Tacoma has a lot going for it: a robust economy, job growth and lots of new development. This Washington port city with more than 200,000 residents has a growing aerospace scene, as well as a skilled workforce thanks largely to several colleges, universities and military installations that call this region home. World-class healthcare, walkable neighborhoods, tons of parks and easy access to the Cascade Mountains also make Tacoma a top choice for growing families.
Top Industries and Employers: The military, health care, state and local government and aerospace are the top industries in Tacoma.
Best Coffee Shop: Anthem Coffee & Tea is a popular local chain with funky art-forward decor and tasty naan bread pizzas.
Best Local Beer/Brewery: Ask Tacoma-ites about their favorite brewery and you’ll get dozens of different answers. But one popular local spot is Wingman Brewers, a small, low-key spot with an industrial vibe and consistently tasty brews.
Must-Have Meal: The lobster bomb at TibbittsFernHill. This decadent dish consists of champagne-soaked lobster, avocado potatoes, fennel scrambled eggs and candied bacon, all topped with lemony hollandaise sauce. We’re drooling just thinking about it.
Best Co-Working Space: Union Club Tacoma, which offers 15,000 square feet of space to spread out and get your work done. Inside, you’ll find a maker studio, an event hall, desks and comfy couches and chairs. Take a break out on the patio with views of Commencement Bay and Mt. Rainier.
Best Meetup Spot (When Meeting Up Is a Thing Again): Devil’s Reef, which has a dark tiki bar ambiance and very strong drinks.
Creative Hub: Alma Mater Tacoma is a community gathering space that brings together food, performance, education and art. They host live music, drawing workshops, book clubs, open mic nights, comedians and fundraisers here.
Favorite Weekend Activity: Visit the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, then go for a walk in the gorgeous gardens at neighboring Point Defiance Park.
Free Way to Have Fun: Head to the Ruston Way Waterfront for a leisurely walk, bike ride or run. This two-mile trail offers incredible views of Commencement Bay.
Local Dream Job: Park ranger for Metro Parks Tacoma, so you can help people find new trails, lead tree walks and spend your days in nature.