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7 Iconic Landmarks To See In Tacoma, Washington


by Bunny Brodsky


Tacoma, Washington, is a city brimming with history, culture, and natural beauty. From its stunning waterfront to its vibrant arts scene, Tacoma offers a wealth of iconic landmarks that showcase the city's unique character and charm. Whether you're a history buff, an art enthusiast, or simply a traveler seeking memorable experiences, Tacoma has something for everyone. In this article, we'll explore seven iconic landmarks that are not to be missed during your visit to Tacoma. Each of these landmarks holds a special place in the heart of the city and provides a glimpse into its rich heritage and contemporary allure. So, pack your sense of adventure and get ready to embark on a journey through Tacoma's most treasured sites. Let's dive into the essence of Tacoma and discover the stories behind these remarkable landmarks that have shaped the city's identity.

The Museum of Glass

Nestled on the Thea Foss Waterway, the Museum of Glass stands as a testament to the city's artistic prowess. The iconic steel cone structure, designed by renowned architect Arthur Erickson, is a sight to behold. Visitors are treated to a mesmerizing display of contemporary art, with a focus on glassblowing. The museum's hot shop offers a captivating glimpse into the intricate process of glassblowing, where skilled artisans craft stunning pieces before your eyes. The Chihuly Bridge of Glass, adorned with vibrant glass sculptures by Tacoma-native Dale Chihuly, connects the museum to downtown, adding to the city's charm.

Point Defiance Park

Spanning over 700 acres, Point Defiance Park is a nature lover's paradise. This sprawling urban park boasts lush forests, vibrant gardens, and scenic waterfront views. The Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, located within the park, is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including endangered species. The park's extensive network of trails offers opportunities for hiking, biking, and wildlife spotting. The serene Owen Beach provides a tranquil escape, while the Point Defiance Marina offers a gateway to the shimmering waters of Puget Sound.

LeMay – America's Car Museum

Car enthusiasts and history buffs alike will revel in the grandeur of LeMay – America's Car Museum. Showcasing over 300 vintage vehicles, the museum pays homage to America's rich automotive heritage. From classic muscle cars to rare antiques, the exhibits offer a captivating journey through the evolution of automobiles. The museum's interactive displays and engaging exhibits provide a fascinating insight into the cultural impact of cars on American society. The sprawling facility also hosts car shows and special events, adding to its allure.

Tacoma Art Museum

Situated in the heart of downtown, the Tacoma Art Museum is a cultural gem that celebrates art in all its forms. The museum's diverse collection features works by prominent Northwest artists, as well as renowned national and international creators. Visitors can immerse themselves in a rich tapestry of paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts, offering a captivating glimpse into various artistic movements. The museum's commitment to community engagement is evident through its dynamic programs and educational initiatives, making art accessible to all.

Chihuly Bridge of Glass

Spanning across I-705, the Chihuly Bridge of Glass is a dazzling testament to the city's artistic vibrancy. Designed by the world-renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly, the bridge is adorned with a stunning array of his signature glass sculptures. The vibrant installations, illuminated against the backdrop of the city, create a mesmerizing visual spectacle. As visitors traverse the bridge, they are enveloped in a symphony of color and light, showcasing Tacoma's thriving art scene.

Washington State History Museum

Delving into the rich tapestry of Washington's history, the Washington State History Museum offers a captivating journey through time. The museum's immersive exhibits chronicle the state's diverse heritage, from its indigenous roots to its modern-day cultural landscape. Visitors can explore interactive displays, historical artifacts, and engaging narratives that bring the past to life. The museum's commitment to preserving and sharing Washington's story ensures an enriching experience for all who walk through its doors.

Ruston Way Waterfront

The Ruston Way Waterfront beckons with its picturesque views and vibrant atmosphere. Stretching along the shores of Commencement Bay, this scenic promenade offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and urban charm. Visitors can stroll along the waterfront, taking in panoramic views of the bay and the majestic Mount Rainier. The area's enticing array of waterfront restaurants and cafes provides a delightful culinary experience, while parks and beaches invite leisurely picnics and relaxation by the water's edge. Whether enjoying a leisurely bike ride or savoring a sunset walk, the Ruston Way Waterfront is a beloved Tacoma destination.


Exploring Tacoma, Washington, offers a captivating journey through its iconic landmarks, each with a unique story to tell. From the historic beauty of the Museum of Glass to the natural wonder of Point Defiance Park, Tacoma is a city brimming with diverse attractions. Visitors can immerse themselves in the rich history of the Washington State History Museum and marvel at the architectural splendor of the Chihuly Bridge of Glass. The LeMay – America's Car Museum and the stunning Tacoma Narrows Bridge add further depth to the city's allure. With its blend of art, history, and natural beauty, Tacoma stands as a must-visit destination for travelers seeking a rich tapestry of experiences.


Q: What is the best time to visit Tacoma, Washington?
A: The best time to visit Tacoma is during the summer months, from June to August, when the weather is mild and ideal for exploring outdoor attractions.

Q: Are these landmarks suitable for family visits?
A: Yes, the iconic landmarks in Tacoma, Washington, are family-friendly and offer engaging experiences for visitors of all ages.