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A day in Sequim

Lavender is blooming

The Lavender Connection honors military with a complimentary U-cut bouquet of lavender. Photo credit: Marguerite Cleveland

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It's a good time of year to make a visit to Sequim, a beautiful town on the Olympic peninsula. The lavender is blooming and the whole town is buzzing with the vibe, even the trashcans and bike racks are painted lavender. There are plenty of activities to keep you busy so make sure to check out the visitors' center when you arrive to plan your perfect day. Two attractions that support the military are the Sequim Museum of Arts and the Lavender Connection Farm.

Sequim Visitor Information Center, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily, 1192 E. Washington St., Sequim, 360.683.6690,

The Sequim Museum of Arts is a Blue Star Museum. The museum is small but packs a bunch in the small space. Everyone will enjoy the Manis Mastodon Exhibit and movie. If you liked the book, The Boys in the Boat, one of the rowers was from Sequim and the museum has an exhibit about him. "It is important that we support and encourage military families to come to small town museums. It gives them a quiet place to relax and learn about the local area. There are so many free things to do in our town," said Judy Reandeau Stipe, executive director, Sequim Museum of Art. She knows what the military life is like as she is the spouse of a Vietnam veteran. Insider Tips: Let them know at the front desk you are military, they have free coloring books and crayons for children. Ask about a tour of the historic Dungeness Schoolhouse.

Sequim Museum of Arts, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday-Saturday, 175 W. Cedar St., Sequim, 360.683.8110,

There are many lavender farms in Sequim so it can be hard to choose. For an authentic lavender experience, visit the Olson family and the Lavender Connection with its 100-year-old barn. You'll come as strangers and leave as friends. Admission is complimentary and the lavender is U-cut. The Olsons offer over 20 different varieties of lavender for U-Cut, more than any other farm in the region. This is a very family friendly farm with picnic tables so you can stay awhile. There is even a toy John Deere tractor for the little ones. The gift shop has lovely handcrafted products that are very reasonably priced.

Watch Dad, Rick Olson, distill the lavender essential oil used in the products made on the farm. Mom, Susan, is known as the Lavender Grandmother by sailors on the Kitsap Peninsula. Her grandson was stationed on a submarine and the air can get pretty stale so she provided lavender to freshen it up a bit. This began their love and support for the military. According to daughter, Rebecca Olson, anyone with a military ID is encouraged to visit and cut a free bouquet of lavender. "We love to hear the stories from our military visitors," she said. Insider Tips: Bring a picnic and plan to stay a while. Don't be afraid of the bees. According to the Olsons, they don't bite. Bees buzzing are the sound lavender makes.

Lavender Connection, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Friday-Monday, 1141 Cays Rd., Sequim, 888.881.6055,

Sequim is an hour and 45-minute drive from Joint Base Lewis-McChord. It is a scenic route, which highlights much of the area's natural beauty.

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