Tacoma, Washington

Life in Tacoma, Washington, explained by people who’ve lived in Tacoma:

*Click here to share your experience living in Tacoma*

*Response format = Answer (Your name, How long you’ve lived in Tacoma)

Tacoma Favorites

What’s your favorite thing about living in Tacoma?

  • Being so close to things to do, restaurants, shopping, parks, etc. (Autumn, 1 year)
  • How it embraces their artist, by supporting them to help them grow from hobbyist to professional. (Genevieve, 2 years)
  • There is so much to do! (Tina, 2.5 years)
  • Summertime. (Vanessa, 4 years)
  • Near the water, close driving distance to other cities. (Emily, 10 years)
  • Diversity, great city, so much to do. (Jessica, 10 years)
  • The people and the support of the arts. (Kelly, 10 years)
  • Art, theaters, community, parks. It’s all here. (Melissa, 12 years)
  • All the beautiful outdoor things to do. (Mindy, 13 years)
  • Diverse people. (Heather, 20 years)
  • Used to be a safe family raising city. (Justin, 25 years)
  • Variety of things to do. (Ashley, 29 years)
  • Diversity. (Janelle, 37 years)

Tacoma Least Favorites

What’s your least favorite thing about living in Tacoma?

  • Crime, traffic. (Kylie, 2 months)
  • The trash that litters the environment! (Autumn, 1 year)
  • Traffic on the freeway, not in town. (Genevieve, 2 years)
  • Many of the business buildings are run down and lots of trash. Also lots of bullying in the schools. (Tina, 2.5 years)
  • Tends to be antisocial. (Vanessa, 4 years)
  • Tacoma. (Jae, 5 years)
  • Crime, gang members, hustle and bustle of city life, pollution. (Emily, 10 years)
  • Tacoma aroma. (Jessica, 10 years)
  • The segregation and marginalization of communities of color. (Kelly, 10 years)
  • Drugs. (Melissa, 12 years)
  • Crime. (Mindy, 13 years)
  • Traffic. (Heather, 20 years)
  • The heroin and mental health problem. (Justin, 25 years)
  • Price of rent. (Ashley, 29 years)
  • The school system. (Janelle, 37 years)

Tacoma Things To Do

What are fun things to do in Tacoma?

  • Movies, bowling, waterfront. (Kylie, 2 months)
  • Hiking and walking around the parks. (Autumn, 1 year)
  • Happy hours, Ruston waterway walks, so many fun events to attend. (Genevieve, 2 years)
  • Zoo, city parks, museums, shopping (specialty shops), lots of events (sports, concerts, shows, etc). (Tina, 2.5 years)
  • We love all of the hiking trails in the area. (Vanessa, 4 years)
  • There aren’t any. (Jae, 5 years)
  • Waterfront Restaurants, Puget Creek Natural area, Point Defiance Zoo Park, Libraries, AirBnbs. (Emily, 10 years)
  • Bars, great dining, concerts, water front, etc. (Jessica, 10 years)
  • Ocean activities, berry picking at blueberry park, running along the waterfront, hanging out with friends, Point Defiance park, arts events. (Kelly, 10 years)
  • Waterfront, antique district, museums, parks, zoo. (Melissa, 12 years)
  • Walk, drink beer, ride bikes, try out restaurants, see plays. (Mindy, 13 years)
  • Walk the waterfront, great restaurants, parks, museums. (Heather, 20 years)
  • Water park with kids, Snake Lake, Point Defiance Zoo. (Justin, 25 years)
  • Go to the waterfront. (Ashley, 29 years)
  • Walk on the beach, drive along Ruston, visit small businesses, take kids skating/park/beach, eating out at the many different local restaurants. (Janelle, 37 years)
  • Enjoying the waterfront, museums, parks. (Kimberly)

Tacoma’s Reputation

What’s Tacoma known for?

