Tacoma, WA

The Pacific Seas Aquarium in Point Defiance Park, Tacoma, WA.

Jan Ewen

The Point Defiance Zoo and New Aquarium, Tacoma, WA.Jan Ewen/eatdosee.com

If you are a water nut like I am, you're going to love a visit to the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium's new underwater playground, Pacific Seas Aquarium. This long-awaited addition to the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium opened in 2018 and is a thing of beauty and a treat for all ages. The Pacific Seas Aquarium is one of two aquariums in the Point Defiance Zoo in Point Defiance Park, in the North End of Tacoma, WA.

Fish on display in the Pacific Seas Aquarium, Point Defiance Park, Tacoma, WA.Jan Ewen/eatdosee.com

The South Pacific Aquarium, also on the Zoo grounds, is home to 16 sharks, stingrays you can cuddle, and a tropical lagoon. If you are a shark fan, this 225,000 gallon exhibit filled with sandbar sharks, blacktop reef sharks, nurse sharks, a sand tiger shark and a Japanese wobbegong is definitely the place to be.  The South Pacific  Aquarium has always been a favorite of mine, so I was anxious to see the new Pacific Seas Aquarium.

Jellyfish at the Pacific Seas Aquarium at the Point Defiance Zoo, Tacoma, WA.Jan Ewen/eatdosee.com

The Pacific Seas Aquarium has been thoughtfully designed to bring the viewer up-close and personal with many species of underwater dwellers, including a plethora of jelly fish displayed in a mesmerizing display, turtles and sharks that float overhead in an underwater tunnel and floor to ceiling glass structures that give the natives plenty of room to roam. 

The Pacific Seas Aquarium was designed with a nod toward ocean conservation. Water in the aquarium is pumped directly up the hill from the Puget Sound, which is not all that far away. 

Jellyfish viewing at the Pacific Seas Aquarium, Point Defiance Park, Tacoma, WA.Jan Ewen/eatdosee.com

And it wouldn't be a Point Defiance Aquarium if there wasn't space for a little human-fish interaction. The Pacific Seas Aquarium offers a hands-on, up-close experience for those brave souls who desire to stroke a bumpy sea star or the spiky skin of a sea urchin.

Interactive displays in Pacific Seas Aquarium, Point Defiance Park, Tacoma, WA.Jan Ewen/eatdosee.com
The tidal pools are backed by a giant map of the Puget Sound and there's a comfy bench for weary parents. Children and adults alike will delight in this sensory experience and there's always a knowledgable staff person nearby to fill you in on the secret tidbits of tidal life.
Don't miss the fantastic sand sculpture on the zoo grounds designed and carved by sand artist, Jeff Strong. It is breath-taking!
Giant sand sculpture designed by Jeff Strong, Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, Tacoma, WA.Jan Ewen/eatdosee.com
Oh, and one more thing, don't miss the many, beautiful gardens when you visit Point Defiance Park. You'd better make a day of it!

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Tacoma, WA

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