Your Ultimate Road Trip Guide: Essentials for Adventure On and Off the Road

Your Ultimate Road Trip Guide: Essentials for Adventure On and Off the Road

Are you gearing up for an unforgettable road trip adventure, or are you a local looking for a weekend packed with excitement? Whether you’re leaving the area or exploring the best of what the Pacific Northwest has to offer, the Waterfront Market has you covered with everything you need for an epic journey. From road trip essentials to must-visit local attractions, let’s dive into the ultimate guide for your next escapade!

Road Trip Essentials:

  • Kids Road Games – Eco Repurpose: Keep the little ones entertained and engaged with eco-friendly road games that promote creativity and sustainability. Repurpose household items like cardboard boxes, paper rolls, and old magazines to create DIY games like scavenger hunts, travel bingo, and story cubes.
  • Snacks: Fuel your adventures with delicious snacks from Pico Rico, Pike Nuts, Fardell Farms & Emish Meat, and don’t forget to pack some tasty treats for your furry friend with Shugies doggy snacks.
  • Travel Mugs: Sip on your favorite beverages on the go with travel mugs from Tea Madame, perfect for keeping your drinks hot or cold throughout your journey.
  • Travel Toiletries: Stay fresh and clean with travel toiletries from Love Lura, featuring eco-friendly and sustainable products that are gentle on both your skin and the environment.
  • Reading Material: Dive into a good book during your downtime with a selection from El Rincon, offering a diverse range of reading material to suit every taste.

If We Are the Destination:

  • A Weekend Filled with Activities: Experience the best of our destination area with a weekend packed full of exciting activities for the whole family.
  • Accommodation: Enjoy a comfortable stay at the Silvercloud Hotel, where you can relax and recharge after a day of adventure.
  • Movies at Cinemark: Catch the latest blockbusters or enjoy a classic film at Cinemark, the perfect way to unwind and escape into the world of cinema.
  • Point Defiance Zoo: Get up close and personal with fascinating wildlife at Point Defiance Zoo, where you can explore exhibits featuring animals from around the globe.
  • Kenmore Air: Take to the skies and experience breathtaking aerial views of our destination area with Kenmore Air, offering scenic flights and tours.
  • Skimboards: Hit the beach and ride the waves with skimboards, providing endless fun for water enthusiasts of all ages.
  • Food: Indulge your taste buds with a culinary adventure at Taco Street, Zaya, Wild Sugar, and Boba Tea, where you can sample a variety of delicious dishes and beverages.

No matter where your road trip takes you, the Waterfront Market is your one-stop destination for all your travel needs. From eco-friendly essentials to exciting local attractions, we’re here to help you make the most of your adventure, one stop at a time. Safe travels!

What is TEA?

What is tea? Great information on Tea from Tea Madame in Tacoma Washington
What is tea? Great information on Tea from Tea Madame in Tacoma Washington

What is TEA? This is one of the most frequent questions we receive, as well as one of the most confusing, with each person having a different definition of what TEA is to THEM.

Technically speaking, TEA is a specific plant, Camellia Sinensis, as well as the beverage derived from it.

However, the US tends to refer to anything steeped in water as TEA.

Examples include:

  • Peppermint Tea
  • Bath Tea
  • Compost Tea

Now, none of these items are even actual TEA. Two of which, you don`t even drink.

Compost Tea is composted matter that you steep like tea to create a natural fertilizer.

It is incredibly beneficial for gardens, but not exactly something you’d like to have a tall mug of. NOT TEA.

Peppermint Tea is not TEA either. It is simply dried Peppermint leaves, soaked in hot water to make a caffeine-free beverage. It’s packed with health benefits, sure, but is NOT TEA.

Bath Tea is a trendy new description of soaking in the tub with calming herbs floating around and infusing your bathwater. Good for relaxation and your skin, sure, but still NOT TEA.

REAL TEA is again, Camellia Sinensis. All types of TEA are specifically processed, based on who, what, when and where, into the five main types of TEA.

White TEA is the original type of TEA based on Process.

Plucked by hand, and then dried naturally, nothing is done to it to start or stop oxidation (the browning of the leaf).

The taste tends to be light in body with soft notes of straw, chestnut, and Honeysuckle. Airy, Light, it’s typically not for the coffee guzzling, Rich, Deep, and Dark Tea loving person. Always try it, you might be surprised.

Green Tea is processed to ensure the leaves do not oxidize.

