10 Things You Should Do Before Leaving JBLM

#1 Take a cruise to Alaska!

There are many affordable cruises that leave right out of the Port of Seattle.  This is a must-do for anyone.   I like Vacations to Go as a good starting resource for browsing itinerary options for the different cruise companies.



#2 Take a Trip to Leavenworth during Christmas time!

Whether you are a wine lover or not, you should experience Leavenworth at least once during the holiday season, they don’t call it ‘Christmas Town’ for nothing.  It becomes so festive and lit, you will feel the magic of the holiday season for sure.  If you enjoy wine or want to try it out, there are 17+ tasting rooms all within walking distance.


#3 Visit Seattle!

At the bare minimum you must see Seattle the "Emerald City" at its finest.  Pike Place Market is a pretty awesome place to wander around and browse unique crafts and fresh gourmet foods. The Original Starbucks and Beecher's Handmade Cheese are just across the street.  Check out the Space Needle and the many museums.  The Chihuly Garden & Glass is a definite must do!  You can't forget the Otters at the Seattle Aquarium.



#4 Visit Portland!

Another really cool place to go check out is Portland, Oregon.  Whether you are into wine, spirits, great food or shopping, you will find something to do in this hipster city.  Check out the Portland Spirit for a brunch or dinner cruise along the Hood River.  Did I also mention, no sales tax!


#5 Eat at The El Gaucho (Tacoma location)!

The El Gaucho is by far our favorite steakhouse of all time.  With an unmarked door, you enter into what feels like a 1920’s prohibition speakeasy.  Fine dining at its best, there is not a bad thing on the menu.  For the budget minded, go during Restaurant Week.  A two-week event during both April and October, where 4 and 5 star restaurants have a discounted set menu.  The El Gaucho is part of the Fire and Vine Hospitality Group which consists of 6 El Gaucho restaurants, 4 additional restaurants and a resort throughout Washington and Oregon.  If you find yourself loving them like we do, signing up for their free rewards program, "Revelers Club" is a must.  With 10% back in points and a whopping $75 credit for both your birthday and anniversary, you can enjoy  El Gaucho a little more frequently.


#6 Whale Watching!

The Puget Sound is much known for its J-Pod resident Orcas (killer whales) and if you get a chance to see them while whale watching it’s certainly worth it.  I recommend Island Adventures, they are a reputable company that has been around for sometime.  They advertise guaranteed whale watching and they stand by their promise.

#7 Hike Mount Rainier!

Mount Rainier is a National Park icon towering over 14,000 feet above sea level, there are a number of amazing trails to experience.  Don’t miss the Mount Rainier National Park Valor Memorial and for those looking to hike more places the Washington Trails Association is a great resource.


#8 Visit Victoria, B.C.!

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada is only a 2-hour drive and a 90-minute Black Ball Ferry ride away.  Victoria is the capital of British Columbia, the western most province in Canada, it is a gorgeous small island with plenty to do.  Though you can bring your vehicle on the ferry for a fee, the city of Victoria is very walkable and has good public transportation options.


*Tip* make sure you have your Passport or a Real ID


#9 See a Concert at the Tacoma Dome!

The Tacoma Dome is the largest wooden domed entertainment arena in the entire world, seating over 20,000 people.  The wood used to make the roof came from trees that were downed in the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens.  Notable headliners who have played at the Tacoma Dome include George Straight, Taylor Swift, the Jonas Brothers and Bob Seger.


#10 Visit the Washington State Capitol!

Right in the heart of Olympia, just off the water is the majestic Washington State Capitol building.  It has the highest masonry dome in the United States and offers free walking tours every day of the week.  While you are in Olympia you have to go have lunch at 5th On 4th Sandwiches and More.


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