Have you tried the Downtown to Defiance trolley yet this summer? If you haven’t, plan a trip this weekend. Trolley service will run from 10:30 am to 8:30 pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from June 2nd through September 3rd. Last day Sunday! What a fun (and frugal) end of summer outing with the kiddos!
Writer, Becca, has ideas for what to see and try at each stop. You may want to pick just a few depending on your schedule. Read on for all the details and a special invitation from me at the end!
Pierce Transit is providing the Downtown to Defiance trolley service from June 2 to September 3. The route 15 trolley will run from 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays with a new trolley arriving every 30 minutes.
Stop One: Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium
We began our trip at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. While we didn’t go in the zoo on this visit, we’re planning a future visit to see the Washed Ashore Exhibit.
Stop Two: Point Defiance Exit at Pearl Street/North Park Avenue
This area is sprinkled with cute little shops and restaurants in the older area of Ruston and the North Pearl area.
What to do: North Pearl Farmers Market on Sunday
What to try: Fresh honey-sweetened lemonade from The Antique Sandwich Company
Stop Three: Point Ruston
Besides all the shops and restaurants, Point Ruston is worth the stop just for the view of Mount Rainier.
What to try: strawberry gelato from Dolce Si
Stop Four: Harbor Lights
From here we walked to the Chinese Reconciliation Park to see the rock garden and play a game of hide-and-seek.
Don’t forget to look for Tacoma Rocks!
What to do: Stand Up Paddle Board rental from Dolans Boardsports (Check Groupon)!
Note from SFM: Harbor Lights itself is a great restaurant to take grandma to for a nice lunch. Not a place I’d go with kiddos.
Stop Five: Pacific Avenue and South 11th Street
We got off here and decided to walk to the Hood Street trolley stop. Along the way we found sculptures and paintings we had never noticed in our many car rides through the city.
Stop Six: Pacific Avenue and Hood Street
This is the last trolley stop on the route. From here you can catch the free Link Light Rail to Tacoma Dome Station.
This stop has a lot to offer such as The Tacoma Art Museum, Children’s Museum of Tacoma and Washington State History Museum. We chose to order lunch from Abella Pizza and eat at the waterfront.
What to see: Tacoma Waterfront, artwork along Pacific Avenue
What to try: Hello Cupcake, watch trains from The Bridge of Glass
Note from SFM-Becca’s trip started and ended at Point Defiance, so the stops below are back on Ruston Way on the return trip. You probably figured that out without my help, right?
Stop Seven: Dickman Mill along Ruston Way
The former site of an old lumber factory, this pretty park has a paved walkway and signage to read of the mills history. There is also a bathroom!
What to see: Bike in the pier
Stop Eight: Les Davis Pier
This is a good spot to watch scuba divers, relax on the pier and grab a quick snack from a pirate. You’re also a short walk to the Fireboat Station and Fallen Fire Fighters Memorial
Stop Nine: Point Defiance Visitors’ Center
Our last stop. This was our first time in the Visitors Center. Did you know Pt.Defiance has a visitor center and a park ranger? It’s true! Kids can even become junior park rangers here!
With the trolley running every 30 minutes, I wouldn’t recommend hitting every stop in one day. However this was a fun way to see our favorite places in Tacoma without the hassles of parking.
A one time trolley ticket is $1 for adults and youth and $.50 for senior citizens and disabled individuals with a Regional Reduced Fare Permit. All day passes can be purchased on a bus for $5 for adults, $2.50 for youth, and $2.50 for senior/disabled w/RRFP. Children 5 and younger ride free with a fare-paying passenger
Some notes from SFM:
You can see map routes, times, and schedules for the Downtown to Defiance Trolley here.You do need to scroll down a bit. Service ends September 3rd, so make a plan today!
If you’d like to see the trolley back next summer (Yes, please!) do send your comments to email@example.com The Pierce Transit Board of Commissioners will be evaluating this project later this fall.
If you’d like to read more about the Ruston Way area, I did an article for Parent Map that I think you’ll enjoy.
Would you like to write for us?
This was Becca’s last piece for us as she and her sweet family have moved out of state. We wish them well in their new adventures. I would also like to invite you to write for us. Right now I am particularly looking for writers who are interested in submitting articles about events, activities, and destinations in Lacey/Olympia, Tacoma (including Fircrest, UP, Lakewood/South Tacoma…), and Gig Harbor. We do pay (modestly). If you would like to write for us send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please query with a few lines about yourself and what you would be interested in contributing. Please don’t write a whole post for us yet. I can’t wait to hear from you!