Tacoma, WA - Essential Living In & Moving To Guide

Tacoma, WA | The 2019 Essential Living In & Moving To Guide | All Ready Moving

As the final stop along the Northern Pacific Railroad, the area of Tacoma has come to be known as the “City of Destiny”. Since its incorporation as a city in 1875, the local population has jumped tremendously year after year, making it one of the largest cities in the state. It currently represents Pierce County as the county seat and rests along Commencement Bay of Puget Sound.

More and more people are moving to Tacoma, which is why we decided to create this comprehensive guide to teach newcomers all they need to know about the area. With details about the population, cost of living, and fun things to do around town, take a look to see if this charming city is the right place for you.

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.

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

 

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Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, 5400 N Pearl St, Tacoma, WA 98407

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.

Museum of Glass

 

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Museum of Glass, 1801 Dock St, Tacoma, WA 98402

LeMay – America’s Car Museum

 

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LeMay – America’s Car Museum, 2702 E D St, Tacoma, WA 98421

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.

Lobster Shop

 

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Lobster Shop, 4015 Ruston Way, Tacoma, WA 98402

Dirty Oscar’s Annex

 

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Dirty Oscar’s Annex, 2309 6th Ave, Tacoma, WA 98403

Pacific Grill

 

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Pacific Grill, 1502 Pacific Ave, Tacoma, WA 98402

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 $312,200. The area is considered to be part of a hot market as the price has risen 10% in the last year and is projected to rise at least another 5% in the next 12 months.

For those planning on renting, average rent prices in Tacoma range from $1,388 per month for one bedroom up to $2,057 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 who enjoys living in a close-knit community of people, where you can quickly make friends and spend time at local events.

Downtown Neighborhood in Tacoma, WA

Other great Tacoma neighborhoods are South End, Oakwood, and West End near the local community college.

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.

Rainy weather in Tacoma, WA

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 All Ready Moving 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.

To learn more about our professional moving services, give us a call today at (360) 507-2447! Or feel free to fill out the Request a Quote at the top of this page so we can send you a free moving estimate for your upcoming change.