Tacoma is a port city on Washington's Puget Sound, 32 miles southwest of Seattle and 31 miles northeast of Olympia, the state capital. Tacoma is located on Commencement Bay, which serves the Port of Tacoma, a major player in international trade.
The area has a reputation for being rainy, but Tacoma receives less rain than New York City. The Cascades and Olympic Mountains shield Tacoma from harsh weather from the north or east. The Pacific Ocean tempers severe temperatures, leaving a mild northwestern climate.
Tacoma has installed a high-speed fiber optic network, making Tacoma America's No. 1 wired city -- this was part of the city's push to revitalize downtown and its image. Interest in living downtown has grown, and downtown Tacoma has seen a large number of families settling down there.
The Port of Tacoma is one of the largest seaports in the Pacific Northwest. There is an oil refinery operated by U.S. Oil and Refining. Labor Ready, Inc. and Russell Investments are based in the city.
Tacoma offers several museums in the downtown Cultural District, including the Tacoma Art Museum, Washington State History Museum, and the America's Car Museum, which is currently under construction. Downtown also offers a strong Theatre District. The Theatre on the Square, the historic Rialto Theater, and the Pantages offer attractions for residents and visitors alike.
Tacoma has a variety of neighborhoods for renting a house. On the east side of downtown, you'll find traditional neighborhoods with small homes and apartments designed for affordable living. In the Historic Old Town area, you'll find larger homes with views of Puget Sound and small older homes with partial views of Commencement Bay. Northwest of downtown, you'll find contemporary ranch homes and craftsman style bungalows, built in the mid-1940s.
Just west of Tacoma in the hills, you'll find the North Slope neighborhood, which offers modest houses and several apartment complexes. Newer rentals are scattered throughout the South End neighborhood. You can also find older single family homes in this area south of downtown. At the northwestern edge of Tacoma, older homes for rent and ranch style houses cluster around an old industrial section in Ruston.