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Staying cool

Ten cool ideas to beat the heat in this hot Puget Sound summer

Photo credit: Jessica Corey-Butler

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Cool beverage, cool breeze, cool view. Anthony's has just one of the decks to enjoy on the water.

Grab a boat and a breeze. Outboard rentals can give you a tiny taste of speed on the water.

It's that time of year. The heat is officially getting old. Laying on your bed panting like a dog while your fans breathe delicate wisps of not-exactly-cool air over your body has lost much of its appeal. And you're pretty sure the people working at the air-conditioned movie theaters are tired of seeing you as you re-watch yet another summer blockbuster.  Toward keeping your cool, here are 10 fun ways to enjoy the last gasp of summer even as the thermometer rises.

Get wet, sprayground edition. When it's hot you can go on down to 10 different parks in Tacoma and have the same kind of cooling, splashing fun that you used to have in the sprinkler - if your sprinkler had nozzles that dumped hundreds of gallons on you at once.  Perennial favorites include Wapato Hills Park, Wright Park, Jefferson Park, and of course Kandle Park.  Remember that last one for Cool Thing number two. ...

Get wet, pool edition.  So you want to get wet but only a full soak will do? Four public pools in the Tacoma area have you covered, there.

Two extra fun little things to look out for. The pool at Stewart Heights features a fast and furious waterslide alongside a lazy river to float on; Kandle Park's pool features waves and that sprayground we talked about.  Too much fun!!

Get wet, hit the beach edition. So you want the full dunk and you want the sand in between your toes?  Dash Point State Park offers beachcombing at low tide and a great area for skimboarding. Point Defiance Park has both rocky and sandy beaches for strolling or getting your toes wet in the Puget Sound (or go on, wade in if you're brave, but beware: it's cold!) The new and improved dock at Ruston Way is a popular spot to jump in if you're the kind of person who wants to commit to the plunge.  And don't forget all the area lakes! Just be on the lookout for water quality advisories.

Dry but cool, part one. More Puget Sound fun can be had for not a lot of cash by renting a kayak or paddleboard (or, what the heck, buy one)! You'll get close to a seal's-eye view of the sound (or any other body of water you choose to brave) but you'll definitely want to follow all safety rules for watercraft (personal flotation devices, people!) It's probably a great idea to take a class if your first experience leaves you wanting more.

Dry but cool, more power. Kayaking and paddleboarding  are good fun, it's true, and the cool breezes are refreshing that way, but sometimes you just feel the need for speed!  The Point Defiance Marina (5912 N. Waterfront Dr., Pt. Defiance Park, 253.591.5325) is just one place that has boats with outboard motors for rent.  

Dry but cool, more power, just add lazy multitasking. Or charter a fishing boat and get that speed-need fulfilled and maybe even bring home dinner?

Dry but cool, get in my belly. I scream, you scream we all scream ...  and what are we screaming for?  You know it!! Hit up an ice cream shop like Ice Cream Social (2914 6th Ave., Tacoma) and slurp that cone while feeling all the happies!

Dry but cool, more in my belly. Oh, so you prefer your ice cream with a faster delivery system?  How about a milkshake? Arguably the most decadent cooling experience may be the Tiger shake at Shake Shake Shake (124 N. Tacoma, Tacoma): chocolate drizzles and salted caramel kiss a blend of ice cream and Almond Roca for a sweet sip of cool.  Over 21?  Yes, you can add booze to that bad boy.

Dry but cool, add water and booze. What about a nice cold sip on the waterfront?  Cool breezes come off the Puget Sound to soothe your outsides while a chilled beverage gets you from the inside! Just add dinner, and forget the cooking tonight.

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