above sea level. Which is why my hiking partners, Terry and her husband John, and I are planning on three days of ski-in, skiout adventure. It’s mid-January and even here, just beyond the southern edge of Mt. Rainier
THE M O U NTAIN R O ILS W IT H S C ENT.
Top: Sunset near High Hut Bottom: Gearing at the saddle after break TACOMA + PIERCE COUNTY 2013–14 16 +aTRAVEL
Yurt Trail—a trail he built. He regales us with advice—how to turn on the stove in one cabin, where to collect snow for water at another—and then he’s off to ski in the backcountry, and we are off, too. We pass the turnoff for Bruni’s Snow Bowl, stop, and pose for another glorious picture against a Rainier backdrop. Then, we work our way toward the yurt. It’s all uphill, downhill, breaking through soft snow in our hiking boots. It is after 4pm, and we have covered 6.5 miles by the time we arrive at the yurt, set in a little clearing in the woods, steps from a majestic Rainier view. It’s rustic but not desperate, and a creek trickles merrily in the distance. Inside, we unpack and set to cooking dinner. I treat John and Terry to a decadent mac and cheese with smoked salmon, and braised greens. They treat me to wine and what must be a seven-pound birthday cake for John. We eat at 7:30 and are in bed by 9. From my spot on the top bunk I watch the stars shine through an
oculus overhead. Come morning we grab our daypacks, strap on snowshoes, and head out for a side trip. It takes us two hours to hike the 1.5 miles up to Mount Griffith viewpoint, where we take in panoramic views of Rainier in one direction, Mount St. Helens and Mount Adams in the other—the yurt a spec below. John scales a needle of rock while Terry and I speculate on where we’ve been and point to where we believe the trail is between the yurt and Bruni’s. After lunch at the yurt, Terry and I strap on snowshoes for the hike to Bruni’s. While the snow isn’t deep, this is far easier than boot packing for us, although John—who hiked 2,155 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail over 109 days last summer—continues in boots. We stop to gape at the fresh upper palate of some bucktoothed creature strewn in the middle of the trail, then, at the intersection of our path and Lower Yurt Trail, we meet a hiker descending from Bruni’s. “Whew,” he says, “I didn’t realize it was
Evening at High Hut
National Park, the weather is unseasonably warm. On the one hand, this makes getting into the backcountry around Rainier easier—to get here we needed neither chains nor snow tires. It also means, however, that despite a scarcity of snow, much of the National Park is still closed to visitors. In winter, only two of the four visitor centers are open, though when there is snow, come weekends, ranger-led ski and snowshoe trips deliver the full glory of the mountain. In the Snow-Park B lot at 3,400 feet, I open a bottle of Washington wine and empty it into a beat-up Nalgene bottle, then strap snowshoes onto my backpack. It’s so warm now that we dodge only the smallest of snowdrifts as we skirt the first trail gate and begin our ascent, our boots crunching across gravel. I’m a strong enough skier but a slow hiker, and now I’m worried that the distance will be too far, too steep, and that I’ll slog along and delay Terry and John. And yet, I’m going uphill strong as we pass an enormous snowplow blade dangling from a cable. Going strong even when we stop, less than an hour in, for lunch. We perch on rocks under filtered sunlight. Terry and John smash hummus onto tortillas, and I polish off the enormous last half of a breakfast burrito. Turning around, we catch our first glimpse of a hut high upon a ridge behind us. The main trail from here continues up to a saddle, but to our left, a narrower path dives into the woods. It is at this point that we make our first wrong decision. Worried we might run out of daylight, and wanting to ensure we get the best views, we reject the ungroomed Lower Yurt Trail where, we are told, there is a certainty of snow and we might have to scramble over a tree or two. Instead, we choose the well-traveled path. So, up and up and up we go across wet rocks and pockets of snow. It’s close to 2pm by the time we reach the saddle. Already we’ve climbed 360 feet, and now we’re into soft, shallow snow. To the right, the trail turns into trees and ascends steeply toward High Hut. We turn left and begin the ascent to Snow Bowl and, beyond it, the yurt. All around the sky glows blue. Sun pierces the trees. It’s January, but it feels like April. Soon, we are on a small ridge and giddy to discover Mount Rainier bursting into view between the pines. Another hour in, at about 4,360 feet, we meet Leyton. Even in gaiters and a felt hat, a pair of well-loved alpine touring skis jutting out from his pack, he’s the spitting image of John Malkovich. Leyton is just one of the many MTTA volunteers who build these trails, keep the cabins in shape, and organize searches when skiers and hikers don’t return from a trip. He asks where we’re headed and gapes in amazement to discover we chose this trail over the Lower
Mt. Rainier National Park’s Paradise area and the Mount Tahoma Trails Association are near Ashford. The MTTA trails are free to the public; the huts (skimtta.com) are $15 per person, per night. Access to the MTTA trailhead requires a Sno-Park permit (parks.wa.gov/147). Snowshoes, backcountry skis and skins, and even gear can be rented from Whittaker Mountaineering (whittaker mountaineering.com) in Ashford.
such a steep descent.” Terry and I swallow hard and glance at each other. We hadn’t noticed it either, and now we’re steeling ourselves for what threatens to be a longer, harder climb than we had expected. Yesterday’s sun has turned to an intermittent mix of sunlight and wet snow, but we still get peeks at the mountain and the bowls and valleys below. It’s only three miles between the yurt and Bruni’s Snow Bowl, set at 4,250 feet, but after descending nearly 500 feet the first mile, the rest is a gradual slog constantly uphill. No matter. The trip is every breath worth it when we arrive at Bruni’s. It’s hard to call this a “hut.” Volunteers built it in 2012, after the original hut spontaneously burnt to the ground in March 2008. Now, three stories rise in a large bowl at the end of a hill—the basement dedicated space for volunteers and patrollers, a main room with a large kitchen and community space, and an open top-floor bunk room with a quiet space and dozens of mattress pads for floor sleeping. A wide deck wraps around the main floor. To the north is the grandest
Mount Rainier view imaginable. She sits there, house size on the horizon, her slopes glowing pink in the sunset. To the west, past the bowls and glades and valleys, Puget Sound swims into view. Beyond that still, the Olympic Mountains rise against the skyline. Snow Bowl is buzzing. Nearly a dozen female volunteers have descended on the cabin for the weekend—making 6-foot-4 John the only man for miles around. These are some of the coolest women I have met, including Bronka, a tiny, 87-year-old concentration-camp survivor, who summited Rainier 10 years ago in just one day. This year, she did it in two. In the morning, we wake to rain, so instead of bidding John and Terry adieu and heading up to High Hut on my own, we all three retreat to the cars. Luckily, the snow soon returns, and it’s just another month or so before I’m back in the mountains, a sullen mood evaporating with every labored breath. I’m getting better at this—at hauling myself up and up and up while awkwardly clad in snowshoes, pounds of gear
and food on my back. I’d gotten a late start, leaving the parking lot an hour and a half later than I expected, and the snow has begun dropping in big, silent flakes around me. I’m not even a mile in when I realize that I’ve made another mistake: this time it’s snowshoes. Backcountry skis with skins would be faster going up, and so much more fun on the way down. Another reason to return. Alone, I follow ski tracks through the snow, not stopping even when, just after a mile in, the temperature takes a first sudden plunge. By two miles in I’ve gained 660 of the 1,360 feet of elevation on this route to High Hut, which means I have another 700 feet to gain over the next mile. Then, with about a fifth of a mile to go, I reach what I estimate is the last turn. I’m out of the woods now, on a ridge high, high above everything else. As I make the turn, I expect High Hut to be right there. But it’s not. Instead, the trail and ski tracks disappear. Snowdrifts undulate in waves. I screw up my courage—make a few wrong steps and they’ll find me in spring—and edge around
ON TOP OF THE VOLCANO Climbing Mount Rainier By Nicholas O’Connell
the first knoll. The hut still fails to appear. So I push on, circumnavigating one papery berm only to greet another. I step with caution. While these mounds don’t seem to be on a slope’s edge, I am hesitant to step onto anything that might collapse in a thundering avalanche. Finally the hut appears, buried to the eaves in just five feet of snow. Michael, a Seattle photographer, comes out to greet me, and soon he, his girlfriend, Dani, and I are warming up with bourbon and epic views. A series of small ranges splays out below us. Beyond them, sun breaks the clouds, and pink God’s rays fall onto valley upon valley of snowcapped pines. From the north, wind sweeps in, carrying with it the icy whiff of hail as Mount Rainier makes the briefest of appearances before being consumed wholly by storm clouds. It’s tantalizing: the mountains, the views, the air so crisp it tingles, and this chance to be high above it all so very easily. So compelling, that as I stand on the deck watching Mount Rainier play coy with the clouds, I begin mapping my return route for the summer.
