Point Defiance Park is Tacoma's 760-acre jewel, which is home to the acclaimed Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, which is the only combined zoo and aquarium in the Northwest.
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
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 new Pacific Seas Aquarium features green sea turtles, hammerhead sharks, eagle rays and a host of other Puget Sound and warm-water creatures. The South Pacific Aquarium is home to 16 sharks, plus a tropical fish lagoon and touchable stingrays. Kids' Zone is a play area for children that has animals from around the world.
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.
There are five locations within Point Defiance Park to enjoy and rent picnic facilities:
Fort Nisqually Site - surrounded by large old growth forest, this is a favorite group picnic spot! Located near Fort Nisqually but not inside the Fort.
Gig Harbor Viewpoint Site - nestled in the midst of trees, this picnic site offers a picturesque viewpoint of Gig Harbor.
Owen Beach Site - this popular site is located on the beach! Ideal spot for large gatherings. Has a waterfront promenade, large grass area, wooded trails and food concessions.
Main Site - located on a wooded bluff overlooking the Boathouse Marina and Commencement Bay. Large play structure with swings available for use on site. Located near various gardens and Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.
For more information on picnic facility rentals, please utilize this page: www.metroparkstacoma.org/picnic