Whether you are an actual resident of the Pacific Northwest, or more of an honorary resident and local at heart, it’s time to take advantage of the beautiful South Sound!

Many of us use the new year as an opportunity to clean up our acts and realign with the bigger picture. Whether you’ve forgotten the taste of broccoli or can’t remember the last time you used your gym membership, we’re all guilty of getting into ruts. You might ask, “What about it, Visit Tacoma-Pierce County?” Good question.

With the start of a new year, we have the audacity to ask you to set one more resolution: in 2024, we challenge you to take better advantage of the Pacific Northwest. Whether you live in the upper left, or simply love to visit, it’s time to bring mindfulness and a sense of adventure to your travels. Check out these 5 ruts as inspiration for your own Pacific Northwest resolution!

Tacoma corner of building city

Rut #1: You visit the same towns.

Resolution: I will explore new places in the South Sound.

Do you have that town you always visit on weekend day trips? Or maybe an annual trip to the same town near Mount Rainier? You might visit on comfortable autopilot, going to the same restaurants and shops without much thought. We can also be guilty of indulging our favorites at times, but whenever we venture outside of the usual, we fall in love all over again. You never know what you might be missing if you don’t explore! Expand your horizons and experience new things this year by visiting different towns in Pierce County.

Tools to help:

Visit our Regions page and start browsing!

hiking trees pacific northwest

Rut #2: You take the same hike.

Resolution: I will add some new hikes into my rotation.

Here in the South Sound, we enjoy easy access to absolutely gorgeous hikes. Once you grab your hiking shoes and water bottle, do you automatically drive to the same trail access point that you always do? Taking just one hike is like eating only one dish at a buffet; a waste of an opportunity (and kind of boring, if we’re honest). Let 2024 be the year of finding some new favorite hikes!

Tools to help:

Round-up of Dog-friendly hikes, Tacoma and Pierce County Parks, or search our site for specific hikes you might have heard of, such as Christine Falls.

coffee pacific northwest

Rut #3: You’re set in your coffee ways.

Resolution: I will take advantage of Pacific Northwest coffee.

Especially in the cold dark and gloom of winter, we reach reflexively for our favorite cup of coffee the moment our eyes blink awake in the morning. If you can’t remember the last time you tried a new cafe or visited a new coffee roaster one town over, we challenge you to get out there and start tasting. Whether you bring a new bag of beans home with you, or have your favorite drink made expertly before your eyes by a new barista, we think you’ll enjoy the results of this extra effort. There’s simply too much amazing coffee in the Pacific Northwest to permanently settle on just one source!

Tools to help:

Why not start with the best? Check out our round-up of Top Coffee Spots in Tacoma and the South Sound.

hotel door opening

Rut #4: You cram it into a day trip instead of staying the night.

Resolution: I will get the most out of my trips.

Are you a creature of habit? It can be tempting to head home before nightfall, climb in your own bed, and bask in the familiar—but you might be ending the trip before it gets truly magical. There’s something about waking up in a new place that makes you appreciate the new scenery, and forces you to break routines. You might speak with an interesting stranger in the hotel lobby, try a new cafe with a drink so delicious that you change your usual coffee order, or see Mount Rainier so close and from a startling new angle. With the wonderful hotel options in the South Sound, even the hotel stay could be a pleasure in itself. You know you're on a real vacation when the experience doesn't end when you return to your lodging at the end of a busy day.

Tools to help:

Visit our Hotels page where you can specify any amenities you’re looking for, such as an indoor pool or complimentary breakfast.

mount rainier view

Rut #5: You’ve seen it years ago and haven’t been back since. 

Resolution: I will revisit places in the South Sound to see how they have changed.

Tacoma’s Museum District. Puyallup farms. The quaint mountain towns on the way to Rainier. Seen it already? When? We’re guessing you’ve changed in the past several years, and the same goes for local attractions and the towns themselves. Pay a visit to the places you haven’t been for awhile and see how they’ve grown, what’s new, and maybe even find a new favorite along the way.

Tools to help:

Check out our itineraries for a mix of restaurants, activities, and lodging in towns throughout Pierce County.

Ready to reinvigorate your appreciation for Pierce County? Be the Pacific Northwest citizen you want to see in the world, and you might be surprised what it does for you personally.