Must-visit spots beyond Washington’s Olympic National Park

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AAA Magazine

By Amanda Castleman

January 19, 2024

In Olympic National Park, moss and ferns blanket the temperate rainforest and clouds roll off the Pacific, gilding peaks with snow. No roads pierce the rugged wilderness, so travelers orbit Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula on Highway 101. But too many visitors race to the Hoh Rain Forest and miss out on the many sights and communities that surround the park.

Or shift gears and soak up some culture in and around the state’s capitol, Olympia…Save time to explore creative hot spots nearby. Tumwater, about 3 miles south of Olympia, launched a Craft District in 2018, anchored by a marketplace of independent vendors, Heritage Distilling Company’s tasting room, and an amphitheater…



“We want Tumwater to be known as a center of excellence for brewing, making cider and distilling in this area, whether that’s Thurston County, Puget Sound or on a much larger scale. That will create energy that brings investment back to the old brewery property and agriculture back to Thurston County.”

John Doan
Tumwater City Manager


“Effective working relationships among the key players have been fundamental to the project’s success. I’ve gotten to work with a team of extremely talented individuals, from city staff, to the developers to the architects. The result is going to be a cool new space with a distillery and brewery, other shops and potentially an outdoor amphitheater for entertainment. I think this will really spark more redevelopment in the surrounding area.”

Tyrell Bradley, PE
Project Manager

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