Rich with history, Tacoma is best known for its urban culture, art scene and creative community. From foodies to lovers of the arts, Tacoma offers something special for everyone. Set to a beautiful backdrop of Mount Rainier and the Puget Sound, downtown is bustling with restaurants, shops, museums and more. Spend a weekend downtown in the City of Destiny and know where to go!

Whether you’re visiting from afar or taking a “staycation” in your own hometown, it’s a lot of fun to stay right in the heart of downtown. Experience Tacoma while staying at the Courtyard by Marriott Tacoma Downtown. The hotel will have you just steps away from lovely cafes, eateries and tons of entertainment.

Bridge of Glass
The Chihuly Bridge of Glass is pretty spectacular from a distance, but even better up close. Photo credit: Gabriella Kinner

Day 1: Coffee, Museums, Live Entertainment and Nightlife

Start your day with a great cup of coffee. Anthem Coffee is within walking distance from the Courtyard Marriott and offers a unique experience sure to leave you buzzing with excitement for your day ahead.

Continue on to explore Tacoma’s Museum District. Tacoma has the second highest number of museums per capita in the United States, falling just behind Washington D.C. Take a stroll across the famed Chihuly Bridge of Glass, which features stunning works of art by world-renowned artist and Tacoma native, Dale Chihuly. From there, the bridge connects you to the Museum of Glass where you can enjoy different awe inspiring exhibits, create your own hands-on art, or watch artists blow glass live in the museum’s very own hot shop.

On the Pacific Avenue side of the Bridge of Glass, you’ll find the Tacoma Art Museum, which showcases many different collections and exhibits, as well as exciting events and programs. If you’ve been before, TAM regularly invites new exhibitions in so there’s always something new to see. Downtown is also home to the Washington State History Museum, Tacoma’s Children Museum, Union Station and Lemay – America’s Car Museum.

Downtown Tacoma
Downtown Tacoma has it all. Photo credit: Gabriella Kinner

All of that exploring will leave you thirsty for more! “If you enjoy local beer, Tacoma has over seven local breweries that are putting us on the map for beer sampling. Most of these are located only a few miles from the hotel,” stated Bedez Carter of the Courtyard by Marriott Tacoma Downtown. Just down Pacific Avenue from the hotel, sip on some amazing craft beers at the iconic Harmon, which was Tacoma’s very first microbrewery. A few blocks away, you’ll also find 7 Seas Brewery, which has been voted the South Sound’s best brewery for eight years in a row.

As your day stretches into the evening hours, you will find a number of different experiences all around town. If you’re looking for some great entertainment, look to the Broadway Center of the Performing Arts in the Theatre District or the Tacoma Dome to enjoy concerts, performances and more. “The Courtyard by Marriott Tacoma Downtown is the perfect place to stay that is centrally located to tons of fun,” Bedez notes. “The hotel sits on the light rail route, which will take you to a spectacular event at the Tacoma Dome or to many restaurants in the downtown corridor.” Tacoma’s Link Light Rail is free of charge and a great way to get around downtown.

After a day of exploring the city, choose from a range of different restaurants in or around downtown for dinner. Enjoy fresh sushi at The Koi, wood fired pizzas at Elemental Pizza, or treat yourself to a culinary experience at Indochine Asian Dining Lounge where you sit among tranquil indoor waterworks while enjoying Asian-fusion fare. For an upscale or romantic meal, enjoy fondue at The Melting Pot or dine by candle light and live piano at El Gaucho.

Hello Cupcake Tacoma
Hello, Cupcake’s red velvet cupcakes bring in locals year round. Photo Credit: Ily Goyanes

If you have a post-dinner sweet tooth, head to popular cupcake bakery Hello, Cupcake, or simply wander downstairs from your hotel to the Pacific Grill for a decadent dessert in a sophisticated lounge setting.

Paint the town red by visiting one of many notable bars in the area. If you’re looking for live music, head to The Swiss Pub where they have bands play every Saturday night, or pick the tunes yourself for a pair of piano players to perform at Keys on Main dueling piano bar. If fantastic craft cocktails are your cup of tea, head towards Pacific Avenue to the Tacoma Cabana where you might just forget that you’re in the Pacific Northwest and are now on island time. This tiki themed bar features tropical cocktails, pupu platters and island-style eats that will take on a delicious tropical retreat.

Time to hit the sheets and rest up to enjoy one more day on your downtown getaway!

Day 2: Brunch and Shopping

Start off your Sunday with one of many fantastic brunch options. Take a walk downstairs from the Courtyard by Marriott Tacoma Downtown to enjoy Pacific Grill’s Boozy Brunch, which features a “build your own bubbles” menu where you can customize your mimosa. For a more relaxed and intimate brunch, make your way to the Museum District and indulge in sweet or savory crepes and waffles at to Savor Creperie.

Tacoma Shops
The shops lining Pacific Avenue are perfect for exploring. Photo credit: Gabriella Kinner

Once you’re fueled up for your day, discover the fantastic shops and colorful businesses that line Pacific Avenue. From modern boutiques like Satori, to stylish vintage finds at UrbanXChange, there is something for everyone. Lose yourself in the University of Washington’s bookstore, or find the perfect gift in Stocklist Goods, which curates fantastically fun souvenirs, jewelry and more. If you’re an antique enthusiast, proceed to Antique Row (also easy to get to by light rail) where you’ll find a number of eclectic vintage and antique shops.

End your staycation with a little pampering after a busy weekend downtown. Treat yourself at Charme Nail & Skin Studio for a variety of manicures, pedicures and refreshing facials.

Tacoma’s vibrant community will leave you wanting to come back again and again. Make a tradition of it and enjoy all that the City of Destiny has to offer by spending a weekend downtown.

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