Tacoma, Washington Gay City Guide

Situated on beautiful Puget Sound near Seattle, the Tacoma area is known as one of the most LGBTQ-friendly areas in the country. In fact, The Advocate named Tacoma the “Gayest City in America” in 2012. Tacoma offers abundant natural beauty, plenty to see and do, and opportunity for everyone, all amidst an eclectic, free-spirited, welcoming vibe. The “City of Destiny” as Tacoma is often called, would truly make a wonderful destination to call home!

A Look at Tacoma’s History

Tacoma eventually came to serve as the western end of the Northern Pacific Railroad, and as a result, grew quite steadily during the 19th century, and resulting in the city slogan, “Where Rails meet Sails.” The city's name came from Mount Tacoma, which was the original name for Mount Rainier, whose stunning peaks overlook the city. Tacoma means "Mother of the Waters," and is a fitting name, given the city's location on Puget Sound. The city has always been an important harbor and railroad hub – although it offers far more than that. It is also a city of opportunity, plenty of arts and culture, and much to see and do. It's a wonderful city and welcoming to all.

A Few Fun Facts About Tacoma

  • The Port of Tacoma covers more than 2,400 acres and is the 6th largest port in North America. Two railroads and as many as fifteen steamship lines are serviced from the port.
  • Tacoma was the birthplace of famous American actor and singer Bing Crosby.
  • A popular hangout in Tacoma for both tourists and locals is a coffee shop shaped like a teapot.

Read more fun facts about Tacoma here.

The LGBTQ Community in Tacoma                                            

Tacoma is a city that cherishes and celebrates its LGBTQ community and supports it through a variety of community resources, including:

The Rainbow Center

The Rainbow Center is a community center in Tacoma dedicated to education, advocacy and celebration of the city’s LGBTQ community, friends and allies. For more than 20 years it has touched the lives of many in the community and provided services to thousands of individuals in the Tacoma area. It is truly a pillar of Tacoma’s LGBTQ community.

PFLAG Tacoma

PFLAG Tacoma is the area’s local chapter of the national PFLAG organization, which is the largest grassroots organization of its kind in the country. PFLAG is well-known for its mission of supporting LGBTQ people, friends, family, and allies across the country in a wide variety of ways. With 500 chapters and more than 200,000 members in the United States, PFLAG plays a critical and important role in providing advocacy, support, and resources to the LGBTQ community.

What's the Weather Like in Tacoma?

Tacoma receives approximately 41 inches of rain on average per year, but only about 4 inches of snow. It typically has pleasant and mild summers, with the July high reaching only around 77°F, and colder, wet winters with the January low averaging around 37°F. Those who live in Tacoma can expect plenty of opportunities throughout the year to go out and enjoy all of the amazing natural beauty that the area has to offer.

The Best Events in Tacoma

Tacoma Pride Festival

The Tacoma Pride Festival is the city's largest annual LGBTQ celebration – and it's one you won't want to miss. Its goal is to foster pride in the community and celebrate all that the community adds to the city. Whether you enjoy parades, parties, family-friendly activities, good food, or all of the above, you'll definitely want to put this celebration on your calendar!

Taste of Tacoma

Taste of Tacoma is a very popular annual event offering more than 200 food and specialty vendors as well as many live bands on multiple stages in addition to cooking demos, chef cook-offs, outdoor beer gardens, carnival rides, and more. It’s a great way to have fun and experience so much of the wonderful cuisine that Tacoma has to offer. 

Where to Live in Tacoma

There are several neighborhoods in Tacoma that have recently undergone a significant revitalization, including the downtown district, and that area is very popular with the LGBTQ community and has several LGBTQ-owned and friendly restaurants, bars, and other businesses. Other neighborhoods you may want to consider include:

Hilltop

Hilltop is a very diverse neighborhood overlooking Commencement Bay. It has many historic homes to choose from, mixed with more modern construction as well if that is your preference. Homes in the Hilltop neighborhood can range anywhere from $80,000 to several million, while condos are typically priced between $100,000 and $450,000.

McKinney Hill

McKinney Hill is another Tacoma neighborhood that is very popular with the LGBTQ community. It’s located southeast of the downtown area and is characterized by classic Victorian-style houses. The median sale price of homes in the McKinney Hill neighborhood over the last year was approximately $364,000.

Arts and Entertainment

Museum of Glass

Located in the heart of downtown Tacoma, the Museum of Glass is a 75,000 square-foot art museum dedicated to glass artwork and featuring many amazing pieces by famed artist Dale Chihuly, among others. Connected to the museum is the famed Chihuly Bridge of Glass, which joins the museum to downtown Tacoma. The museum displays some of the best glasswork art in the country, and a day spent there is sure to be rewarding and inspiring.

Tacoma City Ballet

The Tacoma City Ballet has been entertaining and inspiring audiences for more than six decades with its wide variety of amazing ballet performances throughout the year. Be sure to enjoy a show -or several- for yourself.

Parks and Recreation

Point Defiance Park

Point Defiance Park is a stunningly beautiful and scenic park in the heart of Tacoma. The park offers more than 700 acres of beautiful woodland trails, waterfront views, and gardens as well as a zoo and an aquarium. It’s truly the perfect place to spend a beautiful Tacoma day.

Queer City Sports

Queer City Sports is a recreational gay sports league in Tacoma offering a variety of sports and recreational opportunities. All ability levels are welcome. It’s a great way to make friends have fun and enjoy some healthy exercise, all at the same time!

Tacoma Nightlife

The Mix

The Mix is a very popular LGBTQ night club in Tacoma featuring karaoke, regular theme nights, dance parties, drag shows and more. It's a great place to dance the night away with old friends and make some new ones too.

The Office Bar and Grill

The Office Bar and Grill is a popular, high-energy LGBTQ hangout that features many televisions for game watching, plenty of outdoor seating, great food and good drinks. While it is not specifically an LGBTQ bar, it is very popular with Tacoma‘s LGBTQ community and is a place where all can feel welcome and have fun.

Contact a Tacoma Gay Realtor Today

If you're ready to make a move to Tacoma, at www.gayrealestate.com, we're here to help you take the first step toward finding an agent who knows and loves the community, and who can help you find a home and a neighborhood you'll love. We're proud to have a network of excellent realtors in Tacoma, and we would love to help connect you with the right one. Contact a Tacoma gay realtor today for a free, no-obligation consultation!