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Last-Minute Summer Getaways
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8/29/2023

3 Great Last-Minute Summer Getaways within 3 Hours of Olympia, Washington

Summer is wrapping up, and many people have already planned and enjoyed their vacations. But if you’re a local Olympia or Thurston County resident who hasn’t had the chance to get away yet, don’t worry! There are great places to explore this labor day. Some fantastic last-minute summer getaways await you within a three-hour drive from Olympia. We’ve compiled a list of three incredible destinations that will give you a perfect little break from your daily routine.

The San Juan Islands:

Located just a few hours Northwest of Olympia, the San Juan Islands are a great place to explore with your family and friends. These islands have many outdoor activities and amazing views that will amaze you! To get there, you can take a ferry ride from Anacortes. San Juan Island is the most famous island in the area, and it has a great selection of dining and shopping options. For adventurous travelers, hike up to the top of Mt. Constitution or kay around the islands.

The San Juan Islands are renowned for their breathtaking landscapes and the rich diversity of wildlife. Visitors are often thrilled by sightings of orca whales, bald eagles, and seals in their natural habitats. The islands are a paradise for bird watchers, with over 200 species of birds to spot.

Alongside the natural beauty, the islands are steeped in history. The San Juan Islands Historical Museum on Friday Harbor provides a glimpse into the region's past. The museum is set on the grounds of the original James King farmstead, providing a tangible link to the pioneer days of the late 1800s. Don't miss the American and British Campsites that hark back to the "Pig War" standoff between British and American forces.

Whether you're a nature enthusiast, a history buff, or just looking for a relaxing getaway, the San Juan Islands offer something for everyone. So pack your bags, and get ready to explore this remarkable corner of Washington State.

Bend, Oregon

Bend, Oregon, is an excellent summer getaway destination for Olympia residents, located approximately 4 hours south. If you’re looking for an outdoor adventure, Bend should be on your list. The city sits in the middle of the Cascade Mountains, so that you can hike, kayak, and cycle surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery. There are also various lakes nearby where you can go swimming or fishing. It's an ideal place for adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts.

Bend, Oregon, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and a paradise for golf lovers. The city has numerous high-class golf courses, each offering a unique golfing experience amidst stunning natural landscapes.

One such fabulous golf resort is Pronghorn Resort, a luxury resort that boasts two of the most picturesque and challenging golf courses in the United States. These 18-hole courses are designed by world-renowned golf course architects Jack Nicklaus and Tom Fazio, providing a unique blend of natural aesthetics and professional, top-tier design.

Tetherow Golf Club is another gem in Bend's crown. This award-winning course is designed by David McLay Kidd, creator of the famed Bandon Dunes. With spectacular views of the Cascades and a challenging design, Tetherow offers a genuine Scottish links-style golf experience.

For those who prefer a combination of golf and spa, the Sunriver Resort offers four top-rated golf courses and a state-of-the-art spa for ultimate relaxation. The Woodlands, Meadows, Crosswater, and Caldera Links courses each provide their unique challenges and vistas, making Sunriver a must-visit for any golfer.

Whether you are a golf enthusiast looking to challenge yourself on various courses or a beginner aiming to improve your swings, Bend, Oregon, presents an incredible golfing experience amidst the beautiful backdrop of the Cascade Mountains.

Olympic National Park

Located on the Olympic Peninsula and just an hour West of Olympia, it is one of the most beautiful National Parks in the United States. The Olympic National Park’s diverse landscape includes glacier-capped mountains, wild coastal beaches, breathtaking waterfalls, and a unique temperate rainforest. You can go hiking, visit the hot springs, or camp in a stunning natural environment with family and friends. If you want to enjoy the Olympic National Park, plan and make a reservation at one of the park’s campsites.

Nestled in the foothills of the Olympic National Park and only a short two-hour drive from Olympia lies Lake Cushman — an underrated gem boasting turquoise waters surrounded by lush, emerald forests. This alluring retreat offers abundant recreational activities catering to every adventurer.

One of the most popular pastimes in the area is boating. With a well-equipped boat ramp and rentals, you can easily spend the day zipping around the expansive 4,010-acre lake or leisurely fishing. The lake is known to teem with various fish species like Kokanee, rainbow trout, and cutthroat trout, so remember to bring your fishing gear!

Hiking enthusiasts will not be disappointed with the trails around Lake Cushman. One of the most well-known trails leads to the Staircase Rapids, a scenic loop trail offering stunning views of a rushing river, old-growth forests, and the occasional wildlife sighting.

For those who prefer a more relaxed getaway, the lake's rocky beaches are perfect for sunbathing, having picnics, or simply enjoying the tranquil surroundings. The Skokomish Park on the lake's northern shore provides camping facilities for those wishing to stay overnight and witness the beautiful sunsets and sunrises for which the lake is famous.

Lake Cushman's breathtaking beauty and diversity of activities make it a perfect destination for a day trip or a weekend stay. Its proximity to Olympia makes it easily accessible, yet it still offers the peace and tranquility that only nature can provide. So, if you're looking for a quick escape from the humdrum of daily life, Lake Cushman might be the getaway you need.

Now you have three unique last-minute summer getaways within three hours of Olympia that you can visit when you want to break free from your daily routine. San Juan Islands, Bend, and the Olympic National Park are nearby and offer different experiences, from beautiful island life to scenic mountainous regions. These destinations are perfect for a quick weekend getaway or an extended vacation. So why not pack your bags and hit the road, explore these destinations, and gain an unforgettable experience? Moving to Olympia not only affords you the pleasantries of the city's vibrant culture and lifestyle but also easy access to these exciting destinations. Make the move today, and unlock a world of adventure and discovery right at your doorstep.

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