"Oldest Incorporated City in Washington" Steilacoom by glabah

Steilacoom Travel Guide: 7 reviews and 42 photos

Above: The Anderson Island ferry arriving at Steilacoom. This is the only connection this island has to the outside world. A ferry from Steilacoom also serves as the link from Ketron Island to the outside world as well.

While it is a growing suburban community and a beautiful location, the most notable thing about Steilacoom is that it is the oldest incorporated city in the state of Washington. It was established as a functioning city in 1854, and shows no signs of ending its long running reign as Washington's oldest city.

However, Lakewood, Tacoma, University Place and DuPont are all rapidly expanding suburbs so that except for some of the land owned by nearby Fort Lewis the whole area has become one unified mass of mass produced housing developments and parking lots, with Steilacoom being one of the few locations in this area that has any unique personality remaining.

A number of the older buildings have been preserved, but quite a number of them have not been preserved and are now replaced with much more modern residential and commercial buildings.

There is a small museum, several parks with views of Puget Sound, and several small restaurants. Beyond that, there really isn't too much to this small community.

Of the parks in the area, by far the largest and most visited is the Chambers Bay Properties in nearby University Park, but as all of these smaller communities are part of the larger metropolitan Tacoma area, I have put information about that park in my Tacoma information.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Nice views of Puget Sound. Small community.
  • Cons:Lots of through traffic on several busy roads through the middle of downtown mean there is a lot more traffic noise and difficulty of getting around than there should be. Not a huge amount of activities available.
  • Last visit to Steilacoom: Jan 2012
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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