Welcome to Traveling in the United States and its Territories! In this article, we’ll be exploring the charming city of Lakewood, Washington. Nestled in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, Lakewood offers a plethora of unique experiences for adventurers of all kinds. From its stunning natural landscapes to its vibrant arts scene, there’s something for everyone here. However, it’s important to know which places to go and which ones to avoid. So, let’s dive in and discover the must-visit spots and those you might want to skip in Lakewood, Washington.
“Must-Visit Spots in Lakewood”
Lakewood, Washington offers a plethora of attractions and activities for visitors. From scenic parks to historic landmarks, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this vibrant city.
Lakewood Gardens: Nestled on the shores of Lake Louise, Lakewood Gardens is a peaceful oasis that showcases beautiful flora and stunning landscape designs. Visitors can stroll through the various themed gardens, take in the colorful blooms, and even enjoy a picnic by the lake.
Fort Steilacoom Park: History buffs will appreciate a visit to Fort Steilacoom Park, which was once a military fort dating back to the mid-1800s. The park now features walking trails, sports fields, and even a dog park, making it a great spot for outdoor recreation.
Chambers Bay: Golf enthusiasts shouldn’t miss out on a round at Chambers Bay, a world-renowned golf course that hosted the 2015 U.S. Open. Set against breathtaking views of the Puget Sound, this links-style course offers a challenging yet unforgettable experience.
“Hidden Gems in Lakewood”
While Lakewood has its fair share of popular attractions, there are also some hidden gems worth exploring. These lesser-known spots offer unique experiences and a chance to discover the local charm of the city.
Thornewood Castle: A true hidden gem, Thornewood Castle is a historic mansion that resembles an English Tudor-style castle. Visitors can tour the grounds, explore the gardens, and even stay overnight in one of the castle’s luxurious guest rooms.
Lakewold Gardens: Although not as well-known as its counterpart mentioned earlier, Lakewold Gardens is equally enchanting. This hidden gem boasts meticulously manicured gardens, tranquil ponds, and a beautiful Georgian-style mansion that serves as the backdrop for special events.
South Sound Speedway: For adrenaline junkies, a visit to South Sound Speedway is a must. This hidden gem is a quarter-mile oval racetrack that hosts thrilling stock car races throughout the year. Catching a race here is an exhilarating experience that shouldn’t be missed.
“Avoid These Tourist Traps in Lakewood”
While there are plenty of fantastic places to visit in Lakewood, there are also a few tourist traps that can be easily avoided. Here are a couple of spots that may not live up to their hype.
Lakewood Mall: While it may seem like a great spot for shopping and entertainment, the Lakewood Mall has seen better days. The mall lacks a diverse range of stores and often feels deserted, making it a disappointment for those seeking a vibrant shopping experience.
Star Lake: Although Star Lake may sound enticing, it is important to note that this natural body of water is not suitable for swimming or recreational activities. The lake is known to have poor water quality, and its surrounding areas lack proper amenities and facilities.
In summary, while Lakewood has some incredible attractions to explore, it’s essential to be mindful of these tourist traps to ensure a more enjoyable visit.
“Off the Beaten Path Adventures in Lakewood”
For adventure seekers who prefer to venture off the beaten path, Lakewood offers unique experiences that go beyond the typical tourist attractions. These lesser-known adventures are perfect for those looking to immerse themselves in nature and discover hidden treasures.
Harry Todd Park: Tucked away amidst a residential neighborhood, Harry Todd Park is a local favorite that offers picturesque walking trails, serene picnic spots, and even a disc golf course. Take a leisurely stroll or challenge yourself with a game of disc golf in this peaceful park.
Waughop Lake Trail: Escape the bustling city life and embark on a scenic hike along the Waughop Lake Trail. This hidden gem showcases the natural beauty of the area, with its tranquil lake, lush forests, and diverse wildlife. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the breathtaking views.
“Family-Friendly Activities in Lakewood”
Lakewood is an ideal destination for families, with a wide range of activities that cater to all ages. From interactive museums to outdoor adventures, there’s no shortage of fun-filled experiences for the whole family to enjoy.