BY THE LIGHT OF AN EARLY-MORNING MOON, we climbed into the rarefied atmosphere near the summit of Mount Rainier. The air was cool and still as we wound our way through a maze of seracs and ice falls, which glistened in the moonlight like fabulous creations in confectioners’ sugar. Only the sound of our own breathing and the crunch of our crampons disturbed the silence. A breeze started up. It wasn’t much at first, but the higher we climbed, the harder it blew. By the time we reached the lower end of the summit crater, the wind was whipping from west to east across the top of the peak. Stopping for a rest, we realized how cold and vulnerable we were. We unroped, put on the rest of our clothing, and staked out a spot behind a large boulder. It was 5am. The dark sky gleamed with an infinity of stars. The dull red glow of dawn had begun to spread across the eastern horizon, but the temperature was still terribly cold. The wind redoubled its force and found new ways around the boulder. My teeth started chattering. I unfolded the Mylar space blanket I kept for emergencies. My climbing partner Dan and I spread it across our laps. We held it in place with our feet and huddled together to keep warm. The wind ripped at the thin blanket, tearing it into strips. We held on tighter and crowded closer together. As I sat there shivering, I could feel a question forming in my sleep-deprived brain. It was the usual one in circumstances such as this. Namely, “Why are you doing this?” I was not in the best shape to answer such questions. I was beginning to feel nauseous from altitude, tired and irritable from lack of sleep. I was struggling to stave off hypothermia. Nevertheless, I tried to come up with an answer, mainly because it allowed me to keep my mind off our predicament. I held on to what was left of the space blanket, clenched my teeth together to keep them from chattering, and began to piece together the why and the how of this particular adventure. At 14,410 feet Rainier’s height alone makes it a difficult climb. Add to that unpredictable weather, occasional rock fall, and a complex system of glaciers, and you’ve got more than a walk-up on your hands, even if you’re attempting the standard Disappointment Cleaver Route—as we were. The route starts at Paradise (5,400 feet), ascending a long snowfield to Camp Muir at 10,000 feet. Most climbers spend the night here, rising in the early-morning hours to cross the Cowlitz Glacier to access the higher Ingraham Glacier. The route steepens as it ascends rocky Disappointment Cleaver, requiring crampons, ice axes, and ropes to navigate the icy, crevasse-riven slopes. The angle eases as the route approaches the summit crater, but the lack of oxygen makes the final push to the summit a worthy challenge. Many climbing teams heading for Everest train on Mount Rainier. They know that conditions change GUIDE SERVICES quickly on the mountain, and that no matter how many times Only experienced mounthey’ve climbed it, Rainier always presents new challenges. taineers should climb In my previous attempt on Rainier, avalanche conditions Rainier without a guide. All others should hire had put a summit attempt out of the question. Now it looked an experienced guide. like the wind might put the summit out of reach. Rainier Mountaineering As I turned these thoughts over in my mind, the thin red line (rmiguides.com) is the of dawn appeared on the eastern horizon. The sky turned from oldest, most experienced black, to violet, to the most spiritual blue I’ve ever seen. Then guide service on Rainier. the first ray of sunlight hit the rock behind us, providing little International Mountain Guides (mountainguides warmth but much reassurance. The wind died back down. Our .com) also specializes in climbing partners caught up with us a few minutes later, and the peak. after they rested a bit, we all started for the top together. The summit platform of Rainier must be one of the moststomped-on places in Washington state, but that day it was nearly deserted. The whole region spread out beneath us like a vast relief map, from Canada to central Oregon, from the Pacific Ocean to the mountains of Idaho. It was like no other view I’d ever seen. We stayed there for half an hour, taking in the views. Despite the cold and altitude, the elation of getting to the top made it all worthwhile. From any other point in the region Mount Rainier dominates the horizon. Now, on the summit, it was as if the mountain had disappeared. The peak I’d dreamed of climbing as a kid had suddenly lost its aloofness. I felt strange, as if I’d suddenly grown up. I realized then I hadn’t so much conquered the peak, as something in myself.
tRAVEL TACOMA + PIERCE COUNTY
Chambers Bay, site of the 2015 U.S. Open
Hit the links like the pros. Welcome to PIERCE COUNTY:
Golfer's Paradise T
By DAN RALEY
PHOTO BY DAVID PATTERSON
Golfers climb into cars, load onto ferries, and squeeze aboard airliners to make a pilgrimage. People everywhere want to see it, play it, and enjoy it. This sort of unwavering devotion might normally carry them to Pebble Beach, Pinehurst, or St. Andrews, to the proven golf shrines. In this case, the gilded fairway destination is the Tacoma surrounds. Perhaps best known for the world-famous Narrows Bridge that collapsed and was rebuilt, its front-row gallery seat that offers an unobstructed view of snowcapped Mount Rainier, its craft beer, and glass art, this hard-working military community has a new identifying moniker: golf mecca. Chambers Bay made this happen. Opened in 2007, this jewel of a links-style course— set along the edge of the Puget Sound—has ascended to virtually every top-100 course list and is the host for the 2015 U.S. Open. It’s the reason why, even in winter, guys like Jeff Schoening and Roger Brown get all bundled up and make the 30-mile trek from Seattle just to
hit a little white ball in the neighboring town. “We’ve both been to Scotland,” says Schoening, a retired hospice chaplain. “It’s the same experience, only this is closer.” By the same experience he means a coastal golf course with breathtaking views of Puget Sound and the prevalent smell of saltwater—a place filled with clever mounding but bereft of any modern-day trickery, such as ball-eating ponds and trees. For golfers, this sort of 18-hole layout is considered sacred ground, if not a religious experience. While Scotland is the birthplace of golf, Chambers Bay is an impressive reincarnation, hence the invitation to host a U.S. Open just seven months after it opened. Best of all, because it’s a public course, anyone can play the course designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., which was created in the style of the links courses of Scotland and Ireland. Here, those links wind among dunes swept by native fescue grasses, and the biggest hazards might be the views—of the island-dotted Puget Sound and those snowcapped Olympic Mountains poking out in the distance. Surprises abound, and anything can happen in this former gravel pit, which seems to have the prerequisite for playing host to a major golf tournament: Always keep players guessing. “You could have one day of rain, one day of wind, and one day of sun, and then you could have different winds going different directions,” says Paul Ramsdell, executive director for the Western Washington Golf Course Superintendents Association. If, during the tour, you can tear yourself away from the views, where’s the best spot to watch Tiger and Bubba and Lefty tee it up? Sit down on the 12th hole, a short uphill par-4, and get ready for some fun. “You’re going to see a lot of guys try to drive that green, and you’re going to see some insane bounces,” says Matt Gibson, a veteran Chambers Bay caddie. “You don’t often get to see them take a shot, hit their second shot, and putt from one place.” Those who want to get up close to the pros need not wait for the tournament itself to begin on Father’s Day weekend 2015. Because it will be the first time many of these players have ever teed up at Chambers Bay, the majority are likely to be on the course for practice beginning the Monday morning prior. Practice rounds will be the perfect time to get to know the pros: when they’re more laid back, more likely to interact with fans, and more likely to sign autographs. Want to get a taste of the action right now? Here’s how to get in the swing of things in Pierce County.
GO ON, PLAY AROUND
Come June next year, Pierce County will be the destination for the world’s best golfers, and an estimated 200,000-plus U.S. Open fans. But, Chambers Bay isn’t the only game in town. Pierce County has all sorts of 18-hole tracts and other duffer draws that seriously satisfy.
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The Home Course
Located 10 miles south of Chambers Bay in DuPont, The Home Course offers another testy links-style outlet, one that stares down at Puget Sound and across at the Olympic Mountains. Local golfers appreciate its big-course feel at half the cost to play as its well-heeled neighbor. Protruding Fort Nisqually ruins give the course a historic touch. The true test comes in navigating the greenside bunkers, which are extra deep and unforgiving.
tRAVEL TACOMA + PIERCE COUNTY
COURTESY WASHINGTON STATE GOLF ASSOCIATION
A SPOT AFTER TEE
PGA star Ryan Moore tees off at The Classic Golf Club
The Classic Golf Club PGA Tour player and three-time tour winner Ryan Moore—who is expected to be among the 2015 U.S. Open entrants—learned how to play on this Spanaway course. Today, Moore and his father own this popular tree-lined course 18 miles southeast of Chambers Bay, so don’t be surprised if you see him hanging out in the pro shop or out on the range. Golfers play through the sweet smell of pines and their wealth of shadows. Each hole has a funnel-like feel, with no shortage of seclusion or challenge.
Eagles Pride Golf Course Given the strong military presence in town—U.S. Army and Air Force bases merged into Joint Base Lewis-McChord here in 2010—you can’t overlook Eagles Pride, also known as Fort Lewis Golf Course, which offers a narrow 27-hole test for soldiers and civilians alike. Tee off early or chance getting caught in a rush of military personnel at ease. The course is cut from dense forestland backing up to the base, supplying narrow fairways and a lot of visiting deer. Even the hazards here are unusual: You need to stay focused as all those low-flying C-17s and transport planes boom overhead.
FROM TOP: COURTESY RMG CLUB, COURTESY UNITED STATES GOLF ASSOCIATION
More Fore! PUTTS FOR HALF PINTS
DISCS, NOT DIMPLES
Need something for the kids to play? Meadow Park Golf Course, which turns 100 in 2015, offers an executive nine next to its regulation 18-holer that has fast become a family favorite. Six manageable par-3 holes and three short par-4s give beginners something fun to navigate without all the pressure of keeping up with more serious players on a bigger 18. And at Tacoma Firs Golf Center, an 18-hole mini-golf course is perfect for tykes.
