2017 Best of the South Sound

Thousands of you voted in our Best of the South Sound poll, and here are the results. You picked your favorite restaurants, doctors, and places to take your dog for a run. This is a great guide by our readers, for our readers. Thank you for voting; thank you to Moss Adams for reviewing the votes; and congrats to the winners. Let’s do this again next year!

By Natalie Deford, Lauren Foster, Margo Greenman, Joanna Kresge, Todd Matthews, Karen Miller, and Shelby Rowe Moyer 


Arts and Entertainment

Photo by Ken Emly

Photo by Ken Emly

Museum
Museum of Glass
It’s crystal clear why this cultural landmark is a South Sound favorite, with its iconic 90-foot stainless-steel cone and majestic outdoor art installations. Inside, guests will find edgy — and oftentimes downright whimsical — exhibitions in the galleries. Things really start to heat up inside the hot shop, where artists create pieces from molten glass for audiences young and old. Tacoma

Movie Theater 
The Grand Cinema
Located in the historic Merlino Arts Center, The Grand Cinema isn’t your typical big-screen movie theater. This nonprofit theater screens a plethora of independent, foreign, first-run, and local films while featuring an array of locally made concessions, including beers and wines, cookies, and ice cream. Tacoma

Live Theater
Tacoma Musical Playhouse
With shows like Monty Python’s Spamalot, Disney’s The Little Mermaid, and Sister Act: The Musical, it is no wonder Tacoma Musical Playhouse is the South Sound’s favorite place to take in a show. This, coupled with the theater’s youth camps, afterschool programs, and homeschooling clinics, earns the playhouse a standing ovation. Tacoma

Casino
Emerald Queen Hotel and Casinos
Located just off Interstate 5, Emerald Queen Casino has two locations and offers video slots and Vegas-style table games like Let it Ride, Blackjack, Spanish 21, Fortune Pai Gow, Craps, and Roulette. Not a fan of gambling? No worries: Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma offers a star-studded array of events as well as the Battle at the Boat boxing series, CageSport MMA fights, and restaurants at both locations that offer all-you-can-eat buffets! Tacoma and Fife

Photo courtesy MOVin 92.5

Photo courtesy MOVin 92.5

Local Radio Personality 
MOViN 92.5’s Brooke & Jubal in The Morning
It’s no secret that the Seattle-Tacoma area has some of the worst traffic in the Northwest, which is why we’re so grateful for MOViN 92.5’s morning hosts, Brooke Fox and Jubal Flagg. The morning show is jam-packed with hilarious segments like Jubal’s Phone Tap and Second Date Update.

Karaoke
Puget Sound Pizza
Fans of rock ’n’ roll and punk rock classics will love the curated selection of Puget Sound Pizza’s karaoke book. Come sing your heart out, or enjoy a cheesy specialty pizza (after all, it is a pizzeria) while you heckle or cheer on karaoke acts Wednesday through Saturday evenings. Tacoma

Art Gallery
Creative Forces Gifts & Sundries
Located in Tacoma’s Hotel Murano, Creative Forces Gifts & Sundries holds the curated works of self-taught Tacoma artist Carolyn Osborne. The gallery represents the works of 58 locals artists, available for purchase in various forms of media, including charcoal, watercolor, acrylic, hand-painted glass, fused glass, and one-of-a-kind jewelry. Tacoma

Photo by Elizabeth Johnson

Photo by Elizabeth Johnson

 Nightclub 
Steel Creek American Whiskey Co.
Cowboys and cowgirls alike enjoy this rustic venue during the evening for dinner and happy hour, but its claim to fame is its country music-themed events and nightlife. Patrons 21 and older can party into the night Thursday through Saturday while enjoying signature drinks like The Wrangler and Moonshiner’s Pie. Don’t know how to dance like a Dixie Chick? No problem: Steel Creek offers lessons. Tacoma

Band
2 Daze Gone
Get ready to jam, because this high-energy five-piece rock band is stealing the show at venues across Olympia. With curated rock covers ranging from AC/DC to ZZ Top, 2 Daze Gone is sure to rock the house down. Olympia

Festival
Tehaleh Harvest Day
The Tehaleh community — which is set on more than 4,700 acres in Pierce County’s highland forest — is the perfect oasis to celebrate autumn’s bounty. The resplendent views and lack of noise pollution harken back to a simpler time while also enticing young and old alike to enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides, tractor races, and sock hops. Bonney Lake

Local Celebrity 
Sonics Guy
Year after year, South Sound readers have continued to vote for Kris Brannon, the yellow-and-green-clad, diehard Seattle Sonics fan as their favorite local celebrity as he continues to lead the charge to bring the NBA back to our area. Tacoma

