Between the majestic Cascade mountains, the energetic Salish Sea and the vibrant cityscape, choosing just one of the Evergreen State’s many destinations is a feat–even for the most decisive. If you find yourself unable to compromise, look no further than Tacoma, Washington, where in the span of one weekend you can enjoy all three: mountain, city and sea.
Hit the Slopes at Crystal Mountain
Escalate your trip with a visit to Crystal Mountain Resort, just a 90-minute drive from Tacoma. Enjoy fresh powder and breathtaking views on terrain for all abilities, from 2,600 acres of groomed beginner’s trails to a series of bowls and backcountry dedicated to the expert off-piste athlete. Feed your skiers’ high with lunch at Summit House, Washington’s highest-elevation restaurant at 6,872 feet.
If carving downhill isn’t quite your speed, strap on some snowshoes or take a gondola ride, steeping in the panoramic views of Mount Rainier and the Cascade peaks. Top off your Crystal Mountain adventure with a live Mountain Music Series show at the Sundeck before tucking in after a long day’s shred session.
Experience Tacoma’s Active City
Athletes will love Tacoma’s recreational gems. Venture through Point Defiance Park, one of the country’s largest urban parks. Run off any ski-day soreness on more than 10 miles of wooded trails, taking in the giant trees, seascape viewpoints and botanical gardens along the way. Consider visiting in October for the Defiance 50k, a scenic race through the park with distances of 15k, 30k and 50k.
Walk on the greens of champions. Take a swing—or 18—at a round of golf at Chambers Bay, the seaside venue of the 2015 U.S. Open. You’ll immediately see why it’s ranked the 24th greatest public course by Golf Digest. You can even train like a pro golfer with a lesson from a local PGA instructor. Stay for a celebratory happy hour with the Olympic Mountains backdrop.
Spend an Afternoon on the Water
With warmed muscles, take your workout to the sea with a kayak rental at Point Defiance or stretch your balance and strength with some SUP yoga along Ruston Way. Join the fun of the popular Gig Harbor Paddler’s Regatta, with races for kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, dragon boats and other rigs. This favorite Pacific Northwest regatta is April 21-22 at Skansie Park in Gig Harbor.
Of course, a trip to the South Sound pairs well with craft beer. After your jaunt on the sea, sample local brews and the freshest seafood at Point Ruston. Then take the evening outside for a walk along the waterfront, closing your trip with a sunlit panorama of mountain, city and sea.