Courier July Courier - Page 41

Capitalize on the bounty of the Olympia region Located an hour south of Seattle on Washington’s Budd Inlet, Olympia is one of America’s most scenic state capitals. According to Jeff Bowe, director of sales for the Olympia Lacey Tumwater VCB, the city is more than just a governmental hub, though. “We like to describe the Olympia region as more than just Washington State’s capital; it’s also a place for ‘handcrafted escapes’ featuring local beers, wines and spirits,” he says. “We take much pride in helping our NTA partners to understand what we have and what differentiates us Three Magnets Brewing Co. Olympia Farmers Market from other destinations.” Bowe says one of the things his organiza- tion is promoting is the Thurston Bountiful Byway. This 60-mile route takes travelers to small towns where they can visit farms, hit local markets that offer seasonal pro- duce and attend agriculture-themed events. Along the way, they also can try some of the area’s craft beer, wine and spirits. “You see the words ‘scenic byway’ every- where, but how often can you pull off the highway and sip fresh apple cider made from Washington State apples, feed a goat, experience the sweet fragrance of lavender while sipping lemonade or sit down to dinner on a working organic farm while soaking in the sunset? We do it every day in the Olympia region,” says Bowe. The culinary highlights don’t end with the Bountiful Byway, though. “We are also rolling out a coffee trail, featuring local coffee roasters,” says Bowe. “Visitors can learn the story behind the carefully chosen coffee beans—and the families that lov- ingly care for them—as well as sampling different roasts.” Natural attractions also are a draw to the Olympia area, which has miles of beautiful shoreline, rocky beaches, and diverse flora and fauna. “People can experience [nature] at their own pace, whether that means strolling through the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, feeling rejuvenated by the mist of Tumwater Falls or exploring mysterious Mima Mounds,” adds Bowe. For more information, contact Bowe at jeff@experienceolympia.com or go to experienceolympia.com. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge NTAonline.com 39