Sep 22, 2023 - Things to Do

Tacoma makes list of 15 happiest places to live in U.S.

Dune Peninsula adjacent to Point Defiance Park is shown in an aerial photo.

The 11-acre Dune Peninsula at Point Defiance Park is one of the Tacoma attractions that Outside Magazine highlighted. Photo: Courtesy of Metro Parks Tacoma.

It may surprise some old-school Seattleites who have long looked down on their neighbor to the south, but Tacoma has been named one the 15 happiest places to live in the country.

What's happening: Outside Magazine this week honored Tacoma as one of the country's "happiest towns."

  • The city — population 222,000 — was given high marks for its parks and access to outdoor recreation, as well as environmental cleanup projects that "have helped make the city a picturesque hub."

Of note: The Outside staffers also really liked breakfast at TibbittsFernHill and Campfire Coffee.

Thought bubble: I have long had a fond spot for Tacoma since it's where I got my start in journalism more than 15 years ago.

  • Since then, the area where I lived downtown in the late aughts has boomed so much, I barely feel cool enough to hang out there anymore.
  • That said, I'm always looking for an excuse to head down for a meal at Wooden City, en Rama or The Table, or to visit the Proctor Farmers Market.

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