Can’t put the putter down? Frisbee—or disc golf—aficionados have two courses in Pierce County. So serious is the sport here that the Fort Steilacoom Disc Golf Course—set on 40 acres—hosts a spot on the Professional Disc Golf Association’s National Tour this year, and nearly 300 players are expected to compete. Nearby Riverside Park Disc Golf Course, along the Puyallup River in Sumner, has 20 basket holes and natural tees.
Where do serious players hang when the round is over? Often high above the links at Chambers Bay Grill, which features sweeping sound views and the occasional winemaker dinner to boot. Off-site, halfway between Chambers Bay and The Home Course and a few blocks from the Steilacoom ferry dock, is the Topside Bar and Grill. Sit at oak tables or sidle up to the bar, where the English-pub vibe belies the rooftop patio with sensational views of Puget Sound. Everything about this place—the ferries plying the water below, the seagulls hovering above the surface, and a juicy bite of a blue-cheese burger or rockfish burrito— says relax. Golfers flock here because it’s a short putt from each upscale course. Katie Downs, which sounds like a golf-course eatery but is actually named for the grandmother of one of the original restaurateurs, rests on stilts on Commencement Bay just northwest of downtown Tacoma. The quaint establishment offers great views, 18 beers on tap, and award-winning pizza, such as the Sicilian (sausage and pepperoni) or Rainier (shrimp), with a golfer-themed slice promised for the U.S. Open. Golfers are up for the Downs because it’s between Chambers Bay and Tacoma and has gourmet grub. TIP ONE BACK
When it comes to that quintessential golf refreshment (beer) Tacoma’s own Harmon Brewing Co. has something brewing: Chambers Bay 80 Schilling Scottish Ale—a traditional light Scottish ale that’s amber in color. While it’s currently on tap only at Chambers Bay Grill and Harmon Brewery and Eatery, the brewer is hoping to put it in cans in mid-2014. A GOOD WALK (UN)SPOILED
Golfers don’t get all the fun: Nearly five miles of public trails meander through Chambers Creek Regional Park. Stroll around 11-acre Central Meadow, detouring to a beach and off-leash dog park, or just follow the 3.25-mile GrandviewSoundview loop, which winds around the golf course for bluff-top views of all 18 holes.
The United States Golf Association opens public ticket sales for the 2015 U.S. Open at usopen.com on June 9, 2014. Weekly packages range from $450 to $1,875, and daily tickets range from $110 to $400.
Chambers Bay and Chambers Bay Grill 6320 Grandview Dr W, University Place; chambersbaygolf.com / Chambers Creek Regional Park piercecountywa.org / The Classic Golf Club 4908 208th St E, Spanaway; classicgolfclub.net / Eagles Pride Golf Course Mounts Rd SW (exit 116 on I-5), DuPont; jblmmwr.com/eagles_pride / Fort Steilacoom Disc Golf Course 8714 87th Ave SW, Lakewood; piercecountywa.org / Harmon Brewery and Eatery 1938 Pacific Ave, Tacoma; harmonbrewingco.com / The Home Course 2300 Golf House Rd, DuPont; thehomecourse.com / Katie Downs 3211 Ruston Way, Tacoma; katiedowns.com / Meadow Park Golf Course 7108 Lakewood Dr W, Tacoma; metroparkstacoma.org / Riverside Park Disc Golf Course Riverside Rd and 78th St Ct, Sumner; piercecountywa.org / Tacoma Firs Golf Center 4504 S Tyler St, Tacoma; tacomagolfcenter.com / Topside Bar and Grill 215 Wilkes St, Steilacoom; topsidebarandgrill.com tRAVELTACOMA.com
SCREAM LIKE A GIRL Washington State Fair • September 5-21, 2014 Washington State Spring Fair • April 16-19, 2015
TOTAL CHILD’S PLAY TINKERTOPIA: WILL AUSTIN, PAPER: SHUTTERSTOCK
In Pierce County, making art is all Puget Sound is a creative playground for and artistic kids, with hands-on attractions activities to suit all ages. which collects Imaginations run wild at Tinkertopia, and tubes for random objects such as spools, buttons, The results? kids to reuse in its creative workspace. spy gear, or a Rube Maybe clothespin dolls, do-it-yourself materials from Goldberg–like motion machine. Saving g fills kids’ being tossed into landfills, this crafty settin . heads with new ideas can design Tacoma is known for its glass art, and kids workay Sund g durin ture sculp their own fused-glass artisans in the hot shops at the Museum of Glass, where molten glass into shop delight audiences by transforming of dance and brilliantly colored works of art. Add a dash fun. y glass more even for music on Family Days children get Art is for everyone. That’s the message Museum, while touring the galleries at Tacoma Art
fun and games BY LESLIE FORSBERG
ases masquerwhere the Open Art Studio features suitc own personal their e creat can kids so kits art as ading masterpieces to take home. of Tacoma The take-away at the Children’s Museum tell your don’t But . skills g inkin is creative and critical-th ting with light imen exper busy too be ’ll They that. kids in the Woods and color in Becka’s Studio, creating forts Water. in rns patte m strea ging chan and it, exhib s up playtime In Gig Harbor, Discovery Village ramp Beach, where Sand Moon like its exhib e activ inter with -in classes sculptable sand is fun to carve. Bonus: Drop art. crafty and c, musi e, danc ling, tumb de inclu Ave, Tacoma; Children’s Museum of Tacoma 1501 Pacific Borgen Blvd, Gig Harbor; playtacoma.org / Discovery Village 4835 Dock St, Tacoma; 1801 Glass of discovery-village.com / Museum m 1701 Pacific Ave, museumofglass.org / Tacoma Art Museu opia 1914 Pacific Ave, Tacoma; tacomaartmuseum.org / Tinkert Tacoma; tinkertopia.com
a.com + 25 traveltacom + 25 traveltacoma.com
Kids can ride camels, pet stingrays, and even high-five a polar bear.
Point Defiance Zoo + Aquarium
Zoos, parks, and diving with sharks make Pierce County tons of fun for kids and their parents. Climb aboard the tram at Eatonville’s Northwest Trek Wildlife Park for a 50-minute animal-spotting expedition through pristine meadows, woods, and wetlands. As you tour, guides point out gangs of massive bison sunbathing on the hilltops and blacktail deer bolting in and out of the forest. For a self-guided safari, opt for the walking tour—a stroller-friendly paved path that loops through naturalistic, open-air exhibits. Encounter wolves and bears from a safe distance, or go nose to beak with owls and bald eagles. Perhaps the best seat in the house is at the park’s daily small animal demonstrations. Keepers showcase individual critters—think bats, snakes, porcupines, and ducks—and answer kids’ burning questions. Prefer more action? The park’s four Zip Wild adventure courses let kids and adults cross swinging log bridges and balance on tightropes high up in the trees. For a more international experience, Point Defiance Zoo + Aquarium brings together exotic animals from around the
globe. Swinging siamang put on a show, and Malayan tigers slink around their dens, drawing crowds of admirers. Kids can ride camels, pet stingrays, and even “high-five” a polar bear. For those 8 and older, the ultimate adrenaline rush is an underwater cage dive into the shark tank. Northwest Trek Wildlife Park
Aquatic adventure continues into the night with Pier Peer at Foss Waterway Seaport and Point Defiance Marina. Children can probe through seawater in search of shrimp, sea jellies, and crabs, and then observe their catch under a microscope. But the evening’s high point is the interactive live dive: A camera streams audio and video to families onshore, while a diver narrates his underwater exploration. Marine life is brought to the surface and placed in touch tanks for kids to examine. For a tamer time, head to Tacoma Nature Center. This place has 71 acres of wetland wildlife and Discovery Pond, a whimsical wilderness-themed play area complete with a slide, fort, and tiny telescopes. Hit the nature trails and footbridges for a stroll around Snake Lake. Kids should look out for western painted turtles, tree frogs, and toads. Depending on the season, there may also be an observation beehive or a colony of thatching ants on display in the educational center. While here, pick up a schedule for Family Nature Walks. These year-round, naturalistled tours are a great way explore the city’s many parks. —Jessica Winterbauer
Foss Waterway Seaport 705 Dock St, Tacoma; fosswaterwayseaport.org / Northwest Trek Wildlife Park 11610 Trek Dr E, Eatonville; nwtrek.org / Point Defiance Marina 5912 N Waterfront Dr, Tacoma / Point Defiance Zoo + Aquarium 5400 N Pearl St, Tacoma; pdza.org / Tacoma Nature Center 1919 S Tyler St, Tacoma
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FROM TOP: COURTESY POINT DEFIANCE ZOO + AQUARIUM, COURTESY NORTHWEST TREK WILDLIFE PARK
Tots and teens roar into wild regional fun
PASSENGER GREAT WHEEL
SPECIALTY FOOD SHOPS
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Photo: Christopher Ray
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1101 Outlet Collection Way â€˘ Auburn, WA 98001
Chris Keil at Hilltop Kitchen
The revolution begins here BY ADRIENNE KUEHL From reinventing the fresh flavors of the Pacific Northwest to not-your-average tiki bar concoctions, Tacoma’s craft cocktail scene offers diverse options for spirit enthusiasts. Step into Tacoma Cabana, where tiki-era kitsch is elevated with fresh pineapple and coconut, freshly squeezed juices, house-made mixers such as falernum, a sweet spiced syrup, and—of course—plenty of rum. Adding to the congenial atmosphere, many cocktails are served in a pineapple or tiki glass. Fans of inventive, Latin American–inspired cocktails flock to Hilltop Kitchen, Tacoma’s most talked about bar. During travels, the bar’s owners fell in love with mezcal, rum, and tequila, which form the basis of the creative cocktail menu. Choose from the “Goes Down Easy” or “Boozy + Odd” menus. Each cocktail is thoughtfully mixed, many featuring hand-carved ice, house-made edible garnishes, and quirky names. It may be small, but 1022 South J offers handcrafted drinks big in flavor. House-made syrups and mixers are artfully combined with spirits, bitters, and fresh botanicals for unique flavor combos such as the Walk Softly, with Crusoe rum, walnut liqueur, maple syrup, egg whites, and cereal milk—yes, really, toasted breakfast cereal is soaked in milk, and strained.
