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Urban Spelunker: McKinley Hill in Tacoma

Charming residential meets charming destinations

Top of Tacoma Bar and Cafe. Photos by Jackie Fender

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Tacoma's Eastside consists of a few major lifelines connecting sleepy residential areas with the downtown region with easy access to freeways and main strips. Upon McKinley Hill, you'll discover a matrimony of charming residential and charming commercial destinations. Aside from locally owned operations and homes, McKinley Hill boasts some of the best views of Commencement Bay and a plethora of historical sites that have stood the test of Tacoma time. Here are just a few things you'll see when journeying through the McKinley Hill district.

[Hip Hangout]
Craft brews, cocktails and bar food that raises the bar can be found at Top of Tacoma Bar and Café. This casual neighborhood bar just so happens to serve up some of the best bites in town. These folks know their flavors; a clear statement when you know the sister store located on 6th Ave is Marrow. It delivers super efficient, fabulous and unpretentious service to boot. 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily, 3529 McKinley Ave., Tacoma, 253.272.1502
[For the Winners]
Winner's Gym is a "faith-based fitness center in Tacoma, Washington where divine inspiration meets perspiration." This Christian Center and Gymnasium offers a variety of physical fitness cardio and weight training machines and hosts fitness classes that cover a range of fitness regimens. Memberships are available. 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 810 E. Harrison St., Tacoma, 253.272.6079

[Birthday Bonanza]
Teresita's Mexican Bakery is a charming little locale that specializes in baked goods for special occasions - plus it has piñatas! 3737 McKinley Ave., Tacoma, 253.474.5110

[Let's Move]
McKinley Park is a hub of outdoor activity that houses something for the minis with a  playground, walking trails and off-leash dog park. And beginning in May, folks can sign up for free naturist-led family walks and discover the park as a natural, urban habitat. 907 Upper Park St., Tacoma,  253.591.6439

[Outdoor Art]
For those who like outdoor art and murals, McKinley Hill is a pleasant surprise. You'll find a mural among its brick facades every block or two, conveying the depth of Tacoma stories and talent. I say indulge in a mural-spelunking journey.

[Mexican Meals]
Taqueria el Antojo is a four-store Washington chain that delivers Mexican-American classic cuisine from breakfast to late-night nibbles. Enchiladas, nachos, tortas and more can be noshed upon to quench that Mexican food hankering. 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. to midnight Friday, 8 a.m. to midnight Saturday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday, 3801 E. McKinley Ave., Tacoma, 253.475.0375

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