About Tacoma

Tacoma Washington - The City of Destiny

      View the fabulous glass art of Dale Chihuly – and nature’s own displays on Mount Rainier. Enjoy city sophistication and fine dining one day – then hike, ski or kayak the next. Experience “living history” sites, explore salt-water beaches and walk past waterfalls in the wilderness. This is Tacoma Washington and Pierce County!

The city is situated on the Olympic Peninsula on the southern end of Washington's Puget Sound, in an area 32 miles southwest of Seattle, 31 miles northeast of the State capital, Olympia, and 58 miles northwest of Mount Rainier National Park.

  • Tacoma has an estimated population of 199,600. Tacoma stands as the second-largest city in the Puget Sound area, the third-largest in the state, and the seat of government of Pierce County.

Tacoma adopted its name after the nearby Mount Rainier, which was originally called Mount Tacoma or Mount Tahoma. It is known as the "City of Destiny" because the area was chosen to be the site of the western terminus of the Northern Pacific Railroad in the late 1800s. The decision of the railroad was influenced in part because of Tacoma's neighboring Commencement Bay. By connecting the bay with the railroad Tacoma’s motto became “When rails meet sails.” Today Commencement Bay serves the Port of Tacoma, a major player in international trade on the Pacific Coast.

The city has a long history of blue-collar labor politics owing to the relationship between the people and the railroad.

Tacoma-Pierce County has been named as one of the most livable areas in the country. Tacoma was also recently listed as one of the most walkable cities in the country.  In contrast, the city is also ranked as the most stressed-out city in the country in a 2004 survey.  However, in 2006, women's magazine Self named Tacoma the "Most Sexually Healthy City" in the United States.

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