Children’s Museum of Tacoma: Spark your child’s imagination and creativity at the Children’s Museum of Tacoma. This interactive museum features hands-on exhibits and engaging activities designed to inspire learning and play.
Oakbrook Playground: Let your little ones burn off some energy at Oakbrook Playground, a spacious park equipped with playgrounds, swings, and even a splash pad during the summer months. Pack a picnic and spend a sunny afternoon enjoying quality time with the family.
By incorporating these family-friendly activities into your itinerary, you’re sure to create lasting memories for everyone involved.
Frequently Asked Questions in our travel blog
What are the must-visit places in Lakewood, Washington?
Lakewood, Washington offers a variety of exciting attractions for visitors to explore. Here are some must-visit places in Lakewood:
1. Lake Steilacoom Park: This beautiful park is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. It features a stunning lake, hiking trails, picnic areas, and sports fields.
2. Fort Steilacoom Park: History buffs will enjoy a visit to this former military fort turned park. It offers historical buildings, walking trails, and a dog park.
3. American Lake: This picturesque lake is ideal for fishing, boating, and swimming. Visitors can also relax on the sandy beaches or enjoy a picnic with stunning views.
4. Museum Lakewood: For a dose of culture, head to the Museum Lakewood. It showcases local history and art exhibitions, providing insight into the community’s heritage.
5. Golf Courses: Lakewood is home to several world-class golf courses, such as Oakbrook Golf Club and Chambers Bay Golf Course. Golf enthusiasts can enjoy a round of golf in a beautiful setting.
6. Thornewood Castle: This enchanting castle is a must-see attraction in Lakewood. Visitors can take guided tours of the historic mansion or even book a stay in one of its luxurious rooms.
7. Tillicum Village: Located nearby in Blake Island State Park, Tillicum Village offers a unique cultural experience. Visitors can enjoy a traditional Native American feast and watch captivating performances.
8. Point Defiance Park: Just a short drive away in Tacoma, Point Defiance Park is worth a visit. This expansive park offers beautiful gardens, trails, a zoo, and stunning views of Puget Sound.
When visiting Lakewood, make sure to explore these remarkable attractions for an unforgettable experience.
Are there any areas or neighborhoods to avoid in Lakewood, Washington?
In Lakewood, Washington, there are a few areas or neighborhoods that may be best to avoid. One of them is the Tillicum neighborhood, which has a higher crime rate compared to other areas in Lakewood. It’s important to exercise caution while visiting this area.
Another neighborhood to be cautious of is the Lakeview neighborhood, particularly around the area close to Gravelly Lake Drive SW. This area has experienced some safety concerns in the past, so it’s advisable to be vigilant if you find yourself in this part of Lakewood.
It’s always a good idea to research and be aware of the local safety conditions before visiting any destination. While Lakewood may have some areas to avoid, overall, it is a beautiful city with many attractions and activities to explore.
What are some hidden gems or lesser-known attractions in Lakewood, Washington?
Lakewood, Washington offers a range of hidden gems and lesser-known attractions for visitors to explore. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Lakewold Gardens: This picturesque garden estate boasts stunning manicured landscapes, vibrant flower displays, and serene walking paths. It’s an ideal spot for nature enthusiasts and those seeking tranquility.
2. Thornewood Castle: Often referred to as the “House That Love Built,” this historic castle is nestled on the shores of American Lake. Visitors can take guided tours, stay overnight in one of the guest rooms, or even attend a special event or wedding.
3. Fort Steilacoom Park: This expansive park offers a variety of recreational activities, including hiking trails, picnic areas, sports fields, and a dog park. It also houses historical sites, such as the remnants of the historic Fort Steilacoom.
4. Lakewood History Museum: Located in the historic Colonial Center, this museum showcases the rich history of Lakewood and the surrounding areas. Visitors can explore exhibits, artifacts, and photographs that depict the area’s past.
5. Springbrook Park: Tucked away in a residential neighborhood, this hidden gem features a tranquil pond, walking trails, and a playground. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy nature.
