Tacoma is a city that promises an array of experiences, especially when the sun goes down. Often overshadowed by Seattle, its more famous neighbor to the north, Tacoma offers a vibrant nightlife scene that’s worth exploring.
From happening spots in downtown Tacoma to more relaxed, community-centered locales in the 6th Avenue District, the city has something for everyone. From local favorites to spots still under the radar, the nightlife in Tacoma caters to a variety of tastes, promising a great time to both locals and visitors.
Whether you’re in the mood for a casual craft beer, a night of dancing, or an evening of live music, Tacoma’s diverse nightlife offerings will not disappoint. This ever-growing city is always welcoming new venues, ensuring there’s something exciting around every corner.
In this guide, you’ll find an overview of the best places to party, tips for ensuring a great night out, and an idea of the cost involved. So grab your friends, gear up for some fun, and explore what Tacoma has to offer after the sun sets.
Where to Party in Tacoma
The Tacoma nightlife scene is centered around several key areas, making it convenient to hop from one venue to another:
Downtown Tacoma: Known for its modern vibe, this area offers a mix of bars, nightclubs, and live-music venues.
6th Avenue District: This trendy neighborhood is home to a variety of bars and clubs catering to a younger crowd.
Stadium District: Offers a more relaxed environment with wine bars and gastro pubs.
Old Town: Known for its historic character, Old Town provides a quieter but still enjoyable evening out.
Tacoma Nightlife Tips and Advice
Like any city, Tacoma has its risks, so stay aware of your surroundings and be cautious.
The legal drinking age in the United States is 21; carry ID to prove your age.
Tipping is standard practice, usually around 15-20% of your total bill.
Public transport runs limited hours, so plan for a cab or rideshare if you’re out late.
Cost of Partying in Tacoma
While prices change all the time, here is a basic overview of what you can expect to pay to enjoy the Tacoma nightlife:
Drinks: Expect to pay around $5-7 for a beer, $8-12 for a glass of wine, and $10-15 for a cocktail.
Cover Charges: Nightclubs might charge a cover of $5-20, sometimes including a free drink.
Rideshares/Taxis: Expect to pay around $10-20 for a short ride within Tacoma.
Best Bars in Tacoma
Dystopian State Brewing Co.
Dystopian State Brewing Co. is a standout brewery in Tacoma, Washington, known for its edgy, post-apocalyptic ambiance. The brewery offers an array of craft beers, creatively named to fit the dystopian theme, which are brewed on-site and often rotate to offer patrons something new.
The industrial-style taproom provides a unique setting for socializing, complete with dark wood and metal accents that contribute to its moody atmosphere. It’s not just a place to grab a beer; it’s an experience that transports you to a different world, making it a must-visit spot for both craft beer enthusiasts and fans of the dystopian genre.
The Forum Tacoma
The Forum Bar in Tacoma is a modern, upscale venue that seamlessly blends the classic American bar experience with contemporary flair. Known for its extensive cocktail menu and chic ambiance, it’s a popular Tacoma nightlife spot for both casual get-togethers and more sophisticated evenings out.
With its inviting decor featuring exposed brick walls and stylish furnishings, the Forum offers a unique atmosphere that caters to a diverse clientele. Whether you’re looking to catch a game on one of the large-screen TVs or enjoy a night of cocktails and conversation, the Forum Bar provides the perfect backdrop for a memorable night out in Tacoma.
The Mule Tavern
The Mule Tavern is a laid-back watering hole known for its friendly atmosphere and inventive cocktails. A standout feature is their specialty in mule cocktails, served in signature copper mugs to enhance the experience. The tavern offers both indoor seating and a cozy outdoor patio, providing ample space for socializing. With its mix of traditional pub charm and modern mixology, The Mule Tavern is a go-to spot for those looking to unwind with a quality drink in a welcoming environment.
