Land of Generous People
- Puyallup is rooted, literally, in a rich agricultural heritage and continues to celebrate one of its most famous pioneer homesteaders, Ezra Meeker, best known for making the trek west to his home in Puyallup by way of the Oregon trail. Ezra Meeker was a leading citizen of Puyallup, first mayor, onetime Hop King, historian and author.
- The city was named after native American tribe, the Puyallup or S’Puyalupubsh (phonetically: spooy-all-up-ahbsh) which means “generous and welcoming behavior to all people (friends and strangers) who enter our lands”. The Puyallup Indian Reservation located in Pierce County includes land in Tacoma, Waller, Fife, Milton, Edgewood, and Puyallup and is one of the most urban Indian reservations in the United States. The Puyallup River was named for the Puyallup tribe who originally lived throughout the river basin.
- Puyallup is also home to the Washington State Fair which has made “do the Puyallup” a local household song. The Puyallup Valley community joined together to create the “Valley Fair” in 1900. The Fair provided a place to exhibit animals of all kinds and became a premier venue to showcase the crops which flourished in the valley’s rich soil. Today a total of more than 2.5 million people visit the Washington State Fair and Event Center for the September and Spring fairs plus all the other year round events like the Sewing Expo and Good Guys Car Show.
- Though some local farms still exist, the Puyallup business community has grown to include a diverse cross section of commerce and the arts. The historic downtown boasts not only the largest indoor/outdoor farmer’s market in Pierce County, but the 8th largest fair in the nation and one of the top 10 in the world. It has a thriving antique district that draws attention throughout the state, and a prominent and well known outdoor gallery of art that changes annually and features local artists. Add to that regular performances by the Northwest Sinfonietta, free community summer concerts in Pioneer Park, and visitors soon recognize that Puyallup is a culturally diverse community that celebrates his heritage in a variety of methods.
- The Puyallup School District is top notch and provides opportunities for a diverse cross section of career training and advanced classes for post high school education. Puyallup also has plentiful housing and commuter rail and transit access, it’s close to metropolitan cities and has easy access to Mt. Rainier, hiking trails, Puget Sound and a variety of lakes and rivers perfect for fishing and boating enthusiasts.
Things to do in Puyallup
- Explore Puyallup’s Outdoor Art Gallery: Sponsored by Arts Downtown, Puyallup’s Outdoor Art Gallery includes a collection of 38 pieces of quality art in downtown Puyallup. Supported by the City of Puyallup, businesses and private citizens, Arts Downtown provides a free, year-round gallery that features works by student, professional and emerging artists. The goal of Arts Downtown is to provide art for public viewing to increase visual literacy and the quality of life in the Puyallup community. A new mobile tour program allows visitors access to significantly more information about each sculpture. There are currently 25 stops and more to come as they add their 2015-2017 rotating gallery. The program tour content reveals the artists’ thoughts in creating their works and is available for visitors to explore the gallery at their leisure. Visitors can also access the tour after they return home to share with others.
- Book/Author Events, computer classes and more for adults and youthnSponsored by the Puyallup Public Library and Library Foundation, residents and visitors alike are invited to attend a variety of events throughout the year at the library, most of which are offered at no charge. Renowned authors are invited to speak to the public at various times throughout the year, computer classes are offered, including those available through Microsoft IT Academy, League of Legends open play for gamers of all skill levels, Puyallup History program which opens the Library’s History Room archive to the public, are just a sample of what’s scheduled on the Puyallup Library’s calendar of events. To learn about current events and available programs, including opportunities to volunteer, visit www.cityofpuyallup.org/library.
- Tour the Puyallup Historical Fish Hatchery Organized in 2012, the Puyallup Historical Hatchery Foundation is a group of Puyallup citizens that came together to create a non-profit group to preserve the Puyallup hatchery for generations to come. Their mission is to retain and improve the historic Puyallup Hatchery and promote watershed stewardship through education. The foundation provides educational tours to local students with up close interactive activities for them to participate in. For more information about visiting the Hatchery located at 1416 14th St. S.W., Puyallup, go to www.facebook.com/PuyallupHistoricalHatcheryFoundation/
- Tour Meeker Mansion Meeker Mansion is available for tours, field trips and special events. Expert tour guides are able to provide the more detailed learning experience, providing background on the Meeker family, the Mansion’s construction and rehabilitation, and local history. Brochures are available that explain the history of the Mansion with details for each room. Signs throughout the Mansion point out items of particular significance as well as background on restoration activity. A film of Ezra Meeker on his promotional Oregon Trail wagon trip is a highlight of the visit. Open Wednesday through Sunday, 12pm to 4pm, March through mid-December, visitors to the Mansion can enjoy guided and self-guided tours. Visit http://www.meekermansion.org/ for more information about the Mansion which is located at 321 Pioneer Ave. in downtown Puyallup. Call 253.848.1770 to schedule tours during off hours or to schedule an event.
- Saturday Farmers Market Sponsored by the Puyallup Main Street Association, the Saturday market features your favorite farmers bringing their best hanging baskets, veggie and fruit starts, flowers and more all grown right here in Washington. The market also features a variety of distinct artisan crafters, specialty food vendors, unique and respected non-profits and top notch entertainment. Starting in April every year, the market runs through mid October on Saturdays from 9am to 2pm at Pioneer Park and Pavilion.
For more information or vendor applications, call 253.840.2631 or visit www.puyallupmainstreet.com/events/puyallup-farmers-market/
- Dinner and a Concert: Concerts in the Park Series
Sponsored by Puyallup Parks & Recreation, downtown Puyallup hosts free concerts for the public each summer in July and August. Consider making a date for dinner and a concert with your family or meet up with friends to enjoy Puyallup’s fun downtown atmosphere.
