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10 must-see places

Fun and excitement right outside the gate

Spanaway Park. Photo credit: Gail Wood

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Bored? Looking for something to do, but you don't want to drive far?

Well, then check out Spanaway, located just out the back gate of McChord Field that features golf, fishing, swimming, ice skating, rock climbing and great meals.

Here are 10 great must-see spots in Spanaway.

First and foremost, one of the Pacific Northwest's best car collections is minutes from the base. The LeMay Family Collection at Marymount houses over 1,000 vehicles, and displays them in the former grounds of Marymount Military Academy for boys. Open six days a week, there are American and foreign made cars dating back to the Model T, plus motorcycles, buses, even a presidential limousine. For hours and prices, go to  

Lake Spanaway Golf Course. Photo credit: Gail Wood

If you're looking for a pole-bending good time, Spanaway Park, a 135-acre park along beautiful Spanaway Lake, is for you. There are two swimming beaches, a boat launch, a fishing pier, and a new three-mile trail. Call the boathouse at 253.531.0555 for boat rental info.

For the golfer in the house, there is Lake Spanaway Golf Course, a beautiful, challenging championship course with fairways bordered by towering fir trees. Lake Spanaway, located on the corner of Pacific Ave. and 152nd Street, has hosted the Puget Sound Amateur every year since 1967. Ask about their military discounts. For a tee time, call 253.531.3660 or go to

If you're an ice skater or want to learn how to ice skate, the Sprinker Recreation Center is for you. For the public, there's ice skating, ice skate lessons, hockey, broom ball, and local skate shows and competitions.

But the Sprinker Recreation Center isn't just for skaters or hockey players. It also has courts for tennis, racquetball, pickle ball, basketball and ping pong. There are also fields and courts for basketball, football, soccer, softball, baseball and skateboarding. And if climbing rock cliffs is your thing, there's Spire Rock, a mountain climbing face outside. So, no matter what your sport or what your interest, you will enjoy this. There are classes and activities available for all ages. For information, call 253.798.4000. The center is 1.5 blocks off of Pacific Ave. on 152nd Street.

If you want a peek into the past, then check out the Prairie House Museum at 812 East 176th St. The restored farmhouse, built in the 1890s, has changing exhibits on local history. There are several farm buildings, including a log cabin that has hands-on pioneer activities. For group tours, call 253.536.6655.

If you're looking for a little exercise and a challenge, the Paradise Bowl Entertainment Center at 12505 Pacific Ave. offers an afternoon's entertainment. There are 32 bowling lanes, billiard tables and a game room. If you want a place to host a party, you can reserve a banquet room. Call 253.537.6012.

For a family outing, something that will put a smile on Mom, Dad and children, there's Jim's U Fish at Old McDebbie's Farm and City Goat Farm & Zoo.  Both are a kid's paradise and feature a petting zoo. Kids and parents can see a camel and a zebra at the City Goat Farm & Zoo, located at 811 168th St. E. At Old McDebbie's, 4924 268th St. East, there are kangaroos, horses, ducks, goats and camels to pet.  For Halloween, Old McDebbie's gets all decked out with decorations, spooky costumes and special events. They even put together a scary Halloween trail.

For the hiker looking for an easy walk through the woods, there's Bresemann Forest Park Trail, which is on Military Road and Bresemann Drive.

After building up an appetite from a hike in the woods, there are lots of good places to eat in Spanaway. Check out a pair of sports bars. The Hideaway Sports Bar & Eatery (23227 Mountain Hwy. E.), home of the Dirty Burger. Or go to Jeepers County Bar and Grill (18823 Pacific Ave.), where friends, family and neighbors come together to eat.

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