Photo courtesy Tehaleh

Photo courtesy Tehaleh

Best-Kept Secret 
Tehaleh Trails
Nestled between the Olympics and Mount Rainier, the Tehaleh community is more than just a neighborhood. Weaving throughout the planned community are approximately 10 miles of trails set in serene forests, fields, and wetlands surrounded by mountain views. Bonney Lake

Local Blog
ExperienceTacoma.com
Looking for information on Tacoma events? Businesses? Attractions? Check out ExperienceTacoma.com. Posts are curated by bloggers who love Tacoma as much as their readers do, and it’s artfully photographed by a talented pool of artists. Tacoma

Local TV Personality
Jesse Jones
KIRO 7’s news reporter is a Tacoma native who has worked in Baltimore and Cincinnati but couldn’t resist the pull of the Northwest, returning to his roots to deliver “news you can use” every day, including investigative reports and consumer news.

Business and Services

Mortgage Lender
Kyle Rohrbaugh — RPM Mortgage
Senior loan adviser and veteran mortgage industry professional Kyle Rohrbaugh guides clients through the loan process while helping them create wealth and find the best solutions for their financial needs. A “can do, will do” attitude has led Rohrbaugh to close nearly 200 loans annually for the past several years. Gig Harbor

Small Business + Coolest Office Space
Horwath Law
Fewer than a dozen staffers comprise the legal team of Horwath Law. But veteran Pierce County criminal defense lawyer Angela Horwath leads what her clients have called a “dream team” of attorneys and paralegals. Horwath, who was named one of eight national criminal defense leaders by Newsweek magazine in 2011, boasts a high percentage of not-guilty verdicts and dismissed cases. Tacoma

Medium Business + Realtor/Real Estate Agent
Mosaic Home Group
Finding the “right address” for home-buying clients is the shared goal of the tech-savvy team of real estate professionals and support staff who work at Mosaic Home Group. University Place

Large Business + Bank
Columbia Bank
The Tacoma-based company started small in 1993 and expanded to more than 150 branches and ATMs throughout the Pacific Northwest, becoming the rare large business that gives big banks a good name. Columbia Bank prides itself on responsible money management, small-business support, and personal customer service. Various locations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho

Auto Repair 
Ball Auto Sales & Service
The old-style gas pumps and weatherworn orange-and-green neon sign should be enough proof that this used automobile dealer and repair shop has been around for a while (since 1946, to be exact). The family-owned and -operated business embraces its age and experience and remains in business by offering quality work and individualized customer service. Tacoma

Credit Union
Harborstone Credit Union
The Lakewood-based credit union’s roots date back more than 60 years to when it began as McChord Credit Union and largely served Air Force personnel. Today, Harborstone Credit Union has more than 74,000 members throughout Washington state. Various locations 

Attorney
Antonio “Tony” Garguile
For the second year in a row, South Sound readers have named Lakewood attorney Antonio “Tony” Garguile their go-to source for legal advice. Garguile is a Washington state native who has practiced law since 2011; was named a Top 40 Under 40 lawyer by The National Trial Lawyers organization; and is a staff attorney at The Law Offices of Barbara A. Bowden, which specializes in DUI offenses and traffic infractions. Lakewood

Insurance Agent / Agency
Fournier Insurance Solutions
Former teacher and coach Dick Fournier started this insurance agency in a small bedroom in his Montesano home 40 years ago. Today, the company has grown to include five locations in Western Washington, including South Sound offices in University Place and Gig Harbor. Fournier’s son, Ryan, is the company’s president. Individuals and business leaders trust Fournier Insurance Solutions with all their insurance needs, turning the company into one of the largest family-owned agencies in Washington state. Various locations

thinkstockphotos-166610678_maskFlorist 
Blitz & Co. Florist
Family-owned and operated Blitz & Co.’s downtown Tacoma flower shop arouses the senses with the aromas of carnations, lilacs, orchids, tulips, and roses. Customers can choose from elegant arrangements, cheerful gift baskets, and a variety of flowering plants. Tacoma

Nonprofit
HopeSparks
HopeSparks’ roots date back more than 120 years, and the organization has consistently focused on addressing the needs of children and families to create lasting change. HopeSparks does this by providing counseling and other behavioral health programs that serve thousands of Pierce County families who face trauma, abuse, and overwhelming life changes. Tacoma and Puyallup

Financial Advisor
The Golden Stone Group at Morgan Stanley
A small team of financial advisers and planners, The Golden Stone Group provides a range of services tailored to help individuals, families, and business owners navigate the investment world’s many facets, such as retirement and estate planning, saving for education, and philanthropic giving. Federal Way

Home Security
Security Lock, Safe & Alarm
This company’s certified master locksmiths have served Tacoma for 95 years, and provide alarm security systems, locksmithing services, closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera systems, and even fire systems. Did you accidentally lock yourself out of your home? No worries. The team at Security Lock, Safe & Alarm can respond to emergencies 24/7. Tacoma