FAMILY SERIES at Pioneer Park every Thursday at 6:30pm
NOON TUNES at Pioneer Park every Tuesday at noon
FAMILY SERIES at Bradley Lake Park, various days and times
For updates and possible changes to the entertainment schedule call (253)841-5457 or visit www.cityofpuyallup.org. In the case of inclement weather all concerts at Pioneer Park and Wednesday concerts at Bradley Lake Park may be moved inside the Pioneer Park Pavilion.
Pioneer Park located at 325 South Meridian, Puyallup
Bradley Lake Park located at 531 31st Ave. S.E., Puyallup
- Listen to a world class symphony Northwest Sinfonietta is a nationally acclaimed chamber orchestra of the highest caliber that performs in Puyallup at Pioneer Park Pavilion. The ensemble of 30-40 musicians play well known music that inspires and invigorates at a local level. For a list of local performance dates visit www.northwestsinfonietta.org
- Farm to Table Puyallup has a rich agricultural heritage that residents and visitors can still enjoy. Generations of local farmers still continue to operate in the Puyallup Valley and have expanded their scope of business to include updated retail locations that attract thousands of visitors every year.
So if you don’t have the time or space to start your own garden, Puyallup continues to offer healthy, fun and educational opportunities to purchase locally grown fruits and vegetables . Check out these two local farms:
SPOONER FARMS: Family owned since 1882, Spooner Farms grows some of the best Washington berries for you and your family. Start your summer off with their delicious fresh-picked strawberries. Between July and August they harvest raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and corn. Visit the farm for a taste of their homemade berry fudge or cool down with a fresh fruit smoothie. Jam making supplies, seasonal gifts, and sundries of all kinds are available throughout the season.
Fall time at Spooner Farms has also become a family tradition in the Valley. U-pick 47 varieties of pumpkins, gourds and squash – both edible and ornamental – are available. Get lost in their giant themed corn maze, nosh on homemade caramel apples, check out the farm animals, get crafty in the activity barn, or yell “Pumpkins Away!” with their original pumpkin sling shots. Great fall decorating provisions, gifts, and concessions available. They also offer booked school tours, Monday-Friday, throughout October.
For more information visit www.spoonerberries.com
DURIS CUCUMBER FARM: Hazel Duris entered the farm business in 1955 when she asked her husband, Al, to plant her a garden. When the cucumber vines produced more than she needed, she placed the surplus vegetables out on the side of the road in front of their house with a sign that read “Cucumbers for Sale”. Patrons purchased the cucumbers and placed the money in a coffee can near the display. Today visitors can still purchase cucumbers at the roadside farm stand on River Road which has been expanded to offer a wide assortment of local fresh fruits and vegetables, and continues to offer specialty pickling cucumbers along with everything else you need to make pickles including the mason jars.
For more information visit www.duriscucumberfarm.com or call (253) 922-7635
- Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives: If you’re a fan of the Food Network or Guy Fieri, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Crockett’s Public House which was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives in 2012 was originally a feed store until owner Shaun Brobak turned it into a pub. Located at 118 E. Stewart Ave. in downtown Puyallup, the menu lists the entrees showcased in the local episode: Fire Grilled Artichokes with Calabrian aioli, Mom’s Sloppy Joe with crispy fried onions and Public House Meatballs topped with pistachios and parmesan.
Definitely a fun place to visit if you’re in town.
- Go Antiquing Downtown Puyallup is well known for its thriving Antique District. It includes several large antique malls with thousands of square feet of displays and hundreds of independent vendors featuring an impressive variety of items from country and primitive to fine art, glass and pottery. Whether you’re looking for that perfect retro item for your home, vintage toys for your personal collection, a stylish piece of costume or estate jewelry or local vintage clothing options, Puyallup’s Antique District makes for a fun day of exploring. For more information about store locations, visit www.antiquedistrict.net.
- Downtown Brews and Dining Hub Local newspapers are touting downtown Puyallup as an emerging dining hub in Pierce County. With more than a dozen unique independent casual restaurants and pubs, visitors can walk from place to place and make an evening of tastings and meals. Whether you’re in the mood for Asian, Italian, Greek, Cajun, Irish, Mexican or American fare, there are choices galore for ethic food and atmosphere. Make Puyallup your next date night destination and explore our friendly dining establishments for a memorable evening.
- Hiking and Biking – Foothills Trail The Foothills Trail sits atop a historic railroad bed and snakes through the river valley southeast of Tacoma. This 25-mile-long trail is a popular commuter route and recreational destination for bicyclists, while hikers enjoy shorter, more manageable segments of the trail. One of the most scenic sections for the unobstructed views of nearby Mt. Rainier begins in Orting and follows the Carbon River upstream through farmland and forest. The Foothills Trail is a 12-foot wide non-motorized asphalt trail / linear park suitable for bicycles, walking, in-line skates and wheel chairs. It also has a soft shoulder path for equestrians. Completed paved sections include 15 miles from Meeker to the South Prairie Creek in South Prairie and a 2 mile section in Buckley. The future plan is to continue the trail to Puyallup where it connects with the Riverwalk Trail then ultimately to Tacoma and Sumner where we will connect with the Interurban Trail that now extends through Kent and Auburn. The trail in Buckley will continue east to King County and Enumclaw. When complete, the trail will be more than 28 miles in length. June 28, 2007 marked the opening of the entire length of the Foothills Trail, extending from Buckley through the Town of South Prairie, City of Orting and into the City of Puyallup. To see the Foothills Trail Map visit http://www.piercecountywa.org/index.aspx?NID=1388