What to do and see in University Place, United States: The Best Places and Tips

January 15, 2018 Malia Yoakum

University Place in United States, from Nouth America region, is best know for Golf Courses. Discover best things to do in University Place with beautiful photos and great reviews from traveller around the world here!
Restaurants in University Place

1. Chambers Bay

6320 Grandview Drive West, University Place, WA 98467-1060 +1 253-460-4653
Excellent
70%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
2%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 148 reviews

Chambers Bay

With tawny fescue grasses, towering sand dunes, massive fairways, and breathtaking views of the Puget Sound and snow-capped Olympic Mountains, Chambers Bay brings the traditions of Scottish linksland to the Pacific Northwest. Located in University Place, Washington, this 18-hole, walking-only course provides an authentic links experience for players of every ability. Chambers Bay Grill is known for both its delicious food and panoramic views which makes it the perfect place to celebrate the end of a round or simply enjoy the splendor of the Puget Sound, the majestic Olympic Mountains and expansive golf course views. Frequented by golfers and locals alike, the Grill is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner with a full bar service and an interesting list of Northwest wines. The Grill also hosts frequent specialty events including Winemaker, Brewmaster, and Distiller dinners. This 930-acre site also includes over two miles of saltwater shoreline, two and a half miles of urban creek and canyon. Enjoy a walk on the beach and over 5 miles of public trails or relax at Central or North Meadow.

Reviewed By PilotMike2009 - Constant Traveller

Chambers Bay Golf Course has a wicked reputation. It's built on the remains of an old quarry, the greens are weird, and the memories of the USGA debacle at the 2015 U.S. Open have the golf snobs blasting this layout for a thousand sins. Well, they are all wrong. This is a great track, a fun locale, and a completely unique course which I would go back and play again any time.

In July 2017 My wife and I were in Tacoma on a holiday, expressly with an eye on playing Chambers Bay. While this sounds like a modest plan, we had two strikes against us. First, she’s a petite grandmother — not exactly a long-ball hitter. Secondly, I play with 100-year old hickory clubs. Neither of us are going to over-power this course like Speith or Johnson or even a low-handicap amateur. The question remained unanswered: can average golfers enjoy Chambers Bay?

The answer is unequivocally YES.

We arrived at the course early in the morning and enjoyed the convivial chatter in the parking lot as we and a dozen of other arriving players put on our golf shoes. After visiting the pro shop we jumped into a shuttle bus and are driven down a very steep hill to the first tee. There you will find a snack bar, the practice range and a putting green. We also met our caddies and a father-son pair with which we had been matched. The only thing lacking are golf carts. Yes, Chambers Bay is a “walking only” course, and that makes this very good experience even better.

The views across this course and Puget Sound are unmatched. It is a remarkable experience to stand on the first tee, fescue waving gold in the bright yellow morning sun, bright green fairways stretching as far as the eye can see. The city of Tacoma is completely hidden; the noise of modern life blocked by the ridge of hills behind the course. Its a magical instance, almost a “Brigadoon” moment, as if you somehow just had been teleported to the fields of Dornoch, Shishkin, Macrahanish or St. Andrews, just with nice weather and better food.

About the caddies. Yes, our foursome shared two caddies and they were excellent, absolutely perfect gentlemen and extraordinarily helpful. I don’t think you would want to play this course for the first time without a caddy; the ball simply rolls too far in unpredictable directions. There's a good chance you would get lost, possibly play the wrong holes and maybe never find your way home. Plus, shot placement is essential on this course, and knowing the distances also is a key element. Our caddies helped us with all this AND kept us cheery with encouragement and funny tales.

I will not bore you with a shot-by-shot recounting of our game; I know nobody cares. But I will tell you that every hole is unique, every shot requires strategy and every putt requires serious concentration. This is a mental and a physical work-out, but it’s all worth it.

My favorite hole was #6, high up on the ridge. My caddy told me to aim far, far left — right into the fescue — but the ball landed on the edge of the fairway on a ridge, skidded over the ridge, and turned hard right, rolling another 75 yards downhill almost into the cup. An amazing bit of "local knowledge" there; another reason to trust your caddy!

My wife enjoyed the bowl-like #9, an intimidating par three with a 100-foot drop from tee to green. She ended up in the fescue but that didn’t diminish her thrill of the chase!

Dustin Johnson called #18 “the dumbest hole in the world” but he’s wrong, it plays fair and true.

