Tacoma is a mid-sized urban port city and the county seat of Pierce County, Washington, United States. The city is the second-largest in the Puget Sound area and the third largest in the state. Tacoma also serves as the center of business activity for the South Sound region that has a population of around 1 million people.Tacoma-Pierce County has been named one of the most livable areas in the country, and is considered one of the most walkable cities in the country.
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Point Defiance Park, one of the biggest city parks in the country, is located in Tacoma. The scenic Five Mile Drive allows access to many of the park's attractions, such as Fort Nisqually, Camp Six,, the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, and Owen Beach. The park has many historic features, including the Pagoda, which was originally built as a streetcar waiting room. It was restored in 1988, and now serves as a rental facility for weddings and private parties. The Pagoda was nearly destroyed by fire on Aug 15, 2011.
Tacoma's institutions of higher learning include the University of Puget Sound, Tacoma Community College, City University of Seattle-Tacoma, Bates Technical College, The Evergreen State College Tacoma Campus, Corban University School of Ministry/Tacoma Campus, and University of Washington Tacoma.
The University of Washington established its branch campus in Tacoma in 1990. The same year, Union Station (Tacoma) was restored. The Museum of Glass opened in downtown Tacoma in 2002, showing glass art from the region and around the world. It includes a glassblowing studio and is connected to the rest of the Museum District by the Bridge of Glass, which features works by Tacoma native glass artist Dale Chihuly.
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