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If you like to combine sight seeing with a little exercise, start by visiting the Percival Landing Waterfront Park, along the waterfront. Here you can stroll along the 1.5 mile boardwalk and stop to read the informational kiosks explaining Olympia's maritime history, or just enjoy the beautiful view of the Capitol, Capitol Lake, Budd Inlet, Mount Rainier, and the Olympic Mountain Range.
Once you've soaked in all this splendor, head to exit 105 off I-5 and the Yashiro Japanese Garden, Ninth and Plum, 360-753-8380. This tranquil traditional Japanese garden is a unique joint project between Olympia and her sister city of Yashiro, Japan.
If you're longing for something a little wilder, you'll want to visit Wolf Haven, Nisqually Reach Nature Center, or the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. At Wolf Haven, 3111 Offut Lake Rd., Tenino, WA, 360-264-4695; you can see wolves living in their natural surroundings. If this isn't enough for you, then make plans to visit on a Friday or Saturday evening for a Summer Howl-In. Don't know what this is? Well, all I can tell you is, be ready to walk a little, howl with the wolves, listen to some storytelling and folk singing, and burn some marshmallows over a camp fire. Just your regular Saturday night--right!
A trip to the Nisqually Reach Nature Center, 4949 D Milluhr Dr NE, 360-459-0387, will give you a chance to learn about the importance of nature through museum exhibits, tours, and classes. Strolling the grounds of the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge,100 Brown Farm Rd NE, 360-753-9467; allows you to see the natural habitats required for the survival of migratory waterfowl.
If you want to get even closer to nature head to the entrance of Mt. Rainier National Park and schedule a Llama hiking trip through the national forest.
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