  • The ghetto, lol. (Kylie, 2 months)
  • Point defiance? Initially I was going to say the homeless population. (Autumn, 1 year)
  • Being gritty. (Genevieve, 2 years)
  • Lots of potholes! (Tina, 2.5 years)
  • The Narrows Bridge maybe? (Vanessa, 4 years)
  • The smell. (Jae, 5 years)
  • Tacoma aroma. (Emily, 10 years)
  • City of Destiny. (Jessica, 10 years)
  • The aroma, its grit. (Kelly, 10 years)
  • Being a blue collar town. (Melissa, 12 years)
  • Crime and hipsters. (Mindy, 13 years)
  • The aroma. (Heather, 20 years)
  • Not much anymore, Tacoma Dome if it gets remodeled. (Justin, 25 years)
  • Mount Rainier. (Ashley, 29 years)
  • Aroma of Tacoma and I guess crime. (Janelle, 37 years)
  • The Tacoma Aroma. (Kimberly)

Tacoma Crime

What’s the crime like in Tacoma? (hot spot areas, etc.)

  • Terrible. (Kylie, 2 months)
  • Must be fairly high, but I have never directly seen nor experienced crime or even unsafe situations. (Autumn, 1 year)
  • I don’t personally feel the crime is outrageous, yet the amount of homelessness IS! (Genevieve, 2 years)
  • The same as anywhere else, although there are areas that are more rough than others, such as the Eastside. (Tina, 2.5 years)
  • We have noticed a lot of crime in pockets. It is hard to distinguish a bad neighborhood from a good one. Our experience has mostly been that the police don’t seem to care much. That’s really sad. This town could be great. (Vanessa, 4 years)
  • Same as everywhere else. (Jae, 5 years)
  • Very high. Drug dealing, gang violence related crimes, murders, walmart armed car truck driver murder, young homeless population crack heads. (Emily, 10 years)
  • Depends on area, crime happens everywhere. (Jessica, 10 years)
  • Not as bad as everyone thinks. (Kelly, 10 years)
  • Crime is everywhere. Doesn’t matter what city you live in or what part of a city you live in. (Melissa, 12 years)
  • Bad in some areas; especially south and east. (Mindy, 13 years)
  • Lots of theft in most parts of Tacoma. (Heather, 20 years)
  • Used to have bad pockets now seems like its everywhere. (Justin, 25 years)
  • It can be pretty bad. (Ashley, 29 years)
  • It’s not as bad as the news makes it seem and no Hilltop is not the worst area. It’s the eastside and Spanaway. (Janelle, 37 years)
  • While there are some neighborhoods with minimal crime, other neighborhoods crime rate can increase by crossing a street onto the next block. (Kimberly)

Tacoma Advice

Any advice for people moving to Tacoma?

  • Be prepared for lots of traffic. (Kylie, 2 months)
  • When the sun is out, you should be too. (Autumn, 1 year)
  • Get involved in our community by volunteer programs, helps you meet new friends and builds your network by supporting our community. (Genevieve, 2 years)
  • Get to know your neighbors! They will tell you what the neighborhood is like. It will also keep crime down as you are all keeping watch on each other. Always watch your surroundings while going to and from your car in parking lots. There are many homeless and people who will ask for money or steal from you when you are not looking. (Tina,2.5 years)
  • Be prepared to see failing infrastructure. Be prepared to struggle making friends. Be prepared for the rain, it lasts longer than you’d think! (Vanessa, 4 years)
  • Don’t. (Jae, 5 years)
  • Move to a nice area near the UPS College, north end Tacoma near Wilson, near University Place, go to Curtis High School University Place schools or SODA. (Emily, 10 years)
  • Great city, great opportunities. (Jessica, 10 years)
  • Don’t move here (esp. if you’re from Seattle), and stop gentrifying our city. (Kelly, 10 years)
  • Get out and explore. There is always something to do or see. (Melissa, 12 years)
  • Give it a chance, get out and explore. And make a point of meeting people. (Mindy, 13 years)
  • Join your buy nothing group! It’s a good way to meet neighbors. (Heather, 20 years)
  • Don’t, rent’s too high. (Justin, 25 years)
  • Don’t listen to the media. Tacoma is what you make of it. Get to know your neighbor. (Janelle, 37 years)

Tacoma Stories

Share an experience you’ve had in Tacoma (fun, crazy, dangerous, etc.).