The Camp Bar
The Camp Bar stands as a rustic sanctuary for those seeking a cozy and warm atmosphere to unwind. Resembling a cabin, this bar brings a touch of the wilderness into the urban landscape, offering patrons a retreat where they can enjoy a variety of drinks amidst woodsy interiors.
The bar fosters a community-oriented vibe, welcoming everyone to join in the camaraderie that is naturally nurtured within its walls. Its friendly staff and eclectic range of beverages promise a comfortable, relaxed experience, making it a popular choice for locals and visitors alike. It’s a slice of tranquility amidst the city hustle.
Odd Otter Brewing Company
The Odd Otter Brewing Company is a beloved craft brewery located in the heart of downtown Tacoma, Washington. Known for its quirky atmosphere and unique beer selections, it has become a staple for locals and visitors alike. With its laid-back vibe and friendly staff, it’s the perfect spot to relax and enjoy a handcrafted brew. Offering everything from hoppy IPAs to rich stouts, The Odd Otter is a must-visit for any beer enthusiast exploring Tacoma.
Best Nightclubs in Tacoma
Jazzbones Nightclub in Tacoma, Washington, is a celebrated venue known for its rich music offerings, ranging from jazz and blues to rock and hip-hop. The club boasts a spacious dance floor and a stage that regularly hosts both local and national artists. Adding to the ambiance is a full bar that offers a variety of drinks to keep the spirits high. With its eclectic musical lineup and vibrant atmosphere, Jazzbones serves as a cornerstone in Tacoma’s nightlife, providing a unique experience for music lovers and social butterflies alike.
Keys On Main
Keys on Main in Tacoma is a dueling piano bar that offers a unique and interactive entertainment experience. Located in the heart of downtown Tacoma, the venue features talented pianists who take audience requests and engage the crowd in lively sing-alongs.
With a full bar menu, including craft cocktails and beers, it’s an ideal spot for group outings, date nights, or simply a fun evening out. The atmosphere is vibrant and energetic, making Keys on Main a go-to destination for those looking to enjoy music and camaraderie in a lively setting.
Real Art Tacoma
The Real Art Tacoma is a grassroots venue in Tacoma, Washington, dedicated to fostering the local arts and music community. Known for its intimate setting and eclectic lineup, it offers a platform for emerging artists and musicians to showcase their talents. The venue aims to create an inclusive environment where creativity thrives, making it a hub for artistic collaboration and expression. From punk rock shows to art exhibitions, Real Art Tacoma is a vibrant space that celebrates the diverse cultural fabric of the city.
Studio 6 Ballroom
Studio 6 Ballroom in Tacoma, Washington, is a versatile event space and dance studio known for its warm atmosphere and welcoming community. Renowned for its quality dance instruction, the studio offers a variety of dance styles, from ballroom and salsa to swing and tango.
The venue also hosts an array of events, including weddings, parties, and corporate functions, providing a beautiful backdrop for any occasion. With its professional staff and well-maintained facilities, Studio 6 Ballroom has become a cherished gathering spot for both dance enthusiasts and community members alike.
The Airport Tavern in Tacoma, Washington, serves as a unique blend of a neighborhood pub and a live music venue. With its relaxed atmosphere, it offers patrons a comfortable setting to unwind, have a drink, and catch some local music acts or DJs.
Known for its eclectic crowd and diverse line-up of entertainment options, it’s a go-to spot for those looking to escape the mainstream bar scene. Whether you’re there for the strong drinks, the friendly community, or the live performances, Airport Tavern offers a laid-back vibe that captures the spirit of Tacoma.
Tacoma Nightlife Conclusion
Tacoma offers a rich, diverse nightlife that caters to all kinds of partygoers. From its bustling downtown to its more subdued neighborhoods, the city offers a range of experiences for everyone, whether you’re a local or just passing through. This guide should give you all you need to enjoy a night out in Tacoma. Cheers to great nights and new memories in this vibrant Pacific Northwest city!