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Urban Spelunker: Lakewood's Steilacoom Boulevard

The city of Lakewood is the definition of melting pot

Fort Steilacoom Park. Photos by Jackie Fender

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The city of Lakewood is the definition of melting pot. And, the pot shines along Steilacoom Boulevard. The street is one of the city's lifelines, connecting Lakewood with the town of Steilacoom, passing by the Oakbrook neighborhood and the popular Fort Steilacoom Park. The Boulevard houses a diverse mix of businesses throughout rather than pockets of business districts. Naturally, it serves as a major player in many Lakewood residents' commute and stars a variety of businesses that fit just about every necessity and creature comfort one can think up. Here are a handful of Steilacoom Boulevard locales:

[Outdoor Adventurers]
Fort Steilacoom Park is a massive destination for recreation for everyone in the family including your furry friends. Featuring 340 acres of ample walking trails surrounding Waughop Lake, soccer fields, an off-leash dog park and an epic children's playground that even has a fenced-in area to keep the super minis in check and away from the rambunctious bigger kids. Closes at dusk, 9601 Steilacoom Blvd., Lakewood

[Hey Booboo]
Black Bear Yogurt and Espresso, like most yogurt shops, features a rotating gallery of fun and fabulous frozen yogurt flavors and toppings to get your sweet tooth its fix accompanied by espresso drinks for those who need caffeination. What makes Black Bear different is its cabin-like ambiance with a real fireplace center stage and wood-carved bear statues to welcome visitors. It's a neat comfy vibe and a must visit for fro yo fans. 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 8520 Steilacoom Blvd., Lakewood, 253.292.1260

[Sips and Songs]
Oaktree Food and Drink Company packs them in thanks to daily happy hour specials, breakfast every morning and karaoke. Booze, brews, bites and rockin' out simply go hand in hand. This place has survived the test of time and will likely keep on trucking. 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily, 8011 Steilacoom Blvd., Lakewood, 253.582.2220

[Book Worms Can Binge]
Revolving Books is the "new to you book store." With a sister store in Tacoma's Lincoln District, Revolving Books features shelves full of all genres - from fiction to memoirs - at prices that are at least half of the retail listing. Gently used still reads the same. Go explore and see what literary gems you can find. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 8021 Steilacoom Blvd., Lakewood, 253.564.6883

[Coming Soon]
Penny's on the Boulevard Restaurant and Bar is not yet open, but I was told to expect a grand opening sometime in April. It will occupy the former Lakewood Pub and Grill spot. Renovations are underway and the hiring process has just begun. Penny's will feature home-cooked style comfort food. Stay tuned. 7505 Steilacoom Blvd., Lakewood, 253.302.3208

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