  • When we first moved here from Texas, we were very confused by the roundabouts, and found ourselves either stopping or driving in circles. We don’t have those where we come from! (Autumn, 1 year)
  • BREW 253, Art on the Ave, Willow at the Broadway arts center, free entry for the museums on the third Thursday, ferry rides, Proctor farmers market, the grand Cinema, Kandle park wave pool, Brewery and Taproom’s that allow children and dogs. (Genevieve, 2 years)
  • I grew up in the town next to Tacoma, always thinking it as an awful city. As I’ve gotten to know the people and place, I have grown to love it. The people are friendly (so many people play Pokemon Go and are willing to chat), the city does an amazing job of maintaining its parks and providing its citizens with many things to do at the parks. There is something to do nearly every weekend! (Tina, 2.5 years)
  • We love going downtown and riding the light rail. Enjoying the museums and all of the summer activities. (Vanessa, 4 years)
  • I saw someone get shot. (Emily, 10 years)
  • Waterfront is the best place in summer! Great food, drinks, party etc. (Jessica, 10 years)
  • I met my husband here. (Kelly, 10 years)
  • Taking the free tram all over downtown to do a geocache adventure with my son. Took us to all the museums and some parks and the UW downtown. (Melissa, 12 years)
  • Very fun down scavenger hunt. (Mindy, 13 years)
  • Ice skating in downtown in December. (Heather, 20 years)
  • Watched a guy get hit by train at Titlow. (Justin, 25 years)
  • I remember my father’s story’s of racing from the top to the bottom of 6th ave. He met my mom at his work, an old gas station on s. 6th in J st. (Janelle, 37 years)

Tacoma’s Future

How do you think Tacoma will change over the next 10 years?

  • Hopefully less crime. (Kylie, 2 months)
  • I hope they do something about how dark the streets are, street lights and reflectors could make a world of difference, but as far what I expect to change, I don’t have expectations. (Autumn, 1 year)
  • Pricey! (Genevieve, 2 years)
  • Rent is raising due to people moving out of Seattle. I hope it will help elevate the city to a better standard of living/presentation. (Tina, 2.5 years)
  • I hope that local infrastructure becomes a priority. I hope that law enforcement budgets are increased. This really is a great place, it would be fantastic to treat it that way! (Vanessa, 4 years)
  • Be shut on Saturdays AND Sundays. (Jae, 5 years)
  • House market will go up. (Emily, 10 years)
  • If Amazon comes into the city it would unfortunately be comparable to Seattle. (Jessica, 10 years)
  • I already see gentrification happening. I hope we will work to provide affordable housing and paths to home ownership for people of color. (Kelly, 10 years)
  • I think it will grow in popularity due to lower housing costs than Seattle and due to the UW being right downtown and people buying homes, settling in as they graduate. Great food is coming in and the vibe is younger and hipper. (Melissa, 12 years)
  • I think it’ll gain more popularity as the go-between Seattle and Portland. (Mindy, 13 years)
  • Traffic will get worse, there will still be construction on the Tacoma Dome hill. (Heather, 20 years)
  • I don’t know, that’s a roll of the dice. (Justin, 25 years)
  • Rents skyrocketed and the homeless have no where to go. (Ashley, 29 years)
  • I believe it will become more of a tourist area…Ruston way is already starting to look like it. (Janelle, 37 years)
  • More people from the Seattle area will be moving here as prices continue to skyrocket. Maybe with the increase in property taxes will provide enough money to fix the potholes. (Kimberly)

Tacoma Facts

Any other interesting facts about Tacoma?

  • People are friendlier than I expected! (Autumn, 1 year)
  • Point Defiance is the largest city park, second only to Central Park. (Tina, 2.5 years)
  • Hilltop in downtown Tacoma is disgusting and needs to get cleaned up. (Emily, 10 years)
  • There are cool hidden art installations all over the city and a lot of pride from people who live here. It feels like a small town in a lot of ways. (Melissa, 12 years)
  • There are a lot of great restaurants, as well as outdoor activities. (Heather, 20 years)
  • The aroma sucks. (Justin, 25 years)
  • Beautiful Architecture. The place I wish I could have shared with my children is Pizza and Pipes. (Janelle, 37 years)