Ruston Way Waterfront
Minutes away from the downtown Museum District is Tacoma's Ruston Way Waterfront. Connecting downtown Tacoma to Point Defiance, this coastal road offers a 2 mile stretch of paved walking trail and scenic views of the South Puget Sound. With Mount Rainier to the West, the Olympic Mountain Range to the East and Commencement Bay, there's no better place to see seals playing in the surf or take an after-dinner stroll.
Old Town, the original site of the Tacoma settlement, has a charming historical downtown. Grab a cup of coffee before you hit the parks along Ruston Way, or stop for lunch at The Spar. The northern tip of Tacoma holds Point Defiance Park, the largest city park west of the Mississippi River. The 702-acre park features a zoo and aquarium, a rose garden, old growth forest, playgrounds, a scenic 5-mile drive, and a true northwest beach. Point Ruston, one of the newest neighborhoods along the waterfront is a lively, family-friendly destination featuring shopping, entertainment, and dining.
From spectacular waterfront dining to saltwater recreation, Ruston Way is the place to be on a sunny day in Tacoma.
Things to do near Ruston Way:
One of Tacoma's must-see's is Point Defiance Park. Spanning 702 acres, this is the largest city park west of the Mississippi River. Visit the only combined zoo and aquarium in the northwest, and see polar bears up close. Take the 5-mile drive through the natural beauty of an old-growth forest, or stop and smell the roses (and rhododendrons!) in the gardens. A true northwest beach experience awaits at Owen Beach, where you're almost guaranteed to see some playful harbor seals. Want to get out on the water? Rent a kayak and paddle into Commencement Bay!
Old Town invites you to stretch your legs along Ruston Way's 2-mile paved walking trail, stopping at the waterfront parks along the way. Learn about Tacoma's Old Town at the Job Carr Cabin Museum, or visit the Chinese Reconciliation Park to see beautiful and unique architecture, including Fuzhou Ting.
Point Ruston is a great family-destination. Kids will love playing in the splashground (check out other Pierce County spray parks here) or pedaling a surrey along the waterfront. Enjoy music with a view during their Summer Concert Series, or try waterfront ice skating at the Frozen Fountain in the winter.
Transportation to and throughout the Ruston Way Waterfront could not be more convenient, with Pierce Transit Runner service offering a car-free, no-parking-necessary way to access this splendid area of Tacoma.
Places to eat and drink
Fresh northwest seafood AND amazing waterfront views. Ruston Way is the place to be for waterfront dining. Duke's Chowder House is recognized for serving freshly caught seafood and serving up amazing bowls of chowder. Local tip: enjoy your meal al fresco and sit on the deck. Harbor Lights, Lobster Shop, and Katie Downs all offer fresh seafood with panoramic views. Find more waterfront dining options here.
Places to stay
It's all about the waterfront. The Silver Cloud Inn sits right along the Ruston Way waterfront, offering beautiful views from every room. Homestays and cabins like the Loft @ Commencement and the Old Town Cottage offer additional accommodations along Ruston Way, making a morning waterfront walk easily accessible.