I love a good day trip as much as the next person. Getting out, exploring, seeing the sights, and really soaking up everything we can at every duty station has become a huge driving force behind everything we do. And, as I look back at the archives of this past summer’s adventures, I’m very proud of us for every trip we took and memory we made. Sometimes, however, it’s nice to find those close-to-home places that are really in your own proverbial backyard. If there is one thing that JBLM has going for it, it’s that there is absolutely no shortage of places to go or things to do. COVID has obviously changed that to a degree, but we’ve still been blessed to see and do a lot, albeit a bit more locally. One of our favorite places to visit time and again is Saltar’s Point in Steilacoom, Washington.
Saltar’s Point is one of those hidden gems near JBLM. If you mention it, I’d estimate that over half the people you speak with will have no clue where it is. Honestly, that’s part of the allure of it, too. Steilacoom is a destination in its own right, and we love visiting the Steilacoom farmer’s market every summer. Saltar’s Point is away from the crowds and the masses though, tucked just off the residential streets, and straight down a really steep set of stairs above the train tracks.
I didn’t even know this local gem existed until I had my maternity shoot at Saltar’s Point two years ago. My photographer friend introduced me to the location, and I immediately knew that we’d have to go back as a family. And we have, time and time again. We went this past spring when it was cold and epically windy in February. This past weekend, however, was a rare sunny fall day when the temperature was mild and the wind nonexistent.
Plenty of locals know and frequent Saltar’s Point but, for the most part, it’s a pretty quiet little oasis just outside Steilacoom proper. This time, there were a few socially distanced families, one couple flying a drone, and us – all clearly with the same objective; rest, relax, soak up the sun, and enjoy the beauty around us.
Don’t be fooled, however. If sandy beaches are your thing, Saltar’s Point is not it. Yes, you can swim at your own risk, but I’d recommend heading to one of the other beaches around JBLM if swimming is your intent. We love Saltar’s Point for its covered pavilion, rocky coastline, epic views of Anderson Island and the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, and ferry path. As an added bonus for the kids, the train passes behind you while on the shore, and the kids absolutely love waving at the conductors and watching the trains approach from a distance. It’s something about that combination of man-made meeting nature that makes it the perfect place to visit.
Tell me – do you have any little-known local gems like these?