Mount Rainier isn’t the only thing that looms large over Yelm. So does Yelm’s iconic water tower, albeit to a slightly lesser degree. The 125-foot decommissioned tower is a preserved historic site and has been described as Yelm’s version of Seattle’s Space Needle. It’s the beneficiary of a recent paint job and light system that brightens the night.
Dinner and a movie? Enjoy new releases from the comfort of leather recliners, with bottomless popcorn and soda, at Yelm Cinemas. Pair that with dinner at Uptown Lounge, a 21-plus restaurant-bar with hand-crafted cocktails and a crowd pleasing menu.
At this annual meat fest at Yelm City Park, amateur Q’ers compete for prizes against the backdrop of live music, activities for kids, a beer garden, and vendors.
Pick up a bike or stretch your legs on a section (or all) of the 14-mile Yelm-Rainier Tenino Trail, a former rail line. Along the way, stop to admire the graffiti wall — the longest free art wall in the Northwest — a creation kept up by a local graffiti artist and his friends. From there, pick up the Chehalis Western Trail and follow the path of an old timber railroad route, or take the Prairie Line trail from Yelm Avenue to the Centralia Power Canal.
Find home decor, accessories, art, and clothing at Yelm’s unique boutiques, like The Shiplap Shop & Coffee House, Between Sisters Boutique, BeJoyful Holistics, and InGenius! Local Artisan Gallery and Boutique.
With 18 taps and more than 200 beers— including many local brands—as well as cider and wine, 507 Taproom is a local favorite. Gather here to watch the game, or bring the party outside to hang out with friends around a fire pit.
Yelm City Park is the place to be, with a splash pad for kids and the Prairie Days Festival in the summer, Christmas in the Park in winter, and fun for all ages year round. Those who like wheels will enjoy Yelm’s Bike and Skate Park; for those who enjoy a slower pace, Cochrane Memorial Park provides wildlife sightings and catchand-release trout fishing.
In a little house and run by the Yelm Prairie Historical Society, this museum holds artifacts of prairie history from the Nisqually days through the pioneer settlements, including a buggy from the 1880s.
Summers in Yelm means something to do nearly every weekend. Yelm City Park holds festivals, like Jazz in the Park and a Mermaid Festival. On Saturdays between May and September, enjoy the vendors at the Yelm Farmers Market.
Break out the five irons on Yelm’s golf course, known as (believe it or not) one of the driest courses in the Pacific Northwest. This course offers iconic views of Mount Rainier, golf pros to help you perfect your putt, and a restaurant on site. A day on the greens in Yelm is a day well spent.