While Sixth Avenue is already an after-hours hot spot, Marrow Kitchen + Bar is a standout in the craft cocktail scene. Primarily known for its innovative food menu, Marrow’s icy concoctions are equally memorable, with creative flavor combinations and unusual ingredients, such as in the Piper, with Hendricks gin, St. Germaine, Velvet falernum, dill, cucumber, and lime, which expertly incorporates savory ingredients into a fresh cocktail. The cocktails at Crown Bar may be traditional—think sidecars and gimlets—but the twist comes when they go local. Think concoctions like the Big Gin Martinez, made with local Big Gin bourbon-barreled gin, bitters, and vermouth, served in a martini glass. Maxwell’s Restaurant + Lounge celebrates fresh, seasonal Pacific Northwest ingredients by infusing them into local spirits. Sit under an impressive chandelier and sip a Woodinville old-fashioned, with Woodinville Whiskey small-batch bourbon, bitters, muddled citrus and cherries, and raw brown sugar with a hint of fizz. 1022 South J 1022 S J St; ten22southj.com / Crown Bar 2705 Sixth Ave; crownbartacoma.com / Hilltop Kitchen 913 MLK Jr Way; hilltopkitchen.com / Marrow Kitchen + Bar 2717 Sixth Ave; marrowtacoma.com / Maxwell’s Restaurant + Lounge 454 St Helens Ave; maxwells-tacoma.com / Tacoma Cabana 728 Pacific Ave; tacomacabana.com
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Clockwise from left: Tacoma Brewing Co., Red Hot, 21 Cellars, 7 Seas Brewing
A heady perfume of hops, grain, and grapes hangs thick in the air around Tacoma’s artisanal alcohol-production facilities. But this new Tacoma Aroma is a welcome one, for it signals the rise of local breweries, wineries, and distilleries. In a beer scene where seasoned vets like Harmon Brewing Co.—Tacoma’s first microbrewery—have less than two decades under their belts, great strides have been made in relatively few years. Gig Harbor’s 7 Seas Brewing and Tacoma’s Wingman Brewers, both opened within the last five years, are now considered area stalwarts, popping out recommended draft IPAs and stouts at popular Tacoma pubs like the Red Hot and Boathouse 19. In 2012, Tacoma Brewing Co. joined the local ranks with unique suds like a peanut butter and chili stout. And just last year, Narrows Brewing Co. joined the game, with playfully named brews (Giant Pacific Octopus India Pale Ale is a favorite) and taproom details that are a direct
nod to the marina spot they occupy, such as tap handles shaped like the wrenches used to tighten bolts on the Narrows Bridge. And while Narrows’s water views can’t be beat for enjoying a pint, locals find all the area’s best beers—plus a few top suds from Oregon, California, and beyond—at Pint Defiance, a carefully curated Tacoma beer store whose owners, Barry and Renee Watson, previously ran the Rosewood Cafe. Barry Watson has created the sort of place he himself likes to visit: unabashedly beernerdy but enthusiastic and generous with recommendations, tastings, and pairing tips. What’s his favorite local beverage? He sings the praises of 7 Seas’ Rude Parrot IPA, but he really loves Whitewood Cider Co. out of Olympia, whose gently sweet South Sounder cider is brewed from apples grown around the South Sound. Though hard cider hasn’t caught on in the South Sound quite like craft beer, local distilleries are utilizing the bounty of Washington state apples to make
hard liquor instead. Imbibers can find apple pie moonshine from both Sumner’s Parliament Distillery and Edgewood’s Nightside Distillery, but Heritage Distilling Co. is doing something a little different. Located in the old 7 Seas brewing facility, Heritage has built an impressive roster of spirits since its inception in November 2012. The char barrelfinished vodka makes a mean Moscow Mule, but it’s the Fall Classic apple cider–flavored whiskey that rings truest to the region, and not just because it was originally commissioned by the Tacoma Rainiers baseball team. Apples may be Washington’s largest crop, but the state’s grapes have earned a name for themselves—mainly in the eastern wine country, but also in growing numbers in wineries around Tacoma. Oenophiles can sample local wares at Tacoma’s boutique wineries: 21 Cellars for cabernet sauvignon, malbec, tempranillo, and cabernet franc or Vino Aquino, which allows you to make and bottle your own blend. Since Tacoma’s wine production is limited, the best option may be heading to Cork, a popular wine bar with an assortment of Washington varietals. —Chelsea Lin
7 Seas Brewing 3006 Judson St, Ste 110, Gig Harbor; 7seasbrewing.com / 21 Cellars 2621 N 21st St, Tacoma; 21cellars.com / Boathouse 19 9001 S 19th St, Tacoma; boathouse19 restaurant.com / Cork 606 N State St, Tacoma; corkwinebars.com / Harmon Brewing Co. 1938 Pacific Ave, Tacoma; harmonbrewingco.com / Heritage Distilling Co. 3207 57th St Ct NW, Gig Harbor; heritagedistilling.com / Narrows Brewing Co. 9007 S 19th St, Tacoma; narrowsbrewing.com / Nightside Distillery 2908 Meridian E, Ste 116, Edgewood / Parliament Distillery 13708 24th St E, Ste 103, Sumner; parliamentdistillery.com / Pint Defiance 2049 Mildred St W, Fircrest; pintdefiance.com / Red Hot 2914 Sixth Ave, Tacoma; redhottacoma.com / Tacoma Brewing Co. 625 St Helens Ave, Tacoma; tacomabrewing.com / Vino Aquino 4417 Sixth Ave, Ste 1, Tacoma; vinoaquino.com / Wingman Brewers 509 1/2 Puyallup Ave, Tacoma; wingmanbrewers.com
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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: WILL AUSTIN, CHUCK KERR, COURTESY 21 CELLARS, COURTESY 7 SEAS BREWING
Sip the spirit of the region
Front Row and Center Stage
Taylor Swift shows some love to the Tacoma Dome
TACOMA AFTER DARK
FROM TOP: DARRELL WESTMORELAND, COURTESY TACOMA REGIONAL CONVENTION + VISITOR BUREAU
The nightlife scene goes off the chain When the sun goes down, the fun begins at top bars, clubs, and hangouts in Tacoma. Kick off the night with a decadent steak dinner at El Gaucho, where you can have your custom-aged tenderloin carved tableside. Then hit the town for an evening full of glitzy shows or low-key hangouts. Tacoma Comedy Club earns laughs with hilarious open-mic nights and special guests such as Chelsea Lately’s Ian Karmel (May 29–31). Pantages Theater, part of Tacoma’s newly revitalized theater district, antes in with a lineup of diverse shows, from This American Life radio host Ira Glass (May 4) to musicals and opera. And the iconic Tacoma Dome plays host to music headliners, including pop queen Katy Perry (September 13) and country star Blake Shelton (September 19). Discover the ’80s all over again at Dorky’s Arcade, an adults-only establishment after 9pm. Play more than 100 classic arcade games and pinball, including TRON: Legacy, and eat Pac-Man Pepperoni Pizza while playing the original dot-munching game. Keep the party going down the street to
Tacoma Cabana, a whimsical Hawaiianthemed lounge with palm trees, a giant swordfish, and Gilligan’s Island playing on a TV at the bar. The Cabana specializes in craft cocktails and—you guessed it—rum. The more than 10-page drink menu features intriguing creations such as the Zombie, a blend of three different rums and spices that will send you to the land of the undead, and the refreshing 1944 mai tai. Gather a large group of friends around a booth at The Matador, a cozy, eclectic bar that serves up Tex-Mex fare. Or opt for a plate of “Texas-size” nachos during happy hour at Social Bar and Grill, where you can snag a spot near an outdoor fireplace and soak in some fantastic water views. To get your groove on, head to Vegas-style nightclub Encore or The Mix, an LGBTfriendly club with almost-nightly karaoke. Afterward, take a bet on Emerald Queen Hotel + Casinos in Fife, which is open 24 hours and offers an impressive spread of machine and table gaming, in addition to live entertainment and events. —Melena Jankanish