Green Tea is plucked by hand, withered in the sun, then rolled. Immediately after the rolling, the leaf MUST be heated in some from to prevent the browning of the leaf. Steaming and Pan firing are the two main forms of heat used. Delaying the heating after rolling would allow oxidation to occur, thus making it no longer Green Tea.

Oolong Tea is a semi oxidized leaf. Alternating rolling, heating, basket rolling result in a medium bodied, Not Green, and Not Black tea experience. Oolong boasts a unique range of flavors and strengths and is an incredibly versatile type of tea.

 Jade or Light Oolongs can look just like Green Tea, with Amber Oolongs looking more like Black tea. This type can vary more than any other tea, ranging in percentage of oxidation, rather than Green Tea, which is unoxidized, or Black Tea, which is completely oxidized.

Black Tea is fully oxidized leaf, allowed to turn brown by not heating the leaves after the rolling process.

Black tea was considered the darkest, most bold type of TEA, but then we met Pu-erh Tea.

Pu-erh to me, is the most important and agreeably the most mysterious type of tea in history.

Pu-erh Tea is Fermented and Aged Green Tea. This process calms and soften harsh tannins in tea, resulting in a smooth, rich, dark, and earthy beverage that many coffee drinkers find delicious.

Rooibos is called Red Tea, but in fact the term is more accurately Red Bush. A caffeine-free alternative to Tea, this leaf is delicious and rich, with no detectable tannins, and a great option if caffeine or bitterness are an issue.

Enjoy your day with a cup of tea that makes you happy.

LaDonna Olmstead
Owner – Tea Madame

St. Patrick’s Day Fun: Exploring Ruston’s Waterfront Market in Tacoma

Lucky the Elf - St. Patrick's Day what to do in Tacoma 2024

St. Patrick's Day in Tacoma at the Waterfront Market at Ruston. Family Fun

Are you seeking the perfect place to hang out on St. Patrick’s Day in Tacoma? Look no further than Ruston’s Waterfront Market! Situated along Commencement Bay, this vibrant destination offers an array of activities to make your St. Patrick’s Day memorable. Let’s dive into what to do in Tacoma on St. Patrick’s Day and why Ruston’s Waterfront Market should be at the top of your list.

  1. Enjoy the Waterfront Views: Take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront promenade and soak in the stunning views of Commencement Bay. Spot Washington State Ferries gliding across the water, adding to the maritime charm of the scene.

  2. Spot Sea Wildlife: Nature enthusiasts will love the chance to observe sea wildlife in their natural habitat. Keep an eye out for playful seals and majestic seabirds as you explore the coastal area.

  3. Walk Along the Beach: Sink your toes into the sand and take a relaxing walk along the beach. Collect shells, enjoy the salty breeze, and embrace the serene ambiance of the shoreline.

  4. Explore the Market: Peruse the eclectic array of vendors and artisans at Ruston’s Waterfront Market. From handcrafted jewelry to locally sourced produce, there’s something to delight every visitor.

  5. Indulge in Culinary Delights: Satisfy your cravings with delicious food from the market’s many stalls. From international cuisines to local favorites, there’s a dish for every palate. Don’t forget to pair your meal with a refreshing beverage!

  6. Discover Specialty Teas: For a more relaxed experience, explore the market’s specialty tea vendors. Sample exotic blends from around the world and savor the moment with a steaming cup of tea.

By incorporating these activities into your St. Patrick’s Day plans in Tacoma, you’re guaranteed to have an unforgettable experience. Whether you’re a local resident or visiting from out of town, Ruston’s Waterfront Market offers the perfect blend of relaxation, exploration, and celebration. Cheers to a fantastic St. Patrick’s Day in Tacoma!

Nds Boutique – Bringing Fashion Back to Ruston

Nds Boutique - Tacoma Women's Fashion Clothing
Nds Boutique - Tacoma Women's Fashion Clothing

“Hi, My name is Natalie Shust, I’am the owner at Nds Boutique. I am a wife to the greatest guy in the world that supported all my dreams, mother of three beautiful children, and most important a believer of our amazing almighty God. 

I’ve always had a passion for fashion, and it’s something that’s deep in my heart for as long as I remember. For years I’ve been dreaming of having my own boutique. In 2018 I took the first step toward making that dream a reality and launched Nds Boutique online. For 4 years we’ve been only an online store. On our fifth year anniversary I had an opportunity to open up the boutique at Waterfront Market at Ruston. Our grand opening was on October 28th 2022 and it was definitely a dream come true. The market has a lot of beautiful unique vendors where you can shop around, eat some delicious food and drink a delicious cup of coffee at Zaya Coffee shop. It’s a perfect area to relax/walk around whether you’re alone or with your friends. 

