Graduation weekend: be a Tacoma tourist

Commencement will be on May 18. The seniors only have a few weeks left here, and this is their last chance to visit places in Tacoma that they never got to see during their four years here. It is also a chance for their families coming into town to see some of what Tacoma has to offer.

Tacoma has a few places to eat that are delicious. The Tacoma waterfront has many fantastic restaurants that usually guarantee a good time with great seafood.
These places all got a four-star rating or better on Yelp. For a quick bite out to eat with a lower price tag, places like Duke’s Chowder House, Rock the Dock Pub and Grill and Ram Restaurant and Brewery are good. If one is looking for a fancier meal out, some restaurants like C.I. Shenanagans, Pacific Grill and the Lobster Shop are great for that. El Gaucho is pretty pricey, but it is lauded as one of the best restaurants in Tacoma.

There are also many activities to do in Tacoma in the nature and outdoor category as well.

Of course everyone has heard of Point Defiance, but some people have not visited their Zoo or Owen Beach, which are two fun activities to do at the park besides hiking and biking.
Tacoma not only has that park, but Puget Park on 31st and Proctor has a playground, as well as a forest with a hiking trail that leads down to a creek. Swan Creek County Park is also a great place to hang out if you are looking to enjoy the outdoors. This park contains a beautiful community garden and ample space for walking.

Tacoma Nature Center is also a great place to go to view wildlife. The Nature Center also has an informational center where you can learn more about the wildlife that inhabits it. Along with wildlife, the park has a few trails that you can walk on. Brown’s Point lighthouse park is also a great place to go to see some great views of Commencement Bay.
If Commencement weekend is rainy, which it may be, there are plenty of other attractions in Tacoma that are not outdoors.

The Museum of Glass downtown is a surefire hit among many, and you can see beautiful glass sculptures here. The Washington State History Museum is also downtown and provides many interactive exhibits for learning more about Washington State. An unusual attraction that one can go to is the LeMay Car Museum, where you can see cars that are old, rare and new.
For people that are fans of the movie Ten Things I Hate about You, you can go and see the house on 21st and Junett where the Stratford sisters lived. You can also go to the Stadium district of Tacoma and see Stadium High School, where the movie was partially filmed.

If you are interested in doing some shopping, there are a few great stores in Tacoma you must check out. King’s Books feels somewhat like Powell’s Books in Portland, but much smaller. It has a wide selection of great books new and used. Compass Rose is a good example of the independent stores that the Proctor district has to offer; it has a wide selection of unique and creative gifts that are definitely worth checking out.

Tacoma is also known for its antiques. If you like antiques, downtown has a great selection of antique stores filled with unique items.
For a quick escape from the city, venture onto one of the nearby islands, whether by car or ferry, such as Vashon, Fox, Anderson, or Day.
There are plenty of activities to do in Tacoma, and of course, if all else fails, Seattle is just 45 minutes away!