Snag the snacks, fill up the tank and pack your bags, it’s time for a fall road trip. The vibrant colors are out, there are pumpkin patches aplenty and the open road of Olympia and beyond beckons with adventures for foodies, families and weekend warriors.
Newlywed travel bloggers Suzi and Martin of Gemini Connect recently visited to explore the state capital in all its seasonal glory. Travel from your desk courtesy of their scenic Instagram images at @GeminiConnect, watch their travel video and then follow in their footsteps with the itinerary below.
A Fall Road Trip on the Bountiful Byway
Hit the road and travel to town. Stretch the legs and settle into your trip with a jaunt around Tumwater Falls. The easy half mile trail meanders the waterfall and Deschutes River, get there soon to see the salmon running at the waterfall.
Check into hotel, settle and get ready for the weekend. With more than 2,700 hotel rooms throughout Thurston County there are several options ranging from downtown digs to traveler-friendly rooms.
Explore downtown Olympia, 222 Market, the waterfront and downtown shops.
Visit Olympia Farmers Market, which is open Thursday to Sunday through October and Saturdays & Sundays in November and December. Make sure to pack a cooler to take home tasty souvenirs or a picnic on the road.
Spend the day exploring local farms and pumpkin patches, many with fall festivals, corn mazes and more. A few options include:
- Rutledge Corn Maze featuring The Bountiful Byway, through Oct. 31, 2017. Family friendly activities include a pumpkin patch, cow train, story times and more. This year’s corn maze features the Bountiful Byway logo.
- Apple Festival at Lattin’s Family Farm, through Oct. 28, 2017. Find the famous apple fritters, along with pumpkins and bluegrass music at this family farm.
- Fall Festival at Schilter Family Farm, through Oct. 31, 2017. Finding the perfect pumpkin is just the beginning of the fall fun.
- Fall Fun at Hunter Family Farm, Sept. 30 – Oct. 31, 2017. Visit the farm for all the trimmings, including every fall photo opportunity imaginable.
Drive the Bountiful Byway and plan lots of time for tasting and exploring. Don’t miss Mima Mounds or the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge with tasting to follow. Nearby the refuge, you’ll find Medicine Creek Winery, Top Rung Brewing and Salish Sea Organic Liqueurs.
Inspired? Chart your own course using the Bountiful Byway as your guide, or find more information on where to drink, dine and stay at experienceolympia.com. Share your adventures by tagging posts #DecidedlyDifferent or share with us via Facebook, Twitter (@Experience_Oly) and Instagram (@ExperienceOly).
Save the Date
Twinklefest and Downtown for the Holidays, Nov. 26, 2017
Kick off the holiday season at Downtown Olympia’s “Downtown for the Holidays” celebration, a festive tradition that takes place from noon to 5 p.m. at Sylvester Park. Festivities include gingerbread houses, wagon and trolley rides, photos with Santa, a parade at 3 p.m. and a tree-lighting ceremony at 4:30 p.m. Bundle up and stroll Capitol Way for Twinklefest, where downtown business reveal elaborate displays that will stay up throughout the season. Find details and parking information at www.downtownolympia.com.
Parade of Lighted Ships, Dec. 2, 2017
This scenic lighted ship parade begins downtown at Olympia’s Percival Landing to quaint Boston Harbor and back. Find a seat at any number of waterfront restaurants or bundle up and watch the bedecked boats from a cozy waterfront vantage point. The ships begin the parade at 6 p.m. from Olympia Yacht Club’s perch at Percival Landing to Boston Harbor and back at 8 p.m. Find more information at www.olympiayachtclub.org.
Photo by Doug Walker
Lacey Lighted Vehicle Parade & Tree Lighting, Dec. 4, 2017
Wear a warm coat and head to Lacey to see beautiful vehicles lit up with twinkle lights and festive decor. Word is even Santa will be making an appearance! The parade travels around Huntamer Park and concludes with the annual lighting of the tree. For more information visit the City of Lacey website.