Historic homes line cobblestones streets, which meander down toward the waterfront, where the mountains loom in the backdrop. Take a walk and discover shops, art galleries, parks, museums, beaches and theaters, all within a few miles of each other. Welcome to North Tacoma, or, as locals call it, the North End. This section of the city, comprised of six different neighborhoods, is mostly residential, but its architecture, natural topography, shops and theaters make it worth your while to visit and stay at one of the small, family-run hotels.
There's a seven-story, French chateau-style building in the Stadium District, one of North Tacoma's neighborhoods. It was designed as a hotel, but it is actually the local high school. The Stadium Bowl, adjacent to the school, was the first stadium on the American West Coast, and the Tacoma Little Theatre, over 90-years old and financed by the city, provides entertainment. Local residents stroll through Wright Park, a 27-acre arboretum. Visitors, at the end of the day, find repose at the Chinaberry Hill Bed and Breakfast, an 1889 Victorian Inn. Its rooms, which feature fireplaces, private Jacuzzi, over-sized armoires and four-poster beds, overlook the Pacific Northwest Puget Sound. Each room has serendipitous features. The Carriage Suite has original items from Tacoma's horse and buggy days, and a curved iron canopy bed. An antique inlaid mother-of-pearl bedroom set embellishes the Garden Room. Breakfast specialties include orange croissant French toast and homemade Mexican quiche.
The North Slope Historic District
Tacoma's trapezoidal-shaped North Slope historic district experienced building boons between 1888 to 1893, 1902 to 1915, and 1919 to 1929 . Its architectural styles include Craftsman,Tudor Revival, American Fourscore, Queen Anne and Mission Revival. The North Slope Neighborhood is listed on the Tacoma Register of Historic Places, the Washington State Heritage Register and the National Register of Historic Places. Its residents have a strong commitment to historic preservation, and often conduct tours of the neighborhood's older homes. The 1940s Ford parked in front of 912 North I Street belongs to Skip Easley, co-owner of the Geiger Victorian Bed and Breakfast. The inn has three distinctive rooms, the most interesting being the Virginia Mason room, with its painted mural ceilings, silk-screened wallpaper and fireplace in its sitting room. During the warmer weather, guests enjoy sitting in the outdoor garden. Despite its Victorian decor, the Geiger Victorian Bed and Breakfast offers modern conveniences for business travelers, such as an in-room data-port and a VCR with over 100 movies available.
The University of Puget Sound is a residential, liberal arts college, located in a North Tacoma neighborhood, characterized by its Craftsman, Bungalow, Victorian and Tudor homes. The Green Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast is a five-minute walk from the University, and a five minute walk from the Proctor District, known for its antique shops and the Blue Mouse, a renovated 1923 theater that shows first-run films. Lace curtains, patchwork bedspreads and four-poster beds contribute this inn's romantic Victorian ambiance, but high-speed Internet access is available for those requiring modern conveniences. Mandarin almond French toast and fresh salmon quiche are two of the breakfast specialties.
A Waterfront Hotel
The Silver Cloud Inn sits on a pier above the waters of the Commencement Bay. The hotel's large windows provide spectacular views, which entice you to step out your hotel room and enjoy the Ruston Way Waterfront, a haven for dog-walkers, joggers, cyclists, skaters or people simply out for a stroll. Point Defiance Park, with its zoo and historic fort, is about three miles from the hotel. Rooms feature simple, beach-hotel decor, but the Aveda bath products and full, included breakfast add value to this North Tacoma hotel.