Located in Pierce County, Washington, Tacoma is the second-largest city in the Puget Sound area and the third largest in the state . The city sits 32 miles southwest of Seattle and 31 miles northeast of the state capital, Olympia. Tacoma is one of the fastest growing cities in Washington. In 2016, Pierce County had the 18th highest domestic migration in the United States.
Tacoma serves as the center of business activity for the South Sound region, which has a population of around 1 million. The U.S. Oil and Refining operates an oil refinery on the tide flats in the Port of Tacoma and Joint Base Lewis-McChord operates south of the city. Both supply thousands of jobs to the local economy along with other employers such as MultiCare Health System, Franciscan Health System, Fred Meyer and more. Since the 1990s, developments in the downtown core include the University of Washington Tacoma; Tacoma Link, the first modern electric light rail service in the state; the state's highest density of art and history museums; and a restored urban waterfront, the Thea Foss Waterway.
Tacoma's main public school district is Tacoma Public Schools. The district contains 36 elementary schools, 11 middle schools, and 10 high schools. Henry Foss High School operates an International Baccalaureate program. The area also has numerous private schools, including Evergreen Lutheran High School, the Annie Wright School, Bellarmine Preparatory School, Life Christian Academy, and Charles Wright Academy.
The area is also home to several colleges and universities including: University of Puget Sound, Tacoma Community College, City University of Seattle-Tacoma, Bates Technical College, The Evergreen State College Tacoma Campus, Corban University School of Ministry/Tacoma Campus, and University of Washington Tacoma. Pacific Lutheran University is in Parkland, just south of the city; nearby Lakewood is the home of Clover Park Technical College and Pierce College.
Tacoma offers some of the best parks and cultural attractions in Washington state! From playgrounds, to the Museum of Glass, the America's Car Museum, the Tacoma Art Museum, Point Defiance and the zoo, the city is brimming with fun things to do! Learn more about these and more fun activities by visiting Metro Parks Tacoma.