Tacoma is a very unique and expressive place where up-and-coming artists are found in a hub of creativity. Even the cafés and restaurants have a certain artistic flare. The landscape itself is an artistic expression. The weather sometimes is a bit bipolar, but altogether, this place is inspiring. At first, the mills with their billowing white smoke seemed foreboding, but after time, they became eerily beautiful and part of what makes Tacoma distinctive. When the grey fog wears away and a clear day arises, a transformation occurs that will take your breath away.
The deep blue waterfront, a ferry ride to Vashon Island, the five-mile loop in Point Defiance, snowshoeing in Snowqualmie, hidden lakes, hot springs—these are all treasures in the surrounding area waiting to be explored. It is pretty much necessary to have a car or know someone who has a car because the city of Tacoma is quite large, and Seattle is close by. If you know where to look, there is always something going on, from concerts and open-mic nights to underground tours, chocolate factories, and TED talks. Although students sometimes complain about the Puget Sound "bubble," they often forget to look around and explore beyond campus. Tacoma and Seattle have so much to offer and inspire if you just make an effort. If you sit in your room and don't get involved or find a way to get outdoors, then you are missing out on the experience.