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In a rut? Here are ways to rediscover Tacoma

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It’s not easy to be bored in Tacoma unless, like most of us, you use free time visiting spots you’ve been again and again.

There’s comfort in sticking with a favorite restaurant or getaway, but even the Pothole Pig explores new territory every week.

Can we do any less?

You could ask friends and acquaintances for suggestions, but today we’ve done that for you. Consider this a starting point to new adventure.

The question: What would you consider a largely undiscovered spot in the Tacoma area that you’ve found and enjoyed?

Roy McAllister is an internationally known guitar maker whose work is backlogged more than three years. His guitars are used by Jackson Brown and David Crosby, among others. A non-drinker with a couple of kids, his suggestion is a hard to spot store on Sixth Avenue.

“The Root Beer Store,” McAllister said. “This place has a great selection of craft root beers that always surprise me.”

The store, at 5104 6th Ave., Suite 108, offers more than 100 root beer choices, fruit drinks and more.

Dennis Flannagan, a Tacoma curmudgeon and long-time Facebook pal, loves the adventure possibilities of a week at the Browns Point Lighthouse.

“The lighthouse keeper's home on Browns Point beach is a historical museum and can be rented by families that agree to let visitors in to the museum,” he said.

The renovated three-bedroom home offers spectacular views for up to six people and rents – peak season – for $950 a week. You have to agree to raise and lower the flag each day, open the museum from 1-4 p.m. on summer Saturdays, and log the weather and shipping traffic.

For complete information, visit the cottage website:!cottage-rental/jdzci.

Owner of Rainier Publications Jean Fitch Borst was one of three people who mentioned the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum.

“See a page from the first printing of the Guttenberg Bible, a picture of the first baseball pitcher to throw a curve ball, or Napoleon's grand plans for governing,” Borst said. “These and other original handwritten drafts, letters and documents of historical significance rotate through the eight Karpeles Manuscript Library Museums in the U.S.”

The Tacoma museum is open four days a week and sits directly across from Wright Park at 407 S. G St. Want more information? Check their website:

If shopping is more your passion, Borst suggested Sanford and Sons at 743 Broadway, where you can say hello to an Egyptian sarcophagus.

“It’s a real Egyptian mummy. Rumor has it this guy dates back 4,000 years from a desert oasis south of Cairo,” Borst said. “There are more than 20 shops and three floors of fun.”

Long-time Tacoma attorney John L. Messina brought up his childhood church as a place worth visiting.

“St. Rita's Church – South 14th and Ainsworth – has been around 94 years,” Messina said. “It first ministered to Italian immigrants. Now many of their descendants still attend, as do many Vietnamese Catholics. It’s a lovely church with stained glass windows and a real belfry.”

A number of people mentioned walks to be taken in Tacoma.

Melanie Manista-Rushforth lives in the North End, and doesn’t just walk her dogs. She likes to exhaust them.

“I love walking along Point Ruston,” she said. “Its unobstructed beauty is amazing. I walk down there with my dogs, and while we've been there we have seen seals playing.”

Artist and restaurateur Steve Naccarato had a pair of recommendations: one spot to relax, another to eat.

“The park down on the water in Gig Harbor under the Narrows Bridge,” he said. “It’s cool to walk the beach at low tide. Also, on sunny days bring a lawn chair and hang to watch the boats.”

To find the Narrows Park, just use your computer search engine to get directions from your house to 1502 Lucille Pkwy. NW in Gig Harbor.

For indoor fun Naccarato suggested trying the smallish Little Jerry’s, an eatery that’s a homage to the popular television comedy “Seinfeld.” Menu items include burgers and other casual food named for characters on the show. The sitcom is always on at Little Jerry’s, at 8233 S. Park Ave. It’s open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Kari Plog, an under-30 senior editor for content development for marketing and communications at Pacific Lutheran University, knows the value of a dollar. That’s why she recommended a Tacoma shopping experience that may not have popped up on your radar.

“Blue by Goodwill in Proctor is a thrift store affiliated with the nonprofit, but it sells ‘nicer’ used stuff,” Plog said. “There has never been a time when I've gone there and not found something I loved enough to buy. Most recently, I found a like-new Calvin Klein waterproof peacoat. I saw almost an identical one at Macy's for $100 – I paid $30 for mine. That is a common narrative when I buy stuff at Blue. They have quality, adorable clothes for cheap prices in a convenient and quaint location.”

Blue is at 2520 Proctor Ave.

The bet here is that Mrs. LaRue will be stopping in soon.