Make this Valentine’s Day one to remember. Ditch the chocolate and flowers and explore a handcrafted escape in the Olympia region. There’s a trail for every traveler—whether you’re a nature lover, culture & arts buff, wine connoisseur, beer aficionado or coffee craver.

Nurture with nature.
Slow down with the ones you love and relax in nature. The Olympia region has over 20 parks and trails to choose from to get you outside and away from the bustle of daily life. Follow the Chehalis Western Trail, which runs north-south through the heart of Thurston County. Pack a picnic before you head out—the Olympia Farmers Market is open every Saturday through March for freshly baked goods and seasonal produce. Up for nature watching? Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge is the place to be. Walk along the boardwalk trails and catch sight of stunning wetlands and wildlife.

Find a route to roasters
​​Coffee cravers will find a fresh take on espresso. Watch the roasting process in action through the café windows at Olympic Crest Coffee Roasters, then warm up with a freshly-roasted cup of joe. Afterward, Cultivate your curiosity for the roasting process with a cupping class at Batdorf & Bronson’s Tasting Room. Offered the last Sunday of the month and select Wednesdays and Thursdays, you’ll sample 3-5 different blends and learn how the experts brew their coffee. You’ll have a chance to discuss and compare the flavors, and you might even find your new favorite blend.

Bask in the Bountiful Byway.
Cheers to mindfully crafted sips and fresh bounty, paired with local makers! The Bountiful Byway boasts craft breweries, wineries and distilleries worth raising a glass—or two. The Tumwater Warehouse District at Deschutes Landing is the perfect place to enjoy handcrafted experiences from local makers including Tart Cider, Triceritops Brewery, Matchless Brewery, 8 Arms Bakery and Spuds Grocer. Well 80 Brewhouse is a local favorite in downtown Olympia and built on the site of one of Olympia’s famous Artesian wells. Try their craft brews and chow down on crispy tater tots, with five styles to choose from!

Cultivate a sense of creativity.
Shared experiences are the best experiences. Dive into the region’s arts and culture and learn how creatives in the community express themselves. Take a couple’s class at Arbutus Folk School to expand your skills. Classes include wood arts, ceramic arts, metal arts, fiber arts, music and living arts (see calendar for details, class offerings vary). Nature meets art at Monarch Sculpture Park, where you can wander the one-acre maze shaped like a butterfly for an interactive sound garden. Plus, it’s a romantic place for a sunset walk.

Wander to local wine.
Raise a glass of local vintage to celebrate your partner! With award-winning wineries and one-of-a-kind tasting rooms, you’ll find a symphony of blends you’re sure to enjoy. Enjoy chocolate and wine at Medicine Creek Winery, with live music by the Edge Water Trio on Feb. 15–16 from Noon-5 p.m. Water Dacon Wines serves vino sourced from vineyard sites in the Yakima and Columbia Valleys of Washington state. Visit their tasting room to swirl your glass with Rhone and Mediterranean style wines. And there are even more boutique wineries to explore.

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Snap some pics during your trail adventures to capture your Valentine’s Day! Share your photos by tagging social posts #DecidedlyDifferent and connecting with us on Facebook, Twitter (@Experience_Oly) and Instagram (@ExperienceOly).

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