Living in Tacoma, WA, offers a unique blend of city life, stunning views, and access to some of the world’s best outdoor recreational activities. It’s a city with a rich history, and its neighborhoods reflect the diverse culture and vibrancy that make Tacoma such a desirable place to live. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the five best neighborhoods in Tacoma, providing detailed reasons for each choice based on various factors, including affordability, safety, amenities, and community feel.
1. North End
North End is arguably one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Tacoma. It’s characterized by historic homes, well-maintained yards, and tree-lined streets that create a warm and welcoming environment.
The charm of this neighborhood is coupled with high-ranking schools, making it particularly attractive for families. It’s served by Tacoma Public Schools, which includes the highly-rated Wilson High School, thereby making it a solid choice for families prioritizing education.
The variety of parks, including Point Defiance Park, one of the biggest urban parks in the country, adds a sense of tranquility amidst the urban setting. And let’s not forget about Ruston Way waterfront, which offers beautiful views and plenty of recreational activities.
Moreover, the community spirit is palpable in North End. From farmer’s markets to annual neighborhood events, there’s always something to get involved in, enhancing the sense of belonging and companionship among the residents.
2. New Tacoma
New Tacoma offers a modern urban vibe that appeals to professionals and young adults. It’s the commercial and financial heart of the city, brimming with high-rise condos, fashionable lofts, and cutting-edge businesses.
The major draw for New Tacoma is its proximity to downtown, making commuting a breeze for professionals. The area is also serviced by the Tacoma Link light rail, providing easy and efficient access to various parts of the city.
With a plethora of trendy restaurants, boutiques, galleries, and nightlife spots, there’s no shortage of entertainment options in New Tacoma. It’s also home to some of Tacoma’s iconic attractions, like the Museum of Glass and the Tacoma Art Museum.
New Tacoma also surprises with patches of green amidst the urban scenery, such as Wright Park, a historic 27-acre park offering a serene escape from the bustling city life. The park’s arboretum, duck pond, and walking trails are much-loved amenities by the residents.
3. Proctor District
Proctor District offers an appealing mix of small-town charm and urban convenience. It’s an established neighborhood with a strong sense of community, ideal for those who desire a relaxed suburban feel without sacrificing accessibility.
The neighborhood is known for its well-regarded schools, notably Washington Elementary, which consistently receives high ratings. It’s a perfect place for families who value quality education.
Proctor District is also known for its local shopping scene. The Proctor Farmer’s Market, a Saturday staple, offers fresh local produce and handcrafted goods, creating a vibrant community atmosphere. Local shops and unique restaurants add to the neighborhood’s charm.
Despite its relaxed vibe, Proctor District doesn’t lack recreational activities. It’s home to the Proctor Arts Fest, a popular event showcasing local artists and musicians, and is nearby Point Defiance Park, ensuring residents have numerous options for outdoor adventures.
4. Old Town
Old Town, as the name suggests, is one of Tacoma’s original neighborhoods, offering a rich sense of history and a peaceful residential setting.
Historic homes are a common sight in Old Town, adding an aesthetic appeal to the neighborhood. It’s a great place for history enthusiasts who enjoy living amidst a backdrop of Tacoma’s past.
Old Town is also noted for its good schools, low crime rate, and excellent amenities, providing an ideal environment for families. Plus, its proximity to the waterfront adds a bonus point for those who enjoy seaside living.
The neighborhood is known for hosting the annual Old Town Blues Festival, which attracts music lovers from all over. There’s also a good selection of local businesses, restaurants, and coffee shops, offering residents the opportunity to support locals and enjoy a variety of dining and shopping experiences.
5. Stadium District
Stadium District is famous for its stunning historic architecture, particularly the iconic Stadium High School, which resembles a French chateau and was featured in the movie “10 Things I Hate About You.“
Living in the Stadium District means enjoying an urban-suburban mixed feel. With many young professionals residing here, it offers a vibrant yet relaxed atmosphere characterized by an array of local businesses, restaurants, and coffee shops.
The neighborhood has a good mix of housing options, from majestic historic homes to modern apartments, catering to a wide range of lifestyles and budgets. It’s a great place for those seeking a unique, stylish neighborhood with a strong sense of community.
Lastly, Wright Park, with its conservatory and walking trails, offers a slice of nature to Stadium District residents. The neighborhood also hosts various community events, such as the Dickens Festival during the holiday season, bringing cheer and fostering community spirit.
Choosing the Best Neighborhoods in Tacoma
Making a choice of the top neighborhoods in any city requires a careful, objective, and detailed analysis of several crucial factors. We understand that the needs of individuals and families can be quite diverse, and we sought to ensure that our selection of the best neighborhoods in Tacoma, WA, is inclusive and considers a broad range of needs and lifestyles. Here is what you should consider before making a neighborhood from our list your new home.
As you plan your visit to Tacoma, WA explore the top five neighborhoods offering the safest and most desirable locations to live, alongside the recommendations of the best hotels in Tacoma’s waterfront, ensuring a memorable stay by the water’s edge.
Safety is a top priority for most home buyers or renters. A neighborhood may have great schools, stunning homes, and fabulous amenities, but if the crime rates are high, it’s unlikely to be a desirable place to live.
For this reason, we paid particular attention to the safety of each neighborhood in Tacoma, using crime rate data from local law enforcement agencies and crime reporting databases. Neighborhoods like North End, Old Town, and Proctor District made our list in part because they consistently show low crime rates.
Quality education is another vital aspect that many families consider when choosing where to live. Excellent schools can significantly enhance the appeal of a neighborhood.
In determining our list, we analyzed data from the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and local school district information. We also considered rankings from school rating websites. North End, Proctor District, and Old Town came up tops in this area.
Affordability and Housing Variety
Tacoma offers a diverse range of housing options, from historic homes to modern condos and apartments. Affordability is a major factor for many people, but so is the type of housing available.
Our selection process looked at median home prices and rent prices across Tacoma, as well as the variety of housing options available. For instance, New Tacoma offers a mix of high-rise condos and lofts, appealing to young professionals, while the Proctor District and North End offer a more traditional range of homes, making them attractive to families.
Amenities and Accessibility
The best neighborhoods have a mix of essential amenities like grocery stores, restaurants, parks, and recreational facilities. They also provide easy access to downtown, airports, or other transport hubs.
We considered the availability of such amenities, walkability scores, and average commute times to important locations in Tacoma. Stadium District and New Tacoma stood out because they offer residents an array of local businesses, restaurants, and easy access to other parts of the city.
Lastly, we looked at the general feel of the neighborhood. Some people prefer a bustling, urban environment, while others are looking for a quiet, family-friendly atmosphere.
We used census data, local news reports, and community feedback to gain a sense of the community vibe in each neighborhood. All five neighborhoods on our list offer unique community vibes, appealing to a range of preferences.
Choosing a neighborhood is a personal decision that involves considering your own lifestyle, needs, and preferences. We hope our analysis and selection of the top neighborhoods in Tacoma help guide your decision and make the process a bit easier.