Point Defiance Park in Tacoma, Washington, United States, is a large urban park. The 760-acre (3.1 km2) park includes Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, the Rose Garden, the Rhododendron Garden, beaches, trails, a boardwalk, a boathouse, a Washington State Ferries ferry dock for the Point Defiance-Tahlequah route to Vashon Island, Fort Nisqually, an off-leash dog park, and most notably a stand of old-growth forest. It receives more than three million visitors every year. Point Defiance Park is maintained and operated by Metro Parks Tacoma.
Point Defiance Park offers something for all its visitors, wildlife, and people. Not all wild animals are confined inside Zoos & aquariums. People can watch bald eagles feed on salmon runs passing through the strong tidal currents from high cliffs overlooking the Tacoma Narrows. Their calls can be heard from their nests in the preserved old-growth forest that makes up the park’s northern 400 acres (1.6 km2).
In winter, sea lions migrating from California feed in the swirling tides beneath the Gig Harbor overlook on the peninsula’s northernmost point. Harbor seals are expected near the tip of the fact most of the year. Seal pups are frequently observed north of Owen Beach in late summer and early fall (humans and their dogs should keep their distance to avoid spooking the pups). The park also provides a habitat for mule deer, red foxes, pileated woodpeckers, Douglas squirrels, and raccoons.
The gardens remain today. Visitors find a Japanese Garden, Rose Garden, and Dahlia gardens surrounding the former superintendent’s home. The home was built in 1898, the year of the Yukon Gold Rush. The gardens are located near the park’s main entrance on the approach to the Zoo & Aquarium. It is sited on a bluff looking down on a waterfront containing the boathouse, Anthony’s Restaurant, and Washington State Ferry landing providing access to Vashon Island. Other public gardens on site include the Native Plant, Herb, Fuchsia, and Iris gardens. Alpha Electrician Tacoma
Brownfields and Boating Facilities
After a century of depositing slag into the waters of Puget Sound, Asarco’s Tacoma Smelter created a peninsula to form the park’s protected harbor. The Tacoma Yacht Club sits on the peninsula’s promontory as a guardian of the snug harbor. A public boat launch at the harbor’s entrance is part of the park’s recreational facilities.
Zoo & Aquarium
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is a 1.1-mile 4-minute drive from Point Defiance Park. It takes roughly 15 minutes of walking.
Address: 5400 N Pearl St, Tacoma, WA
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