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Good areas to live/things to try when we get there

Alexandria, Virginia
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Good areas to live/things to try when we get there

We are relocatting to Tacoma and I was curious if there are areas I should avoid when looking for rentals. Or if you have any tips on good neighborhoods to look into. We dont have kids so schools are not a consideration. And any tips on some good local food or things to do is appreciated as well. :) :)

Thanks!

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Gig Harbor...
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1. Re: Good areas to live/things to try when we get there

If I were looking for a place in Tacoma, I'd like the North End (Old Town, Proctor District) for its historic charm and convenience to the waterfront, I-5 and downtown. Northeast Tacoma might be okay, but for me it's a bit too removed over there on the other side of the Tideflats and getting to I-5 is a pain because it could involve too much travel into Federal Way.

I would avoid the East Side and parts of the South End (areas in the Hilltop neighborhood and the areas by the Tacoma Mall). If you are looking for a rental that doesn't have to be in the city limits of Tacoma, then University Place is a good choice as well. If you are okay with a commute over the Narrows Bridge (toll), then Gig Harbor is quite lovely.

As for things to do... what do you like to do? There are things to do IN Tacoma, but in general, living in this area is convenient for a lot of outdoor activities. You're really no more than an hour or two from the mountains and the ocean, and only minutes from Puget Sound. Great shopping in Seattle is about 30-45 minutes away.

Gig Harbor...
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2. Re: Good areas to live/things to try when we get there

I just noticed your profile picture... :-)

There are quite a few ORV parks in the area, though I don't believe there are any IN the city limits.

The Tacoma Dome and Qwest Field (Seattle) usually have some annual Motocross/Supercross and Monster Truck shows.

Alexandria, Virginia
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3. Re: Good areas to live/things to try when we get there

Thanks for the feedback! The hubby wants to live in Seattle and commute but I think that is a bad idea. I have only been north of seattle but I remember the traffic there isnt that great.

We like lots of stuff...mostly food related and outdoor stuff like hiking and camping :)

I am looking forward to moving there...except for the drive across country with the cat :)

Renton, WA
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4. Re: Good areas to live/things to try when we get there

Depending on where in Tacoma your husband will be working, taking the Sounder train eliminates the traffic question. Lots and lots of train commuters.

Gig Harbor...
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5. Re: Good areas to live/things to try when we get there

Bob is right. The Sounder is good for the Seattle-Tacoma commute, AND even if hubby wanted to drive, Seattle to Tacoma is pretty much the reverse commute. I wouldn't want to drive it though! I commute from the south to Tacoma and it's gotten worse every year. What used to be a 30-min commute is now 45-60 min depending on the day.

If you like outdoorsy/nature surroundings, how about the Maple Valley or Tiger Summit area? They are NE of Tacoma, E of Seattle and Bellevue.

Of course, there's also Olympia, to the S of Tacoma -- but I'm biased!

Gig Harbor...
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6. Re: Good areas to live/things to try when we get there

Sorry- meant Tiger Mountain.

Alexandria, Virginia
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7. Re: Good areas to live/things to try when we get there

Ooh thanks! I dont think the hubby really wants a long commute. He hates the traffic here and its only about 20 minutes. :)

Thanks for the tips! Im looking forward to moving out there :)

Everett, Washington
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8. Re: Good areas to live/things to try when we get there

I used to work in Tacoma. In the port area. We lived in Puyallup which has some very nice areas and newer rental options. Probably even a fair number of houses for rent. Outside the city proper in the South Hill area there was a lot of new development. Besides we didn't like the idea of being down in the valley if Rainier ever gets frisky. Speaking of which access to Rainier and some great hiking is easier from Puyallup. The NW corner and Mowich Lake (locals secret) where a breeze to get to.

Commute wise it was pretty quick via River Road connecting with I-5 near the Tacoma Dome. Only downside was traffic on Meridian Ave. (the area has pretty much been Califonicated) and it's probably worse now but there are plenty of ways around that.

Foodwise the area has lots of everything. One of our favorites in Tacoma was Simon & Seaforts up on the hill above the dome. At the other end of the spectrum a local curiosity in the food realm is an abundance of Terriyaki places. Mostly hole-in-the-wall strip mall joints but some are very good and fairly inexpensive. If it's still there Sapparo IV in Puyallup (next to the Mall) was excellent. They probably still have a picture of us on the wall (along with thousands of other patrons).

Gig Harbor...
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9. Re: Good areas to live/things to try when we get there

If 20 min is too long of a commute then Seattle is definitely out of the question! :-) So is Maple Valley/Tiger Mtn. Better stick to Tacoma's North End or University Place. Gig Harbor might be doable in 20 min - depending on where in T-Town he works.

The previous poster suggested Puyallup. Downtown could work, as could Summit -- but South Hill, definitely not. It's a traffic nightmare -- suburban sprawl these days. [Shudder] Seeing as how Hubby was hoping for Seattle, he'd probably not care for the Puyallup surroundings in general.

Tacoma has been slowly creating a nice downtown. The Tacoma Art Museum, Glass Museum and WA History Museum are there, as well as the growing UW campus. Oh and for food, the Pacific Grill is primo! And there's a McMenamins coming soon! On the waterfront (Ruston Way) there are several restaurants -- casual, fancy, and pub style.

Glad you're excited for the move; I hope all goes well for you (& kitty!).

Edited: 09 March 2011, 03:30
Alexandria, Virginia
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10. Re: Good areas to live/things to try when we get there

Awesome! Thanks! Ill start checking around the neighborhoods all of you suggested. I know he thinks he wants to commute and live in a big city, but he *hates* traffic. Now I just need to find out when the heck this summer we are moving!

And I just realized I will actually be able to eat real Japanese ramen again. :)

Woo hoo!

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