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Best Neighborhoods in Tacoma for Families in 2024

Moving to Tacoma with your family? Grit City is one of the top destinations for families thanks to its affordable housing, excellent school districts, and abundance of family-friendly activities. Here are the five best neighborhoods for families in Tacoma!

Central Tacoma

A craftsman home is pictured in Tacoma's Central Tacoma neighborhood. Photo by Instagram user @acegrouphomes.

Photo via @acegrouphomes

  • Home Price: $183,854 median purchase price; $1,041 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 11% of Tacoma neighborhoods

Close to downtown and one of the best neighborhoods in Tacoma, check out Central Tacoma! Situated in the heart of Tacoma and bordering 6th Avenue to the north, you’ll always be surrounded by a great selection of restaurants, shops, and entertainment while living in this neighborhood. But despite being so near downtown, this family-friendly Tacoma neighborhood offers a lovely environment to raise kids. Central Tacoma offers families a variety of affordable homes to grow in—including charming Craftsman, Cape Cod, and Victorian-style houses—near excellent public schools like Stanley Elementary School and Bryant Elementary School. To top it off, Central Tacoma’s access to I-16, as well as the addition of bike lanes, make for quick, easy, and safe commutes.

Things to Do in Central Tacoma

Go for a nature walk or let the kids play in the Discovery Pond treehouse at the Tacoma Nature Center. Practice your golf skills with a round at Allenmore Golf Course. Plant fresh fruits and veggies in the community garden while the kids play in the Sprayground at Senator Rosa Franklin Park. Root for the Tacoma Rainiers (MiLB) during a baseball game at Cheney Stadium. Start your day off with a sweet treat like a bacon-topped Oprah Doughsant, Lemon Coconut Donut, or PB&J Pillow from Legendary Donuts. Entice your tastebuds with Hawaiian dishes like the Loco Moco Burger, Mac Daddy, or Tropical Tiki Salad at Da Tiki Hut. Or make reservations for a candle-lit dinner and try the Parilla, Elote Gnocchi, and Garron de Cordero at Asado.

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New Tacoma

  • Home Price: $175,067 median purchase price; $903 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 33% of Tacoma neighborhoods

Families moving to Tacoma will find few better options than New Tacoma—the most affordable Tacoma neighborhood on our list! Located in Downtown Tacoma, families enjoy big-city perks like close proximity to parks, restaurants, shops, attractions, and more—including the historic W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory at Wright Park. In addition to the Tacoma Link Light Rail making commuting in Tacoma a breeze—residents in this neighborhood have the added benefit of close proximity to major Tacoma employers like MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital, University of Washington Tacoma, Port of Tacoma, and more.

Things to Do in New Tacoma

Let the kids burn energy while learning and playing at the Children’s Museum of Tacoma. Get the hang of vintage ’80s-style arcade games, pinball, and more at Dorky’s Arcade. Tour the extensive, beautifully-crafted glass sculpture exhibits and watch live glassblowing shows at the Museum of Glass. Admire a vast collection of rare and vintage cars at LeMay America’s Car Museum. Attend a concert, sports match, rodeo, and more live entertainment at the Tacoma Dome. Start your morning with a Cream Cheese Cinnamon Roll, Bread Pudding, or a Butter Croissant at Corina Bakery. Order the Garlic Butter Pasta, Spicy Pineapple Pizza, or S’mores Calzone at Puget Sound Pizza. Take your partner to dance lessons for date night and sink your teeth into a BBQ Brisket Sandwich or Pulled Pork at Steel Creek. Or try the Matador Quesadilla, Honey Cilantro Glazed Wings, or Ribeye Surf and Turf at Matador Tacoma.

North End

  • Home Price: $331,293 median purchase price; $939 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 78% of Tacoma neighborhoods

A few blocks from the shores of Commencement Bay is North End—one of the best places for families in Tacoma to settle down. North End is a community composed of several smaller neighborhoods, tree-lined streets, and pedestrian-friendly sidewalks—meaning lots of restaurants, shops, waterfront parks, and entertainment options are just a walk away. A great environment to raise a family in, North End provides wonderful community at the Saturday Proctor Farmers’ Market, and fantastic education from nearby Lowell Elementary, Grant Center for the Expressive Arts, University of Puget Sound, and more.