Photo courtesy The Henry

Photo courtesy The Henry

Apartments 
The Henry
Residents of this five-story, 161-unit luxury apartment building located along Thea Foss Waterway enjoy views of Mount Rainier and the downtown Tacoma skyline, as well as a rooftop dog run, community room, and fitness center. Tacoma

Photo by Nancy Noble

Photo by Nancy Noble

Tattoo Artist 
Katie Williams at House of Tattoo
House of Tattoo has been a local body-ink institution since 1996, when owner and University of Puget Sound fine arts graduate Katie Williams opened the shop in Tacoma’s busy Sixth Avenue Business District. Williams’ work has appeared in industry trade magazines, and customers rave about her art in online reviews. Tacoma

Car Dealership
Titus-Will
The Titus-Will family of automobile dealerships will turn 80 years old in 2018. If you’ve been in business for that long, you must be doing something right. Titus-Will is one of Washington’s largest-volume auto groups, whose trusted and customer-friendly staff offers brand-new Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, and Hyundai vehicles, as well as many makes and models of gently-used automobiles. Various locations

Eyewear 
Cascade Eye & Skin Centers
South Sound readers consistently choose Cascade Eye & Skin Centers as their favorite eyewear provider because the doctors give their personal attention and take extra care to provide a variety of treatments from comprehensive eye care to retinal services to advanced treatments for skin care. Various locations

Fashion and Retail

Boutique
Evolve Home
Inside Cindy Hickly’s home and women’s apparel store you’ll find locally crafted accessories, decorations, and jewelry. It’s the perfect place to grab a birthday gift or shop for something special. Tacoma

Baby Store
Charlie Barnes
Oh baby! Get the latest and greatest luxury baby and kids’ finds at this darling boutique in downtown Gig Harbor. Eco-friendly, organic, and mom-approved products for the newest member of the family are stocked here. Gig Harbor

Thrift Store 
Goodwill
Shopping for used clothing, kitchen supplies, furniture, toys, and so on is not only good for your bank account but also for the environment. Search for treasures you won’t find anywhere else at the Goodwill. Plus, it’s a bonus for the community: Donated items that don’t sell are responsibly recycled. Goodwill also has programs that support people to find jobs and stability. Various locations

Top Photo by Lana Alisdairi

Top Photo by Lana Alisdairi

 Local Fashion Designer 
Garden Study by Lana Alisdairi
It’s not every day you stumble upon a 1970s-style gold lamé jumpsuit. But that’s what makes Lana Alisdairi designs so special — they’re all original. Alisdairi makes her handmade clothing with vintage textiles. She makes only one sample of each design, so what you buy is yours and yours alone. Alisdairi sells her clothing and vintage finds on her Etsy account, Garden Study. Tacoma

Photo courtesy Gabriel&Co NY./Kantor Diamond Co

Photo courtesy Gabriel&Co NY./Kantor Diamond Co

Jewelry Store 
Kantor Diamond Co.
As some jewelry companies are pulling clients online to do their shopping, Kantor Diamond Company is proud to have a showroom. While serving clients around the world over the internet, the brick-and-mortar store in Tacoma is where things really shine. There, brokers educate clients on diamonds and provide help in finding the jewelry piece of their dreams. Tacoma

 Kids Store
Teaching Toys
The folks at Teaching Toys take their jobs seriously. The staff searches the globe to bring toys back to the South Sound that support the emotional, physical, and intellectual growth of kids. The stores serve infants through teenagers. Plus, there’s free gift wrapping! Tacoma and Gig Harbor

Men’s Clothier 
Nordstrom
Nordstrom makes finding great menswear easy. From suits to shorts, Nordstrom has it covered. Visit the store and shop with the friendly staff, or download the Nordstrom App, shop online, reserve what you like, and try it on in the store. Nordstrom is also known for having a stellar return policy. Various locations

Photo by Rachel Coward

Photo by Rachel Coward

Bookstore 
King’s Books
King’s Books is a South Sound treasure. As the largest used and new independent bookstore in Tacoma, King’s Books takes a community-centric approach to its business. Book events are always on the calendar, along with a long list of book clubs that meet there. Just walking between the rows and rows of bookshelves is a treat. Be sure to say hi to resident cats Atticus and Herbert. Tacoma

Antiques Store
The Key Antiques
Step back in time with a trip to The Key Antiques. This shop carries finds going back to the 19th century. Hundreds of pieces are for sale, but shoppers love that the space isn’t cluttered or overwhelming. Lakewood 

Bridal Shop
The Wedding Bell
Since 1945, brides-to-be have been saying yes to the dress at The Wedding Bell. Mrs. Fontana, who ran the shop for 47 years, kept newspaper clippings and photographs of brides she sold to. Ask to see the album when you visit. The attention to each bride is a tradition that’s still alive and well at The Wedding Bell. Tacoma

