Downtown Tacoma and the Museum District

Downtown Tacoma

Chihuly Bridge of GlassTacoma’s downtown is its “art and soul,” and the place where visitors can see for themselves why Tacoma is one of Forbes’ 13 Art Trips You Need to Take. You can wander amongst world-class museums, or just take in all the public art, which includes Dale Chihuly glass installations seemingly around every corner: on artistic pedestrian bridges, in federal courthouses, and even in library study rooms. Shoppers will find trendy boutiques, thrift shops and antique stores, while foodies have options that run the gamut from white linen to greasy spoon. And in downtown Tacoma, nearly everything is within easy walking distance, or a short ride on the Link Light Rail. Whatever your travel interest or style, there’s a part of downtown Tacoma that will be calling your name.

Things to do in downtown Tacoma

The Museum District

Tacoma Art Museum (TAM) in Tacoma, WashingtonSix world-class museums make up Tacoma’s Museum District, with subjects that span art, history, maritime and the automobile. Tacoma Art Museum’s focus on art of the American West, and work from Pacific Northwest artists. Museum of Glass not only showcases glass pieces from some of the biggest names in the field, it also contains a functioning hot shop, where visitors can watch glass artists ply their trade. America’s Car Museum is the largest car museum in North America, and takes visitors through every era of the automobile’s history via more than 300 collector vehicles on display. Washington State History Museum lets you meet the extraordinary people of Washington State through artifacts, interactive exhibitions and unique storytelling. The Children’s Museum of Tacoma is a pay-as-you-will experience that celebrates the power of play. The Foss Waterway Seaport Museum gives visitors a glimpse into Tacoma’s maritime past, present and future in a building that’s a part of that rich heritage.

Pacific Avenue

Pacific Avenue in downtown TacomaJust one afternoon stroll along Pacific Avenue and you’ll experience the city’s history while enjoying some of its most modern – and delicious – assets. Pacific Avenue is lined with restored, renovated and repurposed brick buildings from the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, most of which retain their original exposed brick walls, soaring ceilings and industrial atmosphere. It’s in these preserved buildings that Tacoma’s history comes to life. After a day at the museums, order wood-fired pizza from Zeek's in an 1890-built building that used to be an Italian grocery store. Sam Choy's Poke to the Max is an island treat, and Pho Thanks Brother is fresh Vietnamese cuisine worth stopping for. Shop for the latest fashions at Stocklist and the other clothing boutiques that are housed in an 1890-built grocery store. Try the city’s best Asian-fusion dishes at Indochine, in a building that in 1904 was a candy factory. Wander among five Chihuly art installations inside cavernous 1911-built Union Station that’s become a U.S. district court. 

The Theater District

Rialto Theater in TacomaThe Theater District in downtown Tacoma is a district where a visitor can get a front-row seat to history. When “Tacoma was literally staggering under a boom of the boomiest” (Rudyard Kipling, 1889), more than a dozen theaters – mostly vaudeville – opened in quick succession. Of those, the Pantages Theater and The Rialto – both opened in 1918, and both since restored and serving as premiere venues for music and theater – are the two that still remain, and they were joined in 1993 by Theater on the Square.  

Downtown Tacoma

Downtown waterfront

Tacoma's downtown core glides nicely onto the downtown waterfront, marked by Dock Street museums, and the esplanade, a beautiful waterfront walkway with access to dining, parks and picnic areas, and kayak and paddle board rentals. To get to the waterfront by foot from downtown, cross either the Bridge of Glass, or the Murray Morgan bridge on 11th street, and take the glass elevator to dock street. 

Antique Row

Antique Row Tacoma, WashingtonA unique standout in downtown Tacoma is a section of Broadway that has come to be known as Antiques Row, due to the half-dozen sprawling, multi-level antique stores that line the street. Savoy Special VintageSanford and Son, Tacoma Consignment, and Lily Pad Antiques are just a few of the stores where visitors can search for antiques, relics and forgotten treasures.

Brewery Blocks

Downtown Tacoma Brewery BlocksAdding to the energy of downtown Tacoma, the Brewery Blocks' name pays homage to the trade that historically gave the area its purpose, and it has become a hub for fun by the glass. Within just a few steps of one another, you'll imbibe the best of the Northwest, from Dancing Goats Coffee providing the caffeine, Camp Colvos Brewing & Pizza Co. slinging the suds and slices, Incline Cider keeping it crisp, and the Living Taproom boldly letter you pick and pour your poison.


Stay Downtown

It's not easy to see everything downtown Tacoma has to offer in just one day, but several hotels in downtown Tacoma make it easy to stay overnight and wake up refreshed and ready to start another day of experiences. 

Hotel Murano

Tacoma's glass-art boutique hotel features immaculate rooms, and glass art by a different world-renowned artist on each floor.

Downtown Itineraries

Glass City

Year-Round - Experience the city of glass without missing out on any of hidden treasures in this nexus of studio glass art.

