Heritage Trail: Discovering the 19 Historic Places of Federal Way, Washington

Nestled in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, Federal Way, Washington is a city rich in history and culture. From ancient Native American villages to early pioneer settlements, Federal Way has a diverse array of historic landmarks and sites that tell the story of its past.

Whether you are interested in learning about the region’s native tribes, the early industries that shaped the city, or the individuals who helped build Federal Way into the thriving community it is today, there is something for everyone to explore and discover.

Join us on a journey through time as we uncover the fascinating historic places that make Federal Way a truly special destination.

1. Spanish Steps


The Spanish Steps in Federal Way, WA, USA is a historical site that holds significant cultural value.

These steps were constructed in the early 1900s and have since become a popular tourist attraction. The Spanish Steps are known for their intricate design and unique architecture.

Visitors can admire the detailed craftsmanship of the steps and appreciate the historical significance of this site. Over the years, the Spanish Steps have been well-preserved and maintained, allowing visitors to experience a piece of history firsthand.


The steps serve as a reminder of the rich heritage and cultural diversity of Federal Way.Many visitors come to the Spanish Steps to take photographs, explore the area, and learn more about the history of Federal Way.

Rating: 9

Phone: +1 253-954-2325

Address: 711-713 Broadway, Tacoma, WA 98402, United States

2. Points Northeast Historical Society


Points Northeast Historical Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the history and heritage of Federal Way, WA. The society works to educate the public about the rich history of the area through exhibits, events, and educational programs.

They are committed to collecting, preserving, and sharing the stories of the people and places that have shaped the community over the years. The Points Northeast Historical Society is located in a historic building that dates back to the early 20th century.

The building itself is a piece of local history, and visitors can explore its architecture and design while learning about the society’s mission and work.

Inside, the society has a collection of artifacts, photographs, and documents that tell the story of Federal Way’s past.

Rating: 9.4

Phone: +1 253-927-2536

Address: 201 Tulalip St NE, Browns Point, WA 98422, United States

Website: pointsnortheast.org

3. Historical Society of Federal Way


The Historical Society of Federal Way is a treasure trove of information and artifacts that provide a glimpse into the rich history of the area.

Visitors to the society can explore various exhibits and displays that showcase the city’s past, from its early days as a logging town to its growth and development over the years.

One of the highlights of the Historical Society of Federal Way is its collection of photographs and documents that offer a fascinating look at the people and events that have shaped the community.

From vintage images of early settlers to newspaper clippings detailing important milestones in the city’s history, these materials provide valuable insights into the past.


In addition to its exhibits, the Historical Society of Federal Way also offers a range of programs and events that educate and entertain visitors.

Rating: 8.8

Phone: +1 253-945-7842

Address: 2645 S 312th St, Federal Way, WA 98003, United States

Website: federalwayhistory.org

4. Dash Point State Park


Dash Point State Park in Federal Way, WA, USA, is a beautiful park that spans 400 acres along the stunning Puget Sound.

Visitors can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities within the park, making it a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. One of the main attractions of Dash Point State Park is its beach area, perfect for swimming and relaxing on sunny days.

The clear waters of Puget Sound provide a refreshing escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, allowing visitors to unwind and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. For those looking to spend the night in nature, Dash Point State Park offers camping facilities.


Whether you prefer tent camping or RV camping, there are options available to suit your needs.

Rating: 9

Phone: +1 253-661-4955

Address: 5700 SW Dash Point Rd, Federal Way, WA 98023, United States

Website: parks.state.wa.us

5. David Gray Smith Fountain


The David Gray Smith Fountain is a historical landmark located in Federal Way, WA, USA. This iconic fountain was built in honor of David Gray Smith, a prominent figure in the development of the city.

The fountain serves as a reminder of his contributions to the community and his legacy that lives on today. The design of the David Gray Smith Fountain is intricate and beautifully crafted, showcasing the artistry and craftsmanship of the time period in which it was built.

The fountain is adorned with intricate detailing and ornate features that make it a sight to behold.


Visitors to the David Gray Smith Fountain can take in the beauty of the surrounding area, as the fountain is situated in a picturesque location that offers stunning views of the city.

Address: Puyallup Reservation, Tacoma, WA 98422, United States

Website: pointsnortheast.org

6. Washington State Historical Site Marker


The Washington State Historical Site Marker in Federal Way, WA, USA, is a significant location that commemorates the state’s rich history.

The marker serves as a reminder of the events, people, and places that have shaped Washington’s past. Visitors to the Washington State Historical Site Marker can learn about the various historical events that have taken place in the area.

From early Native American settlements to the arrival of European explorers, the marker provides a glimpse into the diverse history of the region.

One of the key features of the Washington State Historical Site Marker is its detailed information about the indigenous peoples who once inhabited the land.


Visitors can discover more about their traditions, customs, and way of life, offering a deeper understanding of the area’s cultural heritage.

Rating: 10

Address: 2951 Auburn Way N, Auburn, WA 98002, United States

7. Historical Marker First 4th of July celebration west of the Mississippi.


Federal Way, Washington is home to several historical landmarks that showcase the rich history of the area. One such place is the Historical Marker commemorating the First 4th of July celebration west of the Mississippi.

