Located about 30 miles southwest of Seattle you will find the urban port city of Tacoma. Being Washington’s second largest port it has become the center of international trade. Trade in Tacoma has deep history and reflects to the past when railways where first being laid. The city’s Commencement Bay served as the Port of Tacoma and the city motto, “When rails meet sails,” was derived. The city of Tacoma is rich in history and is home to the Washington State History Museum a place where you can see how the industries of trade formed the city into what it is today. The whole family can have fun walking through the history of the state as they visualize what they see today derive from its roots in Native American history in The Great Hall of Washington History. The hands on History Lab Learning Center give students an opportunity to get excited about history. Among the many engaging exhibits is an interactive “Transportation through time” that leaves you standing in a wagon on the Oregon Trail! The museum offers something for everyone and will always leave you wanting more.
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Being the home of famous glass artist Dale Chihuly it is no surprise why the city of Tacoma offers many attractions that would normally sound out of place. No visit to Tacoma would be complete without taking a stroll across the Chihuly Bridge of Glass, a 500 foot pedestrian pass way that can take you from downtown Tacoma to the Museum of Glass. Three distinct sections make up the bridge and each section displays pieces from various series of work Chihuly has created over the years. Starting downtown as you make your way across the bridge look up as you go under Seaform Pavilion the 20 by 50 foot ceiling is home to 2,364 glass pieces that give the illusion of an underwater glass world that hangs just above your head. Continuing down the bridge as you reach the center you will find the Crystal Towers which are home to 63 large crystals displayed in towers rising 40 feet in the air on either side of you. Lastly you will approach the Venetian Wall a collection of 109 of some of the largest glass-blown work currently known. The pieces vary from art deco to Japanese floral arrangements to 16th century figures of cupid. The Bridge of Glass may leave you wanting to see more of Chihuly’s works and as you leave the bridge you will find yourself at the entrance to the Museum of Glass home to many of Chihuly’s work as well as many others. Another attraction Tacoma is home to is the Tacoma Glass Blowing Studio where you can see if you have what it takes to become a glass blowing artist like Chihuly. Even though you would never think the two could go hand in hand the glass studio offers great classes for children so that the whole family can enjoy this once in a lifetime experience.