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Moving to Tacoma – Everything You Need To Know

Are you thinking about moving to Tacoma? Perhaps you’ve heard great things about this city nestled in the Pacific Northwest, and you’re eager to learn more. Tacoma, Washington, is a vibrant and diverse city with a rich history and a lot to offer. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know about moving to Tacoma, from its neighborhoods and cost of living to its job market and recreational activities. So, let’s dive in and explore the ins and outs of this beautiful city.

Tacoma: A Snapshot

Situated in the southern part of Puget Sound, Tacoma holds the distinction of being the third-largest city in Washington State. With a population exceeding 200,000 residents, Tacoma offers a harmonious blend of urban living and the splendor of the natural world. 

Tacoma’s strategic location, just 30 miles to the north of Seattle, makes it an enticing choice for individuals seeking a more affordable, yet vibrant Pacific Northwest adventure. For those considering a move to this captivating city, exploring Tacoma’s neighborhoods and discovering reliable moving companies should be at the top of your checklist.

Neighborhoods in Tacoma

One of the first things to consider when moving to Tacoma is choosing the right neighborhood for your lifestyle. Tacoma boasts a variety of neighborhoods, each with its own unique character and amenities. Here are a few to consider:

North End

The North End of Tacoma is a timeless neighborhood known for its historic homes, picturesque tree-lined streets, and breathtaking views of Commencement Bay and the Olympic Mountains. As you stroll through this charming area, you’ll be transported back in time by the well-preserved architecture that showcases Tacoma’s rich history.

Historic Homes: 

One of the standout features of the North End is its collection of historic homes. Many of these houses date back to the early 20th century and boast unique architectural styles, from Craftsman to Victorian. The tree-lined streets are adorned with these architectural gems, creating a nostalgic and inviting atmosphere.

Family-Friendly Environment: 

Families are drawn to the North End for several reasons. The neighborhood offers a safe and welcoming environment, with top-rated schools that provide an excellent education for children of all ages. Parks and green spaces are scattered throughout the area, providing ample opportunities for outdoor activities and playtime.

Downtown Tacoma

Downtown Tacoma is the vibrant heart of the city, a place where urban living meets a thriving arts and culture scene. In recent years, this area has undergone a remarkable transformation, making it a hub of activity and excitement.

Urban Revitalization: 

The revitalization of Downtown Tacoma has been a testament to the city’s commitment to growth and improvement. Former warehouses and industrial spaces have been converted into modern lofts and apartments, attracting a diverse community of residents. The blending of historic and contemporary architecture creates a unique and visually appealing cityscape.

South Tacoma

For those seeking affordability without compromising on the city’s amenities, South Tacoma is an excellent choice. This neighborhood is prized for its diverse community and budget-friendly housing options.

Affordable Living: 

South Tacoma stands out as an area where you can get more bang for your buck. Housing costs are generally more affordable than in other parts of the city, making it an attractive option for first-time homebuyers and renters. The neighborhood offers a mix of housing styles, from charming bungalows to modern apartments.


Hilltop is a historically significant neighborhood in Tacoma, known for its strong sense of community, cultural diversity, and a rich history of community activism. Over the years, it has undergone revitalization efforts that have breathed new life into the area.

Historical Significance: 

Hilltop has played a pivotal role in Tacoma’s history, particularly in the civil rights movement. The neighborhood was a focal point for activism, and its residents have a deep sense of pride in their heritage. As you explore Hilltop, you’ll encounter historic markers and memorials that commemorate its significance.

Proctor District

Proctor District is a hidden gem within Tacoma, known for its quaint charm and strong sense of community. It offers a unique blend of small-town atmosphere and urban convenience.

Quaint Streets:

 One of the defining features of the Proctor District is its charming streets lined with boutique shops, cafes, and local businesses. Residents and visitors alike enjoy leisurely walks along the tree-lined avenues, stopping to browse in locally-owned stores and savor a cup of coffee at one of the cozy cafes.

