4 Breathtaking Views You’ll Find in Tacoma

A striking picture of the bridges that cross the Tacoma Narrows.As a port city on the Puget Sound in Washington state, Tacoma is one of the most scenic cities in the United States. Here are some places to visit to see the most breathtaking views in Tacoma.

Point Defiance Park

Spread across 760 acres, Point Defiance Park is located at 5400 North Pearl St. in Tacoma. Drive through the evergreen forest along the inner loop of the 5-mile drive or, better yet, park your car and hike along the various trails winding through the wilderness. Along with breathtaking views of the Pacific, you may also see deer, raccoons, seals, and other wildlife.

Go down to the marina and relax on the beach, watch the waves rolling in, and enjoy the views of the Olympic mountains and Mount Rainer. Depending on the weather, you can rent kayaks, boats, and fishing kits at Owen Beach.

If you have children, they will enjoy the Fort Nisqually Living History Museum and the visitors center as well as the zoo and the aquarium. There are several picnic areas and a dog park. The delightful gardens include a Japanese garden, a rose garden, a rhododendron garden, a dahlia garden, and more.

Tacoma Narrows Bridge

The Tacoma Narrows Bridge is part of state Route 16 in Tacoma. The original bridge, built in 1940, collapsed dramatically only four months later, after being wind-whipped in a November storm. A new suspension bridge replaced it in 1950 and, in 2007, the authorities inaugurated a parallel bridge to the existing one that now carries the eastbound traffic.

You can drive, bike, run, or walk across the bridge. If you drive across it to Gig Harbor, you have to pay a toll on the way back. A better alternative is to park your car in the War Memorial Park and walk across along the bridge’s pedestrian pathway. Take your camera along because the views of the Puget Sound along the way are stupendous.

Browns Point Lighthouse Park

For a peaceful day on the waterfront, visit the 4.03-acre Browns Point Lighthouse Park at 201 Tulalip Street N.E. in Tacoma. There is a nice picnic area with tables that affords a grand view of the Puget Sound. If you bring your dog, there is a grassy area for a good run. Further down, you can lounge on the beach and catch a spectacular sunset. If you are lucky, you may also encounter seals. The present lighthouse looks like an art deco construction; the original one was made of wood and built in 1901. You can even stay at the Light Keeper’s cottage for a week if you sign up for a tour of duty.

Ruston Way Waterfront

No matter what the weather is like, you can count on exceptional views from the Ruston Way Waterfront. Spend a relaxed day watching people boating, sailing, kayaking, and parasailing on the Puget Sound. It is also a good place to see wildlife like crabs, sea otters, seals, bald eagles, herons, jellyfish, and other creatures. If you’re seeking more activity, there are walkways, piers, and beaches to explore.

You won’t run out of breathtaking views to photograph while in Tacoma. Visit all of these great locations to experience Tacoma’s many charms.


Tacoma Narrows Bridge(s)” via Flickr by kevin.madden. Used with permission via CC BY 2.0 / cropped from original