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Seattle Day Trip: Tacoma

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Just a half-hour away from Seattle and close to the airport, Tacoma is often overlooked, but has plenty of worthwhile attractions: a museum of glass, an antiques district, and a zoo. Here's how to make the most of your day in Tacoma.
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743 Broadway, Tacoma, WA 98402, USA
Sanford & Son may very well be the strangest antique mall you ever visit. It starts with the gun-wielding Terminator posing menacingly in front of a massive stained-glass panel just inside the entrance. Follow the twisting, turning aisles past the...
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2317 Ruston Way, Tacoma, WA 98402, USA
I love train travel in general. You see landscapes not accessible by car; rocky cliffs, the underside of bridges, the route to Hogwarts.
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754 Pacific Ave, Tacoma, WA 98402, USA
What’s even better than an arcade? An arcade that serves beer, wine, and cider while you play. Dorky’s Arcade features a selection of local brews and hard cider for reasonable prices; get your hand stamped to prove you’re over 21, and you can...
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1801 Dock St, Tacoma, WA 98402, USA
The Museum of Glass is in Tacoma, about a half-hour away from Seattle, and it's well worth the trip for art glass enthusiasts. The permanent collection includes some Chihuly pieces, work by 20th and 21st-century artists, and a charming collection...
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5400 N Pearl St, Tacoma, WA 98407, USA
Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo is deservedly famous, but there's another great zoo just a short drive away: Tacoma's Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. Plan to spend a full day here, because there's plenty to see. Zoo highlights include the new...
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1111 S 11th St, Tacoma, WA 98405, USA
Don’t be put off by the sketchy, dive-bar appearance of Peterson Brothers, aka Eleven Eleven (it’s at 1111 S. 11th St.). The soups, salads, and sandwiches at this little place are seriously amazing, especially the ones served on asiago bread, like...
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746 Broadway, Tacoma, WA 98402, USA
“It’s a disaster,” the owner will laughingly warn you as you walk in, and she’s right about one thing: it’s seriously crowded in Lick’s Antique Mall. Once you edge down the narrow aisle of the entryway, things open up a bit, and you can see into...
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748 Broadway, Tacoma, WA 98402, USA
Another stop on Tacoma’s antiques row, Shepard House has lots of kitchen-themed antiques, like the rack full of vintage spice tins shown here. There’s also a fine collection of vintage cookbooks from decades past; the best are the promotional ones...
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1716 6th Ave, Tacoma, WA 98405, USA
It’s simply not possible to walk away from Southern Kitchen hungry; you’re much more likely to walk away carrying a doggie bag packed full of fried chicken, red beans and rice, and mashed potatoes. This little corner cafe is always humming with...
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2520 N Proctor St, Tacoma, WA 98406, USA
Shoppers who love Goodwill’s “black label” better-brands department will love the idea behind Blue, Tacoma Goodwill’s boutique store: it’s a curated collection of higher-end clothing, shoes, and housewares, nicely arranged and displayed in a...
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756 Broadway, Tacoma, WA 98402, USA
Vintage toy and comic collectors will find an eyeful at Lily Pad Antiques, a little shop packed to the gills with all kinds of collectible action figures, toys, figurines, cards, promotional glassware, vintage metal signs, and other memorabilia....
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746 Broadway, Tacoma, WA 98402, USA
“Couture” may not be a word you see much in Tacoma, but owner Tina London aims to change that with her vintage and consignment boutique, London Couture. They carry vintage designer pieces, contemporary clothing and formal dresses, plus handbags,...
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901 Broadway, Tacoma, WA 98402, USA
Tacoma’s Pantages Theater is rich with history. The block currently occupied by the Pantages was once the site of a saloon, Tacoma's first library, and Tacoma's first department store. In the early 1900s, Greek immigrant Alexander Pantages and his...
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742 Broadway, Tacoma, WA 98402, USA
Antique stores in Tacoma run the gamut from tiny storefronts with a few dusty taxidermy mounts to multi-level mega-stores with more glass cases than a department store. Broadway’s Best Antiques is a sprawling superstore with a specialty in neon...
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628 St Helens Ave, Tacoma, WA 98402, USA
Despite their in-your-face name, Stink is actually a friendly, welcoming neighborhood sandwich shop — they just want you to know they’re serious about the meaty, savory intensities of flavor that make for solidly enjoyable, European-style food and...
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743 Broadway, Tacoma, WA 98402, USA
One of the pop-up shops located inside Sanford & Son’s antique mall, Blue Gate Consignment is a new store carrying mostly women’s clothing, shoes, and accessories. The inventory leans toward formal and partywear — lots of velvet, sequins, and...
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Seattleites can admittedly get a little snooty about the shopping in Tacoma, but Dwelling is a home-goods boutique as cute as any you’d find in Seattle. You’ll find Kobo luxury candles, Tokyomilk fragrance and bath products, plus a charming...
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606 Fawcett Ave, Tacoma, WA 98402, USA
Tacoma’s Grand Cinema is a nonprofit art-house theater whose mission is to enhance the community’s cultural vitality through film. That means indie and art films, “Science on Screen” presentations pairing science documentaries with live speakers,...
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218 St Helens Ave, Tacoma, WA 98402, USA
A Tacoma institution, King’s Books carries new and used books and specializes in local-interest books about the Northwest region. It’s also home to two resident cats, Miko and Atticus, who complete the cozy bookstore experience....
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3121 S 38th St, Tacoma, WA 98409, USA
Tacoma’s main Goodwill store is surprisingly big, so allow yourself enough time to browse through the housewares, books, and art, as well as the men’s and women’s clothing and shoes. During October, they have a large costume boutique that includes...