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Summer Activities

This summer, take advantage of the summer activities that are only available to us here in the 253


Tacoma Summer Activities

By Rachel Kelly

Last Call!

Keep your eyes open at these parks for the last of the gray and humpback whales.

  • Dalco Passage Overlook at Point Defiance Park: 5400 N. Pearl St., Tacoma Wa 98407

  • Pioneer Orchard Park: Commercial St. & Wilkes St., Steilacoom, WA 98388

Let this summer in the 253 be the year of the great outdoors! Tacoma and the surrounding areas are truly a center for outdoor summer activities. For climbing there are two inner city climbing gyms (Edgeworks and Climb Tacoma) that can direct visitors and locals alike to the best summer climbing locations. For inner-city hiking and exploration, Point Defiance Park has it all. For birdwatching, head south to the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. Try out parasailing with Pacific Parasail in Tacoma, or rent a bike through Wheel Fun Rentals on Ruston and explore the paved waterfront on a family sized bike. There truly is something for everyone — kids and adults alike!

Tour the Local Sights!

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream!

  • Bliss Small Batch Creamery: 3556 Market Place West, University Place

  • Berry Dock Ice Cream: 1203 Rainier St., Steilacoom

  • T-Town Cafe: 8515 S. Tacoma Way, Tacoma

  • Ice Cream Social: 2521 N. Proctor St., Tacoma

Plan a Day Trip

Dash Point State Park is technically within Tacoma city grounds, but you wouldn’t know it by its sprawling forest and as-far-as-the-eye-can-see water views (and sand!). Just over a mile across the harbor, it would seem to be close by. But getting there by land requires all kinds of bridge crossings and windy roads, you’ll feel worlds away by the time you arrive. Camping reservations can be made at

Best Places to Beat the Heat

• For Waterpark Vibes: Stewart Heights Pool - 5715 Reginald Gutierrez Ln., Tacoma

• For Sand and Sun: Sunnyside Beach - 2509 Chambers Creek Rd., Steilacoom

• For All-Day Beach Exploration: Owens Beach at Point Defiance - 5400 N. Pearl St., Tacoma

There are many ways to beat the heat, and local spray grounds are some of the best. Often right next to other family activities, a spray ground can easily become a picnic with the kids and day of fun. Or, it can simply be a drop in and play spot, then home in time for nap. For info on local spray parks, check out

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