Explore Tacoma’s museums and its Point Defiance Park (with zoo and aquarium) and take excursions to Mount Rainier National Park, Northwest Trek and the Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad.

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The world’s top golfers, and thousands of fans, are flocking to Western Washington for the U.S. Open golf tournament.

The local and national focus will be on the Chambers Bay course, near Tacoma, where the tournament will be played June 15-21. But for visitors, and locals, there’s lots to enjoy beyond golf in Tacoma and in surrounding Pierce County. A sampling:

Tacoma’s museums

Tacoma packs a lot of culture into its downtown “Museum Row,” a cluster of eclectic museums.

If you go

Pierce County sights

Tacoma museums

• For Museum Row museum hours, locations and admission, see the links at downtowntacoma.com/museum-row

• Combine visits with a money-saving Tacoma Museum Pass, good for entry to Washington State History Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, Museum of Glass and the LeMay car museum ($35-$45, valid for one week). Buy it at the first museum you visit.

• Downtown Tacoma is about 10 miles from the Chambers Bay golf course, which is in suburban University Place.

Chambers Bay and U.S. Open

• For info on the golf course, see chambersbaygolf.com.

• For more about the U.S. Open, see usopen.com.

Point Defiance Park

The park is about a 15-minute drive from downtown Tacoma and “Museum Row.” metroparkstacoma.org/point-defiance-park

Mount Rainier National Park

The park’s Paradise visitor center is about 75 miles from downtown Tacoma. nps.gov/mora

Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad

Train rides are mostly on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, May through October. Book ahead at mrsr.com/. About 50 miles from downtown Tacoma.

Northwest Trek

The wildlife park is 30 miles from downtown Tacoma. nwtrek.org

The Museum of Glass showcases 20th- and 21st-century glass art, including works of pioneering glass artist (and Washingtonian) Dale Chihuly. The museum includes a “hot shop” where visitors can watch artists create shimmering, fantastical pieces out of molten glass. Outdoors, walk across the colorful Chihuly Bridge of Glass, a 500-foot, glass-glistening pedestrian overpass.

Within walking distance of the Museum of Glass are:

Tacoma Art Museum, focusing on art of the Pacific Northwest and American West. A current major exhibit, “Art of the American West,” covers 200 years of works by historic and contemporary artists that focus on the Western landscape and identity.

Washington State History Museum, telling the story of the state, with artifacts, interactive exhibits and images chronicling its native, pioneer and modern history.

• Got kids? At the hands-on Children’s Museum of Tacoma, designed for ages 8 and younger, they can play and learn in five playscapes, from water play to building blocks.

• A short distance away is the LeMay car museum — “America’s Car Museum,” it calls itself — a recent addition that celebrates everything automotive, from iconic station wagons to exotic sports cars (americascarmuseum.org).

Explore Tacoma’s long maritime history at Foss Waterway Seaport, with boat displays, hands-on workshops and vintage photos (fosswaterwayseaport.org).

Point Defiance Park (and zoo)

Tacoma’s sprawling, waterfront park — 760 glorious acres — includes forest trails; beach and seaside cliffs; botanical gardens; a zoo/aquarium; and a living-history museum. Something truly for everyone.

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium has jellyfish and shark exhibits, polar bears and furry, little clouded leopard cubs (born in mid-May). There even are camel rides for toddlers.

Fort Nisqually Living History Museum, an enclave within the park, takes visitors back to 19th-century Washington, during the fur-trade era. Costumed staff re-enact crafts and everyday life, as it was in 1855, in what was then frontier territory.

Mount Rainier National Park

It’s about a two-hour drive from Tacoma to Paradise — the aptly named, gloriously scenic visitor area up at 5,600-feet elevation on the southern slopes of Mount Rainier. See displays at a visitor center; see (and get food at) the rustic, woody Paradise Inn. Most of all, enjoy the scenery of glacier-clad, 14,411-foot Mount Rainier looming above and walk on trails that radiate from the parking area, from gentle half-hour meadow strolls to all-day hikes.

Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad

All aboard for a two-hour, vintage steam-train ride through the forested foothills south of Mount Rainier. The historical locomotives once pulled logging trains; there’s also a new museum that showcases vintage logging artifacts and logging-camp exhibits. Book ahead for the museum tours and weekend train rides that depart from the tiny community of Elbe.

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park

Learn about the region’s wild things on a Northwest Trek tram tour that takes you through this wildlife park’s 435 acres in the western foothills of Mount Rainier. You’ll ride past areas that hold moose, elk, bighorn sheep, deer and more. Or take a walking tour on a paved path through the forest that showcases animals in naturalistic habitats.To get closer to the animals, take a keeper’s tour (although they book up fast).

Want more action? Ride a zip line/challenge course that includes swinging log bridges that you totter across high in the air.