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Experiencing Olympia and beyond

Nothing tastes better after a day of hiking or biking or sightseeing than a great pizza Brewery City Pizza. Photo credit: Brewery City Pizza

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As the days grow a bit warmer and longer, the idea of stay/daycation may begin to sound like a pretty good idea. If so, then perhaps a short trip to Olympia or beyond is something to consider.

The region is characterized by a "handcrafted" way of life. Local artists create one-of-a-kind experiences for visitors to enjoy. Talented chefs, skilled coffee roasters, expert ale and beer brewers and master winemakers are happy to share their knowledge.

But the trip is more than just good food and drink; there are also historic falls in Tumwater, forested parks in Lacey, a boardwalk along the waterfront in downtown Olympia and trips to be made to nearby attractions.

For the more adventurous, there is the Thurston Bountiful Byway, a 60-mile cultural and culinary experience on a bike route through Yelm, Rainier, Tenino, Bucoda, Grand Mound and Rochester.

But that's just the beginning. To assist in deciding where to go and what to do, the following may be of help.


In the Olympia area there are inns, spas, B&Bs and hotels from which to choose. For those who like being closer to nature, there are campgrounds and RV parks. And for those who wish to travel by water, well, there are several marinas. 


Half the fun of an excursion such as this is the enjoyment of good food and drink. There are a number of excellent local restaurants and eateries in Olympia and surrounding areas, and all offer takeout, pick-up or delivery, and dining in or outdoors. Some eateries to consider are Anthony's Homeport, Bonsai Wok Teriyaki, Brewery City Pizza or the Budd Bay Café.  

If you're of a mind to try something a bit creative and different, Bastard Pies, Aunt Kate's Chocolates and Dancing Goats Expresso are to be considered. 


What do you want to do?  To begin, follow the four cardinal points of a compass.

Two hours to the south is Mount Saint Helens. Over 40 years after its eruption, the area features hiking trails, scenic overlooks and several visitor centers along the way.

Approximately one hour to the north is the Olympic National Forest. This monumental jewel of nature provides numerous spots to stop and explore.

Moving west for about 1.5 hours leads the adventurous to beaches along the Pacific Ocean. There is nothing like the feel of sand and the smell of salt water.

And last, to the east Mount Rainier is about one and half hours away. Practically anywhere one goes in the Olympia region, this picture of beauty inspires.

For those who love to bike and hike, there are plenty of opportunities nearby. 

The Chehalis-Western and Yelm-Rainier-Tenino Trails await experienced bikers. Located in the Black Hills of Grays Harbor and Thurston counties, the Capitol State Forest offers 150 miles of trails and areas for off-road-vehicle driving, camping, mountain biking and hiking.    

This is but a taste, a sip, a glimpse of what visitors to Olympia and the surrounding areas can enjoy during a stay/daycation. 

For more information, visit the informative and scroll through the headings. Once there, you will be amazed. Then go and enjoy!


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