Known as world-famous glass artist Dale Chliluly’s hometown, Tacoma is the breeding ground for all manner of creatives, from musicians to photographers and writers and everything in between.
Found in western Washington on Commencement Bay, Tacoma is off the southern tip of Puget Sound. It is 25 miles northeast of Olympia and 26 miles south of Seattle. Nestled in the shadow of breathtaking Mount Rainier, which is roughly 40 miles to the southeast, Tacoma is the third-largest city in Washington State.
Affectionately nicknamed T-Town, Tacoma has a population of 214,955 and a median household income of $49,075. This is slightly lower than the national median of $50,013.
The Nisqually and Puyallup were the first Native American tribes that inhabited the area. A booming lumber industry led by the first European-Americans accounts for the building of saw mills that saw Tacoma’s rise into prominence circa 1852. A railroad that linked with the shipping vessels that anchored off the bay in the late 1800s provided the city’s impetus for growth. Nicknamed the “City of Destiny,” Tacoma is today the 6th largest shipping port in North America.
Real Estate Market
Real estate opportunities abound in Tacoma, and there’s a wealth of available affordable properties as well as multimillion-dollar penthouses and custom homes, many right by the waterfront. This lends the latter to outstanding views and amazing luxury lifestyles.
Living in Tacoma WA
There’s a vibrant network of parks and outdoor spaces where you can bike, run, or hike to your heart’s delight. There are business districts to keep the economy’s heart pumping. And to feed your greater sensibilities, there is no shortage of performing arts venues and museums. There’s also an abundance of jazz clubs and piano bars, intimate cafés and topnotch restaurants throughout the city.
A diverse business environment and industrial activity are the city’s lifeblood. There’s a skilled workforce, convenient transportation access, and utilities that make life in Tacoma all that much more comfortable.
Cost of living
Tacoma’s housing expenses are 3% lower than the national average, while utility prices are 14% higher than the national average. Transportation expenses like bus fares and gas prices are 3% lower than the national average.
- Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Tacoma’s biggest employer, has 55,000 employees.
- Almond Roca launched its crunchy delights here in 1912.
- Tacoma was the birthplace of legendary crooner Bing Crosby.
- Tacoma has the most number or libraries per capita of any large city in Washington state.
Tacoma WA weather
Tacoma gets about 40 inches of rain every year, with a rainy season that lasts 6 months of the year. August, July and September are the most pleasant months, but you can expect cloudy skies for the rest of the year. December and January are the bleakest months.
Tacoma WA schools
Tacoma is known for its above average public schools. Of its 81 public schools, Narrows View Intermediate School, Evergreen Primary School, University Place Primary School, and Curtis Junior and Curtis Senior High School rank the highest. There are also 18 private schools, of which Annie Wright Schools claims top rank.
The prominent University of Washington Tacoma makes its home here.
The Museum of Glass is a breathtakingly beautiful museum on Tacoma’s revitalized waterfront. Among other things, it features the spectacular Chihuly Bridge of Glass created by Tacoma’s native son, Dale Chihuly.
An international destination for families and auto enthusiasts, this stunning 165,000-sq.-ft. facility features 12 rotating exhibits and is one of MSN’s 10 Best Automotive Museums worldwide.
Point Defiance Park is a sprawling 702-acre park that’s considered one of the best urban parks in America. It contains miles of trails, stretches of beach, gardens, a world class zoo and aquarium, and more.
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