Food and Drink

Restaurant + Brunch + Romantic Dinner
The Lobster Shop
This waterfront staple racked up the awards this year as well as in years past. Diners love its hearty brunch, but also pick it as the No. 1 place to take their sweeties. It’s all about that water view and beautifully prepared food and drinks. Tacoma

Lunch + Seafood
Duke’s Chowder House
When you’re on Ruston Way looking at the water, you’ll crave fresh seafood. Duke’s has fresh, wholesome food, and readers love it. It’s no surprise, with seafood combos and award-winning chowders. Take a break on the patio this summer. Tacoma

*TIE* Outdoor Dining
Tides Tavern + Duke’s Chowder House
Gig Harbor is synonymous with spectacular waterfront views. What better way to watch the boats go by than with tasty food and delicious drinks? Readers love spending sunny days on the Tides Tavern deck eating the fresh fish ’n chips, crunchy salads, and drinking cold beer. Some people drive to Tides — but the lucky ones arrive by boat! Folks also love the spacious deck at Duke’s along Tacoma’s busy Ruston Way. Gig Harbor; Tacoma

Mexican
Moctezuma’s
Big margs, cheesy quesadillas, and adventurous specials — the South Sound feeds its Mexican food hankering at Moctezuma’s. Try the Tequila Flaming Fajitas or one of the margaritas made with fresh lime juice and agave tequila. Various locations

Burger + French Fries + Kid-Friendly
Boathouse 19
Nothing is better than a classic burger and fries, and Boathouse 19 does both well. Down at the bottom of 19th Street near the water, this kid-friendly spot’s American backyard burgers have quite a following. Tacoma

Pizza
The Cloverleaf
The Cloverleaf’s pizza is a one-of-a-kind Tacoma tradition. Famous for its thin crust, Cloverleaf pizzas don’t skimp on the toppings. Tacoma

Photo by Jeff Hobson

Photo by Jeff Hobson

French 
La Petite Maison
In a rustic house in West Olympia is the South Sound’s finest French food. With a nice and cozy feel, this fancy-but-hearty menu transports you to France. The staff is knowledgeable about wine pairings, and the food is exceptional. Olympia

Hole-in-the-wall 
Top of Tacoma
Nachos — on a huge tray, piled high. And then there’s that gooey mac ‘n’ cheese and a vast array of beers on tap. This bar is truly the “top” of Tacoma’s scene. Tacoma

Drive-In
Frisko Freeze
This drive-up and walk-up spot is always hopping as people get their fix of burgers, fries, and milkshakes. This classic fast-food spot has been on Division Avenue since the 1950s, and it’s a total throwback. Tacoma

Sandwich
MSM Deli
The name stands for “magical sandwich makers,” and “magic” is really tasty. The Sixth Avenue grocery and sandwich shop doesn’t skimp on the fillings. Try the Mike’s Deluxe with three kinds of meat. Tacoma

Vegetarian
Viva Tacoma
Tucked away on Proctor Street, there’s a wonderland for the dietary-restricted. With its all-dairy-free, all-gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, and raw-food menu, Viva has carved out a place for itself in Tacoma. With decadent brunch, lunch, and dinner, eating your veggies never tasted so good. Tacoma

Photo courtesy Pacific Grill

Photo courtesy Pacific Grill

Happy Hour 
Pacific Grill
With half-price food in the bar and beer, wine, and well drinks on special, the Pacific Grill happy hour is popular. And best of all, it’s (almost) all day, with happy hour from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday, 4:30-11 p.m. Saturday, and 4:30-10 p.m. Sundays. Tacoma

Sushi
Trapper’s Sushi
When it comes to winning Best Of awards, this local sushi chain is on a roll, with sushi rolls that will give you a sense of hometown pride — the Mount Rainier, Bonney Lake, and Puyallup, to name a few. Feeling adventurous? The restaurant recently opened a sushi burrito spot called Trapurito’s in Bonney Lake. Various locations

Photo by Rachel Coward

Photo by Rachel Coward

New Restaurant 
Cooks Tavern
There’s a new kid on the block in Proctor. Cooks Tavern is fast becoming a neighborhood staple with its lamb burgers, fry bread, and ever-changing themed menu. Tacoma

Coffee Shop
Cutters Point Coffee Co.
A hot cup of joe is a Northwest staple. Cutters Point, which got its start in Gig Harbor, recently celebrated 20 years. With locations around the South Sound, there are many options to get your java fix. Various locations

Bakery + Dessert
Corina Bakery
This year, Corina takes the cake! This bakery has everything from wedding cakes to everyday baked goods. Check out the daily selection of desserts at the café, right before you catch a movie at the nearby Grand Cinema. Tacoma

