Experience the best of the Pacific Northwest in Tacoma and Pierce County in 2024. From outdoor adventures to cultural hotspots and great food, discover some of the top 24 things to do in this dynamic region.

1 – Explore the Beauty of Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier National Park offers some of the most breathtaking hiking trails, camping spots, and snowshoeing opportunities that you can find in the region. It is a must-visit destination for adventure seekers and nature lovers alike.

2 – Take a Stroll Through the Point Defiance Park and Zoo

The Point Defiance Park and Zoo is a 700-acre park that includes a zoo, aquarium, and botanical gardens. It is a perfect place for a relaxing stroll with hiking trails, picnic areas, and a beach.

Museum of Glass
Tacoma’s Museum of Glass and the Chihuly Bridge of Glass. Photo credit: Gabriella Kinner

3 – Visit the Museum of Glass

The Museum of Glass is a unique attraction where you can witness the art of glassblowing right before your eyes. In addition to the glassblowing exhibits, the museum also features collections of contemporary glass art that are sure to impress.

4 – Enjoy the Beauty of the Puget Sound by Taking a Ferry Ride

Taking a ferry ride from Tacoma to Vashon Island is a great way to enjoy the beauty of Puget Sound. Vashon Island is a rural island known for its natural beauty and locally sourced food, making it a perfect destination for a day trip.

5 – Explore the History of the Puyallup Tribe at the Chief Leschi School Museum

The Chief Leschi School Museum offers visitors an opportunity to explore the history and culture of the Puyallup Tribe. The museum features exhibits that highlight the Tribe’s history and their contributions to the region.

6 – Take a Tour of the LeMay America’s Car Museum

The LeMay – America’s Car Museum is a must-visit destination for car enthusiasts and history buffs alike. It features classic cars and vintage vehicles from all eras, as well as interactive exhibits and a collection of rare automobiles.

7 – Visit the Foss Waterway Seaport

The Foss Waterway Seaport is a museum showcasing Tacoma’s maritime history and Puget Sound. The museum features interactive exhibits, historic vessels, and a hands-on boat-building program.

Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge
Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge visitors are welcome to take a nature walk, explore the refuge trails and boardwalks, observe landscapes and wildlife, photograph, and engage with educational programs hosted by the refuge. Photo credit: Molly Walsh

8 – Go on a Hike at the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

The Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge is a great place to observe the diverse wildlife and bird species that call the refuge home. It offers educational programs and guided walks for visitors of all ages.

9 – Check Out the Tacoma Art Museum

The Tacoma Art Museum is a great place to explore an extensive collection of contemporary and Northwest art. The museum features rotating exhibits and educational programs that are sure to impress.

10 – Visit the Washington State History Museum

The Washington State History Museum is an excellent destination to learn about the history of Washington State. The museum features exhibits that highlight the state’s diverse history and culture.

11 – Go Out to Eat in Pierce County

Thai Pepper restaurant serves some of the best authentic and delicious Thai cuisine. Their friendly staff, cozy atmosphere, and fresh flavors make it a great place to dine in or take out. If you are seeking something more romantic, make your next reservation at Over the Moon Café.

waterfront dining South Sound restaurants
Soak in the mesmerizing water views from above at Topside Bar and Grill in Steilacoom. Photo courtesy: Topside Bar and Grill

12 – Explore the Beauty of the Lakewold Gardens

The Lakewold Gardens is a historic garden estate that features a variety of plant species and garden designs. The gardens also offer educational programs and guided tours, making it a perfect destination for a peaceful day out.

13 – Go Kayaking

Two popular destinations are the Puyallup River and Redondo Beach, both of which offer breathtaking views and exhilarating waters. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced kayaker, these spots are perfect for a fun-filled day with friends or family.

14 – Go on a Bike Ride

The Foothills Trail is a 30-mile trail that connects Puyallup to Buckley, offering stunning views of the Puget Sound and the surrounding mountains. It is an excellent destination for a bike ride, especially for those who enjoy scenic trails.

15 – Visit the Meeker Mansion

The Meeker Mansion is a great place to learn about the history of Puyallup and the Meeker family. The mansion features exhibits, guided tours, and educational programs that are sure to impress.

16 – Gig Harbor Waterfront

The Gig Harbor waterfront is a charming destination with its shops and restaurants. The wharf also offers boating and kayaking opportunities, perfect for a day out with the family.

Free Parks in Tacoma and Puyallup
Chambers Creek Regional Park is part of Tacoma’s long, walkable shoreline. Photo courtesy: Pierce County Parks

17 – Visit the Chambers Creek Regional Park

The Chambers Creek Regional Park offers visitors scenic views, hiking trails, and a golf course. The park also features a playground and an off-leash dog park, making it a wonderful destination for a family day out.

18 – Visit the Puyallup Farmers’ Market

The Downtown Puyallup Farmers’ Market offers locally sourced produce, artisanal products, and live music. It is open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., from April to October.

19 – Explore Dash Point State Park

Dash Point State Park is a scenic destination that offers visitors the chance to enjoy its beaches, trails, and camping spots. It is also a great place to go fishing or boating.

20 – Visit the Pierce County Library

The Pierce County Library allows visitors to discover its collection of books, movies, and other materials. The library also features educational programs and events for all ages.

21 – Take a Tour of the Lakewood History Museum

The Lakewood History Museum is an excellent destination to learn about the history of Lakewood and the surrounding area. The museum features exhibits, artifacts, and educational programs that are sure to impress.

Carbon River Rainforest Mount Rainier
Once the snow melts, hike the family-friendly Carbon River Rainforest at Mount Rainier. Photo credit: Douglas Scott

22 – Explore the Carbon River Rainforest

The Carbon River Rainforest is a must-see destination with its diverse plant and animal species. It offers hiking trails, camping spots, and fishing opportunities, ideal for those who love the outdoors.

23 – Visit the Washington State Fair

The Washington State Fair is a yearly event in September and draws visitors from all over the state. It offers carnival rides, food, and entertainment that are sure to impress.

24 – Find Fun on SouthSoundTalk’s Calendar of Events

Check out the Pierce County Events Calendar to stay current on the region’s latest happenings. It is a great way to find fun-filled activities for the whole family.