Titlow Beach in Tacoma. Credit: Jennifer B/Flickr CC
Beachfront and meadow
Titlow Park, Tacoma
This park features grassy meadow, a lagoon and a wide swath of beach, all worth exploring during your picnic outing. There's a playground here and a sprayground, thankfully reopened for summer 2021. Admire the view of the twin spans of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge from the beach, and try out a nature mission with the free Agents of Discovery app. The historic craftsman-style lodge at the park is worth a gander as well. Titlow Park is a free summer meals site.
Eats: Pick up your lunch at nearby Lefty's Burger Shack (8317 27th St. W., University Place). If you need a sweet treat, head to Pao's (6919 6th Ave., Tacoma), a doughnut shop with a legendary following. (To burn off all that sugar, consider this urban hike with a considerable thrill factor.)
Editor's note: This article was originally published in 2016 and updated for 2021.