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All eyes on UP

Make the most of your time in University Place

Curran Apple Orchard highlights more than 15 different varieties of apples. File photo

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A nation of golfers' eyes will be on University Place next week, however, a lot of people will be told they're looking at Seattle.  That's okay.  The once sleepy town of UP knows how to fight for what it wants, and over the past 10 years, that is apparently to be a quaint place to shop for groceries and gifts, throw community activities, eat out and more.

University Place is an ideal community with an excellent school system. Many may inquire, "Where's the university?" Well, there isn't one. Back in the 1800s, the University of Puget Sound intended to build a campus along Grandview, but those plans were eventually abandoned - leaving the moniker University Place and creating false advertisement since it is university-less. Others think Tacoma Community College is in the UP limits and thus the higher education namesake, but alas, TCC is in Tacoma. 

A few more pages inside this week's Volcano we'll cover the discussion of grocery stores in UP.  In the meantime, after you step off the links at Chamber's Bay, here are a few reasons to linger in UP before going home.

Fashionistas and Feasters

Those who mourn the loss of Affair's Café need not mourn any longer, as in its old space resides former downtown Tacoma staple Grassi's Ristorante. Not only has the café, clothing and accessory retail space moved to UP digs, it has also expanded. The walls of two neighboring office spaces have been knocked down to make room for a spacious interior that is the matrimony of retail and restaurant. The ambiance is warm featuring a wine bar and Italian cuisine. 2811 Bridgeport Way W.

Imps and Espressos

Any mama or papa can tell you that a café visit with the minis in tow can be a hassle. Frog n Kiwi is prime picking and a rare breed of an establishment that plays both coffee house - featuring a warm ambiance, roasted bean concoctions and a menu of pastries and paninis - AND a kids' play place. That's right parental units: bring your kid and your laptop and partake in caffeinated beverages while letting the little ones run off steam in a play room. Open 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Thursday; 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday; and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 3601 Market Place

An Apple a Day

Curran Apple Orchard has seven acres highlighting more than 200 apple trees and 15 different varieties of this nature's candy. It's a serene sight, seeing these trees lined in a row, whether rich with fruit or bare during the winter months. View the wildlife, birds and bees the fruit trees lure to the area, or attend one of the many events hosted here, from live summer outdoor concerts to fall cider squeezes and orchard-themed classes. 3920 Grandview Dr. W., 253.460.2530

Tee Time, Tots and Trails

Chambers Bay boasts glorious views and is tops for local recreation in the area - in fact, you don't need to be a golfer to enjoy the site of this year's U.S. Open. There are an abundance of trails for walkers and runners and an off-leash dog park for our furry friends, and there's a playground for the little ones to run off some steam. If all of that makes you hungry, Chamber's Bay Grill is on site for your sips and nibble needs. And if you're looking for a venue for a special occasion, you can find space here. There is literally a little something for everyone. 6320 Grandview Dr. W., 877.295.4657,

Salt it up

It appears we are getting ourselves onto the national stage, which can mean only one thing - traffic.

Let's celebrate. El Toro down the street from Chamber's Bay has amazing margaritas.

Blended or on the rocks, salt or no salt, classic or all fruited up - El Toro has your back. 3820 Bridgeport Way, W.

Editor's Note: See other pages in this guide for different options for fun in UP.

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