Unless you’re local, most don’t know where University Place is! It was home to the US Open 2015, no it’s not called Chambers Bay and let’s not get it confused with University District in Seattle. It’s right outside Tacoma and about 45 minutes south of Seattle. Population of about 35,000 in a beautiful area close to the water, low crime, perfect place to live or visit.
Whether you live around here or maybe you’re vacationing to Seattle, our little town has a lot to offer. It’s a short drive from Seattle and you could easily spend at least a full day here.
Getting to University Place
It’s fairly easy to get to here and accessible by automobile, whether you’re coming from Seattle or Olympia.
Straight from CityofUP.com: Heading north or south on Interstate 5, take the 56th Street Exit and head west. 56th Street will become Cirque Drive, one of several major east-west arterials in University Place. The other major east-west arterials are 40th Street West, 27th Street West, and South 19th Street. The major north-south arterials in University Place are Grandview Drive West, Bridgeport Way West, and 67th Avenue West.
The City is served by Pierce Transit and more regional service is provided by Sound Transit. Amtrak Service can be accessed in nearby Tacoma.
Where to Stay
Our little town has a lot to offer but lodging isn’t really one of them. They do have plans for a resort in the future at the golf course, I’ll keep you posted.
- Check out vrbo.com and airbnb.com
- Chambers Bay Bed & Breakfast
Where to Eat
There’s a few different options to eat in University Place, whether you’re going for a more formal dinning spot or family friendly. Everything from Mediterranean to Burgers, I’m sharing some favorites below.
- Gyro Zone – one of our favorite places to eat; great food, great prices for the amount you get, not a big seating area though
- Pine Cone Cafe – homestyle cooking, really great breakfast
- Sapporo Steakhouse – new Japanese restaurant in U.P. with Hibachi style
- Chambers Bay Grill – good food but not necessarily family friendly
- Applebees – American food
- Mediterranean Gyro Grill
- Whole Foods/The Lumberyard Grill – ale-cart style, sandwiches, and very good pizza and beers
- Top Pot Doughnuts and Anthem Coffee Tea – both in the Village at Chambers Bay
- Lefty’s Burger Shack – fun summer time lunch/dinner, outdoor seating only
- Boathouse 19 – casual dinning spot on the water, great menu including Gluten free
- Grassi’s Ristorante – serving Italian food, we have not visited the restaurant yet but we plan on it soon
- Bliss Small Batch Ice cream coming soon to Village at Chambers Bay (Spring 2018) – very tasty ice cream
- Harbor Greens – has a great deli section
What to Do
University Place offers many things to do especially outdoors, we have a very beautiful little corner in Washington. Many family-friendly and free options.
- Chambers Bay (park) offers many things to do; a little over 3 miles of trails, a dog park, two different meadows the top is equipped with soccer goals, beach access, watch the trains go by, and a beautiful playground (Playground by the Sound), it’s our most favorite place to watch the sunset
- Chambers Bay Golf Course home of the US Open 2015
- Go for a picnic at the Curran Apple Orchard or check out the free music events during the summer
- Take a stroll, shop, and eat at The Village at Chambers Bay
- One of our favorite hidden gems is Kobayashi Park; great hiking trail, perfect place for little explorers, covered picnic shelter, plenty of shade and when the weather is hot there’s a creek you can wade through
- U.P. offers a few different park choices; Sunset Terrace, Cirque, Playground by the Sound, Colgate, Homestead, Kobayashi
- On the outskirts of University Place you can find a bowling alley – Narrows Bowling Alley and an arcade/laser tag/indoor playground – Odyssey 1
- Check out the calendar for a paint class at Art Studio 27
- Visit the Chambers Bay Distillery or Narrows Brewing Company
- Stroll, shop and eat at Green Firs Village includes a Trader Joes, Home Goods, Starbucks and more!
- Our town has a big festival/parade to start the summer season off, Duck Daze is the first Saturday of June
- The town’s Christmas Tree Lighting is the first Friday of December
I love that playground by Chambers Bay – and you’re right about the sunset! Will need to check out the other playground, Kobayashi Park, sounds like a fun place to visit
Yes, definitely come check out Kobayashi on one of the hot summer days – just remember to bring towels :)
Rachel Teodoro says
Great recommendations. I’d add Harbor Greens to the list too Love their sandwiches and their fresh produce. Plus they carry my favorite Ellenos yogurt!
Yes, great recommendation. I’ll add it right now because yes, there deli food area is delicious and I love their produce and plant sales.
That’s such a cool playground! We’ll have to head to your hometown this summer to check it out:)
For sure, it’s a beautiful place here and only about 10-15 min away from downtown Tacoma. Let me know when you do and maybe we could meet up with you guys ;)