Nds Boutique is your one-stop-shop for stylish women’s clothing! Our fashion boutique at Waterfront Market at Ruston and online offers a carefully curated selection of trendy dresses, tops, bottoms, and accessories at affordable prices. Whether you’re looking for boho-chic styles, casual outfits, or something more formal, our collection has something for everyone. We offer high-quality pieces that are both unique and stylish, so you can stand out from the crowd. At Nds Boutique, we believe that fashion should be fun, and our mission is to empower women to feel confident and stylish every day. So why wait? Start browsing our collection today in store or online and discover the perfect outfit for your next event or everyday wear.”

Grand Opening: Ruston’s Only Dry Cleaners, OneClick Cleaners

Dry Cleaner in Ruston Washington - OneClick Cleaners - Waterfront Market at Ruston

Update: One Click Cleaners are no longer located at the Waterfront Market in Ruston.

Waterfront Market at Ruston is pleased to announce that OneClick Cleaners NW will be opening March 18th at the Waterfront Market in Ruston next to Owens Meats. Grand opening is tomorrow from 10-6pm.

OneClick Cleaners NW is a woman-owned, eco-friendly, professional dry cleaner and dedicated to your satisfaction!

Oneclick Cleaners - Ruston Washington dry cleaner



They offer:

      • Online & smart phone sign up with full account maintenance
      • Free pick up & delivery
      • Professional Dry Cleaning & Laundry service
      • Automated reminders
      • All the billing is done online
      • Referral discounts & specials

To join the service simply,

1) Go online to and click on the sign-up tab, or call them
2) Print and include your new customer email and they will do the rest!
3) Drop it off at the Waterfront Market in Ruston next to Owens Meats

Dry Cleaner in Ruston Washington - OneClick Cleaners - Waterfront Market at Ruston

Pacific Northwest Gifts and Engraving

West Coast Laser Design - Pacific Northwest branded gifts and engraving

West Coast Laser Design is a family-owned and operated business located in Ruston, Washington. This mother and daughter duo has a passion for creating unique and high-quality laser engraving products, and their retail location at the Waterfront Market at Ruston is the perfect place to find unique Pacific Northwest gifts.

As a full-service Tacoma Washington laser engraving company, West Coast Laser Design offers a wide range of services and products. From custom engravings on drinkware and kitchenware to personalized gift items and home decor, their selection is extensive and always evolving. They take great pride in their work and strive to provide the best possible quality for each and every product they create.

One of the things that sets West Coast Laser Design apart is their focus on local and Pacific Northwest-themed gifts. Whether you’re looking for a special keepsake to remind you of your time in the area or a unique gift for someone who loves the Pacific Northwest, you’ll find it at West Coast Laser Design. Their selection includes items like engraved cutting boards and coasters featuring local landmarks, as well as beautiful wooden boxes and ornaments adorned with intricate laser-engraved designs.

In addition to their retail location, West Coast Laser Design also offers their laser engraving services for custom orders. Whether you have your own item that you’d like to have engraved or you want to work with their team to create a one-of-a-kind piece, they are happy to help. Their friendly and knowledgeable staff is always available to assist with your design ideas and ensure that you get the perfect product for your needs.

If you’re in the Ruston waterfront area, be sure to visit West Coast Laser Design at the Waterfront Market at Ruston. Their beautiful and unique Pacific Northwest gifts make the perfect addition to any collection, and their exceptional laser engraving services are sure to impress. Stop by today and see what West Coast Laser Design has to offer!

Eco Repurpose Boutique: Shop Responsibly

Eco Repurpose Boutique - Eco friendly and ethical shopping in Ruston Washington
Eco Repurpose Boutique - Eco friendly and ethical shopping in Ruston Washington
Eco Repurpose Boutique is a small family-owned minority Tacoma business that has evolved over time with what they consider important to us as parents and grandparents. To leave this planet in a better condition for all of our families. One of  Norma’s (the owners) favorite quotes is:

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

Maya Angelou
Eco Repurpose Boutique’s mission is to find products that are eco-friendly, cruelty free, made by people that are treated with respect and paid a livable wage.

