A Quick Guide to Tacoma, WA

A Quick Guide to Tacoma, WA

Tacoma is a sublime blend of business and beauty. Washington state’s third-largest city has long been regarded as one of the most walkable cities in the country, and many parts of Tacoma offer fantastic views of nearby Mount Rainier. Business-wise, Tacoma is a nexus of commercial activity in the South Puget Sound region, and the Port of Tacoma is a bastion of international trade and the state’s largest port. If you’re interested in homes for sale in Tacoma, WA, you’ll be impressed by how much the “City of Destiny” has to offer.


Tacoma’s name is a derivative of the Native American name for Mount Rainier: “Takhoma”, or “Tahoma”. In the late 19th century the Northern Pacific Railroad selected Tacoma as its western terminus, a designation that gave rise to Tacoma’s “City of Destiny” nickname. The city was incorporated on November 12, 1875. The transcontinental rail line was completed in 1887, and from 1880 – 1890 the city’s population grew from 1,098 to 36,006. The year 1890 is also significant as the date that George Francis Train departed on a global circumnavigation to promote Tacoma. The city was his starting point and end point.

Cultural attractions

Starting in the early 1990s, downtown Tacoma has been the focus of an impressive revival. Highlights of this revitalization include the Washington State History Museum (1996), the Museum of Glass (2002), the Tacoma region’s first light-rail line (2003), the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center (2004), and America’s Car Museum (2011). The downtown area also supports a bustling Theatre District, of which the oldest and most prominent member is the Pantages Theater (1918). Tacoma is also home to the United States’ first legal marijuana farmers market.


Metro Parks Tacoma oversees 50+ parks and open spaces in Tacoma, including Point Defiance Park, whose 700 acres make it one of America’s largest. On the waterfront, Ruston Way is a multi-use trail that also features businesses and restaurants along its path. Tillow Beach is popular with scuba divers, and Wright Park is a downtown, English-style park containing a botanical conservatory and an arboretum.

Public transportation in the city consists of ferries, light rail, commuter rail, and buses. There’s also a free electric streetcar line that links with several downtown attractions, including the Theater District and the Museum District.


There are more than 40 neighborhoods in Tacoma, many of which are part of larger “regions” like Central Tacoma, Downtown Tacoma, East Tacoma, North Tacoma, and South End. The largest of these is North Tacoma, which is home to neighborhoods like Prospect Hill, North Slope, College Park, and Old Tacoma. Downtown Tacoma is where you’ll find the Theater District, Foss Waterway, and the Warehouse/Brewery District. Interspersed amongst these neighborhoods are dozens of historic landmarks, some of which are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.


36 elementary schools, eleven middle schools, and 10 high schools comprise the Tacoma Public Schools system. One of the high schools, the Tacoma School of the Arts, is an arts-focused school that is a national model for innovative education. Colleges in the Tacoma area include the University of Puget Sound, Pierce College, and University of Washington Tacoma.

Call Better Properties Eastside today to learn more about available properties in Tacoma, and houses for sale in Bellevue, WA.

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