I recall the course has six sets of tees, which it needs. I played from the white tees with my hickory clubs and on most holes had excellent chances to play in regulation, so the distances are fair. The father-son team that we played with were long-ball hitters, and they played from the tips. Sadly, this is a course that values accuracy more than distance and they got hammered. My father used to say, "Short and straight beats long and crooked" and Chambers Bay proved him right.

After the golf, we enjoyed a very nice lunch at the club house, so just because the golf is over doesn’t mean the fun has stopped.

Greens fees were about $250 per person, which is reasonable value. I am extremely impressed that the Commissioners of Pierce County had the courage and the vision to reclaim this wasteland, to ban golf carts, and invest in the excellent golfing experience it is today. It’s good for the sport, it’s good for Tacoma and it’s good those of us who throw a bag over our shoulder on the first tee and challenge ourselves as much as the course.

2. Point Defiance Park

5400 N Pearl St, Tacoma, WA 98407-3224 +1 253-305-1030
Excellent
78%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Point Defiance Park

Scenic park offering more than 700 acres of woodland trails, gardens and waterfront views, along with a zoo and aquarium.

Reviewed By John S - Columbia, Missouri

I had never been to Tacoma before and was only there for one day so wasn't sure what to do. So glad we decided to explore Point Defiance. Such a beautiful park with tons of fun things to do. Must visit if in Tacoma!

3. AMC Loews Lakewood Towne Center 12

5721 Main St SW, Lakewood, WA 98499-6501 888-AMC-4FUN
Excellent
72%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 102 reviews

AMC Loews Lakewood Towne Center 12

Reviewed By Chris P

This is a good theater. It has the reclining, assigned seats and very clean. It's a bit expensive, but worth the seat. Over all cost, recline seat, with popcorn and a drink cost about $25/person. Like most theaters, it's a bit cold, so bring a small jacket.
There really isn't a bad seat with the reclining chairs, so IF you get caught in the front row, it's not going to be the end of the world, you just recline all the way back. It's not the ideal seats, but it's not like the older tradition head craning seats.
Parking doesn't fair to well on a busy opening night of a movie, but if you have time to go during the week day, you can get an up front slot.
This theater is located in the Lakewood Town center, so if you have teenagers, there is lots to do. Currently there is still a Boarders Books with a Starbucks inside. If your looking at the front, off to the left, they are building Washington's first Chronic Taco. Popular is California, it should do well here. It looks like it will be open sometime the end of the month.

4. LeMay - America's Car Museum

2702 E D St, Tacoma, WA 98421-1200 +1 253-779-8490
Excellent
73%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 891 reviews

LeMay - America's Car Museum

LeMay - America's Car Museum (ACM), named one of USA Today's 10 Best Museums in Seattle and KING 5's 2014 & 2015 Best Museum in Western Washington, is an international destination where families and enthusiasts gather to celebrate America's love affair with the automobile and how it shaped our society. The stunning, four-level, 165,000-sq.-ft. Tacoma, Wash., facility features 12 rotating exhibits, five annual Signature Events and serves as an educational center, hosting students of all ages.

Reviewed By Ted L

Talk about a kid in a candy store. The LeMay Auto Museum is just nirvana for everyone who loves wheeled transportation in all its beautiful, strange, weird and kooky forms. LeMay is located in Tacoma in a really interesting free-form wood laminated building overlooking the harbor and next to the freeway -- easy to get to. It's not over priced like some museums because you can easily spend an entire afternoon swooning over classic cars, sports cars, cars with vintage pedigree in addition to some motorcycles and even electrics. My recent visit featured a nice collection of post-WWII vehicles that represented the Eisenhower era of my youth. Studebakers, Kaisers, Hudsons, Packards, etc. all gleamed in their deserved spotlight. It was a kick in the pants to revisit the marques that are long gone but not forgotten,
The LeMay is definitely worth a detour. And, enjoy lunch in the museum cafe while you are at it. Parking is free.

5. Narrows Plaza Bowl

2200 Mildred St W, University Place, WA 98466-6041 +1 253-565-1007
Excellent
84%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 6 reviews

Narrows Plaza Bowl

Reviewed By Brian H - Everett, Washington

The place was clean, the snack shack was very good for the price and the kids had fun. Would have been a 5 but they changed the oil pattern and threw most of the kids off on the second day (just let the kids know)
This would be great for a family outing!

6. Cushman Trail

Reid Drive NW, Gig Harbor, WA +1 252-858-3400
Excellent
59%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 92 reviews

Cushman Trail

Reviewed By dcyagura - Gig Harbor, Washington

My wife and I have walked the newer section of the Cushman trail, since it is closer for us than the original Cushman trail. This trail was well designed and maintained, and everyone we have encountered to date has demonstrated common courtesy, whether walkers, joggers or cyclists. The only drawback, if you will, is limited parking.