Chef 
Ben Nichols at Viva Tacoma
You might not think that raw, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and dairy-free cuisine is your thing, but Nichols’ food will change your mind on that. Heading up the kitchen at Proctor’s Viva Tacoma, Nichols crafts a delicious and creative menu that works for every dietary preference. Tacoma

Doughnut Shop
Original House of Donuts
Now expanded to downtown Tacoma and Puyallup (with a drive-thru!), Original House of Donuts is a longtime South Sound business. It started in Lakewood with that iconic A-frame building. The doughnut shop has been around for more than 50 years. Various locations

Food Truck
JW @ The Boatyard Food Trolley
This is a spin on the traditional food truck: a food trolley. Based at Gig Harbor Boatyard & Marina, this red trolley food truck is a venture by the popular Gig Harbor fine dining restaurant JW. It’s the ultimate summer spot with the smells of lobster rolls, cod and chips, and pulled pork wafting along the waterfront. All aboard! Gig Harbor

Chinese
Yen Ching
If you’re looking for the best Chinese food, head to South Tacoma Way for Yen Ching’s Mandarin and Szechuan cuisine. Readers rave about this authentic spot for Chinese food. Tacoma

Photo by Jeff Hobson

Photo by Jeff Hobson

Thai 
Indochine Asian Dining Lounge
This favorite has made a name for itself with a sophisticated twist on its Thai cuisine. Known for its seafood specials as well as its layered flavors, Indochine is a great spot for the everyday meal or a special occasion. Tacoma

Barbecue
Dickey’s
This Texas-based chain has a strong foothold in the South Sound, and readers love its smoky flavor, rich sides, and tangy sauce. Various locations

Distillery
Heritage Distilling Co.
This award-winning distillery calls Gig Harbor home, with a tasting room right in the heart of downtown. Try one of the many lines of spirits, including Batch No. 12, which has been perfected by the distillery. Gig Harbor

Indian
Gateway to India
On the hunt for Indian food in the South Sound? Head to Gateway to India. If you’re curry-ous about what to try, the lunch buffet is a great option to sample different flavors at one easy price. Gig Harbor and Tacoma

Japanese 
Fujiya
A Tacoma tradition, Fujiya has been offering exceptional food and service since 1984. From sushi to ramen to teriyaki, this restaurant has something for everyone. Tacoma

Cheap Eats
The Red Hot
Looking for cheap grub on Sixth Avenue? Head to The Red Hot for sausages, hot dogs, and beer. Try the Hound Dog — creamy peanut butter and crisp bacon. Trust us on this: It’s decadent and worth it. Tacoma

Brewery 
7 Seas
Now with locations on both sides of the bridge, Gig Harbor-based brewery 7 Seas is a place readers hop to for handcrafted brews. Recently opened in downtown Tacoma, the brewery is expanding and making a name for itself statewide. Gig Harbor and Tacoma

Italian 
Marzano Italian Restaurant
Tucked away in a house in Parkland is Marzano, which offers a Northwest twist on Italian food. The menu is inspired by chef Elisa Marzano’s upbringing in Northern Italy. The always-consistent Italian restaurant has been in the Parkland community since the late 1980s. Parkland

Fine Dining
El Gaucho
If you’re all dressed up and need somewhere to go, head to Pacific Avenue in Tacoma to eat at El Gaucho. With exceptional tableside service, a grand staircase, and the tinkling of keys on the piano, El Gaucho is the spot for a special occasion. Tacoma

Mediterranean 
Adriatic Grill
Chef Bill Trudnowski’s menu features fresh flavors paired with fine wines from a diverse bar. With crispy calamari, bright and flavorful caprese skewers, salads, seafood dishes, and more, this contemporary take on the Mediterranean is readers’ choice year after year. Tacoma

Vietnamese
Pho King
It seems like pho has popped up all over the area in the last few years, but Hilltop’s Pho King is at the top of the pile. Readers love not only the pho but the bahn mi sandwiches, too. Tacoma

Grocery Store
Metropolitan Market
Proctor’s Metropolitan Market, lovingly referred to as “The Met,” is more than just a store. It’s a lunch spot, grocery store, and meeting spot for Tacoma. It’s truly a neighborhood market. And that produce section? It’s always organized, bright, and full of the freshest produce. While you’re there, pick up the latest addition to the bakery, the soft pretzel. You won’t be disappointed. Tacoma

Photo by Kevin Cruff

Photo by Kevin Cruff

Winery 
Chateau Ste. Michelle
South Sound readers head north for this wine. This well-established winery in King County also hosts outdoor concerts each summer. It’s worth the trip. Woodinville

Heath and Beauty

Photo courtesy MultiCare Health System

Photo courtesy MultiCare Health System

Hospital  
Tacoma General
Few are thrilled to take a trip to the hospital, but Tacoma General Hospital invests in its patients and prides itself in offering innovative care with high-end technology. The hospital’s specialties include cancer care, cardiology, obstetrics, and neurology. Tacoma

