Mount Rainier is an easy drive from Grand Mound to Ashford. Just an hour and a half away, the National Park is a must-see. With the warmer weather, myriad opportunities bloom for fun at the Park. Enjoy hiking, National Park camping, National Forest camping, fishing, horseback riding, mountain biking, mountaineering, road biking, trail running, and driving tours. The Driving Tours allow visitors to circle Rainier, explore scenic byways and take lots of pictures. During the cooler seasons, enjoy cross country skiing, snowmobiling, the Snowplay Area, snowshoeing, winter camping and snowboarding.
Nearly an hour from Grand Mound, in the heart of Mount St. Helens’ blast zone, lies the Johnston Ridge Observatory. Erected with the purpose of hosting displays that explore the biological and geological implications of the 1980 eruption, JRO features award-winning films, ranger talks, landscape observations, and lunch for guests. You are even permitted to hike the surrounding areas. During the summers, JRO holds the annual Music on the Mountain series in its outdoor amphitheater. JRO closes for the winter season but opens in May.
Also a part of Mount St. Helens’ exploratory efforts, the Science and Learning Center at Coldwater gives guests the opportunity to experience educational programs, picnic on the deck, receive information on the 1980 eruption and even purchase “Discover Your Northwest” souvenirs. Hike along the Elk Bench Trail and Lakes Trail, gaining fabulous views of Coldwater Lake and elk sightings. Once past these trails, you’ll find yourself in the stunning Mt. Margaret Backcountry.
The historical Centralia Union Depot was built in 1912 as a transportation center, gathering place and landmark. All original exterior and interior structure is still maintained: the red bricks, woodwork, tiling, and oak benches all remain. Today the Union Depot is served by Amtrak, acting a midpoint between Kelso and Olympia.
Fort Borst Park is one of Centralia's main attractions, with myriad recreational activities for visitors. Enjoy a stroll during the springtime surrounded by rhododendrons. As the weather continues to warm, take to the walking trails, playgrounds, picnic areas, volleyball areas, and waters. There are also historical structures, including the 1860’s Borst Homestead, a replica of the Borst One Room Schoolhouse, an arboretum, and the Fort Borst Blockhouse.
As a member of one of the prestigious Carnegie Libraries, Centralia Timberland Library was built with donations from 19th-century industrialist Andrew Carnegie. After browsing through the extensive reading sections, browse the internet on the public use computers. Special events are held throughout the year for all ages, including the Twin Cities Pet Show and the annual Christmas Tree Lighting.
Each spring brings the Dance Festival Northwest. Hosted by the Southwest Washington Dance Center for over 20 years, the festival brings dance companies from all around the Pacific Northwest together. Be captivated by classical, ballet, innovative contemporary ballet, creative modern, dynamic and lyrical jazz, musical theater, and hip hop performances.
The Northwest Wind Symphony guarantees an entertaining evening of music for the whole family. Many of the finest musicians from Western Washington and Northern Oregon come together for the performance and the Northwest Wind Symphony has been performing for over 20 years.
For those seeking an escape to the vibrancy and energy of an artsy, chic community, then head to Downtown Centralia. Cafes, antique and boutique shops, and more are to be had. Also enjoy an eclectic mix of local galleries and specialties including handmade jewelry, handcrafted furniture, and homemade chocolates.
Located 20 minutes away in Centralia, Boccata Restaurant is a gem of a restaurant. Boccata combines some of the world’s best cuisines from the Mediterranean, featuring fare from Italy, Greece, Spain, France, Morocco, and others. The wine list pairs perfectly with the entrees, providing a variety of European and Mediterranean flavors. All meals are prepared with quality imported and local ingredients, meats, and cheeses, as well as pure bread and fresh produce. Sidewalk dining is available in the summer.
The award-winning Casa Ramos cooks authentic Mexican cuisine hailing from Cuautla, Mexico. They are known for their Nachos, Margaritas, Fajitas, freshly made tortillas, and handmade salsa. You are also invited to dine at the Cantina, which features delicious beverages like the Ramosrita Margarita.
Papa Pete's looks to impress with some of Southwest Washington's best pizza. Along with traditional pizza favorites like Cheese, Pepperoni, and Beef, you'll also find eccentric topping delights like Cherry Wood Smoked Oysters and Oregon Shrimp. Salads, breadsticks, beer, and wine are also offered.
Located in the former card room of the Olympic Club Hotel & Theater, The Olympic Club Pub was once frequented by greats like Tacoma Iron Mike, Honest John, and One-Eyed Tony. Lose yourself in the dark wood accenting, Art Nouveau stenciling, Tiffany-style lights, beveled glass, and period bar. Happy Hour is served 3pm to 6pm and 10pm until closing. Also enjoy numerous ales on tap.
Initially opened in 1913, the New Tourist Bar is underneath the Olympic Club Hotel. Acting as an informal Old West-style bar, the New Tourist still possesses its original tiling. The back bar is splendid and selection of handcrafted ales, wines, and spirits is impressive.
O'Blarney's Irish Pub has been a favorite of Olympia and Centralia for years. Catch every NFL game on Sunday, 80 MLB games every week, Nascar, NBA, PGA, NHL, NCAA, and UFC fights as well on their televisions. Along with free Wi-Fi for those on business, enjoy a night of pool, darts, shuffleboard, live music, Buzztime, and Trivia Night.
Combining distinctive barley and hops to create the experience of Dick's Brewing Company, the brewery is famous throughout the Pacific Northwest for its premiere crafts. Take your palate on a stroll through times when quality craftsmanship took precedence over quantity.
VF Outlets is a premium name among America’s outlet brands. Find great discount clothing from the best names in the business. Jeans by Lee, Wrangler, Riders, Nautica, Vanity Fair, Warner's, Olga, Maidenform, and other brands are found at VF Outlets. Find apparel for men, women, juniors, kids and infants.
Make your way to the Historic Lewis County Farmers Market on Fridays. They sell fresh local produce, fruit, and veggies from the Yakima Valley. There are veggie and flower starts, perennials and annuals, sedums and shrubs for your garden. Also find baked goods and home décor pieces.
Grand Mound's nearest major airport is Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), which is 67 miles from the center of the town. SEA is a primary hub for Alaska Airlines and has service to destinations throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East and East Asia. The Central Link Light Rail connects the airport ti downtown Seattle. Ground transportation to the Grand Mound area is provided through taxis and rental car companies.
The nearest public transportation is located 20 minutes away, in Centralia via Twin Transit. There are five fixed routes throughout the community, along with hourly bus service to neighborhoods, shopping centers, and governmental and medical offices. Impressively, over 250,000 rides are taken each year on buses operated by Twin Transit. One-way tickets cost from $1.00 and all-day tickets either $2 or $4.00.