Tacoma, WA

Those of you that follow us on Instagram, already know that last week, we spent some time in our Pacific Northwest neighbor state of Washington. We have always loved Washington, but haven’t spent much time outside of Seattle (one of our favorite US cities—we have a lot of special memories there) or Spokane (shoutout to our Spokane family!!!) So when Travel Tacoma and Visit Mt. Rainier invited us out to get the VIP experience of Tacoma, Gig Harbor, and Mt. Rainier, we obviously said yes! This trip was different from any other trip we’ve been on together because not only were we with our trusty guides/hosts the whole time, but we were also traveling as a group, with three other photographers, bloggers, and Instagrammers. Yes, "Instagrammer" is an actual thing now.

The short four day trip was packed FULL of activities, meant to show us the best restaurants, tourist attractions, views, etc. in the area. So, we thought we’d share with you what we thought were the best-of-the-best.

Our first night was spent getting to know the people in the rest of the group, and walking around the downtown and waterfront area. We ate dinner at Harmon Taproom and got cupcakes at Hello Cupcake.

We stayed at the stunning and artsy Hotel Murano, which we will review in a couple days, but the short version is: yes, we recommend it.

We woke up early the next morning and set out for Gig Harbor. Gig Harbor basically a bridge away from Tacoma but it’s the cutest little waterfront village, loaded with character. It has adorable houses and shops and views of Mt. Rainier. I felt like I was living in a Hallmark movie, or my latest Netflix obsession—Cedar Cove! While in Gig Harbor, we were serenaded on a gondola ride, tasted bacon vodka at Heritage Distillery, and then Ian towed me on a kayak ride! That day, we also ate yummy seafood at Tides Tavern, laid in the grass and harassed raccoons at Point Defiance, and walked around and inside Stadium High School—which you probably recognize from 10 Things I Hate About You. We may or may not be considering a move to Tacoma, just so that our kids can attend high school in a Harry Potter castle/haunted hotel on a hilltop overlooking the water.

Long story short, we used to feel bad for Tacoma. We thought it was just left in the shadows of popular Seattle. BUT WE WERE WRONG. We legitimately loved our time there. Not only is there plenty to do for a short vacation, but it would also be an ideal place to raise a family.