About Lakewood, WA
In 1990, when Tacoma was just starting to redevelop its downtrodden downtown we were still six years from becoming an official city and hungering for the chance to control our own civic destiny.
Now, with our first few decades of being a city behind us, Lakewood has emerged as a healthy, thriving city ready to undergo its own renaissance — a transformation that will make it one of the best cities in which to live and do business in our state. We have the momentum, the plan, the natural amenities, and the competitive advantages needed to get it done. We also have one more critical component: a healthy, business-friendly city government ready to work with citizens and business owners to build something better together.
Start your Better Here
Located between Seattle and Olympia, just south of Tacoma, Lakewood is a Puget Sound community neighboring Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) and Camp Murray. We are home to beautiful lakes, historic sites such as Fort Steilacoom, Lakewold Gardens, and Thornewood Castle. Lakewood is an ideal place to shop and stay while exploring Mount Rainier or Chambers Bay.
Lakewood, WA is just minutes away from Puget Sound and the Port of Tacoma, and just a short drive to Sea-Tac International Airport. With great educational opportunities, a strong business district, and numerous recreational opportunities, Lakewood is a great place to visit, stay, and start your “better”.
Why Lakewood, WA?
- Named one of the nation’s “One Hundred Best Communities for Young People” by America’s Promise Alliance six years in a row.
- Lakewood Industrial Park is the fourth-largest private, for-profit employer in Pierce County and the third-largest industrial business park in Washington.
- Home to one of the only International District in Pierce County, influenced by Korean, Vietnamese, Latino, and other cultures.
- Lakewood is home to 14 parks consisting of more than 600 acres.
- There are seven lakes totaling two miles of water area great for water sports like wake surfing, paddling, rowing, and fishing.
- Love to golf? Lakewood has three golf courses, including Oakbrook, Tacoma Country & Golf, and American Lake Veterans Golf Course. We are also minutes away from Chambers Bay, home of the 2015 U.S. Open.
- Our 340-acre Fort Steilacoom Park is the crown jewel of Lakewood and draws over 1 million visitors each year from across the region.
- Historic Lakewold Gardens offers a glimpse at Lakewood’s past with its serene gardens and jazz age mansion, which make a perfect space to hold your special event.
- Nestled along the shores of American Lake sits 500-year-old Thornewood Castle, reconstructed in Lakewood in 1907 after its owner had the Tudor-Gothic-style mansion dismantled in England and shipped around the world. Thornewood served as the set for Stephen King’s “Rose Red“, Ridley Pearson’s “The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer” and Oscar-winner “There Will Be Blood“.
- Lakewood Towne Center is home to the Lakewood Playhouse which celebrated its 80th season in 2019 and is still going strong.
- Clover Park School District, an award-winning K-12 public system that boasts the highest graduation rate of comparable South Sound districts.
- Pierce College, an outstanding junior college ranked top 5 in the nation, offering BA and associate degrees
- Clover Park Technical College, an award-winning technical college with deep ties to Lakewood.
What's next for Lakewood?+
Lakewood is putting a lot of effort and investment into revitalizing its downtown. In 2018, the City Council approved the Lakewood Downtown Plan which incentivizes development that will create a more walkable core distinguished by mixed-use buildings with exciting retail and dining options and multi-family housing. As a downpayment on this plan, the city has already created the 2.2 million dollar Colonial Plaza to serve as a community gathering space for farmers' markets, concerts, and other live events. As the City plans for an additional 11,500 residents by 2030, new housing in the area near Lakewood Station will help meet this growth target.
What makes Lakewood unique?+
Lakewood has a rare combine of well-developed urban and suburban amenities mixed with natural beauty, chiefly the seven lakes from which the city draws its name, including American Lake, the largest natural lake in Pierce County. The city has some of the most expensive real estate in Pierce County clustered around its lakes, but generally Lakewood is more affordable place to buy a home and make a life.
Is Lakewood, WA, safe?+
Lakewood had rough patch with crime in the 80's and early 90's. Since 2010, crime is down 30%. Lakewood's property and violent crime rates are lower than its neighbor, Tacoma, and the trend line is moving steadily in the right direction.
What county is Lakewood, WA, in?+
Lakewood, WA, is located in Pierce County.
Where is Lakewood, WA?+
Lakewood is just south of Tacoma, WA, in the Puget Sound region of Western Washington. Lakewood shares borders with the JBLM, Camp Murray, and the cities of Tacoma, University Place, Steilacoom, and Parkland.