Tacoma's Art Walk
On the third Thursday of every month Tacoma has an art walk. On this day the 3 Tacoma museums ( Washington History Museum, Museum of Glass, and Tacoma Art Museum) offer free Admission and are open till 8 PM. Venders and Galleries remain open and offer different events and offerings. See the link below for locations.
Thea Foss Esplanade: 11th Avenue Bridge & South
Running along the Thea Foss Waterway, a walkway has been built that connects various attractions and features along the waterway. This walkway is referred to by various names, but "Thea Foss Esplanade" is the name used on at least one tourist map, and therefore it is the name I have settled upon.
I have broken this into two sections: North of the Murray Morgan (11th Avenue) Bridge and South of the Bridge, as the nature of the walkway are a bit dfferent between the two sections. This is the tip that discusses the part running south of the bridge.
South from the Murray Morgan (11th Street) Bridge along the west side of the Thea Foss Waterway, a walkway has been constructed that connects the Museum of Glass, the 11th Street Bridge, and Waterway Park. Using the Bridge of Glass the walkway also connects to the area around Tacoma Union Station, and through Waterway Park it is easy to reach the Freighthouse Square shopping center and SoundTransit's Tacoma Dome Station, but doing so requires crossing several busy streets at traffic lights - which isn't a problem but the entire rest of the route along the waterfront lacks conflicts of any sort with traffic.
The Dock Street Marina and public pier is also a feature that may be accessed along the walkway.
Currently, the best part of the walkway runs between the Museum of Glass and the ramp that connects South 15th Street to Dock Street. North of Dock Street, the walkway is interrupted by industries still requiring waterfront access. This short segment requires that users walk on the sidewalk next to Dock Street from the entrance ramp to South 15th Street to a point about 2 blocks north of the ramp.
Segments of the walkway are decorated with historical artifacts that have been converted to found art pieces that commemorate the history of Tacoma. There are a number of benches and other places to relax, and some open grass areas. There are also areas of open sand that are designed as beach volley ball courts.
Further north, the trail is a bit more bare bones, and uses old wooden walkways from the days when the Thea Foss Waterway was considerably more industrialized.
The walkway provides a nice through route between several areas of Tacoma that, thanks to the waterway, involve quite a bit less fighting with traffic than would be involved if you were having to keep to city streets only.
Thanks to the continued presence of the Murray Morgan (11th Street) Bridge it is possible to walk the entire distance from either the Bridge of Glass or Freighthouse Square along the waterway, and if you don't want to walk back you can climb the pedestrian staircase on the bridge, go into downtown Tacoma, and use SoundTransiit's free LINK light rail train to return to the other end or wherever you started from.
Dickman Mill Park
Located in part of an old industrial site, with some of the ruins of the old mill remaining here on the waterfront, Dickman Mill Park is another park that allows visitors a view over Commencement Bay. There are picnic tables and benches. There are a number of plants that have been placed through here, which makes the park have a little more of a garden-like than some of the nerby parks.
There is a fair amount of the park that is open grass, and there is some beach access.
This location marks the last of the operating lumber mills on Tacoma's water front, with the closure coming in 1974. The facility was nearly completely destroyed by fire in 1979, but some of the remains of the foundation were used to create the city park.
The old industrial site required extensive rehabilitation, which was accomplished through the 1990s. The park opened in 2001.
How to Get Here: The official address is 2423 Ruston Way, Tacoma, WA 98407. There are a number of parking areas along Ruston Way, and the nearest bus route is #13 at McCarver & 30th.
This is one of the several parks through which pass the Ruston Way walkway, and if you would like to see more information about the several parks nearby that are connected together with that walkway, please see the Ruston Way walkway tip.
Chambers Bay: Grandview Trail
This is part of the series of tips about Pierce County's Chambers Bay Facility, which contains a huge number of different features. My main tourist tip about this facility is located at
and there are links from there to the various tips that discuss the sub-pieces of this wonderful park, golf course, trail, beach, and educational facility.
As with the Sound View Trail, the Grandview Trail is paved for its entire length for bicyclists, and runs along the top edge of the Chambers Bay property. This trail provides views above the golf course, and all the way out to the hills that mark the beginning of the coast range many miles away.
As the naming separation of this trail puts it in the part of the loop around the park facility that is completely level at the top of the hill. There is a restroom facility at the far northeast corner of the trail, and at the southern end of the park hiddin in the forest past the Environmental Services building.
There are several concrete observation areas that make good benches for having a picnic lunch overlooking Puget Sound. However, I would suggest bringing a soft pad of some sort to sit on, as they do get hard after a while.
How to Get Here: Please see my general Chambers Bay tip, which is located at
as it is somewhat complicated.
On a nice day there is no place better
Steamers is a primarily a fish and chips places located on Titlow Beach. Seating is limited though there is outdoor seating and on nice days that is by far the best option. This is a great local place, where you can enjoy a quick lunch and a stroll along the rocky beach and around the tide pools. Fish and Chips, Salmon and Chips, and when they have it the open-faced salmon sandwich with basil sauce.