Point Defiance Park

Vacation Travel Guide
Point Defiance Park showing a park

One of the largest urban parks in the United States is a green space home to lovely gardens as well as a fun-filled zoo and aquarium.

Point Defiance Park is among the Puget Sound region’s most popular city parks. Enjoy outdoor activities, such as walking, hiking, cycling, fishing and tennis. Take the kids to the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, stroll through beautifully landscaped gardens and look for sailboats on Owen Beach.

Begin your visit at the Point Defiance Visitors Center to collect a map and plan your day. The park hosts regular special events, particularly during the summer, so find out if anything is taking place during your visit.

Explore the park’s scenic rose garden and peaceful Japanese Garden. The Fuchsia Garden features about 125 different varieties of upright fuchsias. This garden is popular with hummingbirds, especially from June to October when the fuchsias are in full bloom. Other formal gardens include a Dahlia Trial Garden and a Herb Garden.

Follow the picturesque waterfront promenade from the Boathouse Marina to Owen Beach. Enjoy beachcombing or rent a kayak to take out on the water. During the late summer and early fall, seal pups can often be spotted just north of the beach. These majestic creatures rest on the sand for hours each day to regulate body temperature.

The Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium is one of the park’s most popular attractions. This fascinating facility features an Asian forest sanctuary that’s home to small-clawed otters, leopards, tigers and elephants. See polar bears swimming in a saltwater pool and learn how Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium saved red wolves from near extinction with its recovery program.

Go to Fort Nisqually Living History Museum, where costumed interpreters teach visitors about 19th-century life. Check out the museum’s restored historic buildings, which were originally built by early European settlers.

Find this urban park about 7 miles (11 kilometers) from the center of Tacoma, Washington. Free parking is available in the lots next to the park entrance, as well as at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium.

Point Defiance Park is filled with beautiful natural areas, outdoor activities and opportunities to learn about Tacoma’s rich cultural history.

Top Hotels Close to Point Defiance Park

Secret Garden Bed & Breakfast
Secret Garden Bed & Breakfast
3 out of 5
1702 Narrows Drive, Tacoma, WA
The price is NT$3,374 per night from Sep 23 to Sep 23
Located in West End, this bed & breakfast is within 1 mi (2 km) of Tacoma Musical Playhouse and Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Titlow Park and 6th Ave are also within ...
4.2/5Excellent! (132 reviews)
"Loved the fish. Nice quiet room."

Reviewed on 2021/8/23

Secret Garden Bed & Breakfast
The INN at Gig Harbor
The INN at Gig Harbor
3 out of 5
3211 56th St. NW, Gig Harbor, WA
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is NT$3,713 per night from Oct 11 to Oct 11
Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Grandview Forest Park, Skansie Brothers Park, and Harbor History Museum. Performance Golf Center ...
4.3/5Excellent! (983 reviews)
"Clean and kind"

Reviewed on 2021/9/14

The INN at Gig Harbor
Hotel Murano
Hotel Murano
4.5 out of 5
1320 Broadway Plaza, Tacoma, WA
The price is NT$4,215 per night from Sep 19 to Sep 19
Located in Downtown Tacoma, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, Pantages Theater, and Tacoma Art Museum. ...
4.3/5Excellent! (960 reviews)
"Convenient location, friendly staff, nice amenities. They only provide maid service if you request it a day ahead of time. The room was nice, great views and a fair price."

Reviewed on 2021/9/8

Hotel Murano
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Point Defiance Park

Point Defiance Park


Best Lodging Options Near Point Defiance Park

Secret Garden Bed & Breakfast
Secret Garden Bed & Breakfast
3 out of 5
1702 Narrows Drive, Tacoma, WA
The price is NT$3,374 per night from Sep 23 to Sep 23
Secret Garden Bed & Breakfast
The INN at Gig Harbor
The INN at Gig Harbor
3 out of 5
3211 56th St. NW, Gig Harbor, WA
The price is NT$3,713 per night from Oct 11 to Oct 11
The INN at Gig Harbor
Hotel Murano
Hotel Murano
4.5 out of 5
1320 Broadway Plaza, Tacoma, WA
The price is NT$4,215 per night from Sep 19 to Sep 19
Hotel Murano
Marriott Tacoma Downtown
Marriott Tacoma Downtown
1538 COMMERCE ST, Tacoma, WA
The price is NT$4,461 per night from Oct 3 to Oct 3
Marriott Tacoma Downtown
Best Western Wesley Inn & Suites
Best Western Wesley Inn & Suites
2.5 out of 5
6575 Kimball Drive, Gig Harbor, WA
The price is NT$4,464 per night from Oct 3 to Oct 3
Best Western Wesley Inn & Suites
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.