Established in 1890, Spanaway is located in unincorporated Pierce County, Washington, fifteen miles south of Tacoma on State Road 7, the “Mountain Highway”, and adjacent to the east boundary of Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
The community of Spanaway, Washington is a Census Designated Place, 14 miles south of Tacoma. Spanaway gained notoriety in the late 1890s as the last train stop before trekking on to Mt Rainier. This prairie region was home to Native American tribes who called it Spanueh, which translates into “prairie where roots are dug.”
Living in Spanaway
One claim to fame in our Spanaway historic district is The Exchange, thought by some to be the oldest bar in the state of Washington. Built prior to 1890, The Exchange still serves up hoppy beverages just like it has since the logging days. The building survived the fire of 1922, Prohibition, and the countless numbers of patrons that have crossed the threshold.
Prairie House Museum is an 1890s restored farmhouse that displays furnishings and new exhibits related to the pioneer days.
Our Natural Resources
Spanaway Park, the 135-acre park along beautiful Spanaway Lake. The park contains two swimming beaches, a boat launch, a fishing pier, handicapped accessible bathrooms, softball fields, basketball courts, walking trails along several thousand feet of waterfront. Fantasy Lights at Spanaway Park is the largest holiday drive-through display in the Northwest, featuring nearly 300 light sculptures along the two-mile stretch along Spanaway Lake.
Spanaway Lake encompasses 250 acres and is some of the best fishing for rock bass in the area. Marine management also stocks rainbow trout, for year-round fishing. During the summer, largemouth, smallmouth bass, and yellow perch frequently take the bait.
A more action-packed version of aquatic fun includes the Yapachino Memorial Regatta, an inboard hydroplane boat race that attracts hundreds of spectators.
Lake Spanaway Golf Course, owned by the Parks and Recreation Services division of Pierce County, is a year-round, 18-hole, championship layout golf course. Built in 1967, Lake Spanaway Golf Course is still a top destination for amateur and professional golfers. It’s been the site of numerous tournaments over the years and is known as one of the driest courses in the area for winter golf play.
Schools in Spanaway
Bethel Independent School District educates our students, along with other rural communities in Pierce County.
We are especially proud of these accomplishments:
- The graduation rate for the three high schools is over 90%, higher than the state average.
- The print shop produces almost 30,000 documents every academic year.
- The district recently implemented a Dual language program for kindergarten children, a high school culinary arts, and pre-pharmacy curriculum.
- United Way of Pierce County awarded 15 of our high school students a Varsity Letter for volunteering in their community including the Special Olympics.
- Technology in the classroom includes Apple devices like Ipads, presentation software, and creative design instruction.
Real Estate in Spanaway
Waterfront property is always in demand in Spanaway. The lake provides ample opportunity to own a lake house in the mountains. Along the shores, you’ll find mid-century moderns to classic Victorians. We also have new construction homes available for sale in Spanaway, along with condos and undeveloped land.
Please contact me for more information about Spanaway.