Things to do in Tacoma

Talking Ghosts at Alfred’s Haunted Cafe

Interesting Conversation One of the great things about being the Northwest Nomad is that I have a permanent excuse to drink beer and chat with strangers at bars. It’s what I call “conducting research,” and I’ve found all kinds of interesting informational nuggets out there that way. A couple days ago I had such an encounter at Alfred’s Cafe in Tacoma. I was drinking a beer and talking with the bartender and a fellow patron. Before getting into ghosts, this…

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Where to Stay in Downtown Tacoma: Hotel Murano

When it comes to choosing deluxe downtown Tacoma accommodations, the Hotel Murano is pretty much a no-brainer. That line sounds kind of like a slimy sales pitch, but the Northwest Nomad is no one’s peddler! In this case, it’s just the fact of the matter that the Murano is heads-and-away the most distinctive, unique, and classy hotel in downtown (probably in all of Tacoma, really). When I first visited Tacoma over a decade ago, one of the sights that most…

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Getting to Know Home: Boat Tour of Tacoma, Washington

It’s funny that I can work in Tacoma for years, and live it in for months, before finding out that its seaport does 3 BILLION dollars in business every year. Yet, that is indeed a fact, and just one of the many things I learned while taking a tour of the Port of Tacoma waterway. I didn’t seek this tour out, truth be known. I was simply down for an early morning walk in Thea’s Park when I noticed people…

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The Tacoma Library Set Me Up on a Blind Date!

For me, reading a new book is no less a thrill than hiking a new mountain trail. In both there is the thrill of discovery and wonder. Luckily, the Pacific Northwest is rich not only in outdoors action, but also in its literary culture. Tacoma, specifically, has an excellent book scene—so much so that I often forget that reading has fallen out of favor in many parts of the country. Whether it’s independent stores like the Tacoma Book Center or any…

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The Tacoma Book Center: So Many Corners

A tousled-headed man wandered into the horror section of the Tacoma Book Center with an armful of books and a chagrined look on his face. “Jeez,” he said, looking around the stacks, “another secret room? This place has so many corners, I keep getting lost.” His turn of phrase struck me as strangely poetic. So many corners. It’s the sort of vaguely surreal wording you might find in a Borges poem, or a Tom Waits song ­ – the sort of…

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The Mysterious Suspended Bike of Ruston, Washington

Oh, mysterious suspended bike of the Ruston waterfront, who made thee? Who shaped thy strange handlebars? Who bound up thy body in wood and left thee, as though in flight, suspended over the Sound? Where did you come from, you weird artifact? From the depths of someone’s imagination? Or from some place darker? Are you drawing us toward madness, or bliss? And is there a difference, mysterious suspended bike of the Ruston waterfront walk? Oh, your strange character has confounded…

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Tacoma, Washington’s Point Defiance Park Is a Great Budget Destination

Point Defiance Park is One of Tacoma, Washington’s Best Budget Trips Whether you’re in the mood for swimming, hiking, tossing a football around, taking a scenic drive, or just chilling in the sun, you’ll find plenty of room and opportunity at Point Defiance Park. There’s also the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, boat rentals, and eats, of course, but in this blog post I’ll be focusing on Point Defiance recreation activities that cost little to no money. Point Defiance makes for a…

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Tacoma, Washington: Glitz, Glamour, and Just the Right Amount of Grit

In Tacoma, History and Innovation Blend Seamlessly Come to Tacoma for beautiful historic landmarks standing right beside newly constructed museums and restaurants. Feel free to wear your best dress or your favorite pair of blue jeans. This city doesn’t ask anyone to put on any airs. As anybody who has lived in the Puget Sound Basin will attest, Tacoma has a bit of a reputation around these parts. Many see it as the Gotham City of the Pacific Northwest. In…

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