Of all the places I’ve visited in and around Seattle, Tacoma continues to surprise me the most. I’ve driven through it countless times on road trips down I-5, and you see so much of it from the road, it’s easy to assume you’ve experienced the city in its entirety. But if you head off the freeway and explore, you’ll see the best Tacoma has to offer. There are hidden gems everywhere in this town.
What instantly defines Tacoma are its busy port, stellar views of Mount Rainier and the Tacoma Dome entertainment arena. A quick detour off the freeway reveals its real treasures; a revitalized and walkable downtown core (Prevention.com named it one of the 100 Best Walking Cities), museums for everyone to enjoy, a huge inner-city park, and an incredible waterfront.
Longtime resident and Gayle Orth Catering Owner, Gayle Orth, knows Tacoma and the people well, and says “there’s no place prettier when the sun shines.” I agree with her: whatever the season, when the waters are glittering and filled with boats, Tacoma is definitely a beautiful place.
Relaxed City Life
Tacoma’s population is roughly 200,000, but it has the charm and appeal of a smaller community. It’s got everything you need without the hustle and bustle. On the plus side, if you want to experience big city life, downtown Seattle is less than an hour away!
Ruston Way, Tacoma’s pristine waterfront area, is arguably the city’s most beautiful feature. Walk, run, bike or dine, right on the water. You can lounge and take in the view, or scuba dive on the beaches. Fleet Feet Sports Owner, Paul Morrison, who often runs on local trails, says it’s a “great place to go to see Mount Rainier and soak in the beauty of the area.”
Diverse Living Options
Looking for a historical home with some charm? Or maybe you prefer a modern new build? Whatever your taste in home style, Tacoma doesn’t disappoint. And many neighborhoods have unbeatable views of Puget Sound, such as the new Point Ruston, with its condos, apartments and single family homes all conveniently built around shops and entertainment.
A Lot to Do
Point Defiance Park, the 2nd largest urban park in the nation, provides access to many attractions, including Owen Beach, Fort Nisqually, and the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. Downtown, you’ll find the famed Museum of Glass, America’s Car Museum, and theTacoma Art Museum. Hit the links at Chambers Bay golf course, home of the 2015 U.S. Open!
Tacoma’s school district contains 36 schools, and a number of private schools. There are also continuing education schools, technical colleges, and the Tacoma School of The Arts. The University of Washington satellite campus opened in 1990, as part of the revitalization throughout Tacoma’s downtown core.
Whatever lifestyle you prefer, Tacoma’s got you covered. The city has a way of bringing you back, and every time I’ve been to a museum or explored downtown, with its mix of modern amenities and art deco architecture, I want to see more. The next time you’re passing through, stop by and explore Tacoma. You won’t be disappointed!