Doctor
Dr. Ladie Araña-Domondon at Concordia Star Medical
Dr. Ladie Araña-Domondon is a licensed physician specializing in internal medicine, with more than 30 years of experience. Clients find her trustworthy and helpful with clear explanations that aren’t riddled with medical jargon. And she typically stays true to her appointment schedule, not rushing to get to her next patient. She expanded her practice in 2013 to include aesthetic medicine. Puyallup

Pediatrician
Bruce Davies, University Place Pediatric Clinic
Personalized care and supporting parents and families are Davies’ daily goal, and patients have felt his passion during their visits. Reviewers expressed they trust his medical advice, feel he gives thorough and clear-cut explanations, and listens to their concerns. University Place

Best Dentist 
Dr. Brad McPhee at McPhee Dental Group
The University of Washington graduate maintains a general dental practice focusing on comprehensive dentistry. He’s an academic, too. McPhee has lectured on implants, porcelain veneers, digital photography, as well as interdisciplinary coordination with orthodontics treatment. University Place

OB-GYN
Dr. Adam Nickel, Nickel Obstetrics & Gynecology
The Tacoma native has eased women’s fears during the delivery process and guided them through difficulties they had during their pregnancy. His personable relations, with clients have made him a go-to for local women since he joined his now-retired father’s practice, Nickel Obstetrics & Gynecology, in 2012. Tacoma

Physical Therapist
Ross Anderson, Anchor Physical Therapy
With more than 18 years of experience, Ross Anderson finds satisfaction in motivating older patients and pushing younger clients to strengthen their bodies. He’s received five-star client reviews for exceeding their expectations, being compassionate, and helping them push themselves to better health. Tacoma

Chiropractor 
Dr. Jason Stockton, Tacoma Family Chiropractic
Jason Stockton has been providing chiropractic health care at his Tacoma clinic since 1997 and is the team chiropractor for the Tacoma Rainiers Baseball Club. Stockton uses the “whole person approach” with hands-on-techniques and state-of-the-art procedures, and offers natural vitamin and mineral supplements. Tacoma

Naturopath
Tacoma Health Natural Family Medicine
Rebalance your body the natural way. The physicians use a variety of techniques to help clients feel their best. In addition to physical exams, they work with patients on nutritional and chemical imbalances in their bodies. Tacoma

Orthodontist
Douglas Knight, Douglas J. Knight Orthodontics
Trust your smile with Dr. Knight. Clients rave about his top-notch staff, which is patient-centered and makes the experience comfortable and stress-free. Those who come in with emergencies or just want to straighten their pearly whites compliment Knight’s attention to detail and friendly rapport. Tacoma

Eye Care
Cascade Eye & Skin Centers
Numerous skilled ophthalmologists, optometrists, dermatologists, and dermatology physicians and assistants provide high-tech treatment and offer compassionate care. Patients who come in with skin insecurities or are nervous about surgery said helpful staff are comforting, efficient, and timely during appointments. Various locations

Butterfly Kiss Photography

Butterfly Kiss Photography

 Yoga Studio 
Source Yoga
Get centered with classes at Source Yoga that range from beginner to experienced. It also offers family yoga classes at the prenatal and postnatal stages, and yoga for kids. Wanting a little more? Check out Source Yoga’s annual retreats. Tacoma and University Place

Cosmetic Surgeon
Dr. Justin Piasecki, Harbor Plastic Surgery Center
Justin Piasecki expertly removes skin cancers and erases the damage. He even co-founded a skin-care product line with his wife, Jill, in 2014. He won several awards for his research and teaching at the University of Wisconsin, where he completed a five-year plastic and reconstructive surgery residency. Gig Harbor 

Assisted Living + Senior Living
Kensington Gardens Estate Living Retirement Community
The luxurious site with a cascading fountain and an abundance of natural beauty offers intimate and “home-style setting” care. Tailored plans address the emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and physical needs of residents. Gig Harbor

Mani-Pedi
La Bella Nail Spa
Treat yourself to a soothing mani-pedi without the bank-breaking prices. Express manicures are $15, and La Bella offer shellac and gel, semi-permanent manicures as well. The spa also uses pipeless pedicure chairs, liners, and throw-away pedi kits, so you know your service is clean and bacteria-free. Tacoma

Salon
London’s Salon
You’ll always feel at ease at London’s with stylists that are up with the trends and can curate a classic hairstyle or a modern cut and color. Relax and be pampered by the best. Tacoma

Gym + Trainer
Jesse Ewell at Innovative Fitness
Don’t let another year pass by without achieving the healthy body you’ve always wanted. Let Jesse Ewell motivate you to be your best with a personalized fitness routine and meal plan. And get your heart pumping with classes and training camps. Fircrest/Gig Harbor

