3 Insider Haunts in Tacoma

A beautiful view from Point Defiance Park.Tacoma isn’t without its share of popular hangout spots like Parkway Tavern and Bertolino’s Espresso Bar, which garner crowds thanks to their casual settings and tasty drink menus. Meanwhile, the city’s large urban park beckons visitors for a fun and nature-filled day outdoors. Looking for your next Tacoma hotspot? Here’s a guide to three of the best, and one that might just leave you spooked!

Parkway Tavern

This popular joint has been in business since 1935 and offers an astounding 33 draft selections with both local and regional craft beers on tap. Parkway Tavern is located right in the heart of the historic Stadium District, yet it boasts plenty of modern allure for college students, tourists, and devoted regulars.

Lining the walls are unique photos and newspaper clippings that highlight the history of Tacoma, while the ceiling is adorned with a vintage tap handle collection commemorating Parkway Tavern’s diverse drink selection. You can also dine on appetizers, soups and salads, burgers, hot sandwiches, or sliders and follow up with a thrilling game of darts, pool, and shuffleboard while mingling among locals.

Don’t forget to stop by for weekly events like Monday Randall Nights to sample the finest recent beer acquisitions or Friday Cider Nights where non-beer-drinking guests can saddle up to the bar for a special cider pick.

Point Defiance Park

Point Defiance Park is a popular outdoor retreat for bikers, joggers, hikers, photographers, and nature sightseers. In fact, it hosts unique walking trails, a zoo and aquarium, eight majestic gardens, and plenty of outdoor space for picnics and family outings.

Locals also enjoy taking a trip through the park’s Five Mile Drive and Pagoda. Both are perfect for taking in the sights surrounding the park, while the latter also serves as a lovely modern venue for weddings and special ceremonies.

Bertolino’s Espresso Bar

Coffee connoisseurs are sure to love the drink selections at Bertolino’s Espresso Bar. This 24-hour business has been serving customers since 1994 and offers a menu adorned with espressos, cappuccinos, Americanos, chai and loose-leaf teas, and hot chocolate.

It also sells fruit smoothies, Italian sodas, and baked sweets. With drinks and snacks on hand, family-owned Bertolino’s makes the perfect stop for your next coffee pick-me-up and cozy hangout venue.

Bonus: Old Tacoma City Hall

The Old Tacoma City Hall has plenty of historic charm, having nabbed a spot on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. However, it’s included on this list not for its historic structure but because it’s a different kind of haunt.

Tenants from past to present have reported incidents like flickering lights, slamming doors, unexpected ringing of the tower bells, intruder and fire alarms going off, and elevators going up and down with no one inside.

These strange and unusual happenings have turned this building into a local haunt, though that certainly hasn’t stopped the city from wanting to fund a development project to turn it into a hub for future businesses, retail shops, and eateries.

There are plenty of popular spots in Tacoma that beckon youngsters and adults alike. From insider haunts that serve up the best liquid refreshments to an actual haunted establishment guaranteed to give you goosebumps, there’s no shortage of exciting places worth exploring in Tacoma.


Point Defiance Park” via Flickr by homini. Used with permission via CC BY 2.0 / cropped from original