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Accomodations - Hotels

Silver Cloud Inn on Ruston Way in Tacoma. It is in a great spot right on Commencement Bay with spectacular water views and convenient to Ruston Way activities, including dining, running, walking, bicycling, and sea kayaking for those so inclined. We were unable to negotiate a suitable agreement with the hotel to hold a block of rooms for us. Being the only waterfront hotel, it is in a prime spot and will be booked solid throughout the summer, but there are still rooms available. You can reserve directly with the hotel, but you will get a better rate by using Orbitz.com or Travelocity.com (you could also use Expedia.com, but they'll charge your credit card right away, and the others don't charge until you check in or out of the hotel). If you experience booking difficulty with Orbitz, Travelocity, or Expedia, try the Canadian or European versions of these sites - sometimes they have lower prices, or rooms that are unavailable on their U.S. sites (start with Travelocity.ca or Expedia.ca). The nightly rate is $169 U.S. plus tax, or more, depending on the type of room you get, if you use one of the travel websites. If you use the Silver Cloud website for your reservation, the rooms start at $199 U.S. per night. No pets allowed. This is the primary hotel for the DRS World Conference.

Courtyard by Marriott - Tacoma is located in downtown Tacoma and has slightly lower rates than the Silver Cloud, starting at $159 U.S. per night. The on-line rate is $149 with AAA discount, with Travelocity. If you are over 62 years old you can get a cut rate. We are working with them to get a group rate, so the cost could be lower yet. If you reserve at the Courtyard, you should book directly through their website. No pets allowed.

The Inn at Gig Harbor is an option for people traveling with pets. It is not actually in Tacoma but just across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. It is about a 15-20 minute drive from downtown Tacoma. The nightly rates at The Inn start at $145 U.S. If you want to book here and want to call, their numbers are 253-858-1111 and 800-795-9980.

Accomodations - Camping spots

Kopachuck State Park is on the west end of Gig Harbor, about a 35-minute drive from the Silver Cloud Inn. Looks remote and beautiful. They don't take reservations - it's first come first served.

Dash Point State Park is right across the bay from the Silver Cloud. You would probably go around by land, which is about a 30-minute drive. It is a high-use park, so they do take reservations.