Tacoma is the third-largest city in Washington. It's a business center for the South (Puget) Sound region and my closest go-to for mall or major department store shopping. I wasn't that impressed with Tacoma, considering it more industrial and commercial than its culture-rich sister to the north, Seattle, but as I began to do more research for this post, a new Tacoma emerged.
Although Tacoma had a bad reputation as a crime-ridden, rundown poor relation to Seattle in the latter part of the 20th century, the city has been revitalized and now offers great dining and theater options, museums and art galleries, and shopping galore. Local universities contribute significantly to Tacoma's vibrant performing arts scene and the Tacoma Link, a light-rail system, is a great way to explore the city, including the restored Union Station and the urban waterfront. Tacoma is a "Diamond in the Rough" and no longer side-lined by Seattle.
I'm leaving my shopping bags at home and heading out to explore the heart of Tacoma.