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Discover Tacoma with a Pretty Gritty Tour

Hidden treasures uncovered

View of Stadium High School one of the many tours offered by Pretty Gritty Tours. Photo credit: Pretty Gritty Tours

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You won't get stuck on a dry, boring tour with Pretty Gritty Tours. The company was founded by Chris Staudinger and Tawny Clark who spent 10 years as travel journalists and experienced their fair share of awful tours. The two brought in guides who are artists and historians who love the South Sound and its incredible history. They also have a deep love of the area which they feel is "one of the most beautiful and underrepresented parts of the world. Their partnership with Tacoma's Historic Preservation Office, and other relationships they have developed over the years, gives the company exclusive access to areas you wouldn't normally get to see. Here is a sample of the many tours the company offers.


This tour takes you to the major sites in Tacoma, and along the way guests will learn about the city's myths and stereotypes. As you stroll along Pacific Avenue you learn about the Glass Museum, Union Depot, the Tacoma Dome, the Chihuly Glass Bridge and Old City Hall. Stops also include some of Pretty Gritty's favorite restaurants offering tastes of regional treats.


Gives you the exclusive opportunity to go inside Stadium High School which is considered one of the most beautiful high schools in the United States. Originally, the school was a Northern Pacific Railroad luxury hotel and built to resemble a French Chateau. After it was abandoned by the railroad and then gutted by a fire, the Tacoma School District purchased it and opened the high school in 1906. It is named after the iconic Stadium Bowl next door which was featured prominently in the movie 10 Things I Hate About You. The tour takes you from the basement all the way up to the attic. The building is considered haunted by some, and as part of the tour, you can rent an EMF detection device that is used by ghost hunters.


An hour long walking tour through Old Town Tacoma. This infamous area has a dark history of gruesome murders and defiled burial grounds. Learn stories of the past in the spots where the events took place. If your skin begins to crawl or there is unexplained activity you may be in the presence of a spirit who has yet to move on.

Throughout the year a variety of unique tours are offered such as a Lantern Tour Of Fort Steilacoom or a Night Tour of the Tacoma Armory. There is really something for everyone. If you love beer and ghosts check out the Boos and Brew tour.

Book tours online. The website also offers free virtual tours. Follow Pretty Gritty Tours on Twitter @PrtyGrtyTours for fun videos and tidbits about the area. Many of the tours start at the Tacoma Dome Link Station where there is plenty of parking. The tour group will ride the Link Light Rail into the heart of Tacoma or other areas the tours start at.

PRETTY GRITTY TOURS, hours and days vary, 253.480.4074,,

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