TACOMA is the third largest city in Washington and proud to be known as both “Grit City” and “City of Destiny.”


It’s just a 15 minute drive or 25 minute bus ride from campus to check out some great restaurants as well as Tacoma’s amazing museums, including the Museum of Glass, Tacoma Art Museum, and Washington State History Museum.

Head up the hill on Thursdays for Tacoma’s Farmers Market, and be on the look-out for the bi-monthly Tacoma Night Market.

See one of hundreds of concerts or events held at the Tacoma Dome (one of the largest wood domed structures in the world), including PLU’s graduation ceremony in May. Go Lutes!


The best time of year to play outside in the Pacific Northwest is any time of the year – a little rain never stops us!

MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK — Did you know PLU is the closest university to “the mountain”? Hike, bike, climb, ski, camp, boat and more in and around this amazing national park.

CHENEY STADIUM — Cheer on Mariners minor league affiliate team Rainiers, USL soccer team Defiance, and National Women’s Soccer League’s Reign FC (with players Megan Rapinoe and Allie Long).

POINT DEFIANCE PARK, ZOO & AQUARIUM — “Point D” is one of the 20 largest urban parks in the U.S., with a popular zoo and aquarium, hiking trails, a beach, and the historic Fort Nisqually.

We recommend you walk the bridge (and play on the real-life chutes & ladders!) that connects Point D to our next recommendation, Point Ruston.

RUSTON WAY & POINT RUSTON — This stretch along the beautiful Puget Sound is a favorite for walkers, runners, and foodies. Point Ruston is a super popular urban village with a large cinema, shopping, restaurants, local handmade ice cream, and a great Public Market!

FUN FACT: Tacoma has 40+ miles of shoreline!


The Tacoma Mall and Lakewood Towne Center are both just a 10-minute drive from campus, and you’ll only drive a little further to get to South Hill Mall or Auburn Outlet Collection.


Parkland is an unincorporated suburb of Tacoma, and was given its name in the 19th century due to the park-like trees, flowers, and creeks in the area.