Tasting trips throughout Washington’s Thurston County are now easier to navigate courtesy of the new Thurston Bountiful Byway self-guided tour launching this month. Dedicated to helping visitors explore the region’s more than 68,000 acres of farmland, this new printed and digital map (linked here) connects travelers to the source of the region’s best craft beverages, fresh produce and more. Thurston Bountiful Byway maps can be found at the Olympia Visitor Information Center (103 Sid Snyder Way SW) or at bountifulbyway.com
Accessible by car or bike, the 60-mile route is best discovered on a multi-day trip but portions of the byway can be discovered in a day or two. Offering an experience for foodies, families and fine wine connoisseurs, highlights from the road include:
- Toast the region’s craft beverage producers at a variety of tasting rooms, including Madsen Family Cellars, Medicine Creek Winery, Salish Sea Organic Liqueurs, Sandstone Distillery, Stottle Winery, and Three Magnets Brewing.
- Find Fare from the Farm. Meet the purveyors at Colvin Ranch, Helsing Junction Farms, Evergreen Valley Lavender Farm and others, or stop in at one of the three farmers markets along the route in Yelm, Olympia and Tenino.
- Explore. Hop off the byway to blaze a trail on foot or by bike at Capitol State Forest’s 100,000-acre playground, the variety of hiking trails at Millersylvania State Park or the paved expanse of the of Yelm Tenino or Chehalis Western Trails. Bring a bike or ride for free courtesy of the Tenino Yellow Bicycle Project, a community-based bike sharing organization. Stop in for a guided sanctuary visit at Wolf Haven International, take a dip in the Tenino Quarry Pool or enjoy the gardens and bring home a living souvenir from Lael’s Moon Garden Nursery.
- Lodging along the byway satisfies a range of styles. Explorers can choose from the cozy Scatter Creek Bed & Breakfast, the spacious and well-appointed rooms of the Lucky Eagle Hotel and Casino or the undiscovered comfort and scenic views found at the Prairie Hotel.
Access the Thurston Bountiful Byway from I-5 via the Nisqually Valley Exit 114, from US-101 via the Mud Bay Exit. Those looking to explore car-free can arrive via Amtrak at Centennial Station with bike in tow. Follow along on Twitter at #BountifulByway, Instagram @BountifulByway and Facebook at facebook.com/ThurstonBountifulByway.