Being the birthplace of glassblowing legend Dale Chihuly, Tacoma is most closely identified with its ubiquitous glass art. The Seattle-Tacoma region now has more glassblowers than Murano, Italy, once considered the world’s capital of the art form during the Renaissance.
The crown jewel is the Museum of Glass whose silver cone-shaped hot-shop tower has dominated the city’s refurbished waterfront since 2002, providing a year-round rotating exhibition of world-class glass objects, open daily during summer and Wednesday through Sunday the rest of the year.
For those who want to get up-close and personal with a working glass furnace, Area 253 Glassblowing offers a series of glassblowing classes from beginner to expert level. A few blocks away, the Tacoma Glassblowing Studio is divided into a retail store, displaying the wares of several local glass artists, and a fully functional hot shop, operating every day except Monday. Visitors are welcome to tour the hot shop and even help make customized pieces.