Take a hike,
Ride a bike.
Read a book,
Bait a hook,
Take a look.
Taste a brew,
Check the view.
Sip local wine,
Visit the market,
But watch for a ticket.
My husband and I have relished our life in Western Washington for about two years. As active duty military we know we will not live here forever. We should have visited Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helen’s, Portland and Canada. We should have gone whale watching, snow skiing and kayaking. Unfortunately, we have not done any of those things. However, I consider Washington the most wonderful place I have ever lived. Everything I enjoyed was right in my own little town or within about a 15 minute drive. Don’t miss out!
Take a hike or ride a bike. Tolmie State Park is about 3 miles from edge of Lacey, WA. There are two or three different hiking trails that are challenging but enjoyable even by young children. The trails are one to two miles long and the unique trees and plants are marked and explained by signs. Tolmie also boasts some of the best snorkeling available. There is more to see off that little rocky beach than many more famous places.
For the bikers, I insist that you try the Western Chehalis Trail. This wide, paved trail is about 40 miles long. It winds from the water’s edge, past farms, through woods, through Olympia, skirts parks and continues toward the town of Rainier. There is even a trail for horses that runs generally parallel to the pavement.
Read a book, bait a hook, take a look. All of these delightful pastimes are easily enjoyed in the heart of Olympia. There are numerous coffee shops with outdoor tables. The weather is often so perfect that you can sit outside for hours without being uncomfortable.
Perusing downtown Olympia, you will doubtless see quiet gentlemen fishing from their boat in the harbor. If fishing is your children’s hobby, there is a lake at the Lacey Community Center offering kids-only fishing. Or you can walk a few blocks up the street and visit the Hands On Children’s Museum.
Taste a brew, check the view. The old Olympia Brewery faded out of business in 2003, but there are still wonderful local breweries to try. Fish Brewing Company is in Olympia, WA. Try every variety they make at the Fish Tale Brew Pub. You can also visit The Ram or Brewery City Pizza to get your fill of local beers. While you’re relaxing, take in the view. Olympia is one of the most interesting places to people watch.
Sip local wine and mountain climb. Beer is not the only alcohol crafted in the South Sound. There are several places to sample special wines. Madsen Family Cellars has free wine tastings every weekend. In the summer, Swing Wine Bar features a local winery once a month. If you visit the Olympic Wine Merchant you can ask almost any wine related question and get an educated answer.
Go to the market. You simply aren’t living in South Puget Sound if you don’t enjoy the Olympia Farmer’s Market. It is practically famous! Open April through December, with a wide variety of seasonal produce, unique vendors and talented artisans, the market draws visitors from miles away. You’re lucky to live here!
Lastly, one warning if you do spend wonderful afternoons in the downtown area, park carefully. There are a few lots with affordable all-day rates and parking meters everywhere. But watch your time closely, the ticket police are sharp.