Want to know what it’s like living in Central Tacoma? When we set out to build the Tacoma Neighborhood Guide back in 2015 we went straight to the people who live in Tacoma’s neighborhoods. We have created this site using surveys of people who live in neighborhoods all across Tacoma and Pierce County. In this article we will go over what people who actually live in Central Tacoma think about living there. To learn more about Central Tacoma check out the Central Tacoma Neighborhood page on our Tacoma Neighborhood Guide.

What’s it like living in Central Tacoma?

Tacomans who live in Central always talk about how convenient living there is. It’s convenient for biking, driving, walking, or taking public transit to the rest of the city. Access to the Hilltop Business District (and its Tacoma Link Light Rail Stops!) and businesses and bars on 6th Ave don’t hurt either. Central Tacoma is also home to Porchfest where last year neighbors hosted almost 100 bands on their front porches! In the video below we talked to some people who live in Central Tacoma. We interviewed Mike and Laura on the Move to Tacoma podcast episode, “Tacoma Lawn Bowling Club.

Mike and Laura moved to Tacoma from Alaska in 2019. After exploring several Tacoma neighborhoods they imagined they would end up in North Tacoma, but ultimately chose Central Tacoma. Laura and Mike have been living in Central Tacoma for five years, and this is what they love about it:

Being a 1 minute drive to pretty much everywhere in Tacoma
Jefferson Park and Franklin Park
Easy to get to other neighborhoods like Proctor without a car

In this video from the series, “Meet the Neighbors” we interviewed Tommie. Tommie has lived in the Hilltop neighborhood of Central Tacoma for decades. Tommie moved to Tacoma in the late 1950’s from Arkansas after her stepfather was stationed at Fort Lewis- now called JBLM. She was still a teenager, and leaving her friends behind and starting over at Stadium High School was hard. Little by little she made one friend at a time and found her community.

Over the years living in Central Tacoma’s Hilltop she’s been married, raised children- and now lives in the same home her parents bought when they moved to Tacoma. She’s completed nursing school, joined the military, and been deployed to a warzone during the first Gulf War. Helping people in Hilltop and being a good neighbor is Tommie’s passion in life. “I love the work that I do for others, I love my home, and I love my community. I wish that everyone could feel the same way that I do about their community.”

Where is Central Tacoma located?

A neighborhood map of Tacpma with Central Tacoma highlighted featuring the median home price of $475,000

Central Tacoma is the area of Tacoma located north of I-5 and Highway 16, south of 6th Avenue, and west of Downtown Tacoma. Central Tacoma is located south of North Tacoma, North of South Tacoma, east of the West Slope, and west of Downtown Tacoma.

What neighborhoods are in Central Tacoma?

The Central Tacoma area includes neighborhoods like 6th Ave, Hilltop, and the Wedge District. Tacomans in Central Tacoma are represented by Tacoma City Council District 3. Neighbors wanting to get involved in local government can plug in with the Central Tacoma Neighborhood Council. You can learn more about the area by visiting the neighborhood guide we created for Central. The guide includes more neighbor testimonials, pictures of homes in the neighborhood, videos, things to do, and more!

How much does it cost to buy a house in Central Tacoma?

Houses in this neighborhood vary by size and location. The median home price is right around $475,000 which is pretty much the average for the city of Tacoma. The area has mostly historic homes, but there are pockets of new construction homes here and there. There are a few condo buildings, but mostly it’s single family homes. Here are a couple examples of what you get for the money in this neighborhood:

A photo of a blue house in central tacoma that says 3 bedroom 1 bath 2490 square feet sold for $475,000

This house on South 10th Street was an estate sale that sold for full price after three days on the market. The sellers paid the buyer’s closing costs.

Photo of a grey house that says 4 bedroom 2 and 3/4 bath 1804 square feet. House sold for $639,000 after 9 days on the market

This house on South Adams street in Central Tacoma sold for $639,000 after 9 days on the market. The seller did not pay any closing costs.

How long does it take to get to Downtown Tacoma from Central Tacoma?