7. 5 Mile Drive & Trails

5400 N Pearl St, Tacoma, WA 98407-3224 +1 253-305-1000
Excellent
79%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 187 reviews

5 Mile Drive & Trails

Reviewed By jgbtravels - Louisville, KY

We are fortunate we decided to stay in Tacoma to visit the sights rather than go back to Seattle. When we first got to the park when they opened up the 5 Mile Drive was closed. We decided to go back around one more time and it was open. Lucky us.This is really a lovely drive with numerous photo opportunities. Don't miss it or the rose garden near Pearl Street. Worth the effort to see.

8. Chambers Bay Loop

University Place, WA 98466
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 4 reviews

Chambers Bay Loop

Reviewed By carrigancourt - Seattle, Washington

All the trails here are beautifully paved and wide enough to accommodate walkers, joggers, people with leashed-dogs, and people pushing baby strollers (great workout!!) We arrived before 9 am on Memorial Day Monday so found plenty of parking there. We decided to do the entire loop (Grandview + Soundview trails) starting at the Clubhouse parking lot and going clockwise. We followed the path down the switchbacks* then toward the water where the bridge goes over the train tracks by the beach. We jokingly called it the Bridge to Nowhere because it does just end abruptly. But from it you have beautiful views behind you of the entire world class golf course with its sweeping fairways and myriads of bunkers, and the scenic inlet in front of you. Stairs from the bridge lead down to the small rocky beach and where the paved path continues. You actually get to walk close to many of the greens and watch the golfers – the 2015 US Open put this public course on the map! There is one stretch of the undulating trail where you walk a long length of uphill incline and it is wooded and shady. But most of the loop is totally in the open – there’s just the one iconic tree - so dress accordingly. For those who cannot make the 3 ¼ mile grand loop or are unable to walk the inclines, you can drive and park down closer to the bridge and the small off-leash dog park; there you can just walk the smaller loop (Central Meadow Inner Loop) if you want to avoid the strenuous switchbacks or the slow inclines. At the opposite end of the route from the Clubhouse is another parking lot and a large kids’ playground. There are several modern restrooms along the route – but bring your own tissue - we found all the stalls were out of toilet paper!

We ended our pleasant morning with brunch at the Chambers Bay Grill situated in the same building as the Clubhouse. Surprisingly plain ambience. In fact, the row of small windows that allow breathtaking views of the inlet and golf course could easily be replaced with much larger ones. But the food was delicious and servers were friendly. Bison omelette and thick slices of toasted banana bread – yum!

*if you go counter-clockwise, you’ll have to walk UP these switchbacks – your choice of workout!

9. Olympus Spa

8615 S Tacoma Way, Lakewood, WA 98499-4542 +1 253-588-3355
Excellent
72%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
7%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 28 reviews

Olympus Spa

Olympus Spa (Main) was opened to the public on June 20th, 1997 to provide a beautiful and elegant oasis for women in the South of Seattle area.IMAGINE… escape to a sanctuary where stress and busyness of every day life is left behind. Recently selected as the favorite local spa by the rigorous Seattle times, Olympus Spa offers women a welcoming atmosphere devoted to the restoration of the body, mind, and soul. With Eastern medicinal tradition blending perfectly with Western relaxation techniques, we offer a relaxing and rejuvenating spa experience every woman deserves. Let your stresses melt away in our heated earth energy rooms. Revitalize your senses in our hydrotherapy pools and saunas. Inspire your beauty within.

Reviewed By Tonya L

Came here to unwind and relax. Used the facilities without treatments and the pool baths and clay room are my favorites. Tranquil with tea, sauna, steam room and clay room for major detox. Refresh the skin, mind and soul for a few hours of treatment pools and facility options!

10. Chihuly Bridge of Glass

Between Dock Street and Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, WA 000-000-9999
Excellent
69%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 462 reviews

Chihuly Bridge of Glass

Reviewed By Anna911 - Washington DC

As a huge fan of Dale Chihuly this bridge was a can't miss for me. In many ways it did not disappoint. The artwork itself is just stunning and you should take the time to see it both during the day and wanted to luminated at night. What is very frustrating is this year number of pieces especially in the wall where the lights have burned out. Weather this is the city of Tacoma or the Museum of Glass which is responsible someone needs to take better care of the lighting. But otherwise I walked along this bridge every single night that I was there because I thought the artwork was so special.

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