Explore Museums

Year-round - From the country's largest car museum, to Museum of Glass: 6 museums all within a beautiful walk of each other

  • Brewery Blocks
  • (253) 292-1530

In 1988, before the Pacific Northwest became home to the coffeehouse boom, the first Dancing Goats® Coffee Bar opened in Olympia, Washington. Their vision was to produce “coffee without compromise.” Today, Dancing Goats Coffee can be found nationwide: at restaurants and coffee…

  • 1702 Pacific Avenue
  • (253) 272-4000

At Zeke's Pizza we pride ourselves on our delicious wood fired pizzas. Our toppings are handmade, organic and locally sourced. Stop in today!

  • 1934 Market Street
  • (253) 471-2960

We offer screen printing, embroidery, graphic design, and promotional products. Visit our downtown shop that offers many Tacoma-themed products produced in our own shop!

  • 709 Opera Aly
  • (253) 284-3722

Northwest European Cuisine in a atmosphere of understated elegance. Conveniently located in historic Opera Alley in downtown Tacoma.

  • 218 St Helens Ave
  • (253) 272-8801

King's Books is the largest used and new independent bookstore in the Tacoma area. We are a community-oriented bookstore with 5500 square feet and approximately 150,000 books.

  • 2119 Pacific Ave
  • (253) 272-1510

El Gaucho is a nostalgic intimate dining event -- enjoy tableside preparations of Caesar salad, chateaubriand and Bananas Foster paired with a selection from our extensive world-class wine list.

  • 909 Pacific Ave
  • (253) 572-2327

Blitz & Co Florist proudly serves Tacoma and Pierce County. We are family owned and operated. We are committed to offering only the finest floral arrangements and gifts, backed by service that is friendly and prompt. Because all of our customers are important, our…

  • 901 Broadway
  • (253) 573-2360

The Pantages, a beautiful historic theater seating 1,170 audience members, offers a lush performance experience and is home to: The Tacoma Opera Tacoma City Ballet Tacoma Philharmonic Tacoma Concert Band Tacoma Symphony

  • 1501 Pacific Avenue
  • (253) 627-6031

Admission to the Children's Museum of Tacoma is by donation only. This model is called as Pay As You Will and was created to provide access to playful spaces and experiences for all families. We believe play is the elemental component of children's learning. Our museum engages…

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The Chihuly Bridge of Glass is Tacoma's stunning link to the Thea Foss Waterway and the Museum of Glass. The 500 foot pedestrian bridge holds three amazing Chihuly glass installations, open to the public 24 hours a day . Linger at sunset on a date, and you'll see why its one of…

  • 739 1/2 St. Helens Ave
  • (253) 404-0273

Club Silverstone (known as the Stone to locals) is a gay bar in downtown Tacoma's theater district. Dancing every Friday and Saturday. Known for strong drinks and a diverse crowd. Happy hour daily 11am - 7pm... Club Silverstone hosts a number of events throughout the year. The…

  • 510 6th Ave
  • (253) 627-5070

Every day our talented bakers prepare a delightful assortment of sweets & savories. Here you'll find everything from irresistible scones and muffins to sumptuous pies, cheesecakes and couture wedding cakes. All made the old fashioned way; from scratch. We also have gluten…

  • 1515 Commerce St
  • (253) 591-9100

Upscale. Downtown. Located in the heart of Tacoma's financial and theater districts, this trendy hotel is just steps from the city's convention center, museums, popular restaurants and the University of Washington-Tacoma campus. Light Rail trams run from the hotel to attractions…

  • Inside Hotel Murano
  • (253) 227-8871

Creative Forces Gifts and Sundries is located inside the Hotel Murano but open to all! You will find ALL local artist's work: glass, pottery, paintings, prints, jewelry, textile work and photography. All one-of-a-kind and created by 28 local artisans. Inventory changes constantly…

  • 208 Saint Helens Ave
  • (253) 272-7468

We’re your local hangout that loves all things footy, whisk(e)y and serves up tasty eats and delicious drinks. Stop by anytime, we’re open 365.

  • 626 St. Helens Avenue
  • (253) 761-1889

Dwelling features vintage-style decor and furnishings with a flair for the unique and beautiful. Our designs emphasis the European tradition of quality and style.

  • 821 Dock St
  • (253) 272-4404

The Foss Harbor Marina is centrally located with easy access to downtown and museums. We offer moorage, fuel, storage and grocery. We have 408 slips, 96 storage lockers, a fuel dock and a marina store.  At the Foss Harbor Marina, we are proud & excited to be part of the…

  • 1125 Ct C
  • (253) 627-5319

Fujiya is Tacoma's original Sushi Restaurant located between 11th and 13th street on Broadway in Downtown Tacoma. Fujiya offers a hand selected assortment of fresh fish as well as other traditional and modern Japanese dishes. Aside from our well known sushi and sashimi, we offer…

  • 606 S Fawcett Ave
  • (253) 593-4474

The Grand Cinema is a nonprofit, art house cinema in downtown Tacoma, featuring the best independent, foreign, and documentary films. The theater is supported by its loyal patrons, volunteers, and members. Its mission is to enhance the cultural vitality of the community through…

