Thurston County is home to Washington’s capital region of Olympia and some of the most fertile farmland in the Northwest. From fresh farm-to-table produce to world-class wine, beer and spirits the local farmers and artisans of Thurston County have been providing visitors with gastronomical and libationary delights for generations. The Bountiful Byway gives you a way to explore culinary experiences and events at your own pace, and you’ll find that this agritourism loop provides more than just food and drink. It is also a unique way to connect with the locals who take pride in handcrafting their products for you to enjoy.
Farm to Table
Produce doesn’t get any fresher than the fruits and vegetables at Helsing Junction Farms. You can purchase just-harvested products from mid-June to early-November at the farm stand or schedule a tour of their working farm. If you’re looking for 100% grass-fed beef, you’ll find it at the Nelson Ranch. Throughout the summer months, they also offer tours and host gourmet culinary events. At Evergreen Valley Lavender Farm, you’ll find all things lavender, including oils, sprays, and lavender-filled neck wraps and eye pillows, all distilled and created from the lavender on the farm. The Olympia Farmers Market has something for everybody: fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, cut flowers, local clams, oysters and much more!
Nobody celebrates Autumn like Thurston County. You can get lost in the Rutledge Corn Maze or, if you’re more daring, participate in their zombie paintball adventure. Schilter Family Farm offers a Harvest Festival in the Fall and fresh-cut Christmas trees in the winter. In August and September, you can get delicious corn-on-the cob at Hunter Family Farm, ride ATVs through a corn maze during the fall or visit reindeer from the North Pole while you pick your perfect Christmas tree. If sipping fresh, award-winning apple cider on a tractor-drawn wagon ride seems more your style, be sure to visit Lattin’s Country Cider Mill and Farm, don’t miss the apple fritters. For gourd lovers, each farm has their own unique pumpkin patch.
Fill Your Cup
Hop heads will love to grab a pint at Three Magnets Brewing, who brew beer using mostly Washington ingredients in downtown Olympia. Top Rung Brewing is 10-barrel brewery and tasting room in Lacey, ran by firefighters. Oenophiles should stop by the Stottle Winery to taste 13 different award-winning wines. Madsen Family Cellars tasting room also pours their fantastic bottles of wine made with Washington grapes. For a vintage experience, visit the Medicine Creek Winery, a boutique winery located on a 19th century homestead. If you require something a little harder, make sure to check out Sandstone Distillery in Tenino. The family-owned estate distillery makes distinctive spirits like Bacon Whiskey and Black Gin. Salish Sea Organic Liqueurs distills unique flavor varieties such as lemongrass or honeybush in only 1-gallon batches to assure a singular quality tasting experience every time you visit.
More to Explore
The Bountiful Byway is more than food and drink, but offers unique regional experiences as well. Wolf Haven International is a sanctuary for captive born and rescued wolves and offers educational tours where you can see and learn about the majestic animals in their natural habitat. You can swim in the Quarry Pool in Tenino, a former working sandstone quarry in the late 1800s. You can rent kayaks, boats or go fishing at Lady of the Lake Resort at Offut Lake. There’s also a number of hiking and biking trails for you to explore throughout Thurston County.
Plan to stay in one of Thurston County’s outstanding Hotels, Bed and Breakfasts, Marinas or Camping & RV Parks. There are always new and fun things to do. Make sure to check out the upcoming events in the Olympia region.