This article will show you all the free things to do in Tacoma so you can have a great time without spending any money. Tacoma, Washington, is often overshadowed by its busy neighbour, Seattle, but this charming city has a lot to offer, especially if you’re on a budget.
Best Free Things to Do in Tacoma
From picturesque parks to captivating cultural experiences, there are free things to do in Tacoma that will leave you with lasting memories.
Discover Tacoma’s Waterfront
1. Ruston Way Waterfront
Start your trip to Tacoma by taking a slow walk along the Ruston Way Waterfront. This beautiful path has stunning views of Commencement Bay, with Mount Rainier standing tall in the background. It’s a great place to walk, jog, or even have a picnic. This is one of the best free things to do in Tacoma any time of year because the fresh sea breeze will wake you up.
2. Point Defiance Park
Point Defiance Park is one of the country’s biggest urban parks. It has beautiful beaches, lush forests, and beautiful gardens. Take a walk through the old-growth forest, go to the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, or just relax on Owen Beach. Point Defiance Park is a hidden gem because it is beautiful and doesn’t cost anything to get in.
Immerse Yourself in Tacoma’s Art Scene
3. Tacoma Art Museum
On the third Thursday of every month, people who like art can get into the Tacoma Art Museum for free. Explore a wide range of great American and regional works of art. It’s a great way to learn about Tacoma’s art history without spending a lot of money.
4. Museum of Glass Bridge of Glass
While you’re downtown, don’t miss the Museum of Glass and the Bridge of Glass. This iconic pedestrian bridge showcases dazzling glass art installations. It’s a visual treat, and you can admire it without spending a dime.
Tacoma’s Historic and Cultural Charm
5. Walk Along Antique Row
Stroll along Antique Row on Broadway Street, where you’ll find an array of antique shops and boutiques. Even if you don’t intend to buy anything, exploring these unique stores is like stepping back in time.
6. Chinese Reconciliation Park
Tacoma’s history is rich and diverse, and the Chinese Reconciliation Park is a testament to that. This park is a symbol of healing and unity, and it’s a serene place to reflect on the city’s past.
Enjoy Nature and Outdoor Activities
7. Titlow Park
Titlow Park is a haven for birdwatchers and nature lovers. Walk along the trails, and you might spot herons, eagles, and seals. It’s a fantastic spot for taking in the beauty of Puget Sound.
8. Five Mile Drive
Take a scenic drive through Point Defiance Park’s Five Mile Drive. You’ll be treated to panoramic views of the surrounding waters and forests. Be sure to stop at the various viewpoints along the way for some incredible photo opportunities.
Savour Tacoma’s Food Scene
9. Tacoma Farmers Market
If you happen to visit Tacoma on a Sunday, don’t miss the Tacoma Farmers Market. Explore local produce, artisanal goods, and delectable street food. It’s a delightful way to experience the city’s culinary offerings.
10. Freighthouse Square
Freighthouse Square is a historic building that houses an eclectic mix of shops and eateries. Even if you’re not shopping, it’s a fun place to wander around and soak in the vibrant atmosphere.
Explore Tacoma’s Street Art
11. Tacoma’s Murals
Tacoma boasts an impressive collection of street art and murals. Take a self-guided tour to discover these colourful creations that adorn the city’s walls. It’s a unique way to experience Tacoma’s creative spirit.
Embrace Tacoma’s Hidden Treasures
12. Fern Hill Park
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city at Fern Hill Park. This tranquil green space features walking trails, a playground, and open fields perfect for a game of frisbee or a family picnic.
13. Wright Park
Wright Park is an urban oasis with a stunning Victorian-era conservatory. Stroll through the botanical gardens and admire the seasonal flower displays. It’s a serene escape right in the heart of Tacoma.
Tacoma’s Free Events
14. Summer Concerts in the Park
During the summer months, Tacoma hosts free outdoor concerts in various parks. Check the city’s event calendar for upcoming performances and enjoy live music under the stars.
15. Ethnic Festivals
Throughout the year, Tacoma celebrates its diverse culture with various ethnic festivals. These events often feature free entertainment, food tastings, and cultural performances.
Tacoma, often overshadowed by its bigger sibling to the north, Seattle, has a wealth of free activities and hidden gems waiting to be discovered. From waterfront walks to cultural experiences and natural wonders, this city has something for everyone, no matter your budget. So, next time you find yourself in Tacoma, remember that adventure doesn’t have to come with a price tag.
All these free things to do in Tacoma if you plan to visit this beautiful place.
1. What are some other free attractions in Tacoma?
Tacoma also offers free admission to the Washington State History Museum on the third Thursday of each month and the LeMay – America’s Car Museum on the fourth Saturday of the month.
2. Are there any free guided tours in Tacoma?
Yes, you can join the Tacoma Historical Society’s walking tours, which are often free or offered at a nominal cost.
3. Is parking free at Point Defiance Park?
While there is a parking fee during peak season, you can find free parking spots along Five Mile Drive, and some street parking is available as well.
4. What is the best time to visit Titlow Park for birdwatching?
Early mornings or late afternoons are the best times to visit Titlow Park for birdwatching, as you’ll have a higher chance of spotting various bird species.
5. How can I stay updated on Tacoma’s free events and festivals?
You can stay informed about Tacoma’s free events and festivals by checking the official city website or following local event listings and social media pages.