Thurston County is the ideal place to spend time outdoors enjoying the beautiful weather of a Pacific Northwest summer. Discover new biking or walking trails under the perfectly tempered shining sun or explore an eclectic arts and music scene in the urban setting of the state capital. The makers and craftsmen of the county welcome you to adventure in the unmatched natural beauty of the South Puget Sound. Take advantage of one of the most iconic spots in Washington to find a local brew, head to a music festival or take your bike on a scenic trail. Whatever adventure you are looking for this summer, Thurston County has got it all with a small town, locally made spirit.
BEST WAYS TO SOAK UP THE SUN
- Capitol State Forest | 150 miles of trails, horseback riding, campgrounds, salmon spotting, mountain biking, off-road-vehicle riding
- Yelm-Rainier-Tenino Trail | Forests, agricultural lands, wetlands, creeks, a lake and an old sandstone quarry pool, makes for a one-of-a-kind bike ride
- Tumwater Historical Park | Steps away from Tumwater Falls trail, activities include walking by the water, flying kites, picnicking, and a regular ice cream truck to cool off
- TREAD Map App | TREAD Map is a hyper-local trail mapping app built by outdoor enthusiasts in Washington State who understand what users want to know. This app delivers real-time updates that alert users to current conditions, where to find accessible trails and more. Newly launched for summer 2022, this app connects users with local knowledge and updates in real time.
FAMILY FARM EXPERIENCES
- Ashley Creek Farms | A small oasis secretly hidden just outside of Olympia, WA. Wildlife includes Wild Coho salmon, ducklings, goslings and more! Bring the whole family to enjoy flower season starting August 1st.
- Helsing Junction Farm | Explore a wide range of farm-fresh veggies, fruits, flowers and herbs at the farmstand open May – November. Pick some freshly grown strawberries while you’re there!
- Schilter Family Farm | You can find Bands at the Barn this summer here featuring music, food and drinks, yard games and kids activities from 5:30 – 9:30 p.m., 4th Saturdays of the month starting June 25th. In August you enjoy a Sunflower Experience from the 19th – 21st and the 26th – 28th featuring tons of outdoor activities and one u-cut bloom to take home.
- Spooner Berry Farm | This farm features a farmer’s market, farm stand, u-pick strawberries in mid-June through mid-July. Pick up delicious raspberries and Washington-well-known marionberries from mid-July through mid-August. Blueberries are available in bounty from the end of July through the end of August.
- Evergreen Valley Lavender Farm 13th Anniversary | Celebrating their 13th anniversary on July 9th, this farm offers organic lavender, premium quality essential oils, sprays and handmade gifts from local artisans. Visit the farm for a locally owned boutique venue with 11 varieties of lavender, a gift shop, on-site distillation and honeybees.
Dates: June 18-19
Hosted by the Olympic Flight Museum at the Olympia Regional Airport, the Olympic Airshow will feature aerobatic demonstrations as well as exhibit aircrafts from the museum collection. Vendors and youth activities make this weekend long event one for all ages.
South Sound BBQ Festival
Date: July 9
Lacey South Sound Chamber invites you to the mouthwatering world of BBQ. There will be live entertainment, kid’s activities, chicken wing eating contest, adult-only beer & wine garden, outdoor activities, vendors and more.
Evergreen Valley Lavender Farm 13th Anniversary
Date: July 9
The Evergreen Valley Lavender Farm is celebrating their 13th anniversary offering organic lavender, premium quality essential oils, sprays and handmade gifts from local artisans. Visit the farm for a locally owned boutique venue with 11 varieties of lavender, a gift shop, on-site distillation and honeybees.
Dates: July 13 – 17
Lakefair Week offers activities for all ages ranging from rides and games to non-profit food concessions, an entertainment main stage and arts & crafts vendor booths.
Tenino Oregon Trail Days
Dates: July 22-24
Oregon Trail Days is an annual event hosted by Puget Sound Free Trappers and the Tenino Area Chamber of Commerce during July 22 – 24, 2022 at the Tenino City Park. The event offers a parade on July 23, a rock and gem show, black powder shoots, vendors of all kinds, and lots of food! Come join in on the family fun and learn a bit of local history!
Nisqually Barbecue Rally
Date: July 23 from 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Enjoy food from local vendors or compete in the amateur competition featuring some of the best backyard barbecuers Thurston County has to offer. You can also get to know your local businesses and listen to live music. Grab a beer or cider in the 21+ Beer Garden.
2022 Olympia Brewfest
Date: August 6 from 1:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
This annual summer beer festival takes place at Port Plaza, featuring 20+ hand-picked, northwest breweries and over 40 different beers. You can also enjoy live music and food from a variety of vendors. Proceeds from this festival benefit Thurston County’s incubator program for small businesses.
Tumwater Artesian Brewfest
Date: August 20th
This brew festival provides a unique outdoor venue for you to sip craft beers from 40+ northwest breweries along with cider, wine and spirits. Savor food from local vendors and restaurants and play super-sized beer pong, putt putt golf and enter stein holding competitions.
Rainier Bluegrass Festival
Dates: August 26 – 28
Experience the Bluegrass Pickin’ Party – the best little bluegrass and jammin’ festival in the northwest. Music, food, bluegrass, camping, flea markets, bake and yard sales and a parade are some of the many activities you can find here.
South Sound Block Party
Dates: August 26 – 27 from 3:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
A two-day music festival on the water with live bands, local vendors, beer garden and food truck offerings. This block party is an annual memory-maker and summer highlight.