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Old June 18th, 2005, 01:24 AM   #1
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Tacoma aerial tour (dial-up, beware!)

Other aerial tours:


Tacoma, WA is located 30 miles south of Seattle & 30 miles north east of the state capital, Olympia. Tacoma has roughly 200,000 people in the city, 935,000 within a 15 mile radius of downtown, & 3,700,000 in the metro area it shares with Seattle and other cities.

Downtown & Commencement Bay looking N:

Downtown looking W:

Re-development is occuring in downtown. The University of Washington-Tacoma campus is made up of renovated historic buildings, the old railroad terminus station was turned into a federal courthouse, & the Museum of Glass was built along the waterfront attracting condos.

Downtown looking S. The Tacoma Dome is one the major venues in the region attracting many of the big indoor events & concerts in the Seattle area. A lightrail line links downtown with Tacoma Dome station where it links with Amtrak & the Sounder commuter rail to Auburn, Kent, & Seattle:

Lightrail map:

Downtown & the Port of Tacoma looking E. The Port of Tacoma is one of the largest ports in the U.S.:

Overview of the port looking SE. The glacial Puyallup River dumps silt into Commencement Bay. Mt. Rainier (& the Puyallup Glacier where the river originates) is in top right corner:

Looking W.

From South Tacoma looking N. up Puget Sound with Seattle visible in distance (below Mt.). Vashon & Maury Islands in the sound & Mt. Baker visable off in distance. Sea-Tac (Seattle-Tacoma International Airport) is visable above the 'c' in 'Inc.'

Tacoma, looking N. The Tacoma Narrows Bridge on left. Point Defiance Park is the big green park on the tip of the point. Tacoma's zoo & aquariam are located there.

Point Defiance Park:

Tacoma Mall & Tacoma's primary retail district three miles SW of downtown. The opening of the mall killed downtown which is just now turning around. Puyallup Valley & Mt. Rainier in distance.

Mall district, looking W. South Puget Sound, islands, & coast range hills & mountains in distance:

NW Tacoma:

Ruston. Point Defiance Zoo & Aquariam on right. Ferry to Vashon Island to the left of park along waterfont:

Pearl District, Old Tacoma, University of Puget Sound:

University Place, Tacoma's suburbs to the SW:

The Tacoma Narrows Bridge links the Kitsap Peninsula & many of the populated areas of the Olympia Peninsula with Tacoma, Seattle, & other places on the east side of Puget Sound without taking a ferry. A second span is currently under construction.

Tacoma Narrows, & Gig Harbor, an upscale Tacoma suburb across the bridge:

Gig Harbor:

Lakewood, Tacoma's suburb to the S:

McChord Air Force Base & Ft. Lewis are adjacent to Lakewood. Spanaway, Parkland, & Pacific Lutheran University beyond the AFB:

Historic Steilacoom:

NE Tacoma (Dash Point, Browns Point):

NE Tacoma, Fife, Milton, & Federal Way:

Puyallup, home of the Puyallup Fair, the most popular and defacto state fair of the state of Washington. Fairgrounds on left next to the freeway above where it elbows left off the screen. Tacoma & South Sound in distance:

South Hill is one of the fastest growing areas in the state. Looking NW towards Tacoma. Olympic Mtns in distance:


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Last edited by Sounder; June 18th, 2005 at 08:43 PM.
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Old June 18th, 2005, 01:38 AM   #2
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Fascinating! Tacoma has got to be the most interesting and complex city in Washington.
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Old June 18th, 2005, 06:33 AM   #3
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I love tacoma, my uncle lives there
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Old June 20th, 2005, 12:14 AM   #4
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It's like our own little Midwestern post-industrial city!

Which makes its revival all the more fascinating. And what a revival it is -- half-emptiness is turning into some really nice urbanity, and there's impressive momentum.
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Old June 20th, 2005, 01:48 AM   #5
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With its excellent surrounding & proximity to Seattle, it was bound to turn around eventually, at least the sweet, classic neighborhoods of NW & NE Tacoma anyway. With over a million people within 20 miles of downtown Tacoma, it just makes since for a center to form somewhere. What better place with core city infrastructure & services but with cheap, classic buildings that could be renovated. My only complaint is that the port is a little too ugly & it would be nice to see more development on the east of Foss Waterway in the future that would partially block out the port. I think condos on the eastside would have the better view anyway with a view of downtown, the court house, Glass Museum, etc.

Also, when is the Le May Museum going to be built? It would also be nice to see someone snag an NHL team while they are cheap & buy & renovate the Tacoma Dome to house the team.
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Old June 20th, 2005, 03:41 AM   #6
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Once again cool pics Sounder. I was there two year ago, Museum of Glass Rocks, like the outdoor Dale Chichuly glass exhibits, Hopefully as what Sounder wrote that the development around the Waterway expands.
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Old June 23rd, 2005, 06:33 PM   #7
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Here are three recent articles on Tacoma:

Downtown Tacoma: the ordinary and extraordinary

Point Defiance Park: Oasis in city has it all

Old Town Tacoma: "Hidden gem" of city traces its history, blending old and new

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