6. Harry Todd Park: Situated along the shores of American Lake, this park offers beach access, a pier, picnic areas, and a playground. It’s perfect for swimming, fishing, or simply enjoying a lakeside picnic.
7. Marrowstone Vineyards: Although not located within Lakewood itself, this nearby winery is worth a visit for wine enthusiasts. With its stunning views, wine tastings, and relaxing atmosphere, it’s a delightful escape from the city.
These are just a few examples of the hidden gems and lesser-known attractions that await visitors in Lakewood, Washington. Exploring these off-the-beaten-path destinations will provide a unique and authentic travel experience.
Is it safe to visit Lakewood, Washington as a solo traveler?
Lakewood, Washington is generally a safe destination for solo travelers. It is a suburban community located just south of Tacoma and has a lower crime rate compared to larger cities nearby. However, as with any destination, it is always important to take precautions and be aware of your surroundings.
Here are some tips to ensure a safe trip:
1. Research the area: Before your trip, familiarize yourself with the neighborhoods in Lakewood and know which areas are considered safer than others. This will help you plan your activities and choose suitable accommodation.
2. Stay in well-populated areas: Stick to well-lit, busy areas, especially at night. Avoid venturing into unfamiliar or secluded areas alone.
3. Use reliable transportation: If you’re not renting a car, opt for reputable taxi services or rideshare apps to get around the city. Avoid walking alone late at night, especially in less crowded areas.
4. Keep your belongings secure: Be mindful of your possessions and keep them close to you. Use a cross-body bag or a money belt to prevent easy theft or pickpocketing.
5. Trust your instincts: If something feels off or uncomfortable, trust your gut and remove yourself from the situation. It’s always better to prioritize your safety.
Overall, as long as you exercise caution and common sense, Lakewood can be a safe and enjoyable destination for solo travelers.
Are there any tourist traps or overrated attractions in Lakewood, Washington?
Lakewood, Washington is a charming city located in Pierce County, not far from the vibrant city of Tacoma. While there are many wonderful attractions in the area, it’s always important to be aware of potential tourist traps or overrated attractions.
One such attraction that some travelers may find overrated is the Lakewood Towne Center. While it offers a variety of shops, restaurants, and a movie theater, some visitors have found it to be lacking in unique or authentic experiences. If you’re looking for a more local and immersive experience, you may want to explore other parts of Lakewood or nearby Tacoma instead.
Additionally, it’s worth mentioning that some tourists may find the Great American Casino in Lakewood to be a bit of a tourist trap. It’s a popular spot for locals and visitors alike, but it may not offer the high-quality entertainment or dining options that some expect. If you’re interested in trying your luck at a casino, consider exploring other options in the greater Tacoma area.
Keep in mind that these are just a couple of examples, and opinions can vary. It’s always a good idea to do your research and read reviews from fellow travelers before making any decisions. And remember, sometimes the best experiences are found off the beaten path, so don’t be afraid to explore and discover hidden gems in Lakewood.
In conclusion, Lakewood, Washington is a captivating destination with a wide range of attractions and activities to offer. From the serene beauty of Fort Steilacoom Park to the adrenaline rush at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, there is something for everyone in this vibrant city.
However, it is important to be mindful of certain areas in Lakewood that may not be as safe or enjoyable for tourists. The Tillicum neighborhood, for example, has a higher crime rate and may not provide the best experience for visitors. It’s always recommended to research and plan your itinerary accordingly, ensuring a pleasant and secure trip to this charming city.
On the other hand, don’t miss out on the chance to visit highlights like the Lakewold Gardens and the stunning Chambers Creek Regional Park. These locations offer breathtaking natural beauty and unique experiences that will make your trip to Lakewood unforgettable.
As you explore Lakewood, keep in mind the diversity of its neighborhoods and the different experiences they offer. Exercise caution where necessary, but also embrace the opportunity to discover hidden gems and create lasting memories.
Whether you choose to explore Lakewood’s history, enjoy outdoor adventures, or simply relax in its beautiful surroundings, this Washington city has much to offer for every type of traveler. Plan your trip wisely, seek out the gems, and immerse yourself in the unique charm of Lakewood, Washington.