Last weekend on my visit to Seattle, I took side trip to the smaller city to the south, Tacoma, where I had never been before. I was pleasantly surprised to find Tacoma to be a vibrant city with a lot going on including a very happening arts and theater scene.  Of course it helped that I was there the weekend of the 23d Annual Tacoma Maritime Festival, which over took the city’s restored historic waterfront and was great fun.

I was pleased to find some great museums in the city including the very cool Museum of Glass and the surprising Tacoma Art Museum. Here are just a few of the museums that make Tacoma a perfect side trip from Seattle:

The Museum of Glass

tac1The Museum of Glass: “The Museum was envisioned as a center that would nurture artists, celebrate the dramatic new Studio Glass movement and encourage creativity.  This vision is realized through the exhibitions in the galleries, the art installations on the outdoor plazas, the hands-on art studio, and the Museum’s diverse educational programs, as well as the Hot Shop. Today, the Museum’s stainless steel cone serves as a beacon to a stunning contemporary art museum as well as a symbol for the restoration of a waterway and the revitalization of a city.”

The Museum of Glass is located at 1801 Dock Street in Tacoma, WA.

Tacoma Art Museum

tac2Tacoma Art Museum: “Tacoma Art Museum is a public-spirited institution with nationally recognized exhibitions and innovative educational programs. Named by USA Today as one of the “Top 10 Great Places to See Art in Smaller Cities,” the museum has developed a reputation for presenting art in a thought-provoking yet accessible manner with a strong commitment to Northwest art through its acquisition and exhibition programs. Founded in 1935, the museum has strong roots in the community and anchors Tacoma’s lively downtown university and museum district.”

Tacoma Art Museum is located at 1701 Pacific Avenue in Tacoma, WA.

America’s Car Museum

tac3America’s Car Museum: “America’s Car Museum (ACM) is an educational institution dedicated to preserve and interpret the history and technology of the automobile and its influence on American culture. The Museum displays vehicles donated from the founding LeMay Collection and acquires, preserves and interprets additional vehicles and artifacts which enable it to promote America’s automotive heritage. ACM is committed to its educational charter and education programs abound for young and old, enthusiast and general public to explore broad themes of American mobility and lifestyle in an instructive and entertaining manner.”

America’s Car Museum is located at 2702 East D Street in Tacoma, WA.

Washington State History Museum

tac4Washington State History Museum: “The Washington State History Museum is where fascination and FUN come together! People of all ages can explore and be entertained in an environment where characters from Washington’s past speak about their lives. Through interactive exhibits, theatrical storytelling, high-tech displays and dramatic artifacts, learn about our state’s unique people and places, as well as their impact on the country and the world.”

Washington State History Museum is located at 1911 Pacific Avenue in Tacoma, WA.