10 Signs You’re From Tacoma

People from Northwest cities often get clumped into either being from Seattle or Portland, but really there’s a lot more going on in the Northwest than Seattle and Portland. Other cities often have their own cultures as well, but especially cities like Tacoma and Olympia, both of which are distinct from each other and very different than Seattle.

Tacoma natives are just a bit different than Seattleites, even though the cities aren’t even an hour apart. Here are 10 signs you’re from Tacoma…or 10 signs to help you relate better to someone from Tacoma!

Likewise, check this list of signs you're from to Seattle.

  • 01 of 10

    You're used to defending T-Town

    Wright Park Tacoma
    Kristin Kendle

    You’re used to defending your city from Seattle residents who think Tacoma is gritty and/or ghetto, or from Olympians who think Tacoma is too big of a city, or from whoever else misunderstands this little corner of the Sound.

  • 02 of 10

    You know the significance of 6th Ave

    Food on 6th Ave
    Kristin Kendle

    The fact that 6th Avenue is the main dividing line between north and south makes perfect sense to you. You also know 6th Avenue is a great hub of restaurants, bars and entertainment.


  • 03 of 10

    You love Lunar New Year

    Kristin Kendle

    You look forward to the Lunar New Year like you look forward to Christmas…maybe even more. No matter how old you are, you may just have woken up at 4 a.m. to join in the Monkeyshines treasure hunt—looking under bushes, under benches or even wading into the water to go after hand-blown glass orbs, medallions or other pieces of artwork hidden throughout the city. It’s true that not everyone Tacoman knows about this event, but the ones who do are passionate in the hunt.

  • 04 of 10

    You know who Ivan is

    B&I Tacoma
    Kristin Kendle

    You know who Ivan the Gorilla is and, if you’ve been in town long enough, you may even have visited him while he was still at the B&I. You also know what the B&I is, but you probably haven’t been there since the 1990s.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    You look forward to berry season

    You know where to pick blueberries for free and have likely tried to talk someone into a berry picking session at Charlotte’s Blueberry Park a few times.

  • 06 of 10

    You're an accomplished pothole dodger

    You have opinions about potholes. You likely also have a mental map of where the worst ones are so you don’t lose a wheel into them if you’re driving at night. But you’ve probably hit a few of them anyway since new ones are always popping up.

  • 07 of 10

    You're a bit of a foodie...but not too much

    6th Avenue Tacoma Breakfast
    Kristin Kendle

    You’ve got a bit of a foodie in your soul. You likely have a strong dedication to one or more locally owned restaurants and you don’t require that food to be high-brow (in fact, some of your favorites are just plain comfort food). Whether you’re willing to wait an hour for a sandwich from MSM Deli, or you show up for all the cheese and wine tastings at Met Market, or you have a firm idea of whether Shakabrah or Dirty Oscar’s Annex has a better breakfast menu, you know your local food and you know what you love.

  • 08 of 10

    You know Tacoma has its own Hogwarts

    Stadium High School
    Kristin Kendle

    You know which high school “10 Things I Hate About You” was filmed at (Stadium High School) and you only slightly resent that the movie tried to pretend it was set in Seattle, but you’re also used to being overshadowed by the cool kids of Seattle and Portland. No. Really. It’s fine.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Tacoma Aroma is part of your vocab

    Yes. You’re aware Tacoma has an aroma sometimes that wafts from its Port. But you know that a city is not defined by its occasional odor and you also know the odor is usually much more noticeable from Fife than from most parts of Tacoma (sorry, Fife!).

  • 10 of 10

    You love a sunny day on the water

    Tacoma Waterfront
    Kristin Kendle

    As soon as there’s a sunny day, you head for the Waterfront, Point Defiance or Wapato. You know you have to appreciate it while the sun is shining and there are few finer places than parks or trails with a view of the water!


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