Things to Know Before Moving to Tacoma

Tacoma, Washington, USA with Mt. Rainier

Making the decision on moving to Tacoma can be both thrilling and intimidating. There’s a myriad of factors to weigh before taking the plunge, and Tacoma, Washington is no exception. In this article, we’ll delve into the essential aspects of Tacoma to help you make a well-informed choice. 

We’ll discuss the city’s unique geography and climate, its rich history and diverse culture, the local economy and job market, housing options and real estate trends, transportation facilities, education opportunities, outdoor recreational activities, the vibrant food scene, and safety concerns.

By providing a comprehensive overview of what Tacoma has to offer, we aim to ease your transition and ensure that you’re well-prepared for your new life in this beautiful Pacific Northwest city.

What To Know Before Moving To Tacoma

Geography and Climate

Pacific Northwest Climate

Tacoma is located in the Pacific Northwest, known for its mild, rainy climate. Winters are cool and wet, while summers are mild and dry. If you’re a fan of lush greenery and don’t mind a bit of rain, you’ll find Tacoma’s climate to be a perfect fit.

The Puget Sound

Tacoma sits on the shores of the Puget Sound, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean. This location provides a stunning backdrop, with picturesque views of the water and mountains in the distance.

History and Culture

Native American Influence

The history of Tacoma is deeply rooted in Native American culture. The Puyallup Tribe has called the area home for thousands of years, and their influence can be seen in the city’s art, parks, and museums.

Tacoma’s Art Scene

Tacoma boasts a vibrant arts scene, with numerous galleries, museums, and theaters. Don’t miss the Museum of Glass, showcasing stunning glasswork from local and international artists, and the Tacoma Art Museum, featuring contemporary and historical art from the region.

Economy and Job Market

Major Industries

The economy of Tacoma is diverse, with major industries including healthcare, education, and government. The city is also home to the Port of Tacoma, one of the largest container ports in North America.

Job Opportunities

Tacoma offers a variety of job opportunities in various sectors, such as healthcare, education, and government. Some of the largest employers in the area include MultiCare Health System, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, and the Tacoma Public Schools.

Housing and Real Estate


Tacoma offers a range of neighborhoods to suit different lifestyles and budgets. From the family-friendly North End to the trendy Stadium District, there’s something for everyone.

Rent and Home Prices

Housing in Tacoma is more affordable than in nearby Seattle, but prices have been steadily increasing in recent years. Be prepared to budget for higher rent or home prices than in some other cities in the region.


Public Transit

Tacoma offers various public transit options, including buses, the Tacoma Link light rail, and Sounder commuter trains. These services make it easy to get around the city and connect with neighboring communities.

Driving and Parking

While public transportation is available, many residents still rely on cars for their daily commute. Traffic can be heavy at times, and parking in the downtown area can be challenging. Be prepared to factor in extra time for your daily commute and consider exploring alternate modes of transportation.


Public and Private Schools

Tacoma has a well-regarded public school system, with a variety of elementary, middle, and high schools to choose from. In addition to public schools, there are also several private schools in the area, offering alternative educational options for families.

Higher Education

Tacoma is home to several higher education institutions, including the University of Washington Tacoma, Pacific Lutheran University, and Tacoma Community College. These schools offer a wide range of degree programs and continuing education opportunities for residents and students from around the world.

Outdoor Recreation

Parks and Trails

Tacoma offers numerous parks and trails for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy. Point Defiance Park is a local favorite, with its beautiful gardens, trails, and beach access. Other popular parks include Wright Park and Ruston Way Waterfront.

Water Activities

Thanks to its location on the Puget Sound, Tacoma is a great destination for water activities. Residents and visitors can enjoy boating, kayaking, paddleboarding, and even scuba diving in the surrounding waters.

Food Scene

Local Cuisine

Tacoma boasts a diverse food scene, with a wide range of restaurants, cafes, and food trucks. You’ll find everything from delicious seafood to international cuisine, as well as a thriving craft beer and coffee culture.

Farmer’s Markets

Tacoma has several farmer’s markets, offering fresh produce, artisanal goods, and local treats. The Proctor and Broadway markets are particularly popular and provide a great opportunity to support local businesses and farmers.

Safety and Crime

As with any city, crime rates in Tacoma can vary by neighborhood. It’s important to research crime rates in your desired neighborhood before moving. Overall, Tacoma is considered relatively safe, with many neighborhoods experiencing low crime rates.

Should You Move To Tacoma?

Tacoma is a thriving, diverse city with a rich history, beautiful natural surroundings, and a strong sense of community. If you’re considering a move to Tacoma, keep in mind the city’s climate, housing market, and transportation options, and be prepared to immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant arts and food scenes. With careful planning, you’re sure to find a neighborhood and lifestyle that suits your needs.

What is the cost of living in Tacoma?

The cost of living in Tacoma is generally lower than in nearby Seattle, but higher than the national average. Housing, transportation, and utilities tend to be the most significant expenses.

Should you hire a moving company?

Hiring a moving company in Tacoma might be the key to a successful moving process. They will assist you in each step of the relocation process and keep your belongings safe.

How rainy is Tacoma?

Tacoma receives around 40 inches of rainfall per year, with most of the rain falling between October and May. Winters can be quite wet, while summers are typically mild and dry.

Is Tacoma a good place to raise a family?

Many families find Tacoma to be a great place to raise children, thanks to its strong school system, affordable housing, and numerous parks and recreational opportunities.

How far is Tacoma from Seattle?

Tacoma is approximately 35 miles south of Seattle, making it an accessible option for those who work in or want to visit the larger city.

What are some popular attractions in Tacoma?

Some popular attractions in Tacoma include Point Defiance Park, the Museum of Glass, the Tacoma Art Museum, and the Ruston Way Waterfront.

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