Steilacoom Things to Do
Sunnyside Beach Park
Located just north of downtown Steilacoom, this park provides a popular picnic location right on the edge of Puget Sound. There is a picnic shelter, lots of picnic tables, a fair amount of open space in which to play, and shade trees scattered around.
There is an outdoor shower for those that have ventured into the waters of Puget Sound. The shower is located in a structure that is mostly a very large public piece of artwork and one of the more unique pieces of artwork in the area. This shower sculpture is one of the most unique features of the park.
The park has the disadvantage of being accessed by having to get across the main railroad line between Portland and Seattle, and there are 7,000 foot (2,000 meter) grain trains and various amounts of other freight traffic on this line that can take quite a long time to pass. The several passenger trains through here pass by very quickly, so you don't have to worry too much about those blocking your way out for long periods.
While it is of interest primarily as a place of recreation for the surrounding neighborhoods, the park also provides good views of Puget Sound.
The park is very popular with local residents as well as those from the greater area. To try to help keep the park maintained, there is a $5 parking fee for use of the parking lot. It is possible to avoid this parking fee by parking in downtown Steilacoom.
There are two beach volleyball nets set up on a flat and sandy area towards the southern end of the park, but not located at the southern tip.
A small playground here is extremely popular on days when there isn't any school.
For additional photos, see my May of 2015 photo collection. This includes a photo of the self-service pay station (photo 2 of the travelogue).Related to:
- Family Travel
Chambers Bay: Vast Park formerly...
About the Photo: The huge size of the Chambers Bay Park and Property is hard to show in a single photo. The two walkers on the paved trail should give you some impression, however. These two people are on the paved walkway, slightly to the left of center, and to the left of the large pillar structure that was once part of the large gravel sorting facility. Go down from about halfway between the two left concrete storage bin walls, and you will see two dots walking on the paved pathway. In the background, everything you see that has been cleared of trees was once the massive gravel mine here, and has now been converted to use as a golf course and walking path. The pathway continues all the way up the hill, and runs along the top edge of the golf course along the tree line in the background. The large flat grass area to the right of the pillared structure is the public park and open space, and to the right of that and off the side of the photo is the off leash dog park area and the public restrooms. When I took this photograph I was standing on the new bridge over the railroad line that connects the park to the beach area. As you can see, the land area of this park and golf course is vast.
While the huge and relatively new Chambers Bay Park (including golf course, trail, park, beach access and restaurant) isn't exactly in Steilacoom, it is only slightly north of downtown Steilacoom and is as close to Steilacoom as it is to any other meaningful destination.
The park is vast, and used to be a very large gravel pit. Part of the park is now part of Pierce County works that are closed to the public, but a huge portion of the old gravel pit has been turned into public park facilities, a bridge to access the beach, a golf course that has won praise usually reserved for the most exclusive private clubs, and a walking trail that encircles the entire facility.
While much of the old gravel mining operation has been removed, a few remains of the massive structures used for sorting, drying and storing gravel were retained. These remains give the park a few unique features scattered around its lands.
As the nearest city of significant size is Tacoma, I have put the vast majority of the information about this facility in my Tacoma Pages, with a tip on the general property, plus a tip on a few of the separate features of the property (for example, the paved trail encircling the entire place) as certain things about those features deserve their own photographs to help describe them as individual features.
Therefore, please see my Chambers Bay Park and Property tip in Tacoma for more information and photos I have about this facility.
The official Pierce County web site for this park and golf course is at
- Hiking and Walking
Steilacoom Tribal Museum and Cultural...
There are four historic structures owned and operated by a dedicated group in Steilacoom, but there is a fourth museum in Steilacoom not affiliated with this group. This is the Steilacoom Tribal Museum and Cultural Center. It is located in a very old church building that is one block up hill and one block north of the ferry terminal.
Unfortunately, I have had trouble finding out about this facility. According to the posted hours it should have been open when I stopped by, but it wasn't. Possibly they are on winter hours?
Also, several of the web sites about this tribe and its museum are no longer functioning.
Therefore, until I learn more about what is going on with this museum and the tribe, I will leave you to do whatever research you can, using the following web sites. As stated above, several of them no longer work, and possibly some day they may be working again.
The Pub: Drink a beer and shoot some pool!
The Pub is a great place to burn time while you wait for the ferry to arrive. After parking our cars, my friends and I alway stop in to grab some food and drink some beers, while we wait for our other friends to arrive. They have a pool table, darts-board and a couple arcade games(Golden Tee... my favorite) There is also a full bar in the back to keep yourself occupied. Occasionally we play frisbee in the street outside the Pub, but I don't think they appreciate it!:)
Favorite Dish: When I'm at the Pub I always get the Ruben, with a bowl of chili.
Steilacoom Off The Beaten Path
Monument to the Erection of Protestant...
In 1908, a small monument in the shape of a bell tower was erected at the intersection of Commercial and Wilkes, commemorating the erection of the first Protestant church north of the Columbia River on that same location in 1853.
The little monument park has few features other than the bell tower and its inscription, but there is a concrete bench that semi-circles the back half of the park.Related to:
- Historical Travel
Pioneer Orchard Park
Precious few places with a truly publicly accessible view of Puget Sound exist in the core of Steilacoom. One of the exceptions to this is this wonderful little park located at Commercial and Wilkes. This park offers 180 degrees of views of Puget Sound, including Anderson Island, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, and on a clear day a piece of the Olympic Mountains.
The park has a few historically important fruit trees in it, as it is the remains of the old orchard that provided food for the first settlers of the region.
There are scattered park benches, as well as a concrete platform that is regarded as a "bandstand", though it doesn't have a roof over it as many regional bandstands would. This allows a very uninterrupted view of the surrounding scenery, and perhaps adds to the appeal as a location where musicians could play to a crowd.Related to:
- Family Travel
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