What is now Lakewood city was once called The Prairie. The British Hudson Bay Company annexed the area and established Fort Nisqually as a fur trading post. When the 49th parallel was declared the border, the land was purchased by the USA for $460 000. Immigrants began moving to the area in the 1850s and soon mills and a school were established. In 1889, Washington, the 42nd state was declared and the area was planned in such a way as to attract wealthy residents. Several mansions and a golf course were built around the lake. The Tacoma Speedway operated in the area from 1914-1922. An airstrip later became an airport, and a military base and resort were established in the area. Lakewood was incorporated as a city in 1995.

1.Lakewood Playhouse

Lakewood Playhouse
© Jean-Marie MAILLET/stock.adobe.com

Lakewood Playhouse is a 180 seat theatre in Lakewood Towne Center in the Seattle / Tacoma metropolitan area. It has been in operation since 1938, except for a few years during World War 2. There is a full history of the theatre's productions online. There are shows performed all year round, some only lasting a few days – like The War of the Worlds which runs every five years. Seniors, students, military personnel and groups enjoy discounts. Seasonal tickets and flexipasses are also available. The theatre offers workshops for young and old and frequently announces auditions.

5729 Lakewood Towne Center Blvd., Lakewood, WA 98499, Phone: 253-588-0042

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2.Olympus Spa

Olympus Spa
© Olympus Spa

There are two Olympus Spa venues within the Tacoma area. They were established by a Korean couple to cater exclusively to women. They believe that good health is vital for beauty. Mind and body are pampered at the spa. The day pass affords visitors access to earth energy rooms, dry and steam saunas and whirl pools. The meditation room and reading room are for mental relaxation and rejuvenation. Additional services include skin care, massages, facials and body scrubs. At the shop, treatment products are for sale. Korean tea and a light snack are on offer in the café. Specials include packages for Mothers' Day and 50% off the day pass on your birthday.

3815 196th Street S.W. Suite 160, Lynnwood, Phone: 425-697-3000

8615 South Tacoma Way, Lakewood, Phone: 253-588–3355 or 253-582-6625

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3.American Lake

American Lake
© forcdan/stock.adobe.com

This is the largest lake in the Lakewood area. At one time it was named Lake Richmond, after a Methodist missionary. It was renamed American Lake after an Independence Day party in 1841. There are two parks that offer year-round access to the lake, as well as private and military resorts. Swimming, fishing, walking and picnics are the favored pastimes. Several species of trout, bass and salmon can be caught here and stocks are monitored to ensure sustainability. There are several islands in the lake but only Silcox Island is inhabited.

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4.Stina's Cellars

Stina's Cellars
© Stina's Cellars

Penny and Ethan Preston opened Stina's Cellars in 2006, after treating wine-making as a hobby for 10 years. They purchase grapes from throughout eastern and western Washington to make their limited wines. They offer wine tasting on site, and sales and club membership online. They market their wines at markets and various other outside events and sell through retailers in the area.

9316 Lakeview Ave SW, Lakewood, WA 98499, Phone: 253-227-9748

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5.Carr's Restaurant and Catering

Carr's Restaurant and Catering
© Carr's Restaurant and Catering

Chris and Ellen Carr have lived in the Lakewood all their lives. They both started their careers in the restaurant business in their teens, at Chris' aunt's restaurant. They have since realized their dream of owning their own restaurant. Carr's offers home cooking, made with the freshest ingredients, cooked from scratch. They are open seven days a week but close after lunch on public holidays. They serve lunch, dinner and an all-day breakfast. Their menu is huge. The catering menu is equally diverse, from hors doerves to full meals, for parties of 10 to crowds of 500.

11006 Bridgeport Way SW, Lakewood, Phone: 253-584-4622

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6.Yen Ching Chinese Restaurant

Yen Ching Chinese Restaurant
© Sergey/stock.adobe.com

This restaurant boasts that they offer every possible Chinese dish on the planet. Their menu certainly is comprehensive, including egg, chicken, beef, pork and seafood dishes, side dishes and desserts. They are open seven days a week for sit down meals as well as takeouts. Special lunch and weekend menus, and combinations of dinner dishes for 1-10 people are available.

8765 S Tacoma Way, Tacoma, WA 98499, Phone: 253-582-3400

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7.Red Robin Gourmet Burgers

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers
© Red Robin Gourmet Burgers

For a party at home, Red Robin has a variety of fire-grilled burgers, side dishes, wraps, sandwiches, salads and desserts that can be ordered online. There is an option for the order to be delivered or to be picked up. The franchise chain guarantees consistent quality.

10311 Gravelly Lake Drive SW, Lakewood, WA 98499, Phone: 253-588-2888

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8.Pizza Casa

Pizza Casa
© weyo/stock.adobe.com

Since 1968, Pizza Casa has been serving the same recipes in the same area. This second generation family-owned business has served four generations of customers. The décor has not changed significantly and customers enjoy the retro atmosphere. They are open daily with a full Italian menu, plus beer, wine and spirits. They cater for groups and banquets of more than a hundred people. Low carbohydrate and gluten-free meals are an option.

12924 Pacific Hwy. SW, Lakewood, Phone: 253-Ju8-8135

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9.Bleu Note Restaurant and Lounge

Bleu Note Restaurant and Lounge
© fahrwasser/stock.adobe.com

The Bleu Note restaurant and lounge is an exclusive, upscale, adult venue with laid back live music most evenings and food like grandma used to cook. You can start with appetizers in the lounge and move to the restaurant for your main course. The restaurant is open from Wednesdays to Sundays with two-hour Happy Hours on weekdays. The main focus of the menu is seafood, with specials like, 'All you can eat catfish'. Cocktails, wines and beers are there to wash down your meal. There is a program of live music. Attendance at some events requires payment of a cover charge. Lunch is served from 11 am.

6008 Mt. Tacoma Dr. SW Suite F Lakewood, Phone: 253-433-3974

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© Wingstop

Wingstop is a franchise chain of eateries that began in 1997 when the food offered at the single aviation-themed Wingstop store proved to be popular. Today, outlets can be found in 1250 venues across the globe. Chicken wings, fries, sides and dips are on the menu in a variety of flavors. Exotic mango habanero sides can be ordered alongside garlic parmesan or hickory smoked barbecue wings. Pieces, combos and group packs cater for all occasions. Drinks and desserts are also available when you collect your meal.

5919 Lakewood Towne Center Blvd SW, Lakewood

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10 Best Things to Do in Lakewood, WA