There are several benefits to buying products that are cruelty-free, made by people who are treated with respect and paid a livable wage. Some of these benefits include:

  • Supporting companies that have ethical and humane practices, which can help promote a more compassionate and just society.
  • Helping to ensure that the workers who produce the products are treated fairly and have access to good working conditions and fair wages.
  • Contribute to the global economy in a positive way, by supporting companies that engage in ethical business practices.
  • Buying cruelty-free products is also better for the environment, as many companies that engage in animal testing also use harmful chemicals in their products.
  • Supporting companies that engage in ethical practices can also help to encourage other companies to adopt similar practices, leading to positive change in the global marketplace.

Overall, buying products that are cruelty-free, made by people who are treated with respect and paid a livable wage can have a positive impact on both individuals and society as a whole.

Norma Irish owner of Tacoma small business Eco Repurpose Boutique


Has been a small business owner for over 15 years combined. A U.S Army veteran, board member for the Iron Cross Foundation a 501c3 non-profit charity that granted scholarships to aspiring male gymnasts, a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) with Pierce County Juvenile Court, a licensed foster parent in Washington State. Fun Fact Norma is a certified balloon artist!

Norma been married to her best friend and husband Joshua Irish for more than 25 years, mother of seven and grandmother of two.

Shop Local on Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday - Shop Local - Tacoma Washington

If supporting local small business is important to you this Cyber Monday, you can check out some of our local vendors who have online stores. These are the same great products you can find right here at the Waterfront Market at Ruston without having to leave the house! 

Buy shopping local, you are directly impacting local families and businesses here in Tacoma. Shopping online lowers the cost of selling products and directly impacts the bottom line of these great small businesses. Please consider shopping local this Cyber Monday.


Sunflower Soul Apothecary formerly known as Sage Onyx Soapery- products

Sunflower Soul Apothecary

20% off everything when buying online this Cyber Monday! Our mission is to provide complementary alternative products that are sustainable, natural, and holistic for the healing body, mind, and spirit. We offer a variety of health and wellness products that are designed to support your well-being. Our goal is to provide you with quality products and services that will help you live a healthier and more fulfilling life. SHOP ONLINE

Eco Repurpose Boutique - Ruston Washington

Eco Repurpose Boutiue

Our mission is to find products that are eco-friendly, cruelty free, made by people that are treated with respect and paid a livable wage. SHOP ONLINE

West Coast Laser Design - Tacoma Washington

West Coast Laser Design

Mother and daughter team that designs, engraves and brands local products and gifts. Offering custom engraving for small to large businesses, West Coast Laser design is your one-stop shop for local Northwest branded gifts. SHOP ONLINE

Dewdrops Perch - Tacoma Washington

Dewdrop's Perch

Dewdrop's Perch started out as a hobby, and as a way to raise some money for my husband, Raul, and I's wedding in 2017. We started with local farmers markets & local shows/events. We offer clothing & apparel, vinyl car decals, & much more. Made in a home, for a home. SHOP ONLINE

Deck the Halls for a Cause

Deck the Halls for a Cause fundraiser at Waterfront Market at Ruston

This holiday season the Waterfront Market at Ruston is teaming up with Gian Events on Deck the Halls for a Cause. Giving back to the local Tacoma Community is important for everyone here at the market. So, this for each donation, a ornament will be hung on the Waterfront Market Christmas tree. Donations will be made to Virginia Mason’s St. Joseph Hospital, supporting the study, treatment, diagnosis and prevention of cancer. Make a donation this holiday season to help decorate our tree. To make a donation to St. Joseph Hospital, visit or stop by the Waterfront Market.

Deck the Halls for a Cause - 2022 - Ruston - Tacoma Fundraiser

Honoring Our Veterans 2022

Veteran's Day display at the Waterfront Market at Ruston

This week Waterfront Market at Ruston vendors are honoring our veterans with an up close and personal Veteran’s Day display. We have a number of veterans who you see daily here at the market including Norma, Lilly, John and Evan, and we thank you so much for your service. Veteran’s Day falls on November 11th this year and the display will be viewable form Nov 7th – Nov 13th.

On Friday the 11th from 1pm-2pm, an official color guard from McChord Airforce Base will make an appearance to view the display and honor our vets.

The local market vendors who have provided personal memorabilia for the display are John and Sheri form Shugies, Lilly Sunflower Soul Apothecary, Norma from Eco Repurpose Boutique, Greg from Fardell Farm’s, Elonka and Yolli from Taco Street and Ashleigh from Purple Peacock . Come down and visit this wonderful display commemorating our veterans. We encourage everyone that can to come down and check out this great memorial to our fallen and please come show up for the color guard ceremony on Friday November 11th.