Massage
Hawks Prairie Massage Clinic
The team has garnered a lot of attention through word-of-mouth clients that rave about the massages. The massage therapists specialize in sports medicine and deep-tissue massages but also offer several other treatments. Lacey

Lisa Monet Photography

Lisa Monet Photography

Spa  
Savi Day Spa
Wind down and let the stress of the day melt away at Savi Day Spa at Hotel Murano. It offers full-body massages, specialty facials for different skin types, hand and foot therapy, and advanced clinical treatments. Ahhh, feeling better already. Tacoma

Home and Garden

Architect
Coyote Design Architecture + Planning PLLC
Coyote Design is a great resource for anyone envisioning a new home or renovation project. They will listen to your goals and use their expertise and creativity to help come up with the right plan for you. Tacoma

Landscaper
Olympic Landscape & Irrigation
When they have a landscaping project, readers go to Olympic Landscape & Irrigation, a family-owned company providing landscaping services throughout the Puget Sound since 1977. It creates and executes landscape designs to reflect its clients. Puyallup

Garden Shop + Nursery 
Watson’s Greenhouse and Nursery
Grow the perfect space with the help of Watson’s. From outdoor patio furniture, to plants and gardening supplies, Watson’s has you covered. Puyallup

Photo by Chris DiNottia

Photo by Chris DiNottia

Kitchen and Bath Designer + Remodeler 
Artisans Group
This award-winning Northwest design-build firm is known for creating unique homes and spaces. It focuses on building modern and ecological homes to match its clients’ dreams and budgets. Olympia

Furniture Shop
The Old Cannery Furniture & Mattress Warehouse
Furnish your home with the wide variety of furniture items you can find at Old Cannery Furniture. With a wide selection, you’ll find furniture that’s perfect for your living room, dining room, bedroom, home office, and more. Sumner

Photo courtesy Stefanie Brooks Interior Design

Photo courtesy Stefanie Brooks Interior Design

Interior Designer 
Stefanie Brooks Interior Design
Stefanie Brooks Interior Design is well known for its excellence in client service and amazing designs. Brooks is passionate and creative, and has more than 10 years of experience in custom homes, furnishings, remodeling projects, and more. Tacoma

Appliance store 
Albert Lee Appliance
If you’re looking for new gadgets and gizmos, Albert Lee is the way to go. It has more than 90 brands of kitchen, laundry, and outdoor appliances. A helpful staff will work with you to find the right tools to get the best appliances for you and your home. Tacoma

Hardware Store
McLendon Hardware
All the nuts and bolts and more. McLendon Hardware will prepare you for all of your DIY work, hands-on home repair, and maintenance. The Tacoma store features a full-sized house built inside the store that demonstrates how things are installed and how they look inside a home. Various locations

Builder
Harrison Homes
Harrison Homes is a professional custom-home builder that can help you build or remodel a home. Its staff shares vast knowledge and local expertise to help you make the best decisions before you remodel or build. Gig Harbor

Kids

Private High School
Bellarmine Preparatory
Bellarmine Prep is a school renowned for excellence in academics and athletics alike. The Catholic college preparatory school serves about 1,000 high school students each year, preparing them for the next phase in their lives with quality education. Tacoma

Photo courtesy First Presbyterian Church School/The Cor Deo School

Photo courtesy First Presbyterian Church School/The Cor Deo School

Private Elementary  School  + Best Preschool 
First Presbyterian Church School
Students at First Presbyterian Church receive a Christ-centered education from loving and supportive staff and teachers. Families of students who attend there enjoy a supportive community. Tacoma

Private Middle School
Life Christian Academy
Middle school students at Life Christian Academy experience core curriculum focused on academics, spiritual development, and more. The friendly staff and teachers provide a supportive environment for kids to learn and grow. Tacoma

Public Elementary School
Donald Eismann Elementary
Part of the Sumner School District, Donald Eismann serves more than 500 elementary students. The school and its staff aim not only to teach fundamentals of education, but also life skills to help encourage students to strive for their personal goals. Sumner

Photo by Cailyn Aune

Photo courtesy Tacoma Public Schools

Public High School 
Stadium High School
One of Tacoma’s most recognizable landmarks, Stadium High is known not only for its beautiful, castle-like campus, but also for its top-notch curriculum and programming. The staff of friendly and supportive educators and faculty provides a great learning environment for all students. Tacoma

Daycare
Sumner Valley Preschool
Kids play, learn, and have fun at Sumner Valley Preschool, all while developing their skills and preparing for their educational journey to begin. Emergent curriculum builds upon the kids’ interests. The school provides childcare in the toddler, preschool, and school-age ranges. Sumner

Birthday Party Place
Hands On Children’s Museum
The Hands On Children’s Museum is a great place for kids to play, learn, and explore through hands-on activities and interactive exhibits. A birthday party there is guaranteed to be a fun event to remember. Olympia

