Return to a simpler time this Xmas holiday in Pierce County

Going back to a simpler time this holiday season doesn’t involve time travel, but you’d be forgiven for thinking it did.

What to expect these holidays

On the Simpler Times pre-planned travel itinerary from Travel Tacoma – Mt. Rainier Tourism and Sports, you’ll find three days and two nights of candles and carolers, shopping at small local boutiques, garden getaways and strolls through enchanted, illuminated parks and zoos.

And while we can’t recommend leaving your phone at home – you might need to snap a quick photo for the ‘gram – you can leave it in your back pocket or set it to vibrate or otherwise render it inert.

The itinerary features stops in Tacoma, as well as the nearby communities of Sumner, Puyallup, Lakewood and Gig Harbor.

To keep the journey slow and scenic, Fort Nisqually Living History Museum gives you a glimpse of Father Christmas the colorful and pine-bough-laden way he looked before Coca-Cola gave us the jolly red-and-white icon we’ve all come to know and love.

Other sought-after adventures along the way include a holiday hayride and gift market at a local farm; a peek-and-sip inside a local award-winning craft distillery (nogs and toddies being synonymous with the holidays since there were holidays); and an immersive Victorian-style holiday village.

Shopping along this itinerary becomes an exalted activity, when you peruse the shops of Tacoma’s Antique Row, each full to brimming with objects crafted in an era before planned obsolescence and intentional disposability.

With luck, you’ll unearth a patinaed artifact that will find a renewed glow and appreciation as a gift to a loved one. Sumner’s holiday street music provides a cheerful soundtrack to shopping at mom-and-pop boutiques and bookstores along Main Street.

The threads that hold together the fabric of any itinerary are the hotel stays and culinary options, as they provide the ambiance of the visit. The Simpler Times itinerary features historic hotel stays and meals in century-old buildings as well as in tiny, hidden-away cafes and retro diners.

Executive take

“I think a lot of us spend most of the year in fifth gear with our foot on the gas pedal, between work and working hard to relax,” said Matt Wakefield, Chief Data and Marketing Officer for Travel Tacoma.

“We’re encouraging visitors with the Simpler Times itinerary to shift down to a slower pace this holiday season and enjoy some analog adventures in Tacoma and Pierce County. A little less scrolling, a little more strolling.”