Welcome to Cvent's Meeting and Event Planning Guide to Tacoma - a city guide for meeting professionals. Rooted in arts and culture, Tacoma is a vibrant urban destination situated on the saltwater banks of the Puget Sound and surrounded by stunning natural surroundings highlighting the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. With plenty to see and do both indoors and outdoors, Tacoma offers a variety of group adventures and activities perfect for between-meetings gatherings, as well as a number of world-class attractions that double as unique venues for group events. Tacoma's Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center (GTCTC) in downtown Tacoma is conveniently set within walking distance of hundreds of hotel rooms and restaurants, as well as seven museums and other major attractions, while downtown Tacoma itself is just 20 miles south of the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
Commonly referred to as Sea-Tac, the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport provides nonstop service to 75 domestic and 20 international destinations, welcoming 800 arrivals daily. The airport features a Light Rail station, which connects passengers to downtown Seattle. There is a separate Link Light Rail for downtown Tacoma. Running 365 days a year, the Link Light Rail in Tacoma offers transport from one end of downtown Tacoma to another, including a dedicated stop at the GTCTC.
The second-largest meeting and event facility in the Pacific Northwest, the 119,000-square-foot GTCTC in downtown Tacoma boasts floor-to-ceiling glass walls with a picturesque mountain view, inviting the outdoors in. Accommodating groups from 4 to 4,000 people, the GTCTC features a 50,000-square-foot column-free exhibit hall, a 13,650-square-foot ballroom and 12 breakout rooms, as well as the 1,800-square-foot, window-wrapped Commerce Room, a high-tech event space with an exclusive street entrance. What's more, the GTCTC is located adjacent to the 320-room Hotel Murano and 162-room Courtyard by Marriott, and offers 400 on-site parking spaces. Many of Tacoma's most beloved attractions and unique venues sit within easy walking distance of the GTCTC, as do more than 40 restaurants and 11 retail stores.
Tacoma's range of unique venues includes both historic and modern buildings, as well as both indoor and outdoor event spaces. The popular Museum of Glass and its Chihuly Bridge of Glass provide a dynamic learning environment to appreciate the medium of glass through creative experiences, collections and exhibitions. The museum showcases the work of its native son and glass work superstar Dale Chihuly, as well as the creations of glass artists from around the world, and boasts the 500-foot-long Chihuly Bridge of Glass, a pedestrian overpass that brings Chihuly's work to life and links the museum to downtown Tacoma. More than just a museum, the Museum of Glass is also a spectacular event space, complete with a working hot shop studio with seating for 138 people, as well as a 6,900-square-foot Grand Hall, 20-person boardroom, 180-person theater and three outdoor sculpture plazas. A second Tacoma arts and culture powerhouse, the Tacoma Art Museum, features 12,000 square feet of galleries wrapped around an open-air interior stone cave with 500-year-old pavers from an ancient Chinese road, as well as the most comprehensive Chihuly collection on long-term public display. Groups can gather in the museum's 120-person dedicated event space or 150-person lobby and atrium, as well as rent the entire museum. Both indoor and outdoor event spaces abound at the Washington State History Museum, which tells the stories of the people, places and industries that have shaped the state through the use of interactive exhibits, theatrical storytelling and high-tech displays. Among its many highlights, the Washington State History Museum houses the largest collection of pioneer, Indian and Alaska artifacts on the Pacific Coast, as well as a high-tech, 900-square-foot topographical map showing the state from its prehistoric times through the present. Groups who want to create a work of art all their own frequent the hands-on Tacoma Glassblowing Studio, which specializes in private group events and glassblowing experiences.
In addition to the Museum of Glass, Tacoma Art Museum, Washington State History Museum and Tacoma Glassblowing Studio, groups can bond via zipline challenge course at the Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, a 725-acre park that is also home to more than 200 animals, a 50-minute narrated tram tour of its free-roaming area and several indoor and outdoor event spaces. Groups can gather at outdoor pavilions, an antique carousel and exhibit spaces at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, the only combined zoo and aquarium in the Pacific Northwest. As the second-most popular attraction in Pierce County, after Mount Rainier, the zoo and aquarium features interactive exhibits and daily presentations, all set within the beautiful Point Defiance Park, with spectacular views of Mount Rainier, the Olympic Mountains and the Puget Sound.