Tacoma, WA One of the most unique places to live in the South Puget Sound area
Tacoma is a port city located south of Seattle on the banks of the Puget Sound. Tacoma is the 3rd largest city in Washington and the 2nd largest in the Puget Sound area. Commencement Bay serves the Port of Tacoma which is Washington’s largest hub center of international trade. Recent progression in Tacoma has provided a redeveloped downtown, including University of Washington campus, Museum of Glass, Tacoma Art Museum, Ruston Waterway, Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, and so much more! Tacoma is considered one of the “most walkable” cities in the country!
1. People of Tacoma
Over the past century, the Tacoma population has multiplied five times over. Since the early 1900s when there were about 36,000 people living in Tacoma, it has expanded to more than 205,600 residents who call the city home. This massive growth over the years has placed it in the third spot among the most populated cities in Washington, behind Seattle and Spokane.
The median age in Tacoma is currently about 35 years old, but that number has been falling gradually as more millennials move to the area for the strong local economy and good jobs. The safe community also provides a family-friendly vibe all around the city for people with either young children and growing teenagers.
2. Point Defiance
Among the many highlights around Tacoma, one of the most popular areas is known as Point Defiance. Resting at the northernmost point of the city along Commencement Bay, the point is home to a massive park, as well as a zoo and aquarium. Point Defiance Park features 760 acres of incredible forest trails with views of beautiful waterfalls, green gardens, and saltwater beaches.
The Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium can be found on the southeast side of the park and is home to a wide variety of unique wildlife. In the aquarium portion, you’ll see everything from seals and polar bears to sharks and stingrays. While the zoo will give you a glimpse at red wolves, anteaters, tigers, and many more.
3. Things to Do and Restaurants in Tacoma
Along with the many activities surrounding Point Defiance, you’ll find a vast array of fun things to do in Tacoma. The Museum of Glass stands out along the city’s horizon with its abstract cone shape and features fun local exhibits and changing art exhibits. And any automobile enthusiasts will love a visit to LeMay – America’s Car Museum, where you can see a massive collection of both classic and modern cars.
Are you starting to feel some hunger pangs coming on? Well, lucky for you there are also some great restaurants in Tacoma such as the Lobster Shop, a waterfront eatery with some delicious seafood options. Some other options around town include Dirty Oscar’s Annex for some sliders or chicken and waffles, as well as the Pacific Grill for delicious steaks, pasta, and fish.
4. Balanced Cost of Living in Tacoma
You’ll find the cost of living in Tacoma has found a decent balance between a handful of standard expenses. While you’ll save upwards of 20% on your healthcare costs compared to national averages, you can expect to pay about 29% more for local transportation. Thanks to the city’s mild weather, home utilities are about 30% less than U.S. averages.
And though above national numbers, the local housing market is about 45% less than the Washington average. The average price of a home in Tacoma is currently around $461,429. The area is considered to be part of a hot market as the price has risen 25% in the last year and is projected to rise at least another 7% in the next 12 months.
For those planning on renting, average rent prices in Tacoma range from $1,688 per month for one-bedroom up to $2,557 per month for homes with four or five bedrooms.
5. Safe and Comfortable Neighborhoods
If you’re relocating to Tacoma, you’re probably wondering about the best places to live around town. Thankfully, Tacoma neighborhoods like Old Town offer eclectic scenery, safe streets, and easy access to choice amenities. The downtown area is another great part of town that enjoys living in a close-knit community of people, where you can quickly make friends and spend time at local events.
Other great Tacoma neighborhoods are South End, Oakwood, and West End near the local community college.
If you are thinking of buying or selling in the Tacoma area we got you covered! Take a look at all Tacoma Listings
Tacoma is part of Pierce County and has been split into numerous zip codes including 98402, 98403, 98404, 98405, 98406, 98407, 98408, 98409, 98416, 98418, 98421, 98422, 98424, 98444, 98445, 98465, 98466, 98467, and 98499. The Tacoma, WA area code is 253.
6. Education and Schools in Tacoma
If you’ll be living in Tacoma with your children, you’ll want to know about the local school system. Tacoma schools are part of five local school districts: Clover Park, Fife, Franklin Pierce, Tacoma, and University Place. Younger children have primary school options like Chester H. Thompson Elementary, Stanley Elementary, or Lowell Elementary.
High school-age students will typically attend the school based on the borders their home falls into and could attend Franklin Pierce High, Fife High, Washington High, or the Science And Math Institute. Tacoma also has two secondary education schools in the area which are the University of Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran University.
7. Jobs Both In and Out of Tacoma
Did you know the biggest employer for Tacoma jobs isn’t located within the city borders? The McChord Air Force Base is located south of town and hosts more than 50,000 military personnel, many of which are from Tacoma. Within the city, you will find major employers like the MultiCare Health System, as well as positions at local Pierce County government offices.
Planning to work in Seattle? The distance from Tacoma to Seattle is less than 35 miles, which means you could easily travel to the big city in less than an hour. To get an exact route to travel to Seattle from Tacoma, we’ve included a map that shows the simple commute with a straight shot up the I-5.
8. Mild Tacoma Weather (With the Usual Washington Rain)
If you’re going to be living in Tacoma, you’ll find this part of Washington gets more than 40 inches of rain annually, so you’ll probably want to keep an umbrella close by at all times.
The rain can lead to a fair amount of humidity, but even in the hottest parts of summer, you can expect minimal highs of 75°F and lows in the mid-50s. Winter temperatures tend to cool down a bit and remain in the range of 35°F-45°F during the colder parts of the year.
Tips for Moving to Tacoma
- Look through the numerous neighborhood options to find the one that best fits your lifestyle
- Choose whether renting or buying a home in Tacoma will work better for you
- Visit Point Defiance Park, as well as the zoo and aquarium
- Don’t miss out on great seafood at the Lobster Shop
- Always have an umbrella handy
Does moving to Tacoma sound like the right decision for you? If you’re convinced it’s the right place, everyone here at the Shook Home Group would love to be part of your relocation process. Our experience and knowledge of the area set us apart from the competition to ensure your transition goes smoothly and safely.