Windermere Professional Partners

40 Ways to Make the Most of August in the South Puget Sound

July 31, 2023

Summer's not over yet! We still have plenty of days of sunshine, blue skies, and warm weather to enjoy here in the Pacific Northwest!

Whether you live in Pierce County or in the surrounding areas of the South Puget Sound, this summer bucket list is packed with ways to make the most of August so you finish off summer strong!

1. Take a ferry! You can take the ferry from Steilacoom to Anderson Island, or hop on the ferry at Point Defiance to Vashon Island.

2. Rent a kayak or paddleboard at the Foss Waterway in Downtown Tacoma and explore the local waterfront from a new perspective. Rent a kayak or paddleboard on a sunny day and explore the water in Downtown Gig Harbor.

3. Explore any part of the Foothills Trail! This scenic, 21-mile-long trail runs from Tacoma through Orting and follows the Carbon River.

4. Go to Northwest Trek Wildlife Park in Eatonville and take a tour to see the animals out and about!

5. Visit a local state park that you’ve never been to before! Pierce County and the surrounding areas are filled with state parks. Kopachuck State Park, Dash Point State Park, and Joemma Beach State Park are just a few to start with!

6. Treat yourself to a cold dessert! Check out “Where to Get the Best Ice Cream & Frozen Yogurt in the South Puget Sound” for ideas!

7. Rent a Surrey, Deuce Coupe, Chopper, or Quad Sport at Point Ruston in North Tacoma to ride along the waterfront.

8. Go on a staycation! Rent an Airbnb or short-term rental in a neighboring city and play tourist. You could also stay at a cute cabin in Rainier!

9. Take a swim at Lake Tapps Park! Not only is there beach access here, but you can enjoy picnic amenities, trails, and of course, views!

10. Enjoy a gondola ride in Gig Harbor with Gig Harbor Gondola.

11. Take a boat tour on the Puget Sound and see the region from a new perspective. Click here and here for a couple of ideas!

12. Visit a part of Point Defiance Park in Tacoma that you’ve never been to before. Have you been to the Fort Nisqually LIving History Museum, the Japanese Garden at Point Defiance Park, or the Point Defiance Rose Garden? These are just a few examples.

13. Check out the new Dune Peninsula at Point Defiance Park on the waterfront in Tacoma.

14. Visit Tacoma Chinese Reconciliation Park on the Tacoma waterfront and learn about the meaning and history behind the park.

15. Pack a picnic and take it to Titlow Beach in Tacoma.

16. Go camping! You don’t have to travel far to feel like you’re on an outdoor adventure. Dash Point State Park, Alder Lake Park, and Mount Rainier National Park are just a few local areas that offer camping opportunities.

17. Attend an outdoor concert! Check out 2022 Summer Sounds Concert Series in Downtown Gig Harbor, Tunes at Tapps, Summer Concerts at Sunrise Village in Puyallup for starters. There are many more summer concert series throughout the region, too!

18. Explore the 6.2-mile paved Cushman Trail in Gig Harbor.

19. Visit a farmers market you’ve never been to before.

20. Go check out a Tacoma Rainiers game at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma.

21. Visit Chambers Bay in University Place to watch the sunset—it’s absolutely spectacular!

22. Explore the trail that wraps around Wapato Lake at Wapato Park in Tacoma.

23. Check out Spanaway Park on Spanaway Lake. This 135-acre park features 2 swimming beaches, a boat launch, a pier for fishing, a picnic area, a playground, and more! Pack a picnic and stay for the day.

24. Enjoy the scenery on the 5-mile Puyallup Riverwalk Trail along the Puyallup River in Downtown Puyallup.

25. Visit Bradley Lake Park in Puyallup and stroll around the lake, go fishing, check out the playground, and more.

26. Go parasailing over the Puget Sound with Pacific Parasail.

27. Visit a local farm that offers u-pick berries and fill up your bucket or basket with fresh, local fruit!

28. Visit any part of Mt Rainier National Park. There are so many hikes, viewpoints, camping options, and other ways to appreciate this regional wonder.

29. Catch an epic show at the White River Amphitheater. Take a look at the upcoming schedule of events here.

30. Go fishing! We have so many great spots to drop a line. Check out our blog post “9 Tips From Locals on Where to Fish in Pierce County.”

31. Try out horseback riding! Read our blog “Where’s The Best Place to Ride Horses in Pierce County? Read Advice From a Local Equestrian Expert!” for tips on how to get started.

32. Check out an event at the Washington State Fairgrounds. Of course, this popular events venue is home to the Washington State Fair in September, but it’s also home to many other events throughout the year. Washington State Summer Con, The Taste Northwest, and Goodguys 34th Pacific Northwest Nationals are just a few of the events featured this summer.

33. Organize a community yard sale with your neighbors!

34. See an amazing fireworks show this 4th of July. Typically there are fireworks shows on the 4th of July—here’s an example of last year’s schedule. Stay tuned for 2022’s schedule!

35. Go to the Pierce County Fair at Pioneer Park in Graham in August.

36. Spend a sunny day at American Lake in Lakewood. The 5-acre American Lake Park features a swimming beach, a playground, picnic amenities, a boat launch and more.

37. Try out a new golf course. We’re lucky to have several beautiful courses in the area. Here are just a few to check out!

38. Enjoy waterfront dining! For example, you can head to Ruston Way on the Tacoma waterfront or to the Downtown Gig Harbor waterfront to find true waterfront dining. A few favorites include Boathouse 19, Duke’s Seafood, Harbor Lights, Anthony’s at Gig Harbor, Tides Tavern, just to name a few!

39. Spend a fun day at Mike ‘n’ Terry’s Outdoor Fun Park in Puyallup. Enjoy mini golf, go-karts, batting cages, paintball and more.

40. Spend a peaceful afternoon getting lost in nature at the 373-acre Swan Creek Park in Tacoma. There’s a wooded canyon, forest, paved and natural trails, a dog park, picnic amenities, and more!