Gardens of Tacoma + Pierce County

Itinerary Suggested Season: Spring-Summer

Day 1: Spring is in the air and there is no better time to get out and visit the magnificent gardens of Tacoma + Pierce County, Washington! Fuel up with a complimentary breakfast at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites - Sumner, then begin your tour at Chase Gardens and enjoy the gorgeous scenery of the Orting Valley and Mount Rainier. With more than four-and-a-half acres of gardens to view, it's easy to get lost in the native Pacific Northwest plants, Douglas fir trees and Japanese-inspired ponds. Make sure to view the meadow of rock garden plants and you'll feel as if you were transported to the tranquil wildflower fields of Mount Rainier National Park.

A short 10-minute drive from Chase Gardens, our next stop is The Old Goat Farm, where you can interact with dozens of animals, including goats, turkeys and peacocks. Stroll through the nursery and take home your favorite flowers and plants for your own garden.

For lunch we will make our way back to Sumner and dine at Windmill Bistro. Tucked into a large garden shop and nursery, Windmill Bistro offers a unique culinary experience in a relaxing and beautiful setting. Try the Northwest Clam Chowder or the Dungeness Crab Melt for a taste of true Northwest cuisine.

Spend your afternoon strolling charming Main Street Sumner and grab a coffee and a slice of pie at a local cafe or hunt for treasures at any of the boutiques or antique shops. Sumner is known as the "Rhubarb Pie Capital" and they live up to the name. Stop in any cafe and make sure to try a slice of their homemade rhubarb pie or a rhubarb shake at Main Street Dairy Freeze!

For dinner we'll dine at Farelli's Wood Fire Pizza in Sumner. This regional pizza chain is a favorite in the Pacific Northwest for their distinctive pizzas and great selection of Northwest beer!

Day 2: Today we will begin our day by visiting Lakewold Gardens located on beautiful Gravelly Lake in Lakewold Gardens in Lakewood, WALakewood, Wash. This 10-acre garden is a charm and boasts nearly 900 rhododendrons each year in addition to 30 Japanese maples and a variety of Champion trees, which signify they are the largest known specie of tree.

As we begin to make our way to Tacoma, we'll stop for lunch at a favorite South Sound restaurant, Adriatic Grill. This Italian restaurant and wine bar has won numerous awards throughout Puget Sound for best chef and restaurant over the years, enjoy!

Following lunch we will be heading into Tacoma's Stadium District to visit the W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory located in Wright Park. The conservatory has more than 250 individual plant species, including more than 200 orchids and between 300-500 blooming plants during all four seasons. It's easy to see why the conservatory was voted "Best Place to Relax" in Tacoma by readers of the Tacoma Weekly.

Our final stop takes us to Point Defiance Park to view their variety of gardens. There are three gardens to visit at Point Defiance Park including a Japanese Garden, a Rose Garden and a Northwest Native Garden to offer visitors a wide variety of garden experiences.

Before we travel back to Sumner for the evening we will enjoy a waterfront dining experience at C.I. Shenanigans. Specializing in traditional Pacific Northwest cuisine, the freshly caught seafood dishes are a must. Pair your meal with a local microbrew or Washington wine, cheers!