Back in the days of Tacoma’s founding in the swinging 1870s, Tacoma was chosen as the western terminus of the Northern Pacific Railroad and was a wild and crazy town where things were happening. Word is Mark Twain said, “The pleasantest winter I ever spent was one summer on Puget Sound.” English writer Rudyard Kipling even said it was, “literally staggering under a boom of the boomiest.”  

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Tacoma was hit hard by the construction of the Tacoma Mall in the 1960s, as people stopped coming to the city to shop and mingle. The terrible reputation Tacoma had in the 1970s and 80s is finally starting to fade after decades of development, construction, and the emergence of a thriving local arts scene.

Things really started turning around in the 1990s as The University of Washington Tacoma Campus transformed many of Downtown Tacoma’s empty factories into spaces of learning, and the renovation of Union Station from an abandoned railroad station into a Federal Courthouse. From there came investment, condos, townhouses, coffee shops, restaurants, and a new swagger in the step of those of us who live and work downtown!

Why people love Downtown Tacoma:

People living in Downtown Tacoma neighborhoods tend to feel a strong sense of ownership which has lead to an almost village-like vibe among the people who’ve chosen to settle there. Getting to know people is not hard, and there are few barriers to participating in civic and community life.

Tacoma is now a growing city, but the struggle of Tacoma’s past gives it a character and self reflection that is rare in other cities. Tacomans are constantly asking themselves “Where are we going?” and “What kind of city do we want to be?” which just shows how much control and ownership people in this city feel that they have over its direction and culture.

What to do in Downtown Tacoma:

Downtown Tacoma is blooming with bars, coffee shops, restaurants, theaters, museums, and more.

Artists from around the world perform at the variety of historic theater venues as well as at the iconic Tacoma Dome. The thriving Downtown Tacoma Farmer’s Market attracts the region’s farmers to Broadway every Thursday in the spring and summer, and an ice skating rink pops up across from the Tacoma Art Museum every holiday season.

Downtown Tacoma Real Estate Market Data:

2016 Median Sales Price 2015 Median Sales Price 2014 Median Sales Price 2016 Average CDOM 2016  Sales Price % of List Price
$310,500 $269,000 $247,250 29 101.56

Downtown Tacoma Architecture:

Condos, Lofts, Townhomes, Victorians 

Good Eats in Downtown Tacoma:

Downtown Tacoma is home to some amazing local bars and restaurants. Unlike many cities that are dominated with chains and peppered with local spots, Tacoma is the opposite. Driven by local restaurants, bars, and coffee shops, chains are the minority. Check out Pacific Grill on Pacific Avenue for fine dining and the best happy hour in Tacoma. Matador and Tacoma Cabana (also on Pacific Avenue) offer fantastic drinks and lively atmosphere.