Photo courtesy Tacoma Public Schools

Photo courtesy Tacoma Public Schools

Public Middle School 
Mason Middle School
Mason Middle School is home to great teachers, staff, classrooms and activities. Middle School can be a tough time for many kids, but the teachers and staff at Mason help students get through it. Tacoma

Teacher 
Vera Clowers, Celebration Friends Preschool
As the director of the preschool at Celebration Lutheran Church, and the winner of multiple Best of the South Sound awards, Vera Clowers demonstrates kindness and grace. She has introduced thousands of 3-to-five-year-old students to their first school experience and is a beloved member of her community. Puyallup

Pets

Dog Day Care 
Biscuits Doggie Daycare
You can trust your pup to Biscuits Doggie Daycare. While it’s never easy to leave your pupper behind, when you need to leave your dog at Biscuits, you know he’s in good hands. You can even arrange to have your pup bathed while at the facility and bring him home cleaner than before! Tacoma

Veterinarian
Chambers Creek Veterinary Hospital
When your beloved pet isn’t feeling well, you want the highest-quality care for them. Readers say Chambers Creek Veterinary Hospital provides the best care, whether it’s an emergency or a routine check-up. Lakewood

Pet Groomer
Tacoma’s Best Pet Grooming
Pamper your pet at Tacoma’s Best Pet Grooming. Everyone — even those with four legs — deserves a spa day or needs a bath once in a while. This groomer will have your animal clean and stylin’. Tacoma

Photo courtesy City of Lakewood

Photo courtesy City of Lakewood

Place To Walk Your Dog 
Fort Steilacoom Dog Park
Sometimes Fido needs to stretch those legs or go for an off-leash run. Readers love Fort Steilacoom as a place to let their dogs run and explore. Lakewood

Travel and Recreation

Hotel
Hotel Murano
Looking to experience downtown Tacoma? There’s no better place to start your adventure than at the city’s popular and swanky Hotel Murano. This boutique hotel is conveniently located in the heart of downtown, providing easy access to some of the city’s best dining, shopping, and entertainment options. Tacoma

Bed & Breakfast
Hedman House
Warmhearted hospitality is what attracts guests to the Hedman House in Puyallup, a 1907 farmhouse turned bed and breakfast. Whether you’re planning a a business trip or a quiet weekend getaway, Hedman House offers quaint and cozy accommodations. Puyallup

Golf Course
Chambers Bay
Famous for hosting the 2015 U.S. Open, Chambers Bay has long been a favorite 18-hole, walking-only links course among local and visiting golfers alike. Featuring tawny fescue grasses, sand dunes, fairways, and stunning views of the Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains, this University Place course may make golfers feel as though they’ve been transported to Scotland while putting on this green. University Place

Northwest Travel Destination 
Alderbrook Resort & Spa
Surrounded by sweeping views of the Olympic Mountains and the tranquil waters of Hood Canal, Alderbrook Resort & Spa quickly transports South Sound city dwellers to a world full of natural serenity and endless relaxation. Add luxurious guestrooms, a full-service spa, and a renowned restaurant, and this equals the perfect Northwest getaway. Union

Photo courtesy ©2011 Micah ShelDon, creative commons

Photo courtesy ©2011 Micah ShelDon, creative commons

Hike + Park 
Point Defiance
Point Defiance Park, the largest park in Pierce County, is visited by more than 3 million people annually. The park features 760 acres of old-growth forest, saltwater beaches, a rose garden, boathouse, zoo and aquarium, hiking trails, and picnic spots. Tacoma

Airline
Alaska Airlines
When South Sound residents take to the sky for business or leisure, their favorite way to fly is by way of Seattle-based Alaska Airlines. Founded in 1932, this local airline has been shuttling travelers from Sea-Tac International Airport to popular destinations across the country (and some international destinations in Canada, Mexico, and — most recently — South America and Cuba) for 85 years. Seattle

Cruise Line
Holland America Line
Formerly a Dutch shipping line, Seattle-based Holland America has shifted gears from shipping products to shipping passengers to exciting destinations. Having operated as a cruise line since 1989, Holland America is now in the business of transporting travelers to exotic places around the globe. Seattle

Photo courtesy Ed Coumou/Thornewood Castle

Photo courtesy Ed Coumou/Thornewood Castle

Wedding Venue  
Thornewood Castle
Thornewood Castle — a 500-year-old, 27,000-square-foot manor — looks like something straight out of a fairytale. No wonder so many couples choose this as their wedding site. Located on the shores of American Lake, this enchanting venue has appropriately been dubbed “the house that love built.” Lakewood

Kid-Friendly Destination 
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
There’s no doubt about it — kids (and their parents) love Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. With exhibits featuring everything from marine life to land mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and everything in between, PDZA has been attracting families to explore, discover, and learn about wildlife since it opened in 1905. Tacoma

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