Back to Archives

Only in Tacoma

The City of Destiny as inspiration and source for unique holiday gifts

Email Article Print Article Share on Facebook Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon

If you think about it, Tacoma isn’t just a city.  It’s also a source of holiday gift inspiration.

What do I mean by that?  I mean that there are gift items and gift ideas that represent the City of Destiny, or remind us of the City of Destiny, and may be available only right here in the City of Destiny.

Not surprisingly, one of the best sources of Tacoma-based gifts is the Proctor District’s Pacific Northwest Shop.  Some of the Tacoma connections sold at this North End gift shop are obvious — such as Tacoma Narrows Bridge Hot Cocoa (the box for which was designed in-house), or Day Island Fish Company products (canned gourmet tuna and shrimp), or Tacoma-themed T-shirts and baseball caps. 

For other items, the connections require a little knowledge about the city’s businesses and personalities.  You would need to know, for example, that Brown and Haley candy is made in Tacoma or that (Tacoma native) Dale Chihuly’s glass art images have been incorporated into an assortment of products at the shop — mugs, mouse pads, coasters, etc.  Pacific Northwest Shop also carries a line of tea — Enchanted — that is the creation of a Tacoman and a selection of pottery made by Tacoma ceramic artist Mark Hudak.

Local museums such as the Washington State History Museum also feature items that celebrate Tacoma.  These include T-shirts, vintage map and photo reproductions, coffee mugs, and a selection of picture books published by Arcadia on Tacoma history, featuring places such as Wright’s Park, the Proctor District and Old Town.  Many of these books are also available at the Pacific Northwest Shop (2702 N. Proctor St., Tacoma, 253.752.2242) owner Bill Evans co-authored one of them) and also at the Tacoma Historical Society’s Exhibit Center on Antique Row (747 Broadway, Tacoma, 253.472.3738).  The historical society features still other works focusing on Tacoma history, too, as well as a stock of local historic images.

This brings us to yet another idea for turning Tacoma into a source of holiday gift inspiration.  Venues such as the Washington State History Museum and Tacoma Historical Society’s headquarters represent places where pride in this community are celebrated.  So why not give those who have pride in their community the gift of membership?  Individual memberships at the Tacoma society are $25 for individuals, $35 for families.  Membership at the history museum costs $45 for individuals, $65 for families.  Alternatively, consider giving a membership to another of the city’s cultural organizations/sites, such as the Tacoma Art Museum or the Museum of Glass.

Another source of Tacoma-based gifts is the local college bookstore, especially if someone on your shopping list is a current Logger or Lute fan — or maybe an alumna or alumnus of University of Puget Sound, Pacific Lutheran University, or the University of Washington Tacoma (no team sports as far as I know, but still a source of local pride).

And if none of the above ideas appeal to you, just treat someone you love to a meal at an iconic Tacoma eatery, such as Division Ave’s Frisco Freeze or share a piece of pie at Knapp’s Restaurant in the Proctor District.  Not exactly fine dining, but the City of Destiny wouldn’t be the same without them.

comments powered by Disqus