What Are The 5 Safest Neighborhoods In Tacoma, WA?

Paige Hanawalt
by Paige Hanawalt

Nestled between Portland and Seattle, Tacoma more than holds its own when it comes to being trendy, interesting, and booming. Known for its sweeping views of the Mt. Rainier, Tacoma, WA is a vibrant and creative community of artists and entrepreneurs. With 46 miles of waterfront space on Washington’s Puget Sound, people are flocking to Tacoma for its arts district, delicious food, beautiful views, and affordable cost of living.

The safest neighborhoods in Tacoma are North End, North East, and University Place. While Tacoma is generally a safe place to live, these neighborhoods put a priority on keeping their residents safe and boast crime rates well below the rest of the city, state, and national averages.

Home to renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly, Tacoma is one of the most innovative, up-and-coming communities in Washington. Compared to Seattle—Tacoma’s bigger, flashier sister—the cost of living is significantly lower without coming up short in charm. Whether you’re looking for upscale dining, an active arts scene, the beautiful outdoors, or a top-notch music scene, Tacoma has something to offer anyone and everyone.

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5 Safest Neighborhoods in Tacoma, WA

When it comes to choosing a safe place to live, we know how stressful and time-consuming that can be. Our thoroughly researched lists will give you five of the safest, most highly rated neighborhoods in and around the Tacoma area. There are plenty of walkable neighborhoods in the Grit City.

These five all score high when it comes to livability. Moving somewhere new is nerve-wracking enough without having the added worry of whether or not an area is safe. Read on to see which neighborhoods rank the highest when it comes to safety.

1. North End

  • Population: 24,051
  • Median Income: $81,725
  • Crime Rate per 100K: 2,513
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.4%

North End is a great neighborhood for students, singles, and young professionals. One of its biggest draws is that the area is easily walkable with quaint, tree-lined streets and pedestrian friendly sidewalks. If you’re a student at the University of Puget Sound without a car, this area is perfect – you have everything you need within walking distance!

The housing options in North End Tacoma are breathtaking. Adjacent to Commencement Bay, you’d be hard pressed to find a house that doesn’t offer stunning views of Vashon Island and the Puget Sound. Peppered with historic landmark homes, Victorians, Tudors, and even a stretch of modern condos, North End offers some of the most unique housing in all of Tacoma.

The natural beauty of Washington really shines in the North End. If you’re the outdoorsy type, you’ll love having easy access to:

  • Puget Creek Natural Area
  • Puget Creek Trail
  • Procter Street Trail
  • One of Tacoma‚Äôs 3 salmon fishing streams

Even though Tacoma is one of the more urbanized cities in Washington, it still offers great piscine pursuits for the most avid angler. In North End, you’ll have easy access to excellent salmon, trout, steelhead, bass, and kokanee fishing.

2. North East

  • Population: 16,749
  • Median Income: $83,692
  • Crime Rate per 100K: 1,663
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.8%

If you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of downtown living, North East would be a good fit for you and yours. 20 minutes away from the downtown area, North East is one of the safest neighborhoods in the whole city. The total crime rate is 33% less than the national average.

Originally built to be a simple housing development, now there are plenty of bars, shops, and restaurants to choose from. Here you get a dense suburban feel without it being too overwhelming. With plenty of cul-de-sacs, North East is perfect for families.

In North East Tacoma you’ll be able to go saltwater fishing and sail around the South Puget Sound. With plenty of views to choose from and an incredibly low crime rate, NE might just be the perfect slice of suburban paradise!

3. University Place

  • Population: 32,342
  • Median Income: $60,947
  • Crime Rate per 100K: 629
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.6%

Despite its name, there is no University in University Place. As of 1995, University Place was part of the city of Tacoma. Locals still consider this up-and-coming neighborhood/city part of Tacoma. Sandwiched between Tacoma and the Puget Sound, University Place is a great community for young students, professionals, and singles, as well as families just starting out. University Place is about 45% safer than other cities and neighborhoods of similar size throughout Washington.

Close to I-5, University Place is a very walkable, quiet community. If you’re looking for a community that is peaceful with low crime, has great schools, plenty of parks, and a wide selection of classic 1950s style homes, look no further. Voted one of the best to live in all of Pierce County, you’ll want to take a look at University Place.

