The greater Tacoma-Pierce County area may be one of the Northwest’s best-kept secrets. The word is leaking out, however, that this jewel on the Puget Sound is as vibrant and exciting as any metropolitan area in America.
Affordable housing is part of what makes Pierce County so attractive to so many buyers. Compared to King and Snohomish Counties,
Pierce County home prices make living in the greater Tacoma area an easy choice.
Tacoma-Pierce County is a collection of proud, well-kept neighborhoods immersed in the beauty of the pristine natural surroundings. Some locations offer spectacular views of Puget Sound, the Olympic Mountains, Mount Rainier, and the Cascade Mountains. Others are nestled in quiet, wooded stands around freshwater lakes. All are within minutes of convenient shopping, quality schools, excellent medical care, and jobs.
Tacoma-Pierce County At A Glance
The Tacoma-Pierce County area boasts a diverse population, climate and lifestyle. Surrounded by saltwater, freshwater lakes and snow-capped mountains, the region includes a vibrant downtown with fine dining, arts and entertainment, as well as sleepy rural communities.
Despite the Northwest’s moist reputation, the greater Tacoma-Pierce County area is actually one of the most temperate climates in the world. Typical summer highs reach the low 80s, while daytime winter temperatures average in the 40s.
Pierce County has 15 public school districts with a combined enrollment of nearly 100,000 students, the largest being theTacoma, Puyallup, Bethel and Clover Park School Districts. Special programs in area schools include year-round school, extended year and magnet schools, and integrated schools organized around specialized themes, such as banking and economics to teach basic subjects.
Among the county’s 40 private schools are Charles Wright Academy in University Place, Annie Wright School in Tacoma, Life Christian School and Academy in Tacoma, andBellarmine Preparatory School in Tacoma.
Pierce County is home to three four-year universities, Pacific Lutheran University, the University of Puget Sound, and the University of Washington-Tacoma. Branches of Central Washington University, Chapman University, City University, and The Evergreen State College are also located in Pierce County. So are Clover Park Technical College, Bates Technical College, Pierce College, and Tacoma Community College.
Business and Industry
“Location, location, location” is said to be the most important factor in business, and Tacoma-Pierce County boasts that it is ideally situated to capitalize on this maxim. It has the resources, tax and infrastructure advantages, and access to markets around world to make it the most effective location for domestic and global business operations.
Private major employers include MultiCare, Franciscan and Good Samaritan health care facilities, Boeing, Safeway and Fred Meyer stores, Intel Corporation, and Frank Russell Company. Underlying the strong economy is the stabilizing influence of three major military installations: Fort Lewis, McChord Air Force Base and Madigan Army Medical Center.
Local history can be relived by visiting one of Tacoma’s 12 Neighborhood Business Districts. Great shopping ideas, services, special events, and classic cuisine in an array of terrific restaurants can all be found in one of the following 12 Neighborhood Business Districts.
- Tacoma Dome Business District
- Fern Hill Business District
- Portland Avenue Business District
- McKinley Hill Business District
- Oakland-Madrona Business District
- Old Town Business District
- Proctor Business District
- Sixth Avenue Business District
- South Tacoma Business District
- Stadium Business District
- Upper Tacoma Business District
- Lincoln International Business District
The Port of Tacoma is an independent, municipal corporation that operates under state-enabling legislation. It is one of more than 70 public ports in the state of Washington. Created by Pierce County citizens in 1918, the Port has more than 2,400 acres that are used for shipping terminal activity and warehouse, distributing, and manufacturing. Port activities account for more than 43,000 jobs in Pierce County, and 113,000 jobs in Washington state. A major gateway to Asia and Alaska, the Port of Tacoma is a leading North American seaport, handling more than $35.6 billion in annual trade and nearly 2.1 million TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent container Units) in 2006.
Recreation and Leisure
The protected bays of Puget Sound and freshwater lakes, and the snow-fed rivers of the Cascade Range, offering unrivaled opportunity for water sports, provide the ultimate playground for outdoor enthusiasts. There are 361 freshwater lakes in Pierce County. In addition, the pristine wilderness and majestic peaks of area mountains, includingMount Rainier and the surrounding natural park, offer endless opportunities to experience the great outdoors. In winter, alpine skiers throng to the 7,000-foot summit at Crystal Mountain Ski Resort, while Nordic skiers and snowshoe buffs can trek miles of quiet, backcountry snow trails. Tacoma-Pierce County offers a wide variety of annual community events, Arts and Cultural experiences and other attractions.
There are 37 cities, towns and communities located in Pierce County, Tacoma being the largest with more than 200,000 residents.
- Bonney Lake
- Elk Plain
- Fort Lewis
- Fox Island
- Gig Harbor
- McChord AFB
- Prairie Ridge
- South Hill
- South Prairie
- University Place