Best Places to Live

Tacoma, WA

Population: 217,721
LIV
SCORE
634
iStock/halbergman

Tacoma has a lot going for it: a robust economy, job growth and lots of new development. This Washington port city with more than 200,000 residents has a growing aerospace scene, as well as a skilled workforce thanks largely to several colleges, universities and military installations that call this region home. World-class healthcare, walkable neighborhoods, tons of parks and easy access to the Cascade Mountains also make Tacoma a top choice for growing families. 

Top Industries and Employers: The military, health care, state and local government and aerospace are the top industries in Tacoma.

Best Coffee Shop: Anthem Coffee & Tea is a popular local chain with funky art-forward decor and tasty naan bread pizzas.

Best Local Beer/Brewery: Ask Tacoma-ites about their favorite brewery and you’ll get dozens of different answers. But one popular local spot is Wingman Brewers, a small, low-key spot with an industrial vibe and consistently tasty brews.

Must-Have Meal: The lobster bomb at TibbittsFernHill. This decadent dish consists of champagne-soaked lobster, avocado potatoes, fennel scrambled eggs and candied bacon, all topped with lemony hollandaise sauce. We’re drooling just thinking about it.

Best Co-Working Space: Union Club Tacoma, which offers 15,000 square feet of space to spread out and get your work done. Inside, you’ll find a maker studio, an event hall, desks and comfy couches and chairs. Take a break out on the patio with views of Commencement Bay and Mt. Rainier. 

Best Meetup Spot (When Meeting Up Is a Thing Again): Devil’s Reef, which has a dark tiki bar ambiance and very strong drinks.

Creative Hub: Alma Mater Tacoma is a community gathering space that brings together food, performance, education and art. They host live music, drawing workshops, book clubs, open mic nights, comedians and fundraisers here.

Favorite Weekend Activity: Visit the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, then go for a walk in the gorgeous gardens at neighboring Point Defiance Park.

Free Way to Have Fun: Head to the Ruston Way Waterfront for a leisurely walk, bike ride or run. This two-mile trail offers incredible views of Commencement Bay.

Local Dream Job: Park ranger for Metro Parks Tacoma, so you can help people find new trails, lead tree walks and spend your days in nature.

Read More: 
Can’t Afford to Live in Seattle? Live Here Instead. 
8 Washington Landmarks That Every Music Fan Must Visit 
Moving to Washington? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

- Sarah Kuta

"Folks who thrive in Tacoma are hardworking and committed to the city's sustainable growth. Tacoma is a racially, economically and ideologically diverse place. As the late Dawn Lucien once said, 'Tacoma is the jewel of the universe.' People are starting to figure that out."

 

 

Marguerite Martin
Creator, Move to Tacoma

Tacoma, WA Ranking Data

Civic
46
Demographics
61
Economy
68
Education
54
Health
47
Housing
26
Infrastructure
48