Point Ruston’s convenient location offers easy access to the beaches and parks along the Tacoma waterfront. All of the Metro Park’s seven waterfront locations are within just minutes of one another and even the furthest beach is just over a thirty-minute walk from Point Ruston. The park amenities make it easy to get stuck at one, but make sure you beach hop your way down and experience the variety the Ruston Way waterfront has to offer. Let us explore the parks of Ruston Way!
The closest park to Point Ruston, Cummings Park is a perfect spot to relax and enjoy the scenery. The complex island garden marking the entrance to the park allows the visitor a chance to slow down and enjoy the serenity Cummings has to offer. With tree cover over the walkway and seating areas, you will find a cool escape from the heat on warm summer days. Cummings extends down the waterfront with a large grass field perfect for sunbathing and summer activities. If you get too warm in the hot summer sun, there’s even a designated swimming beach open to the public. One trip to Cummings and you may have a new favorite spot to relax on a Sunday afternoon!
Dickman Mill Park
Solely featuring species of plants native to Washington, Dickman Mill Park is a testament to Tacoma’s recent revival of its natural environments. This nine-acre stretch of beach is paralleled by a restored wetland area that is continuously consuming the industrial remains that once dominated the site. On the Southeastern most end of the beach, a small tidal entrance cuts through the skeleton of the old lumber mill where the water is now able to fill and drain from the reserve. Aside from the more natural features of the complex, a bridged walkway and seating area offer a focal point for experiencing the unique setting that gives Dickman its distinction. With a barrier of foliage separating you from the road, Dickman Mill Park is the perfect quiet picnic spot offering spectacular views of the Sound.
Marine Park/ Les Davis Pier
Marine Park may be small but don’t let size fool you, with both recreation and entertainment, it offers more fun per square foot than any other beach. Plus, it is two parks in one! A historic fireboat stands guard at the entrance to the right of Murph’s BBQ where you can stop for lunch or ice cream. The park has also recently been designated as a swim, dive, and personal watercraft launch spot by Tacoma’s Metro Parks. Supplementing the beachfront opportunities, Les Davis Pier starts within the park boundaries offering fishing and crabbing and bench seating for anyone who wants to watch. In the summer, drummer George Jetson performs at random so if you’re lucky you may get free music as well. If you want to be surrounded by high energy and activity then Marine Park rarely disappoints.
The smallest of all the parks, Hamilton offers a quaint atmosphere for anyone who needs a moment of rest. A great rest spot along Ruston Way Hamilton Park has benches, a small bike rack and easy access to the beach at low tide. Right next-door is the Silver Cloud Inn which has a small pier and private dock that is accessible on foot from the entrance of Hamilton. Make sure you stop to enjoy the momentary retreat Hamilton has to offer from the Ruston Way Waterfront before you turn back to Point Ruston.
Old Town Dock
After recent renovations, Old Town Dock is better than ever. With both a personal watercraft launch and public slips, Old Town Dock caters to nearly every boating and water sport activity. Located right across from the break in the railroad tracks, you have easy access into Old Town and the shops and restaurants it has to offer. Whether you’re launching a kayak to get on the water or you want a place to park your dingy for a lunch ashore, stop by at the dock and make use of the new additions.
Jack Hyde Park
Our last stop on the way down the Ruston Way waterfront, Jack Hyde Park offers one last beach access. A bit of a walk from Point Ruston, Jack Hyde has plenty of parking just across the street. A small fish and chips house offers food and ice cream and your close proximity to the food in Old Town allows other dining options. A large sundial on the eastern end of the beach is also a must see and its elevated position offers a good vantage point to observe all of the others beaches all the way back to Point Ruston. Jack Hyde ends just after the sundial, but if you venture down the path beyond this you will come to the Chinese Reconciliation Park. The park offers attractions such as the traditional red Pagoda, eight ten foot tall monoliths, a white “Pearl” bridge, and Red Japanese Pines. With all these options there’s no reason not to get out and explore the parks of the Ruston Way waterfront!