Explore Downtown Tacoma

Chihuly Glass at the Tacoma Glass Museum.Home to just over 210,000 residents, Tacoma is the third-largest city in Washington. However, it leads the state in having the most awesome downtown. Packed with culture, shopping, dining, nightlife, and other attractions, downtown Tacoma is always a happening spot.

Museum District

Six world-class museums highlight the cultural offerings in downtown Tacoma, covering topics that range from history to art to transportation. Perhaps the most intriguing of these institutions is the Tacoma Museum of Glass, the only museum of its kind west of the Mississippi River. You can walk across the Chihuly Bridge to make getting there a special treat.

Other outstanding museums include the LeMay America’s Car Museum, which features over 250 automobiles dating back 100 years; the Tacoma Art Museum; the Washington State History Museum; the Children’s Museum of Tacoma; and the Foss Waterway Seaport Museum. Regardless of your interests, you’ll find something that gets your brain going in the Museum District.


If talking about your favorite role-playing video game, a pinball game or bubble hockey prowess has caused you to lose a love interest, Dorky’s is the place for you. Located at 754 Pacific Ave., Dorky’s has over 60 stand-up arcade games, 27 pinball machines, and a variety of other games to tickle your inner nerd. Throughout the week, they also have arcade game tournaments and flat-rate, play-all-you-want days.

In addition, Dorky’s stocks over 100 bottled beers ranging from the ubiquitous Pabst Blue Ribbon to some of the region’s top craft brews. Dorky’s is open from 3 p.m. to midnight Tuesdays through Thursdays, 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Fridays, 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturdays and noon to midnight on Sundays. If you want to save a princess, defeat the aliens, or hoist a championship trophy, this is the place to do it.

Steel Creek American Whiskey Co.

You might be over 2,400 miles from Nashville, but you can do a boot-scootin’ boogie any time you like at Steel Creek American Whiskey Co. As Tacoma’s premier country bar and line-dancing establishment, Steel Creek keeps the country hits and 100-plus whiskeys rolling throughout the evening. If you’ve never been country line dancing before, don’t fret. Steel Creek offers line dancing lessons throughout the week to get you up to speed.

Although the whiskey and line dancing may be their biggest draws, don’t miss out on Steel Creek’s amazing dinner menu, which features hand-cut steaks, juicy burgers, and their famous lobster mac and cheese. Located at 1114 Broadway, Steel Creek is open 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, and 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturdays.

Although it may sit in the shadow of Seattle, Tacoma’s downtown area doesn’t back down in terms of amenities and attractions. Whether you want to enlighten your mind at a museum, grab a craft beer and a video game, or enjoy a four-star dining experience, you can do it all in downtown Tacoma.


Chihuly Glass, Bridge of Glass Tacoma” via Flickr by amanderson2. Used with permission via CC BY 2.0 / cropped from original

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