IN TACOMA, BEING PART of the drama is half the fun. Hecklers put their money where their mouths are at Keys on Main—a dueling piano bar that lets the audience dictate the show. Piano-vocalists form a live, two-person jukebox that pounds out anything from Pearl Jam to Lady Gaga every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. Bid to hear your favorite songs, or outbid duds to shut them down mid-melody. Jazzbones cranks karaoke up a notch by swapping in a live band during Monday-night Rockaraoke, when your professional ensemble includes a guitarist, bassist, and drummer. Choose from hundreds of tunes, sling back some liquid courage, and then belt it out onstage. When the clock strikes midnight, toast flies at Blue Mouse Theatre’s production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Five bucks gets you in on the action with rice, toilet paper, playing cards, and toast—all necessities for participating in this American cult classic. Pantages Theater offers a sing-along that’s slightly less risqué. During this annual winter event, warble your way through musicals like Grease or The Sound of Music. In the spring, take a walk down Abbey Road at Yesterday & Today: The Interactive Beatles Experience. Throughout the evening, a tribute band plays requests and shares audience members’ personal stories about each song’s significance. All you have to do is submit a request card before curtain call. —Jessica Winterbauer Pantages Theater
AFTER DARK: Dorky’s Arcade 754 Pacific Ave; dorkysarcade.com / El Gaucho 2119 Pacific Ave; elgaucho.com / Emerald Queen Hotel + Casinos 5700 Pacific Hwy E, Fife; emeraldqueen.com / Encore 1025 Pacific Ave; encoreboutiquenightclub.com / The Matador 721 Pacific Ave; matadorseattle.com / The Mix 635 St Helens Ave; themixtacoma.com / Pantages Theater 901 Broadway Ave; broadwaycenter.org / Social Bar and Grill 1715 Dock St; thesocialbarandgrill.com / Tacoma Cabana 728 Pacific Ave; tacomacabana.com / Tacoma Comedy Club 933 Market St; tacoma comedyclub.com / Tacoma Dome 2727 E D St; tacomadome.org / FRONT ROW: Blue Mouse Theatre 2611 N Proctor St; bluemousetheatre.com / Jazzbones 2803 Sixth Ave; jazzbones.com / Keys on Main 1003 Pacific Ave; keysonmain.com/tacoma / Pantages Theater 901 Broadway Ave; broadwaycenter.org
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From left: Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma Little Theatre’s 2013 production of Steel Magnolias
Explore Tacoma’s creative legacy
TACOMA LITTLE THEATRE
This volunteer-driven community theater has thrived since 1918 and produces a number of shows each year. This season, performances include Bye Bye Birdie (May 9–June 1) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (September 19– October 5). tacomalittletheatre.com
shop cone, this dynamic museum showcases Tacoma’s glass industry. Highlights include Look! See?, an interactive multimedia exhibit through January 18, 2015. museumofglass.org
of Pantages Theater, Rialto Theater, and Theatre on the Square include symphonies, ballet companies, and today’s hottest rockers. broadwaycenter.org
B2 FINE ART GALLERY
The works of emerging and established talents from the Northwest (and beyond) fill this contemporary space during a dozen annual exhibitions. b2finearts.com
TACOMA METAL ARTS CENTER
Support local artists at an intimate gallery displaying everything from handcrafted jewelry to small sculptures by the studio’s students and instructors. tacomametalarts.com
TACOMA MUSICAL PLAYHOUSE
Find regional premieres and revivals at Tacoma’s largest community theater. This year’s lineup includes Young Frankenstein, July 11 through August 3. tmp.org
TACOMA ART MUSEUM
Enjoy permanent collections of American, European, and Asian art, plus traveling exhibitions like Ink This!, featuring contemporary print art from June 7 through November 9. Galleries encircle a courtyard and offer stunning views of Mount Rainier. tacomaartmuseum.org
UNIVERSITY OF PUGET SOUND KITTREDGE GALLERY
In collaboration with the Tacoma Art Museum, two separate gallery spaces host free exhibitions of contemporary works from September through May. pugetsound .edu/kittredge
MUSEUM OF GLASS
Marked by its distinctive, 90-foot-tall hot32 + TRAVEL TACOMA + PIERCE COUNTY 2014-15
Independent arts and diversity reign here. This spring, catch the next installment of the ongoing sitcom-style Java Tacoma, or drop by in summer for an encore presentation of Driving Miss Daisy. dukesbay.org
BROADWAY CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
Acclaimed talents that grace the stages
Catch indie films as well as blockbuster flicks at this nonprofit theater, which also hosts the Tacoma Film Festival and other original silver-screen events, including the annual 72 Hour Film Competition, where local filmmakers have just 72 hours to complete an original movie. grandcinema.com —Corinne Whiting Dukesbay Theater’s production of Driving Miss Daisy
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: COURTESY TACOMA ART MUSEUM, JASON GANWICH, DK PHOTOGRAPHY
Craving culture? Thanks to its thriving community of performers and craftspeople, Tacoma proves an alluring arts hub. Sate your yearning amid gallery walls or under the blazing spotlights of a high-energy theater—any of these fine venues can fit the bill.
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F RE E VA L E T PA RK I N G
Just 20 minutes from Chambers Bay Golf Course
Home of the 2014 US Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship DUPONT EVENTS Shamrock Walk - March National Trail Day - June Hometown Parade & Celebration - July 4th Hudson Bay Days - August VISITOR INFORMATION CENTERS DuPont Museum & Visitor Center 207 Barksdale Ave DuPont, WA 98327
www.dupontwa.gov • www.visitdupont.com
PEARLS ON THE PALATE
Puget Sound is prime bivalve territory BY MEGAN HILL Oysters—those complex creatures whose shape, size, texture, and flavor hint at the fogshrouded inlet or quiet cove from which they originated—thrive in brackish water with a steady influx of fresh water, like the frigid snowmelt from the Cascade and Olympic Mountains that feeds the Puget Sound. Shellfish experts use the term “merroir” to describe the effects an oyster’s growing environment has on its texture and flavor. Weather plays a role, too. Rainfall will change salinity of the water—and the flavor of the oyster, says Jon Rowley of Taylor Shellfish Farms. “Oysters can get pretty bland after a heavy rain. The taste is also affected when the bay doesn’t get enough rain.” Each type of oyster tells a different story in its flavor profile, and one species of oyster, grown in different places with slight variations in weather and nutrients, will inherit different flavor profiles. For example, while the Shigoku and the Peale Passage Pacific are the same species, the Shigoku is saltier. Chubby Totten Virginicas, grown in the Totten Inlet of
the South Sound, are sweet and creamy, thanks to a steady diet of rich microalgae. Totten-grown oysters are also fattier than those from most other bays. Bivalves grown elsewhere—like the small, bright Kusshis—lack noticeable glycogen content, but have a serious taste of seawater. Farms cultivate oysters differently, too. Shigokus are tumbled four times a day, which encourages them to grow a deeper-than-average cup—perfect for slurping. The best way to experience nuances in flavor and texture is to try several types of raw oysters side by side. Head to Top of Tacoma for Taylor Shellfish Fridays, where chefs whip up multiple preparations of regionally harvested oysters. Pacific Grill picks what’s fresh for a daily chef’s selection on the half shell, while The Social Bar and Grill also dishes up local oysters fried. In Gig Harbor, Tides Tavern serves raw, fried, or baked oysters from neighboring Minterbrook Oyster Farm. Pacific Grill 1502 Pacific Ave; pacificgrilltacoma.com / The Social Bar and Grill 1715 Dock St; thesocialbarandgrill.com / Tides Tavern 2925 Harborview Dr, Gig Harbor; tidestavern.com / Top of Tacoma 3529 McKinley Ave E; topoftacoma.com
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Classic to gourmet, these shakes are just plain cool Whether they’re straight-up vanilla or done deluxe with swirls of salted caramel, milkshakes are spinning up plenty of frosty flavor across the county.
SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE
Retro-inspired diner digs—think Formica counters and vintage chairs—paint a sweet picture in Tacoma’s Stadium District. Under the giant “EAT” sign, choose from an array of gourmet flavors, including red licorice, mocha banana malted, and miso butterscotch with a finish of salted caramel. Bonus: Rotating seasonal flavors each take a turn as the shake of the month. 124 N Tacoma Ave, Tacoma; shakeshakeshake.me 36 + TRAVEL TACOMA + PIERCE COUNTY 2014-15
Consider it all your favorite burger joints rolled into one. This ’50s-era drive-in keeps it simple, serving burgers in waxed-paper bags and churning out six classic flavors—chocolate, cherry, vanilla, strawberry, root beer, and banana—and sometimes special flavors of malts and milkshakes to bring all the locals to the yard. 1201 Division Ave, Tacoma
PICK-QUICK DRIVE IN
Opened in 1949, this old-school walk-up is as notable for its menu—hand-cut fries, fresh beef, and 25 luscious milkshake flavors—as it is for its picturesque setting. Order a pineapple
shake or a Butterfinger malt before taking your tasty loot to the back, where a grassy swath dotted with picnic tables backs up to Wapato Creek. 4306 Pacific Hwy E, Fife; pick-quick.com
LEFTY’S BURGER SHACK
Though land bound, this chill fast-food joint oozes surfer cool. Better still, its dreamy selection of shakes—10 flavors in all—has earned it rave reviews. Don’t miss the deepfried pickles or the massive Viking Burger, a one-pounder that comes with the works. 8317 27th St W, University Place —Angela Cabotaje
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: JAQUILYN SHUMATE PHOTOGRAPHY, CHUCK KERR, COURTESY PICK-QUICK DRIVE IN
Clockwise from top: Shake Shake Shake, Lefty’s Burger Shack, Pick-Quick Drive In
FROM LEFT: MATTY PHOTOGRAPHY, JASON GANWICH, STEVE CAMPAGNA
Unique bites for daring diners Some culinary duos are just meant to be: salt and pepper, peas and carrots, peanut butter and…bacon? In Tacoma it pays to eat outside the box, with restaurants dishing up out-of-the-ordinary options for courageous diners. Here’s where to let your taste buds loose: For deliciously atypical takes on hot dogs, head to the Red Hot. Local brews on tap and a palpable hometown spirit may suggest that this is just a classic beer-and-brats spot, but the menu tells a different story. Top your dog—also available in vegetarian and vegan form—with everything from curry sauce to a combo of tomatoes and cream cheese. Perhaps the most daring option, though, is the Hosmer Hound Dog, a beef dog smothered in creamy peanut butter and paired with two slices of bacon. “The smellier the better” is the cheese monger’s mantra, and STINK Cheese + Meat offers some seriously odorous options. The hot seller here is another creamy-meetscrunchy combination. The Stinker combines grilled peanut butter, bacon, blackberry preserves, and blue cheese between two slices of multigrain toast. Equally offbeat is STINK’s indulgent salad, which may sound like an oxymoron until you realize these greens come drizzled with chocolate balsamic vinaigrette, goat cheese, pancetta, and strawberries. Ditch dairy altogether at AmeRAWcan Bistro, an au naturel eatery that stays true to its name with exclusively uncooked entrees. Fettuccine alfredo, for example, substitutes
Mad Hat Tea
Beverage Buzz STINK Cheese + Meat
spiraled strands of zucchini for traditional pasta and swaps a buttery sauce for cashew cream, and its raw enchiladas make over the Mexican favorite with cashew tortillas, almond cheese, and walnut meat. (While delicious, this bistro is not recommended for anyone with a nut allergy.) For fancier fare, book a table at Marrow Kitchen + Bar. Individual menus cater to herbivores and omnivores, but both offer fine dining with a twist. Jalapeño potato doughnuts taste like warm, doughy latkes with a kick of spice, and the bright-red oxtail-stuffed peppers are simultaneously fruity and meaty. What are some other curious plates? Think watermelon and wasabi pistachio butter, ahi tuna and pomegranate molasses, and roasted bone marrow with toast. —Jessica Winterbauer
AmeRAWcan Bistro’s zucchini fettuccine alfredo
MODERN MIXOLOGY HAS ARRIVED on the nonalcoholic beverage scene in force. Gone are the days of Shirley Temples and spartan soda-and-bitters. Enter drinking vinegars, grapefruit-laced Red Bull, and kombucha from local companies like Vimana Culture and Rainbow Cloud. “Virgin” drinks will never be the same in Pierce County…. Ease into the exploration with a wholeleaf blend from Mad Hat Tea, which concocts more than 250 teas, botanicals, and herbal remedies. Standouts include the Remedy for Death (rooibos and yerba mate) and Everything’s Gunna Be Alright (kava, ginger, and St. John’s Wort). Sniff, sample, and admire the artistic packaging at the company’s Tea Palace in downtown Tacoma (tastings are free with purchase). Amp up at Cutters Point Coffee, a funky, largely Washingtonian chain born in Gig Harbor. The company encourages baristas to play, hence the red-velvet lattes, flavored energy drinks, and marionberry white-chocolate smoothies. Not to mention macchiatos rimmed with whiskey-caramel sauce from nearby Heritage Distilling Company, for those who can bend the “nonalcoholic” label a little. Or just roll the dice and ask for a “bartender’s choice” at Hilltop Kitchen, a new endeavor for Chris Keil, the man formerly behind 1022 South. This hot spot serves fresh juices, house-made ginger beer, and hand-carved ice (which its website admits might be “nerdy”), as well as ingredients like lime oil and fig balsamic. It also rotates through a selection of seasonal drinking vinegars—tangy infusions of fruit, acid, and sugar—that range from apple to spicy carrot. Salut! —Amanda Castleman
ADVENTUROUS EATS: AmeRAWcan Bistro 745 St Helens Ave; amerawcanbistro.com / Marrow Kitchen + Bar 2717 Sixth Ave; marrowtacoma.com / Red Hot 2914 Sixth Ave; redhottacoma .com / STINK Cheese + Meat 628 St Helens Ave; stinktacoma.com / BEVERAGE BUZZ: Cutters Point Coffee Multiple locations, including 4735 Point Fosdick Dr, Ste 400, Gig Harbor; cutterspoint.com / Hilltop Kitchen 913 MLK Jr Way, Tacoma; hilltopkitchen.com / Mad Hat Tea 1130 Commerce St, Tacoma; madhattea.com
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Natural & Organic since 1976 • 100% organic produce • Bulk Foods • Catering • Full service deli • Gluten Free foods • Supplements & herbs • Books, cards & gifts • Seminars, cooking classes • Natural body care
Federal Way 253.839.0933 Tides Tavern
A Goodwill Boutique
Designer Apparel Shoes & Accessories Home Décor TACOMA 2520 N. Proctor St OLYMPIA 534 Capitol Wy SUMNER 926 Main St goodwillwa.org/shop/blue @bluegoodwill
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Pierce County’s don’t-miss dining experiences PARADISE INN AT MOUNT RAINIER
Either the mountain is a destination, or the restaurant is. Neither seems a bad option. Spend the day traipsing wildflower fields, then settle in at Paradise Inn for dinner with a view of the mountain’s idyllic forests and fields. The Inn may be an outpost, but it’s still committed to local dining, with a selfdescribed “farm to table” philosophy. That means oysters (for the oyster po’boys) plucked from Hood Canal, locally sourced buffalo bourbon meatloaf, freshly foraged mushrooms, and glass pours of fine wines from across Washington. 19 miles inside the Mt. Rainier National Park Nisqually entrance; May 21 through October 6; mtrainierguestservices.com/dining/ paradise-inn-dining-room
Come Sundays, brunch swims into high gear at this restaurant perched over Commencement Bay. Sure, there’s the prime rib carving station, and omelets and waffles made to order, but it’s the
seafood—salmon, lox, peel-and-eat prawns, snow crab legs, and seasonal fresh fish—that makes this Ruston Way eatery worth the visit. Sunday 9:30am to 1:30pm; $26.95 for adults. 4015 Ruston Way; wp.lobstershop.com
Apps exit stage right, rare cuts sizzle in the wings then are borne to tables on the tuxedoed arms of servers at this Pacific Northwest institution. Go for the show— Paradise Inn
FROM TOP: MICHAEL HANSON, JEFF CAVEN
Marrow Kitchen + Bar
and the steaks—but don’t miss the signature Caesar, with its crisp romaine, crackling black pepper, racy garlic and anchovies, and tart twist of lemon, all skillfully crafted and tossed tableside. 2119 Pacific Ave; elgaucho.com
It’s a bit salty at this Gig Harbor institution. No surprise, given how many sailors and powerboaters Tides attracts thanks to its dockside dining. Kayak, sail, or power in to a slip, then step into the tavern for a mixed plate of king salmon, scallops, and wild gulf prawns, or—maybe better still—a truly Northwest fish and chips: Alaskan halibut dipped in Tides’s own beer batter, then fried to a flaky crisp. Best of all, during summer weekends, boaters can have their chowder delivered straight to the bow. Or stern. 2925 Harborview Dr, Gig Harbor; tidestavern.com
MARROW KITCHEN + BAR
Two menus make this Sixth Avenue District restaurant an omnivore’s— and vegetarian’s—delight. There’s the protein-centric “marrow” menu, with its octopus carpaccio, pan-fried rabbit raviolo, and scallop pinwheels with salmon roe, barbecued eel, and shrimp. Then there’s the “arrow” menu, peppered with unusual delights such as the quinoa mushroom burger and a roasted artichoke with blueberry compote and garlic fondue. Both menus change frequently—the commitment to inventive eats does not. 2717 Sixth Ave; marrow tacoma.com —Julie H. Case
Climb aboard living history.
Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad
Reserve your train ride and museum visit today! Excursions May-October plus year-round special events.
