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West Olympia

As part of Washington's capital city, West Olympia sits on the west side of Budd Bay and Capitol Lake. It includes the South Westside and Northwest Olympia neighborhoods and is home to plenty of green space including family parks and waterfront trails.  How to get there This pocket of Thurston County is primarily accessible

Anderson Island

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Anderson Island

Anderson Island's unspoiled beauty is just a 20-minute ferry ride away. As Puget Sound's southernmost island, Anderson Island is refreshingly undeveloped. There are no crowds, no traffic -- not even a stoplight. What you will find are pristine beaches, natural lakes and beautiful parks. It's a great place to hike,

Seattle with kids

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Seattle with kids

One of the benefits of living in the South Sound is that you can enjoy Seattle like a local. Pop up for a few hours to visit a museum or explore a neighborhood. Seattle offers plenty of family fun -- start with these introductory itineraries and keep going back for

Quick nature escapes

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Quick nature escapes

The South Sound may be congested, but it's amazing how quickly you can escape the gridlock and hit the beach. Whether you need a refreshing lunch break or have all day to hang out, check out these local parks and trails. Sequalitchew Creek Trail, DuPont This three-mile round-trip trail winds through a

Yelm

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Yelm

Yelm is a small town in Thurston County known for its rural setting and stunning views of Mount Rainier. Referred to as the Pride of the Prairie, it's home to many independently-owned shops and restaurants. Natural beauty is abundant in Yelm, from farmlands and forests to the Nisqually River, which

Portland, Oregon

Travel

Portland, Oregon

Portland is a fun weekend getaway two hours south of Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Oregon's largest city, it sits on the Columbia and Willamette rivers and is known for its parks, bridges and museums. The centrally located Embassy Suites by Hilton Downtown Portland is a good choice for families traveling with children.

Paint & Go Studio opens on JBLM

Military Life

Paint & Go Studio opens on JBLM

Military families can now paint their own pottery at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) Arts and Crafts Center on McChord Field. All ages and abilities can tap into their inner artist to create one-of-a-kind pieces. "Ceramics is a fun and familiar pastime for a lot of families," said Arts and Crafts Center

Swim, slide, splash

Attractions

Swim, slide, splash

Just 45 minutes south of JBLM, Great Wolf Lodge Grand Mound is home to a family-friendly indoor water park. Whatever your thrill tolerance, you'll find it here -- from waves and water cannons to a take-your-breath-away plunge into a giant funnel. While Great Wolf Lodge is a full-service resort, its main

Pierce County's love locks bridge

Outdoors

Pierce County's love locks bridge

You don't have to travel all the way to Paris or Prague to declare your love with a padlock. Pierce County has its very own love locks bridge at Chambers Creek Regional Park in University Place. Built in 2010, the pedestrian bridge curves over the railroad tracks providing safe passage to

Santa to visit the Fort Lewis Thrift Shop Dec. 16

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Santa to visit the Fort Lewis Thrift Shop Dec. 16

Skip the crowds at the mall and head to the Fort Lewis Thrift Shop to finish up your Christmas shopping. The Thrift Shop will be open an extra day to help with your holiday preparations. Come out Saturday, Dec. 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to find affordable treasures

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