Rebels By Bus

Slow Travel With Low Carbon Footprint

Easy Trip to Tacoma

chihuly red chinook

    This past week I took the bus to Tacoma… met a friend for lunch and went to the Tacoma Art Museum. I caught the Intercity Transit 605 bus from the Martin Way Park and Ride at 9:20, arriving in Tacoma on Pacific Avenue right in front of the State History Museum. I crossed Pacific Avenue to the University of Washington campus. I followed the campus walking tour (on line at to the Library building, which is the restored Snoqualmie Falls Power Company Transformer House. Take a left once inside the front door, then take the stairs to your left following the sign to the Chihuly “Chinook Red” chandelier. This huge (seven feet wide and 19 feet long) chandelier was created in 1999. It has more than 900 pieces, and weighs 1,500 pounds. The tower where the chandelier is sited is a reading room, complete with a huge round study table and a few more comfortable chairs. What a great space for quiet reflection! The campus walking tour highlights the many restored buildings on campus, as well as the art found throughout this lovely urban campus.

tacoma art museum

        The Art Museum is one block north of the U of W campus, across Pacific Avenue.
        I REALLY liked one of the exhibits; watercolors by Vanessa Helder. There was also an exhibit of portraits, including two by Renoir. I picked up a “Chihuly Glass in Tacoma” brochure at the Museum which had a map showing 13 locations of Chihuly glass in Tacoma. A self-guided cell phone tour is available at 888-411-4220. A podcast of the tour is available at

From the Art Museum, I crossed Pacific and walked north and west one block to Commerce. I caught the free light link at the Convention Center/15th stop, which took me to the “end of the line” at 9th Avenue. Yes, I certainly could have walked, but the (free) Light Link is so fun!
I walked north along Commerce. The old Elks building is on the left. McMennamins has purchased this long-neglected building. It will be Generic Levitra great to see this building (and block) re-vitalized! I used the stairway along the side of the Elks/McMennamins to take me UP to Broadway. I walked north along Broadway for a few blocks, then headed UPPPPP hill to St. Helens. Again, turning north (right) up St. Helens to Laura’s Bayview Bar and Grill, where I met a friend for lunch. Laura’s is known to have the BEST fish and chips in town (it’s true!)

Across the street from Laura’s is Kings Bookstore; the Powell’s of Tacoma. Kings is primarily a used bookstore; offering a huge variety of books. You most likely will find what you’re looking for, even if you don’t know WHAT you’re looking for!


        A few blocks west of St. Helens is the lovely Wright Park. The conservatory is worth a visit, which requests a small donation. The park was bustling with screams of delight from kids playing in the new large water feature, the “sprayground”.

From here I took a leisurely (downhill!) stroll back to Broadway. Along the way I stopped to window shop. I went inside the wonderful Giraffe fair trade store (also located in Vashon), which has a wonderful selection of home accents and accessories. Further down Broadway (1100 block) is The American Art Company. The gallery is known for featuring pastel artists. The current exhibit of pastel landscapes was exceptional.

I continued my stroll down Broadway, past the Murano hotel and Convention Center back to Pacific Avenue. Having time before my bus, I crossed Pacific to the Anthem Coffee shop, which shares an outdoor breezeway with the State History Museum. My iced coffee was perfect for the warm afternoon. Anthem also serves wine and beer, and brings in music on a regular basis.

The Intercity Transit bus 605 reaches the U of W campus stop on Pacific at about 3:15.

This trip got me excited about the RBB adventure on October 17th to Tacoma’s ArtMingle. Check out the description in SPSCC fall catalogue.

Hope you can join me for this Rebels by Bus Adventure!

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