By Lisa Gebhard
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When seeing real beauty, you just naturally exhale and gaze. Tacoma, Washington is truly one of these spots on the Earth. The water, the mountains, the crispness in the air and a succulent rainforest are just some of the sights that await vacationers. Tacoma, Seattle's friendly neighbor to the south, will make you want to take a step back and gather your thoughts.

Book your Northwest escape via as Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) serves your flying needs. Please book your flight using the following link: ( Many accommodations are readily available to make you vacation just as comfortable as you like. For help finding accommodations please see our top selections of hotels below. Then click on this link: ( to book with

While meandering down towards the waterfront you will likely see an odd-looking 90-foot stainless steel cone angling out of the ground. Although space age-like, it houses the ancient art form of glassblowing. The Museum of Glass brings you right up to the action and culture as these artists create in hundreds of designs, colors and size. definitely recommends seeing what is known as one of the best glassblowing teams in the world!

From this glass gig, recommends traversing over to another. Gig Harbor, just across Puget Sound, is known as The Maritime City because of its rich boating history. Named for a gig, or small boat, this hamlet lives for the water, it would seem. Congregating around its shores are numerous boats for hire or boat excursions that will show off the wondrous beauty of the bay. Vineyards, lavender farms, breweries and a relaxing time – if that's what you're looking for, make this your next gig!

Since you're on that side of Puget Sound why not head west to Olympic National Park – need we say more? Jammed into this diverse park you will see coast, rivers and lakes, mountains and forest. Let me clarify: a rainforest! Only 2% of the world is rainforest and yet here you will be able to see one for yourself. With such diversity, positively pack your camera and a preparation of your senses as they all will be a-buzz!

You cannot make a trip to Tacoma and not go to Mount Rainier, the mountain so massive you will have it over one of your shoulders at all times. Put it right in front of you by making your way to the Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad. A short car ride south to Elbe and you can board one of their 3 bygone-era steam or 2 diesel-electric trains for the trip through extravagant zones of streams, prairies and flowers. You may get out and hike or picnic or get your prized photographs of Rainier with your family. Whatever you do, just get out there and enjoy!

A very easy stop off on your way back into Tacoma is the Meeker Mansion in Puyallup. This place is both magnificent in Italianate Victorian architecture and rich in history. It was the home to pioneer Ezra Meeker, a very ambitious fellow credited for finding and remarking the famous Oregon Trail. Though he did not traverse it, he saw civilization was likely to forget about it and neglect preserving it. See what 3 years of meticulous building looks like, everything from hand painted ceilings to wood carved fireplaces – truly exquisite!

Surely whatever you choose to do with your time, you won't be left for want. The great Northwest is a wonderland. Your stories will fall short and though you imagine your pictures will tell the rest of the story, there is no surprise among locals that even these may indeed fall short. awards the highest marks for the Tacoma area as will those who have buckled under its allurement.
Hotels in Tacoma
By Tekisha Slack
Holiday Inn Express
8601 South Hosmer Street, Tacoma, WA
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You will enjoy a comfortable stay at the Holiday Inn Express® Hotel & Suites - Tacoma while in Washington. The hotel's location on I-5 provides you easy access to the McChord Air Force Base and a variety of attractions; which makes it the perfect choice for leisure or business travelers.

Whether business or pleasure brings you to Tacoma, Washington, the hotel's quality amenities and services will satisfy your needs. Besides offering free high-speed, wireless Internet access, each of the guest rooms at the Holiday Inn Express also contain a large work desk, multiple two-line telephones with speaker phones, voicemail and data ports so you can easily complete business and paperwork while on the road. You can also make and store snacks with the in-room microwave and fridge. Every guest room also offers pay-per-view movie channels on a 32-inch flat screen TV, a DVD/VCR player and a complimentary daily newspaper. The Holiday Inn brand is known for being both budget and family friendly.  The hotel rooms are perfect for a family vacation. Optional full-sized kitchens along with cozy triple-sheeted beds with four pillows each make for a convenient and comfortable stay. Bathroom amenities include full-sized bathtubs and Kohler's continuous flow showerheads.

Corporate visitors should be sure to check out the onsite business center, which features copy and fax services. The indoor pool, sauna and 24-hour fitness center provide the perfect escape at the end of a long day.

Start the day off right with a hot; signature cinnamon roll served each morning at the Express Start breakfast bar. After a hot breakfast, vacationers can head off to a wide array of area attractions. The Tacoma Dome frequently features concerts and comedians and is only 10 minutes from our hotel's location. Tacoma also features unique attractions like the Museum of Glass and the Sprinker Rec Center and Ice Arena.

Use to book your stay at the Tacoma Holiday Inn Express today! Just use the link ( to get started.