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Point Defiance Park is Tacoma's 702-acre jewel, which is home to the acclaimed Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, which is the only combined zoo and aquarium in the Northwest.
Most of the zoo's animal residents are native to the Pacific Rim. Enjoy the 5-acre Asian Forest Sanctuary, a lush habitat for its denizens, which include Sumatran tigers, clouded leopards, siamangs and Asian elephants. The Rocky Shores habitat is home to seals, walruses, otters and puffins. The Arctic Tundra exhibit features such cold weather-loving mammals as polar bears, reindeer and musk oxen, a shaggy-haired, formidably horned relative of sheep and goats that is native to the Arctic areas of Canada and Greenland.
The North Pacific Aquarium showcases the myriad marine creatures that inhabit Puget Sound, including sea horses. The South Pacific Aquarium displays tropical fish and sharks. Kids' Zone is a play area for children that has animals from around the world.
Visitors to Point Defiance Park may also experience life set in the Washington Territory during the 1850's fur trade era at the Fort Nisqually Living History Museum.
Located on the western side of Point Defiance Park, the Fort is a restoration of the Hudson's Bay Company outpost on Puget Sound. Interpreters in period dress are on site to interact with visitors. Nine buildings are open to the public, including the Granary and the Factors House, both National Historic Landmarks, and a Visitor Center with Museum Store.
Park visitors may also enjoy formal gardens, forested hiking trails, a marina with boat rentals and launch facilities, a waterfront promenade, saltwater beaches, and countless other countless recreational opportunities.