What Makes Tacoma's Chinese Reconciliation Park So Special

The Chinese Reconciliation Park is part of Tacoma’s MetroParks system, and is a unique spot perched right on the Puget Sound that’s ideal for quiet reflection, private events or a picnic. Rather than an open green space, this park is on a patch of rolling hills. While the park has a small footprint, it has a variety of terrain, from graveled gardens to rocky beachfront. It's hands down one of the most beautiful places to sit and simply enjoy the surrounding scenery in Tacoma. In the spring, cherry blossoms add an extra pop of color. Any time of year, the water and traditional Chinese fixtures create a unique beauty.

Bonus, you can continue along the walking path that starts at the park onto the Ruston Way walking path, which goes for about two miles along the Puget Sound. Than then connects to Point Ruston's walking paths, which takes you another few miles and will eventually connect to Point Defiance.

The Chinese Reconciliation Park has a unique name for a reason. The park is...MORE part public park and part apology for the tragic expulsion of Tacoma's Chinese residents in the late 1800s. The spaces of the park are beautiful, but also educational if you pause to read one of the plaques explaining what happened and why the Chinese population was so important to the city, despite how they were treated.

  • 01 of 04

    Location

    Chinese Reconcilation Park Tacoma
    ••• Kristin Kendle

    The four-acre park is situated at the south end (closet to downtown Tacoma) of the Tacoma Waterfront at 1741 N Schuster Parkway, Tacoma.

    There's a small parking lot near the park, but it's also not a far walk from the parking lot just down the hill from The Spar at McCarver and Ruston Way.

    More beautiful places in Tacoma: Tacoma's Beaches | Blueberry Park

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    Why You Should Visit

    Chinese Bridge Tacoma
    ••• Chinese Bridge. Kristin Kendle
    • The park is usually quiet and serene and makes a great reflection spot not far from the Waterfront.
    • There are several seating areas to enjoy the views of the Puget Sound.
    • If you’ve got a small event that you’d like to hold outdoors, the park is a great spot.
    • There’s a small beach area with logs to sit on and stare out at the water (and maybe spot a seal or two).
    • The Fuzhou Ting is a cool pavilion at the center of the park donated by Tacoma’s sister city, Fuzhou, China.
    • The picturesque park is the perfect spot for prom, engagement, wedding or other special occasion photos with the Fuzhou Ting, a bridge, and attractive foliage.
    • The Chinese Reconciliation Park has served as the base for the Tacoma Moon Festival in recent years. During the Moon Festival, lighted lanterns are set afloat into the sky—quite a sight over the Puget Sound.

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    Fuzhou Ting

    Tacoma Chinese Reconciliation Park
    ••• Fuzhou Ting. Kristin Kendle

    At the center of the park is the Fuzhou Ting, a 30 x 40-foot Chinese pavilion donated to the city of Tacoma by its sister city Fuzhou, China. The pavilion has benches inside the structure where you can sit and enjoy the view, but this is also a rental facility that provides space for up to 100 people between the actual pavilion and the space around the edge of the pavilion. The Fuzhou Ting is available for rent from June 1 through September 30.

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    Chinese History in Tacoma

    Chinese History Tacoma
    ••• Monuments at the Chinese Reconciliation Park. Kristin Kendle

    Another facet of the park is its history—the park is located on the site of a Chinese settlement that was burned to the ground during the expulsion of Chinese immigrants on November 3, 1885, when citizens and city leaders forced Chinese immigrants out of Tacoma after bad economic conditions and anti-Chinese sentiment combined to create one of the darkest moments in the city’s history. According to a plaque at the park, there were 200 Chinese people forced out of town and 500 who left the city in the days before the expulsion in fear of what was coming.

    Monuments dot the park and help tell the story of what happened in the past and seek to create harmony in the present. The park’s name reflects that the park is not only a place of peace now, but an effort to right the wrongs of the past.