County Offices
930 Tacoma Avenue South
Tacoma 253-798-7777

Chamber of Commerce
950 Pacific Avenue
Tacoma 253-627-2175

Reaching from Mt. Rainier National Park in Western Washington to lower Puget Sound, Pierce County is the southernmost of the four counties that make up the central Puget Sound region. The other counties in this area include King, Kitsap, and Snohomish. Established in 1852 and named after President Franklin Pierce, Pierce County is one of the most populous metropolitan areas in Washington State. Residents enjoy an ideal location about 35 miles from Seattle; 18 miles from the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport; and midway between Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, British Columbia across the border in Canada.

The communities that dot Pierce County offer a variety of environments and housing choices. Newcomers will find traditional family settings in older, well-established towns with distinctive character. Upscale housing is available in gated communities with first-rate amenities, while spacious country estates are ideal for those who prefer the luxury of open space. Waterfront properties and handsome new condominiums mix with quiet neighborhoods filled with single-story bungalows, post-war ramblers, and split-level homes.

Economy & Services
Pierce County’s economy enjoys a healthy mix of manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, a strong service sector, international shipping, forest products, agriculture, national defense, and governmental services. The manufacturing sector produces lumber and wood products, chemicals, metals, food, clothing, computer/semiconductor chips and parts, and airplane parts. The deep water Port of Tacoma contributes significantly to the county’s position as a major regional trade and service center. In the agricultural arena, Pierce County produces rhubarb, berries, lettuce, beans, cabbage, and daffodil bulbs. The area is also home to three major military installations: Fort Lewis Army Post, McChord Air Force Base, and Madigan Army Medical Center.

The school districts that serve Pierce County are highly respected and offer many quality choices for the children in this area. Opportunities for higher education close to home are many. Pacific Lutheran University is located in nearby Tacoma, and the nationally ranked, liberal arts college of the University of Puget Sound is also close to home. Branches of the University of Washington, Central Washington University, and the Evergreen State College join campuses for Tacoma Community College and Pierce College. Complementing the superb educational system, state-of-the-art healthcare facilities and skilled professionals in every major specialty ensure that every need will be met.

The Pierce County Parks Department maintains over 30 parks—many close to the water—and a total of 2,000 acres of preserved natural beauty. Point Defiance Park is a wonderful place to spend the day. This oasis ranks among the 20 largest urban parks in the United States, attracting two million visitors each year. The Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in the park displays more than 5,000 animals.

One of the most picturesque places to enjoy Puget Sound’s beauty is Commencement Bay in Tacoma. When the snow begins to fall, residents enjoy Crystal Mountain Ski Resort east of Buckley. The region’s natural beauty invites golfing, hiking, biking, horseback riding, winter sports, camping, boating, kayaking, fishing, and swimming. More than 350 lakes range from the largest, Lake Tapps, to smaller bodies of water that are ideal for recreational activity.

For sports fans, the Tacoma Dome on Interstate 5 is a spectacular place to cheer on ice hockey, basketball, football, soccer, tennis, boxing, wrestling, and motor sports. Seating over 20,000 spectators, the dome draws regional crowds to a year-long calendar of special events and performances that include ice shows, circuses, rodeos, and musical concerts. Regardless of your interests, Pierce County is one of the most idyllic places to call home within the Pacific Northwest.

Gig Harbor
City Hall

Chamber of Commerce

Characterized as a quiet community at the south end of Puget Sound, Gig Harbor is located 45 minutes from Sea-Tac International Airport and approximately one hour from downtown Seattle. The community is the epitome of a picture-perfect city, and the tiny harbor with Mt. Rainier towering in the background have inspired thousands of photographs. Despite recent growth, Gig Harbor retains the feeling of a small fishing village. Proud of its rich maritime history, the city is home to a collection of quaint shops that delight visitors and residents alike. Outdoor recreation is plentiful within this area, although fishing is undoubtedly one of the most favored activities. Housing choices range from cozy bungalows to larger family homes in a variety of architectural styles.

City Hall

Chamber of Commerce

The second largest city in Pierce County, Puyallup was named for the Native American tribe that first inhabited the area and means “The Land of Generous People.” Incorporated in 1890, Puyallup is also the home of the Western Washington State Fair—held each fall since 1900. The fair is the sixth largest in the country and draws more than a million visitors. Puyallup is also well known for its sizable production of daffodils in the local bulb farms. In fact, agriculture has been an economic mainstay of the Puyallup Valley for more than 100 years. From the first Saturday in May through the first Saturday in September, farm-fresh items are sold at the Puyallup Farmer’s Market. Despite the city’s agricultural atmosphere, it is growing rapidly into a bedroom community with new residential areas that offer attractive yet reasonably priced housing.

City Hall

Chamber of Commerce

Located on Commencement Bay on lower Puget Sound just 36 miles south of Seattle, Tacoma has developed an economy that relies heavily on shipping. The port is the sixth largest container port in North America, handling more than 80 percent of all waterborne cargo shipped to Alaska from the lower 48 states. Newcomers will find that the housing selection in Tacoma provides a diversity of sizes, styles, and price ranges. The community boasts several outstanding business districts, from the architectural majesty of the Stadium District to the bayside charm of Old Town. Point Defiance Park provides a wealth of recreational facilities and attractions, including a zoo, an aquarium, a museum, Japanese and specialty gardens, and 14 miles of hiking trails.

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