Cruising to Tacoma made easy
One of nicest ways to visit the charming city of Tacoma has always been to arrive by sea, crossing Commencement Bay and entering the urban glow, the bridges humming, the glass and steel flashing in the sun as you motor down the Thea Foss Waterway.
Along the way in there are several marinas and docks with transient moorage, with the urban fix of downtown Tacoma, the art galleries, shopping and sports facilities, just a few steps away.
The first option for boaters seeking overnight moorage is the Foss Waterway Seaport Museum, with 1,200 feet of side-tie moorage that is easy to access for even heavy, less maneuverable vessels. The museum, housed in an old wheat warehouse, offers a fascinating window on the past.
Next along is the Foss Harbor Marina, which offers moorage for vessels up to 100 feet, as well as a coin-op laundry, fuel and a store with beer, some groceries and marine supplies.
The last stop for transients on the west shore of the waterway is the Dock Street Marina, the only dock here with power up to 100 amps.
Along the east shore is Johnny’s Dock, a pleasant marina/restaurant with ties for meal stops or overnight. Stays are limited to two nights.
Some boaters prefer to dock at the public wharf or marinas at Point Defiance, with its lovely park, zoo, aquarium and less metropolitan vibe, and catch a (#11) bus into town when the mood strikes. The last city stop on this route is on Commercial Street, between 9th and 11th streets, a few blocks west of the Thea Foss Waterway.
However, this summer things will be simpler, with the introduction of a trolley bus (#15) to run direct to Point Defiance from near the junction of Pacific Avenue and Hood Street in downtown Tacoma. The trolley will run every 30 minutes from 10:30am to 8:30pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from June 2 to Sept 3. The route runs along the shore, via Ruston Way, past Old Town Dock and other seashore attractions.
Once tied up, the city of Tacoma and area has much to offer and many things to do for the whole family. The short video above is a slide show of sorts of what’s on offer.
It is also a great city for walkers with a lot to discover on your own.
(Tacoma and Point Defiance are covered in Salish Sea Pilot’s Cruising Guide to Puget Sound.)