Tacoma Introduction Walking Tour, Tacoma

Tacoma Introduction Walking Tour (Self Guided), Tacoma

Tacoma is well known for its historic buildings – most built at the end of the 19th century – among which the Old City Hall stands out most. The more recent addition of the Tacoma Art Museum, and the Washington State History Museum added much life to the downtown area, which is undergoing something of a renaissance. Take this self-guided tour to explore Tacoma's main landmarks along the scenic waterfront.
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Tacoma Introduction Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Tacoma Introduction Walking Tour
Guide Location: USA » Tacoma (See other walking tours in Tacoma)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 10
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.3 Km or 2.7 Miles
Author: vickyc
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Washington State History Museum
  • Tacoma Art Museum
  • Theater District
  • Old City Hall
  • Landmark Convention Center
  • First Presbyterian Church
  • Stadium High School
  • Washington State History Research Center
  • First Church of Christ Scientist
  • Wright Park Arboretum
Washington State History Museum

1) Washington State History Museum (must see)

The Washington State History Museum in downtown Tacoma maintains three permanent exhibits. One is about the history of Washington State and relation to the Pacific Northwest with artifacts from Women's Suffrage, Industrialization, Native American Tribes and items such as Clovis Points.

The top floor of the museum contains the History Lab, where visitors can explore and learn about history in a more hands-on fashion with multiple interactive exhibits.

Also on the top floor is the largest permanent model train layout in the state at 1,700 sq ft (160 m2), which recreates scenes from Tacoma's Union Station (where the museum is located) and other regional railroads. The museum has an annual Model Train Festival in December.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Tacoma Art Museum

2) Tacoma Art Museum (must see)

In May 2003, Tacoma Art Museum (TAM) opened a new facility twice the size of its previous home, allowing the museum to expand on its vision and mission. American Institute of Architects AIA Gold Medal winner Antoine Predock designed the building located in the heart of Tacoma’s Cultural District.

It features flexible exhibition space in a series of galleries that wrap around an open-air stone courtyard. The galleries showcase Tacoma Art Museum’s permanent collection of American, European, and Asian art, highlighting Northwest artists; and traveling national and international exhibitions. The interior reflects the museum’s spirit, from the emphasis on education spaces that are designed to make art accessible to the framed views of Mt. Rainier and Tacoma's growing core.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Theater District

3) Theater District

Theater District is a very beautiful place in Tacoma. It is in the heart of Tacoma and is one of the must-see destinations for tourists in this city. There you will find the Broadway Center for Performing Arts that has several theaters, for example, the Pantages and Rialto theaters, that are splendid buildings. Then there is the modern Theater on the Square, home of the Tacoma Actors' Guild. There are beautiful and unusual structures in the area too.
Old City Hall

4) Old City Hall

Old City Hall of Tacoma is a beautiful old building that dates back to 1893. This impressive building represents the Italian Renaissance architecture. Today, after remodelling, it is used as condominiums. This historical building still has a tall tower with a clock on it, pressed brickwork, terra cotta decoration and a copper roof. The Old City Hall itself and the Old City Hall District is registered as a National Historic Place of the USA.
Landmark Convention Center

5) Landmark Convention Center

Landmark Convention Center is a landmark building situated in the historic Stadium district in the center of the city. It dates back to 1926. It's also known as the Masonic Temple building and the Temple Theatre. It features Greek Architecture outside and the inside is made in Egyptian design. This beautiful place offers organization of different events, like weddings and others.
First Presbyterian Church

6) First Presbyterian Church

First Presbyterian Church is a church and a school. It was established in 1873. The present church was built in 1925 and features a marvelous example of Romanesque architecture, designed by Ralph Adams Cram. The school was founded in 1969. The structure's most prominent features are the clock and bell-tower, the rose window and and the two-leveled facade. This magnificent church is built in red brick. This church-school is a good example of a US school that provides classical Christian education.
Stadium High School

7) Stadium High School

Stadium High School is a 100-year-old high school and a historic landmark. It is part of Tacoma Public Schools, or Tacoma School District No. 10 and is located in the Stadium District, near downtown Tacoma. The original building burned to a shell while it was still a partially constructed hotel designed by Hewitt & Hewitt that was being used for storage. It was reconstructed for use as a school according to designs by Frederick Heath, and a "bowl" stadium was added.

The main building was constructed by architects Hewitt and Hewitt for the Northern Pacific Railroad Company and the Tacoma Land Company at what was then known as Blackwell Point.

The 100 year celebration of Stadium High School was held in September 2006. At the celebration, a Guinness World Record was set for the largest recorded school reunion. 3299 alumni attended.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Washington State History Research Center

8) Washington State History Research Center

The Washington State History Research Center provides public access to historical archives, special collections, digital collections and research library, while also serving as the principal repository for the Society's artifact collections, special collections, and digital collections.

The special collection includes the following types of resources, relating to Washington state and regional history: photographs, archives and manuscripts, posters, maps, printed ephemera, books, and finding aids. The museum collection of artifacts presently numbers over 90,000 items, including artworks, clothing, archaeological artifacts, ethnographic materials, tools, equipment, and furniture. The digital collection includes electronic records, documents, digital audio and video files, and digital photography and images. The Research Center is open to the public by appointment only, Wednesday and Thursday from 1:00-4:00 PM.
First Church of Christ Scientist

9) First Church of Christ Scientist

First Church of Christ, Scientist is a historic Christian Science church building. Designed in the Classical Revival style by noted as well as prolific Tacoma architect Frederick Heath, it was built at a cost of $45,000 between 1908 and 1911. It was the second building built by the congregation on this site, the first being a 1901 wooden structure seating 300 that was torn down in 1908. On June 2, 1911, the first service was held in the new church. After becoming debt free, the new church was dedicated in 1921.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Wright Park Arboretum

10) Wright Park Arboretum (must see)

Wright Park is a 27-acre (11 ha) arboretum and public park that is currently managed by Metro Parks Tacoma. The park was designed by Bavarian landscape architect Edward Otto Schwagerl.

The arboretum contains over 700 mature trees, representing about 100 native and exotic species.

The Victorian-style conservatory was built in 1907, and named in honor of donor William W. Seymour. Its wings and twelve-sided central dome contain some 3,500 panes of glass. Six sculptures created by former conservator Clarence Deming rest among the plants, and reflect African, Māori, and Aztec traditions.

The conservatory now contains more than 550 plant species in its permanent collection, including agapanthus, azaleas, bromeliads, cacti, clivias, cymbidium, epiphyllum, ferns, figs, more than 200 orchids, palms, and rhododendrons. It also contains a rotating exhibit of floral displays that generally features between 300-500 blooming plants at any given time.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.

Walking Tours in Tacoma, Washington

Create Your Own Walk in Tacoma

Create Your Own Walk in Tacoma

Creating your own self-guided walk in Tacoma is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
North Waterfront Walk

North Waterfront Walk

Set on the banks of Puget Sound, south of Seattle, Tacoma city is a picturesque place. Particularly this is true of Tacoma's Waterfront, a paved sidewalk running along Puget Sound’s Commencement Bay. Much loved by walkers, joggers or those searching for a good place to eat with a view, the Waterfront area holds a number of prominent attractions. This orientation walk will lead you to the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.7 Km or 3.5 Miles