Things to Do in North End

Spend an afternoon jogging, fishing, kayaking, or rollerblading at Ruston Way Park. Catch the latest movie release or watch the pick for Friday Night Frights on the third Friday of every month at Blue Mouse Theatre. Walk the Puget Creek Trail, climb on the playground, or relax by one of Tacoma’s three salmon-bearing streams at Puget Creek Natural Area. Try a Bacon Cookie Butter Waffle, Luscious Lemon Blueberry Waffle, or Nashville Hot Chicken & Waffle at Waffle Stop. Order pizza pies and calzones like the Dyn-O-Mite, K Street Kicker, and A Lil’ Hanky Panky at Hank’s Bar & Pizza. Have the Smoked Brisket Tacos, Green Enchilada, Poblano Chile Relleno, or other Mexican dishes at Cactus Restaurant Proctor. Or leave the kids at home and go out for a date night with incredible views, local brews, and noteworthy deep-dish pizzas like Great Balls of Fire or Fearless at Katie Downs Waterfront Tavern.

Northeast Tacoma

A large custom built home is pictured in Northeast Tacoma. Photo by Instagram user @homes253.

Photo via @homes253

  • Home Price: $307,282 median purchase price; $1,471 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 89% of Tacoma neighborhoods

Suburban Northeast Tacoma is an ideal neighborhood for those who want a home surrounded by natural beauty, like Puget Sound. Full of sidewalks, winding roads, and neighborhood parks, this safe, affordable Tacoma neighborhood is great for families with active lifestyles who love to get out and explore. Northeast Tacoma also boasts a wide variety of housing options, from Neocolonial and Ranch-style homes to modern condos. Send your children to area schools like Crescent Heights Elementary School, Browns Point Elementary School, or Meeker Middle School.

Things to Do in Northeast Tacoma

Tee-off for 18 challenging, scenic holes at North Shore Golf Course. Join Grit City Gherkins Pickleball Club, or attend cooking workshops, dance classes, and more at Center at Norpoint. Go skim boarding, saltwater fishing, mountain biking, or explore the beach at Dash Point State Park. Become a member and sail around South Puget Sound at Corinthian Yacht Club of Tacoma (CYCT). Try the Monte Cristo, Steamer Clams, and Lighthouse Tropical Chicken Sandwich at Browns Point Diner. Enjoy the Fettuccini Neptune, Braised Short Ribs, and French Dip as you soak in panoramic views of Mount Rainier at Cliff House Restaurant. Order a Hawaiian Cheeseburger, Fried Chicken Burger, or Crispy Cod Fish Burger at Flame Burger Plus. Or chow down on the Moussaka, Baba Ganouj Sandwich, or Chicken Shawarma at Mediterranean Gyro Grill.

West End

  • Home Price: $276,111 median purchase price; $1,003 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 67% of Tacoma neighborhoods

Friendly and active, West End is one of the best neighborhoods in Tacoma for families! People moving to Tacoma who prefer a more urban-suburban vibe will love this area. Plus, with loads of restaurants, coffee shops, parks, beaches, and amazing views of Commencement Bay, there are always plenty of family-friendly options in West End. The neighborhood boasts homes from all eras, including Craftsman and modern cottages and ranches. In addition, residents will appreciate West End’s highly-rated Tacoma schools, like Tacoma Community College and Science and Math Institute.

Things to Do in West End

Spend the day outdoors playing pickleball, baseball, or softball at Vassault Park—or hit the wave pool as a family at Kandle Park. Introduce the kids to exotic animals like the Sumatran tiger and embark on behind-the-scenes tours at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. Soak in incredible waterfront views of Commencement Bay and Narrows Bridge at Titlow Beach or Owen Beach. Jump on trampolines, tackle the warped wall, and backflip into a giant foam pit at DEFY Tacoma Extreme Air Sports. Head out for brunch and try a Chimichurri Flatbread, Bacon Blue Burger, or NW Fishwich at Cooper’s Food & Drink. Order a Poorboy, Corned Beef, or a Rueben Sandwich at Antique Sandwich Co. Find delicious Asian food in Tacoma like the Souper Bowl, Thai Honey Garlic Chicken, and Pork Vermicelli at Souper Pho. Grab delicious dishes like Melanzane Parmigiana, Tagliatelle Pesto, and Portabello Ravioli at Macaluso’s Italian Restaurant.


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Neighborhood statistics from AreaVibes

About Mike Beutler

Mike Beutler is a writer and digital content specialist who transitioned to self storage in 2020 after several years in the airline industry. His travels cultivated a passion for exploring cities across the U.S. and abroad and inspired him to learn more about practical insights for urban living. With 14 moves under his belt, both locally and cross-country, he also has a passion for minimalism and organization, and sharing tips to help others make any space feel like home while staying organized.