True to its name, Central is one of the most convenient places to get around town from. The area is big though, so here’s a breakdown of how long it takes to get from different areas in the neighborhood to Downtown Tacoma.

Tacoma Community College Area to Downtown Tacoma

Getting from the area around TCC to downtown takes 10 minutes by car. Biking from TCC to downtown takes 30 minutes. The #1 bus runs straight from TCC to downtown and takes 25 minutes.

Allenmore Hospital Area to Downtown Tacoma

It takes 10 minutes to drive from the area around Allenmore Hospital to downtown Tacoma. You can get there by bike in 15 minutes. You can also take the #1 bus directly downtown which takes 18 minutes.

6th Ave & Alder to Downtown Tacoma

If you’re living around 6th Avenue (6th and Alder is about halfway down 6th from Downtown) it takes about 8 minutes to drive downtown. The trusty #1 bus takes 12 minutes. Biking from 6th Ave to dowtown takes 10 minutes.

How long does it take to commute to Downtown Seattle from Central Tacoma?

People get from Central to Downtown Seattle in a few different ways. Obviously you can drive, which takes 45 minutes. During peak commute times the drive can take an hour to an hour or more.

If you’re looking to take public transportation you have multiple choices leaving from downtown Tacoma depending on your schedule.


Pierce Transit runs all of the buses in most of Pierce County. To see a system map click here. There are ST Express buses that take people from Tacoma to Seattle, Bellevue, and Everett operated by Sound Transit.


Sounder Trains run from Lakewood to Everett stopping in South Tacoma, Tacoma Dome, Puyallup, Sumner, Auburn, Kent, Tukwila, Seattle, Edmonds, Mukilteo, and finally Everett.

Amtrak Cascades Trains take passengers from Tacoma Dome Station all the way to Vancouver Canada (to the north) and through Portland Oregon and on to California (to the South).

Want to learn more about neighborhoods in Tacoma?

MovetoTacoma.com was created by Marguerite Martin, a real estate agent in Tacoma since 2005. Click here to contact Marguerite for a zoom call and get answers to your questions! Marguerite has helped hundreds of people move to Tacoma over the years.

Wondering how Marguerite and Move to Tacoma can help you as you explore neighborhoods?

Step 1: Explore the Clickable Neighborhood Map of Tacoma

Our clickable neighborhood map of Tacoma’s neighborhoods is our pride and joy. Click through to find images and videos of each neighborhood. The Neighborhood guides on the map also include median home price information, blog posts about the neighborhoods, podcast episodes about the neighborhoods, and candid quotes from local neighbors.

Step 2: Listen to the Move to Tacoma Podcast

The best way to learn about Tacoma is to hear from the people who live here. On the Move to Tacoma Podcast Marguerite interviews Tacomans who’ve been here generations and Tacomans who just got here. From business and technology leaders to politicians and activists and everyone in between. The Move to Tacoma Podcast will give you insight into why people move here and how they find meaning and happiness in Tacoma.

Step 3: Read the Blog Posts on MovetoTacoma.com

On the Move to Tacoma Blog we have been writing about things to do in Tacoma, where to eat in Tacoma, hot button community topics, neighborhoods and more since 2015. There are hundreds of posts to help you find what you love in the City of Destiny. From posts about where to eat and drink to interviews with locals- the blog is a great place to keep up one what’s happening in Tacoma and Pierce County.

Step 4: Get a Realtor Referral from a Local Realtor

Marguerite Martin is a different kind of Tacoma real estate agent. Reach out to find out answers to questions you have about neighborhoods in Tacoma and Pierce County. When the time is right to start looking, Marguerite can connect you with a local real estate agent who specializes in the neighborhoods you love most. You can see reviews from past clients who’ve worked with Marguerite on Yelp and on Google.

Picture of Tacoma Realtor Marguerite Martin with text that reads "Ready to move to tacoma?" Contact Marguerite Marguerite has been a real estate agent in Tacoma for more than 18 years. She can introduce you to the best agents in town, at no cost to you!