Northeast Tacoma is traditionally the most affluent part of Tacoma as well as the most isolated—this part of town barely feels like Tacoma at all. It is located on the far side of the Port of Tacoma and most of it has lovely views of the water, which is one of the perks of living here.
This area is a bit of a drive to the rest of Tacoma and is closer to King County cities like Federal Way, and also offers great access to cool attractions like the Browns Point Lighthouse and Dash Point State Park. Northeast Tacoma is bounded by Fife Heights and Port of Tacoma to the southeast, Browns Point to the northwest, and the King County border to the northeast. If you are standing on the Tacoma Waterfront, if you look directly across the water, you will see this neighborhood—and that's all most of Tacoma ever sees of this little enclave of town. It's not a place you'll pass through by chance.
Due to the proximity to I-5, many residents of Northeast Tacoma commute to Seattle or other King County cities for work, as there are few big businesses nearby. If you want to be close to all the action, Northeast Tacoma may not be ideal for you. If you want a quiet place to live and don't mind a bit of a drive to most city amenities, this is the place for you.
Browns Point, which you may hear in conjunction with Northeast Tacoma, is located on the tip of land here directly across from the rest of Tacoma. Here there is a lighthouse and a beach to walk along.
Things to Do
While Northeast Tacoma is far quieter than Tacoma overall, there are things to do here, especially if you enjoy getting outside. The Northshore Golf Course is an 18-hole course located here, and has many homes and condos situated around it as well, if you are interested in living close to such an amenity.
Browns Point Lighthouse Park is a great place to go for a romantic stroll or to take the family. The lighthouse here was once part of a Coast Guard Station and today visitors can enter for free on Saturdays from 1 to 4 p.m. seasonally. Enjoy a tour of the lighthouse. Or sign up to stay for a week at this historical place and conduct the tours yourself (with some training beforehand, of course).
Dash Point State Park is not far from Browns Point and is an absolutely fantastic place to experience the Northwest at its best, much like Point Defiance Park. Unlike Point Defiance, though, you can go camping at Dash Point. This 398-acre park has ample woodland trails, over 3,000 feet of shoreline to wander, places to fish and swim, and chances to see some of the local wildlife.
Northeast Tacoma does not have an abundance of restaurants, stores, or businesses, but you’ll find a few pockets here and there. Near Browns Point, the Cliff House Restaurant is one of the area’s premier places to dine, but other places worth checking out include On The Greens near the golf course, and pockets of chain restaurants.
If you really want a night out, it may be worth looking into the best restaurants of Tacoma on the other side of the port, heading to Federal Way, or even up to Seattle where there is a richer array of fine dining options.
North East Tacoma Schools
There are a handful of elementary and middle schools in Northeast Tacoma. Once students are in high school, they often go to Stadium High School in the Stadium District of Tacoma, but also can look to prep schools like Bellermine (Tacoma) or Federal Way high schools.
Northeast Elementary - 5412 29th Street Northeast
Browns Point Elementary - 1526 51st St NE
Crescent Heights Elementary - 4110 Nassau Avenue Northeast
Meeker Middle School - 4402 Nassau Ave. NE
Seabury School - 1801 NE 53rd Street
Real Estate and Apartments
According to Zillow.com, homes in Northeast Tacoma sold for an average of $332,000 in 2016, making this part of town more expensive than all others except some parts of North Tacoma. A great deal of the homes were built between 1980 and 1999, and another significant portion between 1960 and 1979. Homes here are in general larger than homes in the rest of Tacoma with the greatest portion of them being above 1,400 square feet. Eighty percent of the homes here are owned versus rented, and many houses have some sort of water view.
You can find apartment buildings and complexes scattered throughout Northeast Tacoma, including some located right on Browns Point. The greatest density of apartments is actually in Federal Way, not too far away. Expect to pay about $900 and up for apartments of varying sizes.
Northeast Tacoma is perfect for commuters as I-5 is easily accessible. Versus living in the rest of Tacoma, living here puts you significantly closer to Seattle and bypasses all the Tacoma Dome-area traffic.
As this is a part of Pierce County, Pierce Transit bus service is here as well, but because this is not a through area, bus service is limited to one route—number 63. This route weaves throughout the area. The closest transit center is the Federal Way transit center, but route 63 does not go there. You can get to the rest of Tacoma on 63, though, and transfer to many other bus routes at the Tacoma Dome Station in downtown Tacoma.