We’ve all been there: returning home from a business trip or out-of-town sporting event, feeling sluggish from slipping out of normal training habits. Wellness trips are a current trend, putting self-care at the top of the packing list. Before you write off this idea as a luxury spa experience, think about personal wellness as simply honoring your body’s need to move. A little sweat goes a long way.
Next time you find yourself in Tacoma for a special event or business meeting, pack your workout clothes and schedule some play time. Your body (and mind) will thank you. Here are seven ways to integrate self-care into your Tacoma travels without breaking the bank:
- Take to the Trails
Tacoma is home to a multitude of trails for your running and walking pleasure: Point Defiance, Prairie Line Trail, Cushman Trail, Foothills Trail, Chambers Bay and Point Ruston are just a few on the list. If you’re here on a Thursday evening, earn your beers by joining the Tacoma Runners for their Thursday Night Beer Runs. Each week features a different route and tavern to keep it interesting. If you’re up for some competition, Tacoma Runners host a timed 5k run through Point Defiance Park every Saturday at 8 a.m.
Cost: Tacoma Runners has a one-time online registration and monthly donation of $5 (or more).
- BYOB: Bring Your Own Bike
Will you be driving here? Bring a bike to ride the local mountain bike trails at Swan Creek Park or Fort Steilacoom Park, home of the 2019 Cyclocross National Championships. (Side note: Swan Creek Park hosts the Metro Parks Tacoma 2-mile Mud Run on March 24.)
More of a roadie? Take a spin on the area’s hundreds of miles of bike trails. If you’re working with a tighter schedule, Downtown on the Go gives you special offers for biking to different local businesses each month.
Cost: Free to ride, except for the Mud Run ($40 day of race, early bird discounts).
- Hit it Off with a Round of Golf
Escape to one of the area’s greens for a round of golf if you’re looking for a retreat from the hustle and bustle of your travels. Pierce County Parks & Recreation and public courses Allenmore and Meadow Park are all centrally located. Most local courses boast evergreen scenery and lake- or seaside vistas that are sure to take your mind off daily stressors.
Cost: Greens fees vary from $14 (Allenmore 9 holes) to Chambers Bay ($275 non-resident in summer); most rent clubs.
- Take a Dip with a Water Rental
Cool off in the sea with a stand-up paddleboard or kayak rental from Point Defiance or Ruston Way. You’re bound to feel all your worries float away with the ebb and flow of the sea and grand views of Mount Rainier from your vessel. If you’re in town in June, test your chops by paddling the first miles of the SEVENTY48, a human-powered sea race kicking off on June 11 from the Museum of Glass on the Tacoma waterfront. You also could follow part of the route on your own schedule.
Plan your trip in time to join the popular Gig Harbor Paddler’s Cup, April 21-22. Races are planned for everything from kayaks to paddleboards to dragon boats. Can’t bring your gear with you? Get outfitted for a day at sea at Gig Harbor Watersports, Gig Harbor SUP & Kayak Rentals or Lee’s SUP.
Cost: Single kayaks are about $25 for two hours, with double kayaks also available; stand-up paddleboards are $25-$30 per hour.
- Climb On
Check out Edgeworks’ rock wall for a vertical challenge within city limits. The gym also offers Pilates, yoga, strength conditioning and, of course, climbing classes.
Cost: Day passes are $18 for adults, $15 for youth and full-time students.
- Escape to the Mountains
If you have some wiggle room or an extra half day in your schedule, take a hike along Mount Rainier’s 260 miles of easy or difficult trails and cross another national park off your list. If you’re visiting during the snowy months, take the season’s best demo gear out for a ride or embark on a snowshoe tour at Crystal Mountain Resort. Take your pick of disc golf, hiking, horseback riding or a gondola ride nearly 2,500 feet up to the summit throughout the summer months. Both mountain destinations are just a 90-minute drive from Tacoma.
Cost: Mount Rainier National Park entry is $25 per car. Crystal Mountain rents snow gear, including clothing (prices vary); gondola rides are $23 for adults, discounts for seniors and youth.
Now that you’ve got the low-down on the best personal wellness spots in Tacoma, what workout clothes will you resolve to slip into your suitcase the next time you’re in town?