March 21, 2022

NORTH END | Tacoma Neighborhood Tour

Welcome to North End. This laid-back neighborhood in Tacoma has a lot to like. Whether you're someone who gravitates towards living along the water's edge, or you love to be in an area rich in history, or whether you just want as many green spaces as possible for the kids, for pets or yourself, then North End has what you're looking for. In the North End, it's possible to live by a leading city center with all its amenities as well as having a healthy pace to life with amazing views and good food.

North End Neighborhood

North End encompasses a good portion of the city of Tacoma. While its official borders are up for debate, it's most commonly accepted to include north of 6th Ave and Division Avenue all the way to the Puget Sound with N Orchard Street making its western border. Within that area, you'll find sub-neighborhoods such as the Proctor District and Old Town. This is an area full of character and charm, awash with accessible beach fronts and eateries. And no matter where you find yourself in North End, you're at a maximum of five miles from downtown Tacoma and less than 40 miles from downtown Seattle.

The Best of Tacoma Schools

There are a lot of quality institutions of education to choose from in the North End. One of the big draws of the city of Tacoma is the University of Puget Sound. This leading liberal arts university sits proudly at the center of North End with its historic buildings and immaculate grounds a great compliment to the neighborhood. Take a relaxing afternoon stroll and get inspired looking at the budding academics in deep discussion, or simply take a moment to appreciate the picturesque campus. Founded in 1888 by the United Methodist Church, this school has now grown to welcome around 2,600 students on an annual basis to its various programs. Whether or not you're at a phase of life to take advantage of any of these programs or not, you will surely appreciate having this stunning landmark on your doorstep.

Another iconic school in North End is Stadium High School. You might recognize this as being the location to the 90's movie, Ten Things I Hate About You. But even without this claim to fame, this school is something special. Built at the end of the 19th century as a luxury French Renaissance-styled hotel, the buildings were converted into a public high school in 1906. Dale Chihuly, Tacoma's own glass artist, was a student, and other notable guests include Babe Ruth, Louis Armstrong and Theodore Roosevelt.

Frisko Freeze

And if you need a good pick-me-up meal, then nothing beats Frisko Freeze. This longstanding burger joint first opened in Tacoma back in 1950 and has been serving the city good comfort food in the decades since. This is a classic eat-in-your-car style restaurant with no interior seating. So bring this greasy bun of goodness somewhere with a view, and there are plenty of those in the North End, most of which you will find along Ruston Way.

Ruston Way Waterfront

The Ruston Way waterfront is made up of several smaller parks and beach access points. This is a great place to spend the day with the family, and you can end your time by the water at one of the many dining options along the shore.

North End Tacoma Real Estate

Now let's talk all things real estate in North End. The average home price across Tacoma is increasing at a rapid rate as more and more people flock to the city from Seattle and other hyper-expensive metropolitan areas. In fact, in the last 12 months alone, the average home price in Tacoma has increased by a staggering 21% according to Zillow, and the same is true for North End. But even with this increase, the median sales price of homes in Tacoma now is about $490,000, which is still just only over half the average of Seattle, which is $930,000. The North End is somewhere between the two, which means you can still currently buy most homes in this neighborhood and stay within the conforming loan limits and enjoy all the benefits that doing so has to offer.

If you do like the idea of living in Tacoma but can't quite stretch your budget to landing in this neighborhood, then check out some of the other great neighborhoods around the city. We're producing a library of videos of these neighborhood tours, which give you an idea of the real estate in those areas and what it might be like for you to live there. I suggest checking out Northeast Tacoma first. It's the fastest growing neighborhood in the city, and the average home price there is about $40,000 less than it is in North End.

Chinese Reconciliation Park

One of the most unique and powerful attractions in the city of Tacoma is the Chinese Reconciliation Park. These Chinese gardens offer visitors the opportunity to reflect upon the past as they mark the location of where some 200 Chinese residents were driven out of the city of Tacoma in 1885 amid growing anti-Chinese sentiments of the time. The park serves as a reminder of the past, it celebrates the cultural diversity of the present, and is a symbol of unification of the future. And the park pays homage to each of these phases.

There are plaques around the park that tell the story of the past. The centerpiece ting donated by sister city, Fuzhou, offer inspiration for communities around the world who are working toward reconciliation. And the String of Pearls Bridge is the bridge to the future and a reminder that events like this will never again happen in the city of Tacoma, WA. The park itself is set against the backdrop of Commencement Bay and is intended to be a place of healing and harmony for the community.

Proctor District Tacoma

And when you're finished contemplating the power of unity, grab a friend and head for a pint at Peaks and Pints. This fun brewery is located in the historic Proctor District and is adorned with mountainscape murals and decor. And once you're finished with your drink, you can head into the Proctor District to look in one of the many local shops. We've produced a neighborhood tour of this area, so you can check that out on our YouTube channel.

If you could see yourself living in North End or anywhere else around Tacoma for that matter, please give us a call or visit our website. We have helped hundreds of families find their dream home in the Pacific Northwest and we'd love to be given the opportunity to help you too.

About the author 

Joe Tafolla

Helping Pacific Northwesterners buy their dream homes for over 15 years. Founder of Tacoma Mortgage Brokers and Seattle's Mortgage Broker and author of Homeownership Simplified: The Truth about ZERO Down.

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