HIKE PIERCE COUNTY Trails lead to secret beaches and summit peeks BY CRAIG ROMANO Although Mt. Rainier National Park has a plethora of prime hikes—from easy ambles to lung-burning climbs—it’s not the only place around to put your boots to work. From its islands to its bountiful hills, Pierce County (co.pierce.wa.us) contains an array of other great hiking destinations.
Stroll on a well-constructed, family-friendly trail to the tip of a pristine peninsula on placid Anderson Island. After sauntering 1.4 miles through mature forest and wildlife-rich wetlands, reach a secret beach where Mount Rainier looms from across Oro Bay. Round-trip: 2.8 miles • Elevation gain: minimal
Hike footloose and fancy free on this near-level, paved, wheelchair-accessible rail trail through the Cascade foothills. Traverse fertile farmlands, the historic town of Orting, and peaceful woodlots, all while taking in breathtaking views of Mount Rainier and the glacierfed Carbon River. Round-trip: 25 miles • Elevation gain: minimal
From a lofty start, wind through parkland forest and alpine meadows bursting with wildflowers to an airy 6,858-foot summit. From this former fire lookout site, savor the sweeping views of wilderness valleys, which are frequented by elk and mountain goats, and the Crystal Mountain ski resort. Round-trip: 10.6 miles • Elevation gain: 2,800 feet
The centerpiece of the Clearwater Wilderness, this large, sparkling alpine lake sits in a 5,400-foot basin high above the Carbon River Valley. Traipse 2.5 nottoo-steep miles through old-growth forest to reach it. Then stare out from Summit’s flowered shores to
emerald slopes and jagged knobs against a backdrop of Rainier’s glistening glaciers. Round-trip: 5 miles • Elevation gain: 1,200 feet
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FIVE MILES OF FUN
Opening half an hour before sunrise, 702-acre Point Defiance Park, often called “5 Mile Drive” by locals, is a treasure trove of rich beauty and hidden adventures waiting to be uncovered. Shrouded in majestic old-growth Douglas firs, this urban forest is easily accessible and provides a range of outdoor recreation experiences such as running, hiking, biking, geocaching, and kayaking. The five-mile paved loop, sprinkled with viewpoints and picnic areas, connects the park’s trails and activities, beginning with the Point Defiance Lodge Visitor’s Center, where you can pick up a map before embarking on your quest. Start near the park entrance at the Point Defiance Pagoda and Japanese Gardens, an authentic Japanese garden and Shinto shrine built in 1914. Nearby is the fragrant Point Defiance Rose Garden, featuring miniature roses and a luxuriant walkthrough arbor of climbing roses. As you venture further into the park, stop and visit the Point Defiance Zoo + Aquarium and see if you can find an Asian elephant, a lemon shark, and an endangered Malayan tiger.
Follow the marked paths deeper into the verdant forest to access an intricate collection of trails suitable for hiking, such as the 2.6-mile round-trip Spine Trail, which leads to a sweeping Gig Harbor viewpoint, and the 4.6-mile Square Trail that loops around the outer edge of the park. Bikers and runners Point Defiance Pagoda and Japanese Gardens
have full access to the paved, scenic pathway, which is closed to vehicle traffic until 1pm on Saturday and Sunday. As you explore the trails, try your hand at geocaching, a real-world treasure hunt where you use any GPS-enabled device to locate hidden items. Point Defiance has 23 geocache “treasure boxes” of varying difficulty scattered throughout the park. Return to the main road and go down a winding hill to Owen Beach and its beautiful waterfront promenade, where quotes are written in the pavement. Kayaks are available to rent seven days a week, depending on the weather. Then discover what life was like in the 1850s at Fort Nisqually Living History Museum, located near the middle of the park. Go inside the original blockhouse fort, and peek through lookouts settlers used to survey the land around them. As you trek throughout Point Defiance Park, see if you can spot a bald eagle, the 450-year-old Mountaineers Tree, or the parallel Narrows Bridges from one of the park’s numerous designated viewpoints of the Puget Sound. —Melena Jankanish
Fort Nisqually Living History Museum fortnisqually.org / Point Defiance Park 5400 N Pearl St; metroparkstacoma.org/point-defiance-park / Point Defiance Zoo + Aquarium pdza.org
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FROM TOP: RUSS CARMACK, JOE GLEDHILL
From forests to forts, adventure abounds in Point Defiance Park
Bike Pierce County FROM RAILS-TO-TRAILS to an impressive BMX course, there are reasons aplenty to hop in the saddle. Rails-to-Trails For hybrid and road bikes, rails-to-trails are a perfect mix of flat and scenic. In Pierce County, a 15-mile section follows the Carbon and Puyallup Rivers between Meeker and South Prairie. Refuel halfway at the Orting Bakery, then finish up with a latte at Trailside Connections Espresso. Swan Creek Park Mountain bikers need not leave the city: Swan Creek Park’s two-mile loop includes dozens of features—jumps, bridges, rails—connected by smooth, bermed curves in a Douglas fir forest. It’s great for beginners ready to practice on more challenging terrain but full of enough adrenaline-pumping options to keep advanced bikers on their game. Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad
RAILS TO SAILS
FROM LEFT: MICHAEL BRUNK, COURTESY RIVER VALLEY BMX
Tacoma’s historic roots inspire outdoor pursuits In 1852, pioneers founded Tacoma at the crossroads of the Pacific Northwest’s timbered slopes and Puget Sound’s glimmering expanse. Soon the hard-working city was docking longhaul steamships, housing the Japanese tea fleet, and welcoming Northern Pacific’s first train. As local waterfront historian Ron Magden notes, it became the place “where the rails met the sails.” The city’s industrious past has since given way to a more cosmopolitan present, but there are still abundant ways to tap into those blue-collar roots with scenic and adventurous pursuits around Pierce County. Present-day Tacoma’s Foss Waterway sparkles after a $105 million cleanup, with plans for a 1.5-mile esplanade that will ultimately stretch west and connect downtown to the Union Station Historic District. For now, visitors can check out Foss Waterway Seaport’s boat shop and maritime exhibits—reopening in spring 2014 after a massive renovation—or wander the broad, paved waterfront trail of 21st Street Park, which is wheelchair and stroller accessible. Stroll 20 minutes north to Foss Harbor Marina,
where kayaks and stand-up paddleboards are available to rent for two or four hours. For an all-ages way to get out on the water, book a trip with Destiny Harbor Tours—cruises depart from Tacoma’s Point Defiance Marina and the Gig Harbor RentA-Boat dock—to motor past the bustling port and onto the smooth, glassy surface of the sound. Keep a lookout for soaring bald eagles and sleek harbor seals slipping beneath the surface. Puget Sound Sailing also offers sunset yacht sails, where the daring can ask for a turn at the helm, out of Tacoma’s Tyee Marina and Gig Harbor. About 46 miles southeast, Elbe keeps the region’s railroad traditions alive with daily journeys through the Mount Rainier foothills. The town’s depot serves as the departure station for the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad—the longest-operating steam train in the Pacific Northwest—where up to 300 guests can ride the rails for views of forest meadows and trestles over mountain streams. And as that lonesome whistle blows, it breathes life into the rich history of the county and the terrain that shaped its character. —Amanda Castleman
Cascade Foothills Intermediate to advanced mountain bikers head to the foothills for single-track routes. The thickly forested Highway 410 corridor near Greenwater has favorites for half- and full-day rides: Skookum Flats (8 miles) and White River (6 miles) are low-elevation trails; Palisades (7 miles), Ranger Creek (5.8 miles), and Sun Top (20 miles) are steeper. River Valley BMX For those into getting air, Sumner’s River Valley BMX has 1,150 feet of packed-dirt trail. When not hosting competitions, the track welcomes all skill levels and bikes (with wheels smaller than 20 inches), and even hosts pushbike and strider-bike races for toddlers. —David Hanson River Valley BMX
RAILS TO SAILS: 21st Street Park 2101 Dock St; metroparkstacoma.org/21st-street-park / Destiny Harbor Tours destinyharbortours.com / Foss Harbor Marina 821 Dock St; fossharbor marina.com / Foss Waterway Seaport 705 Dock St; fosswaterwayseaport.org / Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad mrsr.com / Puget Sound Sailing pugetsoundsailing.com / BIKE PIERCE COUNTY: Cascade Foothills trails.evergreenmtb.org / Rails-to-Trails piercecountytrails.org / River Valley BMX rivervalleybmxracing.com / Swan Creek Park metroparkstacoma.org/swan-creek-park
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WINTER IN THE MOUNTAINS
Grab a powder stash in Pierce County’s peak places The Lower 48’s largest volcano to the east, a coastal mountain range across the Puget Sound to the west, and there’s Pierce County smack in the middle—and at the heart of great ski country. Here’s how to get on the hills, without straying too far from Tacoma.
CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN RESORT
Head 63 miles from downtown Tacoma to the northeast corner of Mt. Rainier National Park and Crystal Mountain Resort. Hit the lower-level slopes for wideopen runs, or head up above the treeline for steeps, deeps, and needle-thin chutes. Don’t ski? Ride the Mt. Rainier Gondola to the Summit House Restaurant for dinner and views of Rainier’s peak. crystalmountainresort.com Vertical: 3,100 feet Trails: 57; 11% easy, 54% medium, 35% expert
Farther afield, way out on the Olympic Peninsula near Port Angeles, is a little ski hill with big bragging rights. For starters, the summit is a full mile above sea level. It also offers terrain that’s said to change weekly (thanks to its proximity to the Pacific Ocean), uncongested bowls, and the right to boast you’ve skied in the Olympics: Go off-piste and you’re in Olympic National Park backcountry. hurricaneridge.com Vertical: 800 feet Trails: 10
Grab a Sno-Park permit (parks.wa.gov/206/ permits), rent skis or snowshoes from outfitters such as REI (rei.com), and head to any of the state’s 120 public Sno-Parks, where you’ll find everything from sledding hills to skate lanes to snowmobiling—as well as the occasional sled dog sighting. Or head to Mt. Rainier National Park for a ranger-led snowshoe tour at Paradise. Every Saturday and Sunday, December through March, rangers offer two-hour tours through 1.5 miles of the volcano’s snow-covered forests and fields, where they regale beginners and pros alike with tales of the mountain and the wildlife therein. More interested in being a kid at heart? Before or after the tour grab a sled and hit Paradise’s wide snowfields, some 5,500 feet above sea level. nps.gov/mora/planyourvisit/winterrecreation.htm —Julie H. Case
It’s southeast of Mt. Rainier National Park where you combine the state’s highest base elevation with the dry air of the eastern slopes. The result? Super consistent snow, as well as some of the best tree skiing in the state. The über-family-friendly White
Pass resort also has 18,000 acres of crosscountry terrain. Keep your eyes peeled: White Pass not only attracts vintners from the east side of the state in droves, it’s also where Olympians Phil and Steve Mahre—and Sochi athlete Jacqueline Wiles—got their start. skiwhitepass.com Vertical: 2,050 feet Trails: 47; 23% easy, 60% medium, 17% expert
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Crystal Mountain Resort
LODGING Alta Crystal Resort at Mount Rainier 68317 SR 410 E, Greenwater 360-663-2500 800-277-6475 altacrystalresort.com 62
Best Western Plus Peppertree Auburn Inn 401 Eighth St SW, Auburn 253-887-7600 800-780-7234 peppertreeauburn.com 19
Best Western Plus Tacoma Dome Hotel 2611 East E St, Tacoma 253-272-7737 800-973-7110 book.bestwestern.com 20
Best Western Premier Plaza Hotel + Conference Center 620 S Hill Park Dr, Puyallup 253-848-1500 888-204-5804 bwpremierplaza.com 29
Comfort Inn Tacoma 8620 S Hosmer St, Tacoma 253-538-7998 comfortinn.com/hotel-tacomawashington-WA087 25 a
Courtyard Marriott - Tacoma Downtown 1515 Commerce St, Tacoma 253-591-9100 marriott.com/seatd 20 $$–$$$$
Emerald Queen Hotel + Casinos 5700 Pacific Hwy E, Tacoma 253-922-2000 888-820-3555 emeraldqueen.com e $$–$$$ 16
Fairfield Inn + Suites 202 15th Ave SW, Puyallup 253-770-3100 marriott.com/seapp
Flip Key 877-354-7539 flipkey.com/tacoma-condorentals/g58775 Amenities vary
253-539-2020 800-860-7715 hiex.com 25 a
GuestHouse Inn + Suites - DuPont 1609 McNeil St, DuPont 253-912-8900 800-214-8378 guesthouseintl.com/hotels/ dupont 40 a
Holiday Inn Express Hotel + Suites - Tacoma Downtown 2102 S C St, Tacoma 253-272-2434 800-HOLIDAY hiexpress.com 20 a
Camp Lakeview 32919 Benbow Dr E, Graham 360-879-5426 camplakeview-wa.com 42 e $–$$
Crystal Mountain Hotels 33818 Crystal Mtn Blvd, Crystal Mountain 360-663-2262 888-754-6400 crystalhotels.com 63
Hampton Inn + Suites DuPont/Joint Base Lewis McChord 800 Station Dr, DuPont 253-912-4444 dupontsuites.hamptoninn .com 39 a e $$–$$$$
Hampton Inn + Suites Puyallup 1515 S Meridian, Puyallup 253-770-8880 hamptoninn.hilton.com 23
Hampton Inn + Suites Tacoma 8203 S Hosmer St, Tacoma 253-539-2288 hamptontacoma.com e $$–$$$$ 25 a Holiday Inn Express Hotel + Suites - Puyallup 812 S Hill Park Dr, Puyallup 253-848-4900 800-HOLIDAY hiexpress.com/puyallup 29
Holiday Inn Express Hotel + Suites - Sumner 2500 136th Ave Ct E, Sumner 253-299-0205 800-HOLIDAY hiexpress.com/sumnerwa e $$ 18 a Holiday Inn Express Hotel + Suites - Tacoma 8601 S Hosmer St, Tacoma
Holiday Inn Express Lakewood 11751 Pacific Hwy SW, Lakewood 253-582-7000 800-HOLIDAY hiexpress.com 32 a
Hotel Murano 1320 Broadway Plz, Tacoma 253-238-8000 888-862-3255 hotelmuranotacoma.com $$$–$$$$ 20 The Inn at Gig Harbor 3211 56th St NW, Gig Harbor 253-858-1111 800-795-9980 innatgigharbor.com 30 a
La Quinta – Auburn 225 Sixth St SE, Auburn 253-804-9999 6554.lq.com 19 a
La Quinta Inn + Suites and Conference Center 1425 E 27th St, Tacoma 253-383-0146 800-531-5900 685.lq.com 18 a
Liberty Inn 1400 Wilmington Dr, DuPont 253-912-8777 877-912-8777 libertyinn.com 35 a
KEY Number of miles to Sea-Tac Airport a Free breakfast Pool Fitness center $ Less than $100 $$ $100–$150 $$$ $151–$200 $$$$ $201 and more
Majestic Mobile Manor RV Park 7022 River Rd E, Puyallup 253-845-3144 800-348-3144 majesticrvpark.com 22
Shilo Inn + Suites Tacoma 7414 S Hosmer St, Tacoma 253-475-4020 800-222-2244 shiloinns.com 25 a
The Maritime Inn 3212 Harborview Dr, Gig Harbor 253-858-1818 888-506-3580 maritimeinn.com 31 a $$–$$$
Mill Village Motel 210 Ctr St E, Eatonville 360-832-3200 800-832-3248 whitepasstravel.com 46 a
National Park Inn Mt. Rainier National Park, Longmire, six miles inside the Nisqually Entrance 360-569-2275 mtrainierguestservices.com 70 e $$–$$$$ Nisqually Lodge + Conference Center 31609 SR 706 E, Ashford 360-569-8804 888-674-3554 whitepasstravel.com 68 e $$ Paradise Inn Mt. Rainier National Park, Longmire, 19 miles inside the Nisqually Entrance 360-569-2275 mtrainierguestservices.com 70 e $$–$$$$ Quality Inn Sea-Tac Airport 2900 S 192nd St, Seattle 206-241-9292 qualityinn.com/hotel/wa153 e $–$$ 1a Red Lion Hotel Tacoma 8402 S Hosmer St, Tacoma 253-548-1212 tacoma.redlion.com 25 a
Silver Cloud Inn - Tacoma 2317 N Ruston Way, Tacoma 253-272-1300 866-820-8448 silvercloud.com/tacoma e $$$–$$$$ 23 a Sunshine Motel 3801 Pacific Hwy E, Fife 253-926-0937 sunshinemotelfife.com 17 a e $ Tacoma Corporate Rental 2504 Tacoma Ave, Tacoma 281-630-5549 tacomacorporaterental.com Amenities vary Travelodge Tacoma 3518 Pacific Hwy E, Fife 253-922-0550 800-578-7878 travelodgetacoma.com 17 a e $ Westwynd Motel, Suites + Apartments 6703 144th St NW, Gig Harbor 253-857-4047 800-468-9963 westwyndmotel.com 35 e $–$$ MARINAS Dock Street Marina 1817 Dock St, Tacoma 253-272-4352 dockstreetmarina.com Point Defiance Boathouse Marina 5912 N Waterfront Dr, Tacoma 253-591-5325 metroparkstacoma.org/point defiancemarina
Pet friendly e Free parking
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For more information call 1-800-272-2662.
EXPERIENCE IT FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE ROPES Play Chambers Bay, site of the 2010 U.S. Amateur and the 2015 U.S. Open
The U.S. Open is coming to the Pacific Northwest for the first time in history. Play the course that’s bringing it here. At Chambers Bay you will experience pure links golf while taking in incredible panoramic views of the Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains. It’s a public access course designed to be enjoyed by players of every ability, and it’s waiting just for you. U N I V E R S I T Y P L AC E , WA | C H A M B E R S B AYG O L F.CO M / T RC V B
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Pierce County's Official Visitors' Guide