This marker serves as a reminder of the early settlers who first celebrated Independence Day in this region. The historical significance of this marker cannot be understated, as it represents a pivotal moment in the history of the United States.

The First 4th of July celebration west of the Mississippi marked the spread of American culture and traditions to the Western frontier.


It symbolizes the spirit of independence and unity that has defined the nation for centuries. Visitors to Federal Way can explore this historical marker and learn more about the early pioneers who settled in the area.

Rating: 10

Address: Sequalitchew, Creek Trail, DuPont, WA 98327, United States

8. Steel Lake Park


Located in Federal Way, WA, Steel Lake Park is a historical site that covers 52 acres of beautiful lakeside scenery. The park offers various amenities for visitors to enjoy, including a playground and a volleyball pit.

One of the highlights of Steel Lake Park is the live summertime concerts that take place on the premises.

These concerts provide a fun and entertaining way for locals and tourists to relax and enjoy some music in the great outdoors. The park’s lakeside location adds to its charm, providing a serene and picturesque setting for visitors to unwind and connect with nature.


Families can have a picnic by the water or take a leisurely stroll along the walking paths that wind through the park.

Rating: 9

Phone: +1 253-835-6964

Address: 2410 S 312th St, Federal Way, WA 98003, United States

Website: cityoffederalway.com

9. West Hylebos Wetlands Park


West Hylebos Wetlands Park in Federal Way, WA, USA is a large and lush park that offers visitors a chance to explore the beauty of wetlands.

The park features a network of trails and boardwalks that wind through the wetlands, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in nature.

One of the unique aspects of West Hylebos Wetlands Park is that dogs and bikes are not allowed, creating a peaceful and serene environment for visitors to enjoy.

This restriction helps to preserve the natural habitat and allows visitors to experience the wetlands in their purest form.


As visitors walk along the trails and boardwalks, they will have the opportunity to observe a variety of plant and animal species that call the wetlands home.

Rating: 9

Phone: +1 253-835-6901

Address: 411 S 348th St, Federal Way, WA 98003, United States

Website: cityoffederalway.com

10. Fort Nisqually Living History Museum


Fort Nisqually Living History Museum in Federal Way, WA is a re-creation of the first Puget Sound European settlement.

Visitors can explore the fort and interact with costumed interpreters who bring the past to life. The museum offers a unique opportunity to step back in time and experience what life was like in the early days of the settlement.

The costumed interpreters help to create an immersive experience, giving visitors a glimpse into the daily activities and challenges faced by the early settlers.

The fort itself is a faithful re-creation of the original structure, complete with period-appropriate furnishings and artifacts.


Visitors can wander through the various rooms and learn about the history of the settlement through exhibits and demonstrations.

Rating: 9.2

Phone: +1 253-404-3970

Address: 5519 Five Mile Dr, Tacoma, WA 98407, United States

Website: metroparkstacoma.org

11. Hylebos waterway


The Hylebos waterway in Federal Way, WA is a historically significant area that has played a key role in the development of the region.

This waterway was named after Augustus Hylebos, a Belgian immigrant who settled in the area in the mid-1800s. The Hylebos waterway has been used for centuries by Native American tribes for fishing and trade.

The abundance of salmon in the waterway made it a valuable resource for the indigenous people who lived in the area. In the late 19th century, the Hylebos waterway became an important transportation route for settlers and traders.

The waterway was used to transport goods and supplies to and from the growing communities in the region.

Address: Hylebos, Waterway, Tacoma, WA, United States

12. Military Road Historical Marker


The Military Road Historical Marker in Federal Way, WA, USA is a significant site that commemorates the construction of the Military Road.

This road was built in the mid-19th century to provide a route for military troops to move between Fort Steilacoom and Fort Bellingham. The marker itself is a simple yet powerful reminder of the Military Road’s importance in the region’s history.

It serves as a tribute to the soldiers and laborers who worked tirelessly to construct this vital transportation route.


Visitors to the Military Road Historical Marker can take a moment to reflect on the challenges faced by those who built the road, as well as the impact it had on the development of the area.

Address: 36541 Military Rd S, Auburn, WA 98001, United States

13. Seattle World’s Fair Bubbleator


The Seattle World’s Fair Bubbleator in Federal Way, WA, USA is a unique historical attraction that dates back to the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle.

It was originally designed as a futuristic transportation capsule that would transport fairgoers through a transparent tube to various exhibits. The Bubbleator was a marvel of engineering at the time, with its sleek design and innovative technology.

It quickly became a popular attraction at the World’s Fair, offering visitors a one-of-a-kind experience as they were transported through the air in a transparent bubble.

After the World’s Fair ended, the Bubbleator was relocated to Federal Way where it has been preserved as a historical landmark.

While it no longer functions as a transportation capsule, visitors can still admire its futuristic design.

Rating: 9

Address: 28708 Sound View Dr S, Des Moines, WA 98198, United States

14. Historic Fort Steilacoom


Historic Fort Steilacoom is a significant historical site in Federal Way, WA. This fort played a crucial role in the settlement of the Pacific Northwest in the mid-19th century.

