Back to Arts

10 things to do in Tacoma

Tacoma Regional Convention + Visitor Bureau opens new center

Tacoma's Opera Alley is cool, especially with the addition of B Sharp Coffee House. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

Recommend Article
Total Recommendations (0)
Clip Article Email Article Print Article Share Article

Oh, Tacoma. You are so weird and so wonderful. I've been here a long time, old friend, and I so get you, you little charmer, you!

Why the sweet emotion, T-town? Well, you've made it kiddo. People like you from near and far. We long-timers knew the day would come when our Seattle friends would prefer to drive down here instead of hanging out in the city to the north.  We're in the big stuff, Tacoma, so shall we celebrate?

Well, there's a plan for that.

The Tacoma Regional Convention + Visitor Bureau (TRCVB) is opening up a brand-spanking new visitor center and is at the ready to celebrate. Oh, don't worry. There will be a little of that weird and wonderful, too. And just like the coveted toy surprise in the Cracker Jack box, TRCVB is also dishing out its picks of the top 10 hidden gems of Tacoma for a little fun-in-the-sun summer action.

First, the party!

Tuesday, June 24, 10 a.m. to noon, the general public is cordially invited to the grand opening and unveiling of the new Tacoma Visitor Information Center at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center in downtown Tacoma. Admission is free and all are welcome. Games, prizes, personalities and a mayoral welcome are the orders of the day. 

Ah, but we can't forget the weird and wonderful part, right? There will be reindeer (not real, but rad!), cows (real!) and goats (real!), rhubarb pie and Almond Roca giveaways (why of course!) and classic cars. According to Marcus Carney, director of Visitor Experience at TRCVB, it's all by design.

"We are trying to really capture the spirit of Tacoma and Pierce County with our event," Carney said.

They are also thrilled about capturing the imaginations of the region's visitors with the new center.

"A new visitor center location means we get a new opportunity to serve our destination," Carney said. "Housing ourselves in the beautifully modern Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center gives us an opportunity to serve all of Tacoma's visitors equally. We have a modern and open space that can still serve our visitors when we cannot staff it, but the building may still be open. The new location allowed us to really think about how we can mirror the feeling and sense of place that Tacoma provides, and we tried to represent that the best we could.

"Our new location of our Visitor Center allowed us to reimagine the visitors' experience when they are requesting information," he continued. "We tried to become more relevant (by) providing the necessary technology people expect and utilize."

Said technology includes touchscreen computers, recharging stations for cell phones and an upcoming campaign (#ask253) to engage with visitors in and outside the center.

"We're really looking to engage our visitors more fully," he said. "We want to not only have them look at coming to our Visitor Center as a necessity on their trip, but also take it one step beyond and ensure that we are engaging them to our website and through our social media platforms."

Celebration worthy, indeed.

Oh, but that's not all. Here's the promised aforementioned list from our friends at TRCVB (thanks guys)!

1. Tacoma has beer. Beer is good. Beer + Good + Tacoma = Awesome. In fact, our dear travel pundits consider us a "brewery scene." When you get to "scene" status, well, that's big time.

2. We all need to meet Cap'n Tom Drohan. He can spin a local maritime yarn or two while you enjoy an amazing "city by sea" perspective with Destiny Harbor Tours.

3. The Karpeles Library is the world's largest private holding of important original literature, science, religion, history and art manuscripts and documents. Calling all spies and nerds!

4. Look a shark in the eye, if you dare! You know you want to. Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium offers an eye-to-eye shark dive (uh-huh).

5. Play Poseidon Adventure: go dive and play with an octopus. Titlow Beach and Tacoma Narrows are a diver's paradise.

6. Feel all world-classy at Chambers Bay Properties: world class views, nature, activities and this lil' ole' golf course that just happens to be on the world stage in 2015 (hello, U.S. Open!).

7. Stand-up paddleboard isn't just for the tropical isles. Foss Waterway and Gig Harbor is a Northwest boarding playground. Take that, Hawaii!

8. Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad offers views of nature on steroids by old-timey train.

9. A horse is a horse of course, but tour on a horse (in the outrageously gorgeous Mt. Rainier region in the summer) and say, wow (of course).   

10. This alley should be no secret. Opera Alley, tucked away in Tacoma's Triangle district, offers public art, eateries, coffeehouses and other lovely tucked-away Tacoma goodness.

comments powered by Disqus

Site Search