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The Thea Foss Waterway Esplanade begins at Thea's Park along Tacoma's eastern waterfront. The park offers access to the water for fishing, swimming, boating, and wildlife viewing (harbor seals and sea lions). From the park, the paved trail winds south, passing marinas and a few restaurants and ending near the 500-foot Bridge of Glass, which allows travelers to safely cross over active railroad tracks and I-705 to head into downtown.
The footbridge itself is also an attraction as it's dotted with beautiful sculptures created by famed glass artist and Tacoma native Dale Chihuly, such as a pair of 40-foot-tall blue crystal towers. Adjacent to the bridge is the Museum of Glass, serving as both a gallery and art studio for glass artists. A distinctive feature of the museum is its stainless steel cone-shaped dome.
On the other (west) side of the bridge, trail goers can visit the Washington State History Museum and easily hop on the Prairie Line Trail, running down the center of the University of Washington campus.
About a mile north of Thea's Park, the Ruston Way Path is also worth checking out. Situated in the Old Town neighborhood of Tacoma, the paved pathway offers lovely views of Commencement Bay and majestic Mount Rainier.
Parking is available at the north end of the trail in Thea's Park (535 Dock St.).
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