The sun is out, and it’s time to reconnect and adventure with friends and family. Hop in your car, pack a bit of sunscreen (and maybe an umbrella because you never know in the PNW) and savor a bit of rejuvenating slow-down time in the Olympia region. Don’t forget to be a responsible traveler as our community reopens to visitors.

TRAVEL SAFE GUIDELINES

 


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Throughout the summer, and beyond, our team will concoct monthly daycation itineraries. Let us take away the indecision and pressure of making plans and give you an easy option to enjoy ALL our region has to offer.


 

 

A group strikes a fun pose for a picture in front of Mill's Diner in Rochester, WA.

Brunch or Breakfast in Rochester

Located just a short drive off I-5 at exit 88, the iconic Mills Diner (open Tuesday through Sunday from 8 a.m. til 2 p.m.) is a road-trip must. You can sit down and order a hearty stack of pancakes or place an online order for a tasty batch of chicken and waffles to go (did we mention it’s drizzled in local honey?!). Road trips call for snacks of all kinds, so once you’ve finished brunch-fast, stop by Country Corner Market or Bailey’s IGA for snacks and supplies.

 

Mima Mounds offers a close-up look at some mysterious and unique geological formations.

 

Head Eastward to Tenino

Take a leisurely drive eastward on US-12, which turns into Old Hwy 99 SW. Soak up the countryside views or take a detour north from Rochester (on Littlerock Rd. SW) to visit the Mima Mounds to experience their unique geology. See what rural Thurston County has to offer on your way to downtown Tenino.

Vendors line the street on a clear summer day at the Tenino Farmers Market.

Afternoon in Tiny Town Tenino

There are so many reasons to love Tiny Town Tenino from its terrific bike trails to its quirky downtown scene. Enjoy an excursion to the unconventional and unforgettable Monarch Sculpture Park or bring along friends and family members of all ages for a biking adventure along the Yelm-Tenino Trail. If you plan your trip for a Saturday, you can always stop by the Tenino Farmer’s Market for fresh produce or an afternoon snack.

Visitors enjoy the unique atmosphere of Uptown Lounge in Yelm, WA.

Late Lunch, Early Dinner or Both

Road tripping is hard work, and you shouldn’t skip out on any good eats. If you’re still in Tenino when the cravings hit, try out Don Juan’s Mexican Kitchen (open Tuesday through Saturday from Noon to 8 p.m.). Their Carne Asada will keep you full all afternoon! Already on the road to Yelm? Grab a slice of authentic Italian pizza at Pizzeria La Gitana (open daily, hours vary) or a burger bowl and craft cocktail from Uptown Lounge (open Wednesday through Sunday, hours vary). Your stomach will thank you!

A group pauses on their bike ride through Cochrane Memorial Park to enjoy the scenery.

East and North through Rainier and Yelm

Enjoy the small-town vibes and backcountry sights as you journey out of Tenino (East along 507) through Rainier and into Yelm. If your sweet tooth needs a pit stop, try one of the MANY flavors of artisanal baked cookies at the Main Street Cookie Company (open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. while cookies last!). As you enter Yelm, consider stopping to stretch your legs at idyllic Cochrane Memorial Park. Once in town, head north (along 510), passing through the Nisqually Indian Community and returning to I-5 in Lacey.

Friends enjoy a glass of wine from Stottle Winery locates in Lacey Producer’s District.

Lacey Producer's District

For one last hurrah before heading home, consider a mini tasting tour through the Lacey Producer’s District. Popular stops include Top Rung Brewing Co, Stottle Winery, and Axis Meads. If you have the kids in tow or are looking to spend more time outdoors, a visit to the beaches of Tolmie State Park is another fantastic way to round out your daycation.

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STAY OVERNIGHT FOR MORE ADVENTURES

Don’t forget to share.

Don’t miss out on any of these easy to plan adventures. Check back monthly for new trip ideas and daycations (or staycation if you’re a local) and don’t forget to share! Tag your social posts #DecidedlyDifferent and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter (@Experience_Oly) and Instagram (@ExperienceOly).