For families interested in top-performing schools, UP more than delivers. Here are just a few of the highest rated schools in the area:

  • Sunset Primary School
  • Charles Wright Academy
  • Narrows View Intermediate School

4. Fircrest

  • Population: 6,660
  • Median Income: $69,278
  • Crime Rate per 100K: 109
  • Unemployment Rate: 5.9%

Fircrest is the perfect neighborhood for families as well as singles, recent retirees, and even young professionals. The wide range of ages and life stages means that this community is going to have a little something for everyone. One of Tacoma’s more affordable neighborhoods, the average cost of a home is around $282,500.

If you’re looking for a small town feel with plenty of urban amenities, Fircrest is the place for you. Here you really see the ideal, white picket fence style of the ‘50s and ‘60s with its plethora of cottage, craftsman style, and mid-century modern homes.

Fans of mid-century modern especially are flocking to Fircest in droves! So many of the homes from the 1950s and 1960s dot the Fircrest landscape, largely untouched by time. If nostalgia and low crime are on your list of must-haves, you simply must take a look at Fircrest. The community is near to bursting with mid-mod homes!

Located just off the WA-16, you’ll have easy access to a host of cafes, restaurants, and boutiques. Nicknamed by residents as The Jewel of Pierce County, here are just a few Fircrest community events sure to catch your eye:

  • Annual Strawberry Festival

One of Firecrest’s more popular community events, the Strawberry Festival not only has locally grown strawberries to taste test, but live music, vendors, and carnival games.

  • Fircrest Fun Days

Located at the Fircrest Community Center, this two-day smorgasbord of fun features local bands, kids rides, games, face painting, arts and crafts, food booths, and a live firework show to round the whole experience out.

  • Fircrest Golf Club

Voted best golf course in the state, the Fircrest Golf Club, famed architect Arthur Vernon Macan designed this course in 1923. Less than five miles from Chambers Bay on the Puget Sound, this undulating and hilly stretch of 150 acres is one of the most popular golfing spots in the North East United States.

5. West End

  • Population: 26,425
  • Median Income: $62,181
  • Crime Rate per 100K: 3,769
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.6%

One of the bigger neighborhoods in Tacoma, West End takes up the entire Western Slope of Tacoma. With breathtaking views of the Puget Sound shoreline, Seattle, and Vashon Island, this community of young professionals and retirees lean more conservative.

With easy access to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, West End is a good urban suburban mix. Residents will have easy access to the twin suspension bridges over the Tacoma Narrows strait, which connects Pierce County to the Kitsap Peninsula. West End offers residents plenty of natural areas to explore:

  • Titlow Park
  • Narrows Bridge
  • China Lake Park
  • Point Defiance Park

West End is dense with private and gated communities, including what many residents consider one of the best kept secrets in Puget Sound— Salmon Beach. A stretch of 80 or so homes arranged in single file along the shoreline of the Tacoma Narrows, the strait of Puget Sound, this community within a community is only accessible by boat or by descending several hundred wooden steps leading down from the top of the cliff.

If isolation, seclusion, or privacy is your thing, West End offers plenty of choices. Property crime in the West End is lower than any other part of Tacoma. You won’t have to worry about leaving your keys in your car or forgetting to lock your front door here.

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What’s The Verdict?

Whether you’re a young professional looking for a place to build your business or a family just starting out looking for some great schools, Tacoma neighborhoods have a lot to offer. With its vibrant arts and culture, incredible living costs, and spectacular outdoor living, Tacoma, WA is quickly becoming one of the more desirable places to live in Washington, if not the whole of the United States. Tacoma is experiencing unprecedented growth and with growth comes a rise in crime. Yet there are several safe and secure neighborhoods to choose from!

Paige Hanawalt
Paige Hanawalt

Paige is an elementary school librarian with a passion for writing. Her hobbies include reading an exorbitant amount of fantasy, slowly teaching herself to draw, and home decor. While she isn't the most talented artist or interior designer, what she lacks in skill she more than makes up for in enthusiasm. When she's not curled up with a book, you can certainly find her curled over the keyboard.

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