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Sumner Washington Travel Guide, Things to Do in the Small Town

Sumner Washington Travel Guide, Things to Do in the Small Town

September 11, 2020 | Henry Hamer

Table of Contents

Sumner Washington Travel Guide, History, Events and MoreQuick Facts:About:Transportation:Things to Do:History:

Sumner, Washington is located within the vibrant Puget Sound region of the state acting as the sweetest spot on the road between Seattle and Mt. Rainier. Join in celebrations over the years, from the Daffodil Parade to the Rhubarb pie competition to football championships.

Sumner Washington Travel Guide, History, Events and More

Quick Facts:

Location: Northern Pierce County, Washington, United States.

Population: 9,451 people, 3,980 households, and 2,454 families living in the city as per the 2010 census.

Nearby cities : Puyallup to the west, Auburn to the north, and Bonney Lake to the east.

Getting to Sumner:

  • Three freeways, Highways 167, 410 and 512, converge in Sumner
  • 26 Sounder commuter trains daily to Seattle, Tacoma with connections via Sound Transit and Amtrak to Portland, Olympia, Everett and points beyond.
  • 20 miles to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, 17th busiest airport in the U.S.

"Geographically, Sumner is a great spot, we love it. It's close to commerce hubs Seattle and Portland, has excellent access to inbound ports and interstates and has maintained its small town charm," said Tom Walker, executive vice-president of Costco construction and distribution. –Daily Journal of Commerce


Sumner, Washington is a very cute suburban town with lots of character and history. This small town has been around for many generations and has many traditions that are still celebrated to this day. Sumner has some of the best little coffee shops and restaurants. The community involvement is very homely and not something that every town has nowadays. Members of the community all rally around and support the high school football games for an experience like none other. Many families live in Sumner and residents tend to lean conservative. The public schools in Sumner are highly rated. The only unfortunate thing about this small town is that it's growing extremely fast and the roads cannot accommodate all the people within this community.


Sumner has road and highway connections, served by Sounder commuter rail which stops at the railroad station in downtown and directly connects Sumner with much of the Puget Sound region, including Seattle and Tacoma.

Things to Do:

Living in Sumner offers residents a dense suburban feel and most residents own their homes. In Sumner, there are a lot of coffee shops and parks. The small town is very close to everything so you can go to the mountains and take the most beautiful hikes. You might prefer to go to the ocean to decompress. There are plenty of tourist activities with a small-town charm and mom and pop shops too. On Main street, there are some lovely restaurants such as Dairy Freeze. The shops are a sight to see, with antiquities and one of a kind gifts.

Every year you can join and take part in the annual four-part Daffodil Parade, which takes place every April in Tacoma, Puyallup, Sumner, and Orting. The Sumner Historic Walking tour is another great way to get to know the city. The self-guided path through Sumner's nearly 130-year history takes you by Sumner's historical homes, businesses, markers, and monuments.

Events are a big part of making Sumner the vibrant place it is. Annual traditions include:

  • Daffodil Festival's Grand Floral Parade down Main Street in April
  • Music Off Main every Friday in July and Movies Off Main every Friday in August in Heritage Park, presented by the Sumner Arts Commission
  • Classy Chassis Car Show in downtown Sumner in August
  • Come Walk With Me – MultiCare's 5K walk to support local breast health services
  • Homecoming Parade on the Friday of Homecoming every fall
  • Street of Treats with safe Trick-or-Treating downtown each Halloween
  • Bridge Lighting the Friday after Thanksgiving
  • Santa Parade down Main Street the first Saturday in the month of December
  • And more events including Sip ' Stroll and Small Business Saturday.


Sumner's Name

The village was first called Stuck Junction.

Then it was named the Franklin area by J.P. Stewart after his hometown in New York State. The U.S. Postal Department requested a new name since there were so many places called Franklin and delivering mail would just be confusing.

When it came to picking a name three townsmen–John F. Kincaid, L.F. Thompson, and George Ryan–could not all agree on a name, so they each placed a name on a slip of paper and put it into a hat. A boy was called into the store to pick one of the slips and it came out "Sumner."


Charles Sumner was a Senator from Massachusetts. He was known as a popular statesman of the 19th century due to his efforts toward the abolition of slavery among other issues. The town of Sumner went on the railroad depot after the town incorporated in 1891.

Sumner is called the Rhubarb Pie Capital of the World. It became a town in 1853 after a wagon train daringly crossed the Cascade Mountains through Naches Pass and the town of Sumner quickly grew to become an established one. Take a tour down Main Street, and watch how it changed–or didn't–through the decades. If you visit, take a look at Ryan House when it actually was a farmhouse and the Old Cannery when it was canning fruit.

Henry Hamer | I'm currently working for Google's Chrome team in Munich, Germany, as a developer advocate. I was a member of the team responsible for the online presence of, one of Germany's largest daily newspapers, from January 2010 to November 2011. I used to work for Yahoo! on their similarly massive European news pages before joining Sueddeutsche. I've concentrated my efforts on the internet, which has turned out to be a fantastic decision.


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