Originally established in 1849, Fort Steilacoom was one of the first military outposts in the region.

It served as a base for the U.S. Army during conflicts with Native American tribes and provided protection for settlers moving westward. The fort was strategically located near Puget Sound, making it an important hub for military operations in the area.

It also served as a center for trade and communication between settlers and Native American tribes.

Rating: 9.4

Phone: +1 253-582-5838

Address: 9601 Steilacoom Blvd SW, Lakewood, WA 98498, United States

Website: historicfortsteilacoom.org

15. Washington State History Museum


The Washington State History Museum in Federal Way, WA, USA is a fascinating place to explore the rich history of Washington state.

This museum offers visitors the opportunity to learn about the state’s past through high-tech exhibits that are both educational and entertaining. One of the highlights of the museum is a big model railroad that showcases the state’s transportation history.

Visitors can watch as trains chug along the tracks, passing through different landscapes and historical landmarks.


This exhibit is a great way to see how transportation has evolved in Washington state over the years. In addition to the model railroad, the museum also features interactive exhibits that bring the state’s history to life.

Rating: 9.2

Phone: +1 253-272-3500

Address: 1911 Pacific Ave, Tacoma, WA 98402, United States

Website: washingtonhistory.org

16. Chihuly Bridge of Glass


The Chihuly Bridge of Glass in Federal Way, WA, USA is a stunning pedestrian bridge adorned with vibrant glass installations created by renowned artist Dale Chihuly.

As visitors stroll across the bridge, they are treated to a visual feast of color and light, thanks to Chihuly’s intricate and captivating glasswork. Each piece of glass on the bridge is unique, showcasing Chihuly’s signature style and creativity.

The combination of colors, shapes, and textures creates a mesmerizing experience for those who cross the bridge, making it a must-see attraction for art enthusiasts and visitors alike.

The Chihuly Bridge of Glass is not only a beautiful work of art but also a symbol of the city’s commitment to supporting the arts.

Rating: 9.2

Phone: +1 866-468-7386

Address: Bridge of Glass, Tacoma, WA 98402, United States

Website: museumofglass.org

17. Neely-Soames Historic Homestead


The Neely-Soames Historic Homestead in Federal Way, WA, USA is a must-visit historical site, where you can explore the rich history of the area.

This homestead allows dogs, making it a great place to visit with your furry friend. As you walk through the Neely-Soames Historic Homestead, you will be able to see the well-preserved architecture and artifacts that tell the story of the early settlers in the region.

Dogs are allowed on the grounds, so you can enjoy the experience with your beloved pet by your side.


The Neely-Soames Historic Homestead offers a unique glimpse into the past, allowing visitors to learn about the daily life of the people who lived in the area many years ago.

Rating: 9.2

Phone: +1 253-856-5000

Address: 5311 S 237th Pl, Kent, WA 98032, United States

18. Celebration Park


Celebration Park in Federal Way, WA is a popular historical place known for its expansive grounds and recreational facilities. The park features lighted baseball and soccer fields, making it a hub for sports enthusiasts.

Families can enjoy the playground area, perfect for children to run around and play. Picnic areas are scattered throughout Celebration Park, providing a relaxing spot for visitors to enjoy a meal outdoors.

The park’s trails offer a great opportunity for hiking or walking, allowing guests to explore the natural beauty of the area.


With its diverse amenities, Celebration Park has something to offer for everyone. As a large public park, Celebration Park has become a gathering place for the community.

Rating: 8.8

Phone: +1 253-835-6901

Address: 1095 South 324th St, Federal Way, WA 98003, United States

Website: cityoffederalway.com

19. Pythian Temple


The Pythian Temple in Federal Way, WA, USA is a historical landmark that holds significant cultural and historical value. Originally built in the early 1900s, the Pythian Temple served as a meeting place for the fraternal organization known as the Knights of Pythias.

This organization was dedicated to promoting friendship, charity, and benevolence among its members. The architecture of the Pythian Temple is a beautiful example of the neoclassical style that was popular during the early 20th century.

The building features grand columns, intricate carvings, and a majestic dome that draws visitors in with its impressive presence. Throughout its history, the Pythian Temple has been a hub of community activity, hosting social.

Rating: 9.6

Address: Tacoma, WA 98402, United States


Federal Way, WA is home to several historic places that offer a glimpse into the region’s past. From the Dash Point Military Reservation to the Denny Cabin, these sites provide valuable insights into the city’s history and cultural heritage.

Whether you are a history buff or simply interested in exploring the local area, Federal Way’s historical places are sure to leave a lasting impression. It is important to preserve and protect these sites for future generations to enjoy and learn from..

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Alejandro Vidal

Welcome to Washington, DC! As a professional guide, I've led diverse groups to explore the city's historic sites, picturesque architecture, and landmarks. Discover where the nation's founders walked, visit renowned museums and galleries, and marvel at the National Cathedral. Enjoy tours of Old Town Alexandria, Mount Vernon, historic Georgetown, and romantic Annapolis. Experience Washington, DC, with our expert guides and uncover the fascinating history and culture of this great city. LinkedIn

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