Top 10 Things to Do in Yelm
Looking for something a bit different for the summer travel calendar? Spend some time in spectacular viewing range of Mount Rainier in Yelm, WA - the Pride of the Prairie.
Escape the fast pace of the big city and go off the beaten path to this tiny town that offers big charm. Yelm is just 30 minutes outside of Olympia Washington and an hour from Mt. Rainier, making it the perfect getaway destination. Here are 10 things to do to in Yelm to add to this weekend’s itinerary or make a note for an upcoming stay in Thurston County.
1. Yelm-Rainier-Tenino Trail
Work up an appetite on foot or two wheels along the paved Yelm-Rainier-Tenino Trail. Bring binoculars on this scenic 14.5-mile trail that connects the communities of Yelm, Rainier, and Tenino. Spot wildlife and enjoy diverse views of the Deschutes River, McIntosh Lake and more.
2. Yelm Farmers Market
Be sure to pack a cooler to gather gourmet picnic fare or tasty souvenirs to bring home at the Yelm Farmers Market, open Saturdays from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. May through October at the Yelm Community Center, conveniently located in the heart of town. Farmers, producers and artisans come together with children’s activities, face-painting and local musicians to create a bountiful, locally-inspired shopping experience.
3. Deschutes Falls
Take a jaunt just outside of Yelm to Deschutes Falls, a true hidden gem. This cascading waterfall offers a very short hike to spectacular, serene views.
4. Dinner & a Movie
Head back to town to take in dinner and a movie at the posh Yelm Cinemas and Uptown Lounge, a 21+ bar and lounge. Make sure to check the Facebook Page to keep up with menu and drink specials and fun, themed trivia nights. Experience a menu focused on local ingredients at the Gather Gastropub (psst, they serve a killer brunch on the weekends!).
5. Prairie Hotel
Cozy up for the night at the scenic Prairie Hotel where guests find 67 well-appointed guest rooms, each with 42-inch flat screens and all the creature comforts with views of Mt. Rainier.
6. Nisqually Valley BBQ Rally
Those looking to get out and experience a live event after a long hiatus should check out the Nisqually Valley BBQ Rally in July. This festival features a BBQ competition, a beer garden, live music and plenty of activities for the kids!
7. InGenius! Local Artisan Gallery & Boutique
Pop in to the InGenius! Local Artisan Gallery & Boutique featuring walls full of beautiful fine art, custom framing, pottery, jewelry, leather work, fiber arts, and gift items produced by Yelm's abundant creative genius. Sign up for an interesting variety of classes that allows their artists and artisans to share their knowledge.
8. Yelm's Historic Water Tower
Stop by Yelm's Historic Water Tower. Built in 1946 by the iconic Chicago Bridge and Iron (they also built the iconic Warner Brothers water tower in CA), the 125 foot tower is sometimes referred to as the "tin man" because if it's shape and conical roof. Recently restored and the only such water tower on Washington's Historic Register, the tower is lit every Christmas and becomes a vibrant beacon for everyone in the community to enjoy.
9. Pizzeria La Gitana
Yelm makes a great base camp for a day trip to Mt. Rainier. On your way back to town, savor some of the best pizza outside of Italy at Pizzeria La Gitana. Outdoor patio seating is available!
10. Nisqually Red Wind Casino
Indulge your inner foodie by visiting the Nisqually Red Wind Casino. With six different restaurant dining options, you can enjoy everything from a brunch buffet to fresh seafood, sourced directly by members of the Nisqually Tribe!
Spend the weekend and find dining, lodging, events, festivals and entertainment ideas at www.experienceolympia.com. Make sure to share your best shots with us by tagging social posts #ExperienceOlympia and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter (@Experience_Oly) and Instagram (@ExperienceOly).
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