Cost of Living in Tacoma

When considering a move to Tacoma, it’s essential to understand the cost of living in the city. Compared to its neighbor, Seattle, Tacoma generally offers a more affordable living experience. Housing costs, in particular, are more budget-friendly. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that prices have been on the rise, especially in sought-after neighborhoods.

The cost of living in Tacoma, Washington varies depending on the item or service. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant costs around $20 while a meal for two at a mid-range restaurant costs around $75. A gallon of milk costs around $4.02 and a loaf of fresh white bread costs around $3.67. The average price for a one-way ticket for local transport is $2.75. The average monthly fee for a fitness club is $123.33. The average cost of basic utilities for a 915 sq ft apartment is $269.57 per month.

Job Market and Economy

Tacoma’s job market is diverse, with opportunities in various sectors. The city is home to healthcare institutions, educational facilities, manufacturing, and a growing tech industry. With Seattle’s proximity, many residents commute to work in the larger city while enjoying Tacoma’s lower cost of living.

Major employers in Tacoma include MultiCare Health System, Tacoma Public Schools, and the University of Washington Tacoma. If you’re considering a job in Seattle, the Sounder Commuter Rail and Interstate 5 offer convenient transportation options for daily commuting.

Education in Tacoma

If you have children or plan to start a family, Tacoma offers a range of educational options. Tacoma Public Schools serve the city’s K-12 students, and the district has been committed to improving educational outcomes. There are also several private and charter school options available.

For higher education, the University of Washington Tacoma is a prominent institution offering undergraduate and graduate programs in various fields. Tacoma Community College and Pacific Lutheran University are also notable educational institutions in the area.

Tacoma’s Recreational Activities

Moving to Tacoma means having access to a wide range of recreational activities. Here are some of the highlights:

Outdoor Adventures

Tacoma’s natural beauty shines through its numerous parks, hiking trails, and waterfront areas. Point Defiance Park is a local favorite, offering gardens, a zoo, and miles of hiking trails with breathtaking views. Kayaking, paddleboarding, and fishing are popular activities on the Puget Sound.

Arts and Culture

Tacoma has a thriving arts and culture scene. The Museum of Glass, Tacoma Art Museum, and Washington State History Museum are just a few of the cultural institutions you can explore. The Broadway Center for the Performing Arts hosts a variety of live performances throughout the year.

Dining and Food Scene

Tacoma’s dining scene has been on the rise, with an increasing number of restaurants and eateries offering diverse cuisines. Whether you’re craving fresh seafood, international flavors, or farm-to-table dining, Tacoma has something to satisfy your taste buds.

Community Events

Tacoma hosts a range of community events and festivals year-round. From the Tacoma Film Festival to the Daffodil Parade and the Tacoma Dome’s concerts and events, there’s always something happening in the city.

Getting Around Tacoma

Tacoma’s transportation options include public transit, biking, and walking. The Pierce Transit bus system serves the city, and Sound Transit’s Sounder Commuter Rail provides a convenient connection to Seattle. If you prefer biking, Tacoma has a growing network of bike lanes and trails, and it’s considered a bike-friendly city.

Embracing Tacoma’s Unique Culture

As you settle into Tacoma, you’ll find that the city has a unique and welcoming culture. Locals take pride in their community and are known for their friendly and laid-back demeanor. Engaging in community activities and events is a great way to meet people and become part of the Tacoma family.


Moving to Tacoma can be an exciting adventure, with its blend of natural beauty, diverse neighborhoods, and cultural attractions. As you plan your move, take the time to explore the city’s neighborhoods, understand the cost of living, and consider job opportunities. 

Tacoma offers a quality of life that appeals to a wide range of residents, making it a fantastic place to call home. So, if you’re ready to embrace the Pacific Northwest lifestyle, Tacoma may be just the place for you.

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