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Urban Spelunker: South Tacoma Way District

From Brown's Flowers to the B & I

The Homestead Restaurant and Bakery. Photos by Jackie Fender

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South Tacoma Way is a major throughway linking Tacoma to Lakewood, and houses a diverse community of business establishments lined upon it. The Urban Spelunker has previously journeyed through Korea Town - Lakewood's International District that calls this road home - and now we will journey through another length - from South 38th to 100th Street. Amongst the gratuitous amounts of strip malls and car lots there are a few sites to see, some even considered major Tacoma landmarks that are instantly recognizable upon sight. Let's head to South Tacoma Way fellow spelunkers.

[Just Like Granny Used to Make]
Though that large red barn seems out of place in this concrete jungle, I assure you, The Homestead Restaurant and Bakery is right at home. If you've been dreaming of home-style cookin' - the kind your granny used to insist you having seconds - then look no further. Serving Tacoma residents comfort food staples and fresh baked goods since 1982, The Homestead is a must visit if you're in the area. And hard to miss - It's literally a big red barn. 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, 7837 S. Tacoma Way, Tacoma, 253.476.9000

[From Movies to the Market]
In the era of drive-in movie theaters, the Star Lite in Lakewood was one of the best. It closed decades ago, but a popular swap meet lives on in the space. The Star Lite Swap Meet features an indoor and outdoor market with a rotating inventory of all kinds of practical, neat and funky finds - depending on who has decided to set up shop and sell their wares. Indoor and outdoor market hours vary, call for details. 8327 S. Tacoma Way, Lakewood, 253.588.8090

[Culture Kids]
Anyone intrigued by Asian culture and practices must visit the Asia Pacific Cultural Center. This community center hosts a plethora of culturally charged courses from the culinary to traditional education and more. Rental space is also available for those looking for event or meeting space even. Check out or register for upcoming opportunities at 4851 S. Tacoma Way, Tacoma, 253.383.3900

[Blossoming Buds]
For nearly 100 years Brown's Flowers and Gifts has been embellishing special occasions and moments with bouquets and arrangements. The service is stellar and their selection is lovely and diverse for all types of occasions. It has stood the test of time. 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, 4734 S. Tacoma Way, Tacoma, 253.472.3361

[Curiouser and Curiouser]
Once a major Tacoma attraction bustling with shoppers, arcade kids and enthusiastic children wanting to take a gander at Ivan the Gorilla, B & I Marketplace remains one of Tacoma's landmark buildings with a food court and retail spaces of all sorts, including a pet shop. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, 8012 S. Tacoma Way, Lakewood, 253.584.2056

Event Central: Cultura Event Center
Sit for a Sip: Stone Gate
Vroom, Vroom: Austin's Pro Max

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