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Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own." - Charles Dickens

Thurston County Attractions

Parent Category: Washington Counties
Created: 03 December 2014

Population:  262,388

Area:  774 square miles

County Seat: Olympia


Thurston County is found on the western part of Washington State and at the southern end of Puget Sound. It is the 8-th smallest county in the state with the territory of 774 square miles. The population of the county is about 262 thousand. The largest city and its’ seat is Olympia. The county is often called the “South Sound.”

Thurston County is located closely to the Cascade Mountains and Mount Rainier to the east and to the Pacific Coast to the west. The county is named after Samuel R. Thurston, who was the first delegate to Congress from the new Oregon Territory. 


Native Americans had been living on the territory of Thurston County long before first white settlers. The Nisqually and Squaxon tribes were the first residents here. They built settlements at the falls. Fishing and hunting were the primary food sources for these tribes.

The first documented exploration of Puget Sound was headed by British captain George Vancouver in May 1792.

Thurston County was created out of Lewis County by the government of Oregon Territory on January 12, 1852.


In 1853 Olympia was chosen to be the territorial and later state capital. The population of the county is more than 46 thousand. Olympia is a major cultural center of the entire Puget Sound region.

Residents of the city consider Olympia to be the perfect place for outdoor recreation. Mild winters and warm summers are ideal for recreation enjoyment. There are 40 public parks, trails that lead to saltwater beaches, etc.

Olympia is an incredible place to live, work and to enjoy life.


Capitol Campus with Capitol Lake

Washington State's Legislative Building was completed in 1928 after six years of construction; the building serves as both a working governmental center and a symbol of Washington's free and democratic government. It is the masterpiece of New York architects Walter Wilder and Harry White. The campus is fabulous, with landscaped gardens, cherry blossom trees and famous memorials. Don’t miss another iconic place here – Capitol Lake. Residents of the city say that the lake is a real wonder.

Wolf Haven International

Wolf Haven International is a nationally recognized wolf sanctuary that has rescued and provided a lifetime home for over 180 displaced, captive-born animals since 1982. The main idea of the organization is to conserve and protect wolves and their habitat. Visitors can also take a walking trail through beautiful native Mima Mound prairie. Wolf Haven is located in South Puget Sound, between Portland, OR and Seattle, WA.

Tumwater Falls Park

The Deschutes River waterfall is a must-see place in Tumwater Falls Park. One-half mile of lush hiking trails will surprise you by beautiful waterfalls, pools and massive rocks. August and September are the best months to enjoy Chinook salmon that makes its’ way back to a hatchery.

Nisqually Wildlife Refuge

The Nisqually Wildlife Refuge is located on the Nisqually River Delta in south Puget Sound. It is famous for its’ salt and freshwater marshes, grasslands, and riparian and mixed-forest habitats. More than 275 migratory bird species use the refuge for migration, wintering, or breeding. Enjoy five trails and stunning views on your way!

Olympia Farmers Market

The Olympia Farmers Market is famous for the quality fresh organic produce. When visiting this place, don’t forget to enjoy the waterfront and the views of Budd Inlet from the Port Plaza observation tower.

Information: Marina Petrova

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