Joint Base Lewis-McChord (commonly referred to as JBLM) is located in the beautiful Pacific Northwest near water, mountains, and forests. It is surrounded by multiple cities all with their own unique perks. Here are ten cities near JBLM – within about a half hour’s drive – where military home buyers may find the perfect home.
Distance from JBLM: 15 mins
Attractions: Museums and parks and nightlife… oh my! It’s hard to run out of things to do in Tacoma, the largest of these ten cities near JBLM. Visit the Washington State History Museum, Chihuly Glass Museum, Tacoma Art Museum and LeMay Car Museum. These museums offer special deals during the month, so I always keep my eyes peeled for things like a half-price or buy-one, get-one free type of special. On weekends, visiting Point Defiance Park which encompasses a zoo, aquarium, beach, and a colorful rose garden can be an excellent way to fill a day. Taking out of town guests to this area is always impressive and a big hit. Did I mention the downtown nightlife? With local eats and breweries, it’s hard to go wrong with the food of Tacoma.
Distance from JBLM: 14 mins
Attractions: When in Spanaway you should plan to visit the Serene Spanaway Lake. It’s a great place for a family picnic where can kids play on the playground while parents sit back and read a book. This park is also fishing-friendly so you’ll want to remember to take your line and lures along. Old McDebbie’s Farm in Spanaway is chock full of animals and petting exhibits, and if you’ve got children, they’ll be thrilled, because kids are able to feed, pet, and ride the animals.
Distance from JBLM: 13 mins
All Seasons Sports Bar is a hoppin’ place in Parkland. Located near the Pacific Lutheran University campus, All Seasons has a plethora of beers on tap (any season) and offers a dart board for competitive play. They also have a karaoke machine that will inspire you to let loose and belt out some tunes. Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) is located in Parkland and offers a variety of walking trails, libraries, and music. The PLU music program is exceptional and if you’re a music lover, you’ll find a lot of events to attend throughout the year.
Distance from JBLM: 12 mins
Attractions: Lakewood Towne Center provides an excellent mix with more than 40 retailers, restaurants, and entertainment in Lakewood, which is literally outside the gates of Fort Lewis, making it the closest of these cities near JBLM. You’ll never stress about having to drive all over town to complete your errands, because you can do nearly everything you need to right here. Stina’s Cellars is also a fun place to spend an afternoon. Wine tours educate visitors all about the different red, white, and rose wine they offer. American Lake is one of the largest attractions in Lakewood. In the summer time, there’s nothing quite like spending a day on the lake with loved ones.
Distance from JBLM: 35 mins
Attractions: Yelm Prairie Lanes is a small-town bowling alley with all the bells and whistles of a large alley. If you have the itch to bowl, call ahead in the afternoon to secure a spot for later in the evening. Yelm Cinemas is another attraction in the area. The seats are incredibly comfortable, watching movies in complete relaxation becomes a reality. This theater also has an actual restaurant located inside, so there’s never any need to plan a separate place for dinner on date night. Though it’s one of the furthest away, it may be the most idyllic of these cities near JBLM, set in the countryside with spectacular Mt. Rainier views.
Distance from JBLM: 16 mins
Attractions: When it comes to casual hiking, Sequalitchew Creek Trail Head is a comfortable and beautiful two-hour hike to fit those needs. The trail is dog-friendly and there is a nice beach at the top of the trail. Leave about two hours before sunset so you can enjoy the deep sunset colors in the heart of summer at the top of this hike. DuPont is also known for their History Museum. Admission is free but donations are welcome. This museum lays out the heritage of the DuPont community. They switch out exhibits as needed, but preserve the annual July 4th Pancake Breakfast, which is their annual fundraiser.
Distance from JBLM: 20 mins
Attractions: Sunnyside Beach Park is packed in the summer due to their volleyball courts, playground, and picnic area. Saltar’s Point Beach is another beach that takes advantage of the beautifully located Steilacoom on the water. There’s a bridge and stairs located from the road that leads up to this rocky beach. When you need to get away from the worries of life for a minute, this spot should be at the top of your list. Saltar’s Beach offers the private, out of this world views with all the fresh air imaginable.
Distance from JBLM: 27 mins
Attractions: Out Back and Ceramics Art Studio is one of the places you can go and spend hours looking at all the knick-knacks. The owner is incredibly genuine and offers her knowledge of art willingly. This is a great place to explore with friends or family. Paint by the Pint is another small shop that holds painting classes. They have events where they supply the wood and for designing and painting masterpieces.
Distance from JBLM: 23 mins
Attractions: The U.S. Open was held at Chambers Bay Golf Course in 2015 due to the beauty of this course. Not only does Chamber’s Bay have gorgeous greens, it also offers diverse walking trails and amazing water views. Whether you want to play 18 holes or need a place to take some family photos, this area offers exceptional backdrops. The kids are sure to love Odessey-1. This game center offers laser tag, arcade games, and a well-equipped snack bar. A great way for little ones to spend a day with their friends.
Distance from JBLM: 22 mins
Attractions: Pioneer Park Pavillion is a popular place to hold weddings for the locals. There’s a renovated playground out front, as well as a wading pool for the kids to play in. In the summer, Pioneer Park Pavillion brings in local music and hosts weekly farmer’s markets. Wildwood Park is also a common gathering area for families. This park offers a rock wall for children to climb, serene creeks, and ball courts where I like to occasionally play a few games of 1:1.
These are just ten of the cities near JBLM where military home buyers can look to find a great place to live. Each one of these cities near JBLM have character and offer unique perks to military home buyers and their families. No matter which locale you choose, make sure you visit these other ten cities near JBLM where many military buyers choose to make their homes.
The Fornerette Team at Guild Tacoma Branch is committed to providing their clients with the highest level of service. Our mission and passion is to work with home buyers to fulfill the dream of home ownership. We build lasting relationships that create value and stand the test of time.