A Sensational South Sound Summer!

Scott Neste, Media and Communications Consult & Friend of Sound Options

Stay-cation and Day Trip Ideas for Older Adults in the Puget Sound

The South Puget Sound is bursting at the seams with summer activity ideas for older adults.  If it’s been a while since you “got out of dodge” why not relish it for all it’s potential.  If you happen to live in the Seattle metro area but haven’t been to T-Town for ages, this is your chance to find out what you’ve been missing!

Below is our list of favorite summer attractions.  Many local attractions offer ongoing programs as well as special events.  Check their individual websites for current programs, times, locations and other tourist details. 

Point Defiance Park


This scenic and historic park offers more than 700 acres of woodland trails, gardens and waterfront views, along with a zoo and aquarium.  Take a leisurely Sunday drive through “Five Mile Drive” and enjoy views of the sound, Gig Harbor and the Narrows Bridges.


Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium


Everyone loves a trip to the zoo!  Animals have a connecting us all at a very primal level.  The Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium (PDZA) is the only combined zoo and aquarium in the Pacific Northwest. The 29-acre zoological park is the No. 2 tourist destination in Pierce County, second only to Mount Rainier and attracts over 600,000 visitors a year. The Zoo sits within 700-acre Point Defiance Park, offering spectacular views of Mount Rainier, the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound. PDZA is operated by the Tacoma Metropolitan Park District.

The zoo is easy to navigate for visitors or all ages.  Ramps and accessible facilities help make your visit a breeze.  The PDZA has a plethora or year-round special events and exhibits!  Be sure to check the website for current opportunities.


Proctor Farmers’ Market


A wonderful and vibrant weekly Saturday activity for all ages - The Proctor Farmers Market strives to provide the community with fresh, locally grown farm products while providing area growers with a venue for their crops and products. Go and meet the farmers who grow your food, bake your bread and harvest your berries.  Every Saturday is dynamic and entertaining!  Plan to spend some additional time perusing the many boutiques in the heart of the Proctor District.


The Grand Cinema


When was the last time you saw a truly wonderful movie?  Perhaps it was the last time you saw an independent film at the Grand Cinema.  Fully renovated in recent years, this comfortable, up-to-date theater is a favorite local haunt for filmgoers of all ages. Stop by Corina Bakery next door to the theater for fresh daily bakery treats and great espresso.


The LeMay Car Museum (America’s Car Museum – ACM)


Wondering how to get Dad or Grandpa out of the house this summer?  Here is your answer!  The LeMay – America’s Car Museum (ACM) spotlights America’s love affair with the automobile. Featuring a nine-acre campus – with a four-story museum as the centerpiece – ACM, situated atop Tacoma, Wash., 30 minutes south of Seattle and in the shadow of Mt. Rainier, is one of the world’s largest auto museums and attractions when it opened in June 2012.

ACM is designed to preserve history and celebrate the world’s automotive culture. The spacious facility houses up to 350 cars, trucks and motorcycles from private owners, corporations, and the LeMay collection, which amassed a Guinness Book record of more than 3,500 vehicles in the mid-‘90s.


Visit Gig Harbor


Gig Harbor is steeped in maritime history with boat building and commercial fishing playing a major role in the development of the area. But Gig Harbor was more - an agricultural center, logging and lumber area and Native American fishing grounds.  Just a short drive over the Narrows Bridge lands you in this growing and picturesque village.  Head down to the waterfront  for lunch at a local tavern or eatery, meander through privately owned galleries and shops or stop by the ever-expanding Uptown Gig Harbor for more retail therapy or to catch a movie at the fabulous Galaxy Theatres with complete with its own 21 and over VIP Lounge featuring Northwest and California wines.


W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory


Exotic tropical plants and floral displays await you at the 1908 W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory in Wright Park. This historic glass conservatory, with its distinctive twelve-sided central dome, is listed on the City of Tacoma, Washington State and National historic registers. 3,000 panes of glass make up the dome and wings of the conservatory. In 2008, the conservatory was voted the Best Place to Relax in Tacoma by readers of the Tacoma Weekly.


Tacoma Art Museum


Founded in 1935, Tacoma Art Museum's mission is connecting people through art. Our hours are 10 am to 5 pm, Wednesday through Friday. The museum is free all day and offers extended hours of 10 am to 8 pm on the third Thursday of every month.


Children's Museum of Tacoma


Children of all ages will love the interactive activities and structured play that make learning fun through such exhibits as "Under the Big Top: A Circus Adventure," "Grubby Gardeners" and the "Farmer's Market."  This venue is a great excuse to grab and grandkids and head out the door for a few hours of engaging fun!


Museum of Glass


The MOG is an international center for contemporary art with a sustained focus on glass. Experience the best in contemporary glass art in a breathtakingly beautiful museum in the heart of the Tacoma Museum District. Watch skilled artists create masterpieces from molten glass in the world's largest Hot Shop—housed inside the iconic 90-foot stainless steel cone.  Walk across the stunning  Chihuly Bridge of Glass and enjoy Tacoma's cultural landmark.


Tacoma Glassblowing Studio


TGS offers visitors a close up view of how hand blown glass is made and gives guests the opportunity to try it for themselves. The Glassblowing Experience is a one-on-one session with a skilled glassblower where people of all ages and walks in life can create blown glass for themselves. This facility also offers classes and group events.  A memorable outing for Grandparents and Grandchildren 8 years and up.


The Broadway Center For the Performing Arts


In the heart of downtown Tacoma’s Theater District, is the largest performing arts complex between Seattle and Portland including 5 unique theater and event spaces.  Take in a touring show, comedy act, concert or play.  If you prefer ballet and symphony music, you’ll find it here as well.


Washington State History Museum


The Washington State History Museum is where fascination and FUN come together! People of all ages can explore and be entertained in an environment where characters from Washington's past speak about their lives. Through interactive exhibits, theatrical storytelling, high-tech displays and dramatic artifacts, learn about our state's unique people and places, as well as their impact on the country and the world.


Fort Nisqually Living History Museum


Fort Nisqually is the region's premiere living history museum. Year-round programs, events and classes highlight all aspects of 19th century life on Puget Sound at this Hudson's Bay Company trading post.  This is a great venue for history buffs and is sure to provide a memorable interactive experience for young and old(er) alike!


Your Love.  Our Care.

If you or your loved one needs special assistance attending functions, help participating in community events or simply needs a short-term travel companion, Sound Options can help!  Our skilled caregivers are available and ready to support your travel plans and give you the confidence you need to get out and experience the vibrant life you want to enjoy! 

Call us today at 800.628.7649 to learn more about our services.

Published on July 7, 2012.