Local Atmosphere

Tacoma, WA
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4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Being very close to Seattle, there is always something to do. But Tacoma is a pretty laid back town and therefore you can always find peace and quiet. Many activities are offered and the attitude is always inviting. The culture is diverse, but it only makes the city better.

4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: I really enjoy the local community here.

2 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: School is quite far away from anything worthwhile. Tacoma is very much a boring place to live. Restaurants are mediocre at best, no nightlife, crappy areas everywhere.

3 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: The city has many nice parts, including a thriving downtown and many beautiful parks, but they are hard to reach personally because I don't have a car

3 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Hard to get anywhere if you don't have a car.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Juliette Witous
Sonoma, CA
Grad Year
View all previous student authors

Tacoma is a very unique and expressive place where up-and-coming artists are found in a hub of creativity. Even the cafés and restaurants have a certain artistic flare. The landscape itself is an artistic expression. The weather sometimes is a bit bipolar, but altogether, this place is inspiring. At first, the mills with their billowing white smoke seemed foreboding, but after time, they became eerily beautiful and part of what makes Tacoma distinctive. When the grey fog wears away and a clear day arises, a transformation occurs that will take your breath away.

The deep blue waterfront, a ferry ride to Vashon Island, the five-mile loop in Point Defiance, snowshoeing in Snowqualmie, hidden lakes, hot springs—these are all treasures in the surrounding area waiting to be explored. It is pretty much necessary to have a car or know someone who has a car because the city of Tacoma is quite large, and Seattle is close by. If you know where to look, there is always something going on, from concerts and open-mic nights to underground tours, chocolate factories, and TED talks. Although students sometimes complain about the Puget Sound "bubble," they often forget to look around and explore beyond campus. Tacoma and Seattle have so much to offer and inspire if you just make an effort. If you sit in your room and don't get involved or find a way to get outdoors, then you are missing out on the experience.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. The city has great views of Mount Rainier and Puget Sound.
  2. A former port city, Tacoma has many cultural venues.
  3. The movie "10 Things I Hate About You" was filmed in Tacoma.
  4. The Tacoma Dome is the largest arena with a wooden dome.
  5. Tacoma Link, the light rail system, makes downtown travel a piece of cake.
Notable Natives
Bing Crosby - born as Harry Lillis Crosby on May 3, 1903
Local Slang
  • The Aroma of Tacoma: Smell from the paper mill that occasionally comes with the morning fog
  • Northend: The well-kept residential area where UPS is located
  • Point D: Point Defiance Park
  • T-Loc: A Tacoma local (usually college age, not attending UPS)
Points of Interest
  • Mount Rainier
  • Museum of Glass
  • The Old Train Station
  • Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium
  • Tacoma Art Museum
  • Tacoma Dome
  • Washington State History Museum
Shopping Centers
Tacoma Mall
Movie Theaters
Galaxy Narrows 8
2208 Mildred St. W
(253) 383-5665
Movie Theaters
Grand Cinema
606 S. Fawcett Ave.
(253) 593-4474
Major Sports Teams
  • Seattle Mariners: MLB
  • Seattle Seahawks: NFL
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Olympia, Wash.: : 35 minutes
  • Seattle: : 45 minutes

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 40 responses

Very poor
  • Cost of living
  • Dining
  • Friendliness of locals toward students
  • Museums/cultural attractions
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
  • Parks and recreation
  • Professional sports
  • Safety
  • Scenery
  • Shopping
  • Transportation

What is the local atmosphere like at your school?    Based on 40 responses

  • 5% Painfully remote.
  • 40% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 20% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 25% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 10% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 40 responses

  • 8% There aren't any nearby schools.
  • 80% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 12% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 40 responses

  • 35% No way.
  • 48% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 18% Totally.



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