Summer is for sipping.
Whether it’s a refreshing glass of rosé or a freshly brewed pint you enjoy, nothing tastes better on a sunny patio with properly paired bites at the ready. Luckily for thirsty travelers, our corner of the South Sound has plenty of options to offer. This libation destination has a selection of wineries and breweries with outdoor enclaves for enjoying Pacific Northwest summer. Take your pick (or pick them all!) by exploring the featured wineries of the South Sound Wine Trail and South Sound Craft Crawl. Here are just a few options.
- Located on a farm in the Nisqually Valley near Olympia, Medicine Creek Winery has a warm and inviting environment perfect for sipping award winning wine, red in particular. History buffs will admire the barn that’s been turned into a delightful tasting room. The building itself was constructed a quarter century ago and the surrounding gardens alone are worth a visit. Entering the tasting room is like traveling back in time to the 1800’s and a vintage New Orleans.
- Next stop, Top Rung Brewing, a sudsy spot run by two firefighters turned craft beer experts. Experience the look, feel and smell of a real brewery while sipping award-winning beverages and the provided snacks. Make a meal at this hotspot and bring your own fresh fare or have pizza delivered. Something to keep it mind, every third Sunday, Top Rung serves fresh, warm s’mores on the patio, yum! (pair it with the “My Dog Scout Stout”).
- When visitors come to the majestic Olympic Peninsula, stopping by Walter Dacon Wines is a must. It’s close to the scenic shores of Hood Canal and minutes away from some of the state’s best hiking and kayaking. After an adventure, ease tired muscles with a variety of samples from the tasting bar or a glass of red on the patio. This is definitely one of the Northwest's most charming boutique wineries.
- Aloha! From pineapple wine to Syrah, Mill Lane Winery, nestled at the edge of Tenino has a little something for everyone. They specialize in handcrafting fruit wines, utilizing the freshest fruit grown within Washington State, except of course the pineapple that they get directly from Hawaii. Bring a small group to enjoy the tasting room, explore the grounds and sample the unique wines.
Make a picnic pit stop at a local farmers market and you’ve completed your tasting trip experience. The Tenino Farmers Market or the Yelm Farmers Market are near many of these tasting rooms. Feast on locally-grown produce, baked goods, and snacks while listening to live music and choosing fresh flowers to bring home. Choose from a variety of lodging options to rest your head. Hotels, inns and B&Bs are detailed at www.visitolympia.com.
Plan for Pride: June 17-19, 2016
Since 1991, visitors have flocked to Olympia to attend Capital City Pride. Full of color, smiles, acceptance and creativity—nearly 15,000 people attend the parade and festival in downtown Olympia. Pride serves as the annual watershed event for the LGBTQ and allied communities, offering a Pride Beer Garden, food, vendors, and activities for families and kids. The Capital City Pride Parade takes place on Sunday, June 19, at noon, beginning on the steps of the Washington State Capitol Building. Make a weekend out of it and book a room at one of the many lodging options in town. Visit www.capitalcitypride.net for event details.