  • 1924 Pacific Ave S
  • (253) 272-8200

Indochine is a feast for your senses nestled in the heart of a great Northwest cultural center, Tacoma. Walking into this innovative space is like walking into a piece of artwork. Textures of cherry, iron, fine drapery, brick, and brushed sheet steel are all architecturally…

  • 1701 Pacific Ave.
  • (253) 272-4258

Tacoma Art Museum (TAM) is an anchor in the city’s downtown and a gathering space for connecting people through art. TAM serves the diverse communities of the Northwest through its collection, exhibitions, and learning programs, emphasizing art and artists from the Northwest and…

  • 1801 Dock St
  • (253) 284-4750

All glass, all the time. Experience contemporary glass art in a breathtakingly beautiful museum on Tacoma's revitalized waterfront. Noted for its distinctive architecture, the massive 90-foot-tall stainless steel cone houses the world’s largest Hot Shop Amphitheater. Feel the…

  • 1552 Commerce Street, #100
  • (253) 274-8999

Two Koi japanese cuisine brings traditional and fusion dining to life. Jackie Young Koh, co-owner and Executive Chef, creates stylish dishes that compliment our warm and comfortable atmosphere. Offering everything from sushi and sashimi to kitchen entrees and delicious vegetarian…

  • 317 S 7th St
  • (253) 383-4777

Tacoma's Best Local Pizza Joint! Hand Tossed, Deep Dish & Gluten-Free Pizza, Pasta, Salads, Sandwiches, and more!

  • 1250 Pacific Ave.
  • (253) 383-2214

For more than a generation, families and friends have been coming to The Old Spaghetti Factories, located across the United States, to enjoy our delicious food, charming atmosphere and friendly service. We invite you to dine amidst fine antiques, collected from around the world…

  • 933 Market Street
  • (253) 282-7203

The Tacoma Comedy Club is the premier place to see professional stand-up comedy in Tacoma. Our beautiful showroom seats just fewer than 200 people, and features top-notch entertainers.

  • 2102 South C St.
  • (253) 272-2434

Just steps away from Tacoma's vast array of corporate centers, attractions, shops and restaurants, Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tacoma Downtown is located adjacent to the University of Washington Tacoma campus. Stay Smart with 163 guestrooms & suites and rates that include…

  • 1320 Broadway
  • (253) 238-8000

Hotel Murano, Tacoma's only full-service upscale hotel, is centrally located in downtown Tacoma, just blocks from the city's most fabulous restaurants, great shopping and of course, the city's esteemed museums, including the Tacoma Art Museum, the Museum of Glass, and the…

  • 2514 Holgate Street
  • (253) 779-0101

Glassblowing is the extreme sport of the art world. Area 253 offers beginning, intermediate and advanced glassblowing classes along with corporate/private parties, special events, one-on-one experiences, and private lessons with a professional glass artisan. Pricing starts at $65…

  • 114 S 23rd St
  • (253) 383-3499

We are ranked #1 on TripAdvisor Attractions for Tacoma, and for good reason! Come experience the magic of glassblowing at Tacoma Glassblowing Studio. See glass in its purest form, create it with the help of our instructors. See what it's like to be able to mold glass and create…

  • 628 St. Helens Avenue
  • (253) 426-1347

Enjoy old-world inspired wines and beers that tell a story. Add a hunk of aromatic cheese or cured meat to the equation and it's time to take a journey you will want to take again, and again.

  • 813 Pacific Avenue
  • (253) 572-3222

The Office Bar & Grill on Pacific Avenue will be your new favorite spot to enjoy a great time with friends and family! You must be 21+ to enter. We offer a wide selection of tap and bottled beer, a full bar of your favorite liquor and a taste-bud tantalizing menu. Where would you…

  • 705 Dock St
  • (253) 272-2750

The mission of the Foss Waterway Seaport is to celebrate Tacoma's rich maritime heritage past, present and future. Located on the waterfront in a century-old wooden wheat warehouse, built for cargo arriving by rail and departing by sail ("where rails met sails") during the early…

  • 919 Pacific Avenue
  • (253) 472-3738

The Tacoma Historical Society is a volunteer-supported non-profit organization, incorporated in the state of Washington, and dedicated to the preservation, promotion, and presentation of the history of the City of Tacoma and its people.

  • 940 Broadway
  • (253) 272-3377

Steph Farber, owner of LeRoy Jeweler's is not your everyday jeweler. He has won two Spectrum Awards, which are awarded by the American Gem Trade Association. Think of it as winning the Academy Awards for jewelry. If you are looking for custom works of art that will quickly become…

  • 2115 S C St
  • (253) 327-1923

Incline Cider House is a family-owned and operated tavern in downtown Tacoma. We offer a selection of 16 ciders on tap along with a rotating selection of beer and wine. Our goal is to share our passion for cider with all the fine folks who visit our bar. The PNW cider community…

  • 2104 Commerce St
  • (253) 314-5704

The Camp Colvos Brewing outpost in Tacoma features more than 18 beers on tap, spirits, hand-forged pizzas, and patio seating. The 2,800 square foot space features a stand-up granite bar running the length of the taproom that accommodates casual, pop-in diners as well as patrons…