Tacoma, Washington

We decided to brave a weekend getaway for New Year’s Eve this year. We figured, with a 7 month old hanging around we wouldn’t be heading out to party much anyway, so why not get out of town and do our partying during the day?

I tried to find a location that was new to us but not too far of a drive, since I was unsure of how well the little one would do in the car. Winter in the Wallowas looked pretty fantastic, but we balked at the 5+ hour drive in snow to Eastern Oregon. In the end we stayed closer and decided to head to Tacoma and Gig Harbor, in Washington.

Turns out, the trip was a bit of a mess. I thought we brought our entire apartment, but we still ended up forgetting things. Edda slept horribly (she wanted to party all.night.long.) During the day, we tried to cater to her every napping need, which resulted in mostly driving around the city, eating lunch, driving more, and never actually reaching our destination (the zoo). Very Kafka-esque. Then we drove home in a blizzard.

But I’m forgiving myself, because it was our first solo trip was a family of three, and it was still a good little adventure. Gig Harbor was absolutely gorgeous (more on that later), and while the day we spent in Tacoma was cooold, we still stopped at a few fun places.

Tacoma isn’t quite the destination that Seattle is, but it’s an upbeat city with plenty of charm. The Museum District and the Stadium District have a few gems, the waterfront has many opportunities for views, walks, and photo moments, and Point Defiance Park is a beautiful little spot of wilderness at the tip of a peninsula, with lots of attractions inside.

We spent plenty of time driving around, as noted, but we were also able to stop and take a lovely, chilly walk, eat a great meal, and explore Point Defiance by car. At least we learned a Lesson in Traveling with Baby: don’t put off doing something all day just so the baby can sleep. She’ll sleep when she’ll sleep. Have fun first. Next time we’re in town we’re going to the zoo right away!

What we Did:

Walked the Waterfront on Ruston Way: A long promenade along the water with parks, playgrounds, restaurants, and great views.

Ate at Dragon’s Crawfish: A former Vietnamese restaurant turned Cajun seafood boil, market fresh seafood gets doused in spices, dumped in a tin bowl and presented with bibs and hand wipes. Sop up the buttery sauce with the fresh-baked baguettes, and order with the traditional friends: corn on the cob, potatoes, and sausage links. 750 S 38th St

Point Defiance Park: A lush park on the tip of the peninsula. Inside is a zoo and aquarium, a fort, a rose garden, miles of trails, old-growth forest, and the ferry dock to Vashon Island. We meandered along the 5-mile drive loop (napping baby!), and pulled over to peek at some great views.

Museum of Glass: More here!


What we didn’t do, but should have/would have:

Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium: Boasting the only combined zoo and aquarium in the northwest, this zoo looked like a great place to pass a day. Next time!

Children’s Museum: With plenty of playrooms, we almost went here, but our little one looked just a touch too young to really enjoy.

Vashon Island: A 20 minute ferry ride away, the island beckoned, but we resisted this time. Seems like an excellent summer destination, maybe with a kid that’s old enough to enjoy a bike ride.

More food:

Soul Tacoma

Vostok Dumpling House

Indo Asian Street Eatery