In an effort to explore more of the South Sound, we recently took an afternoon to walk around the small town of Ruston, Washington. Pretty much indistinguishable from Tacoma, this little town is close to Point Defiance (we recently visited here too), and sits on Commencement Bay.
There's a few great businesses here to check out - we always like stopping by the Jungle Fever Exotics. Unfortunately our garden dreams are on hold (besides our boat farming operation!), but it's still fun to walk the grounds. We grabbed a snack and coffee next-door at the Antique Sandwich Co.
We browsed Ruston Galleries & Antiques, walked a few blocks and peeked into Don's Ruston Market & Deli, and luckily I saved a little room for a Tatanka burger at Tatanka Take-Out! As you can see, the town has a little mural thing going on (I'm a sucker for murals…especially crazy jungle ones).
Ruston has an interesting history - it began as a company town for the employees of W.R. Rust in 1890. He established the Tacoma Smelting and Refining Company (I mean, with a name like Mr. Rust…why not?). Later, ASARCO took over smelting operations down by the waterfront. The company polluted the heck out of the area while under operation (it turns out that ASARCO is kinda known for that). A massive Superfund cleanup has been ongoing at the site for years. The transformation is pretty much complete, now it's condo time. The area has been renamed Point Ruston and condo and housing development is underway.
If you do hit up Ruston for an afternoon, make sure to drive down by the water on scenic Ruston Way. There's still traces of Ruston's past combined with new construction paving the way for the future. There's a great waterfront restaurant down the road a bit called Harbor Lights. It's been here serving up seafood for over 50 years! You could definitely spend a sunny afternoon on the waterfront alone walking, kayaking, skateboarding, sightseeing, and more.
~Paul & Amber ETC
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