If you want to get out of the house but don’t want to travel far, take a weekend trip to Yelm. The cozy city offers lodging, food and drink establishments, plus indoor and outdoor entertainment, all perfect for a local vacation break.

The Prairie Hotel provides convenient lodging with many amenities as a local base to explore Yelm. Photo courtesy: Prairie Hotel

A Sample Itinerary for a Yelm Weekend

What would a weekend trip to Yelm look like? You are in luck. We planned a sample itinerary showcasing all this small town had to offer. The town’s location and activity options are great, which explains its “Pride of the Prairie” slogan.

Day One in Yelm: Check-in, Dinner, Drinks, Entertainment

Let’s begin your Yelm weekend on a Friday afternoon. First, check into the room you reserved at the Prairie Hotel, an exceptionally convenient lodging located in the heart of Yelm, with free parking and other amenities. The multiple room options – including dog-friendly rooms – will fit any size traveling party. These accommodations give you a great local base for your weekend jaunt.

After you settle into your room, it’s time to explore Yelm. And your first order of business is to get something to eat.

The Uptown Lounge serves handcrafted cocktails like this striking blue Pandora’s Fruit. Add the Uptown Lounge’s cocktails and savory menu to your Yelm itinerary. Photo courtesy: Uptown Lounge

How about grabbing dinner and drinks at the Uptown Lounge? The Uptown serves handcrafted cocktails with house-infused alcohol and a savory menu. Its award-winning Uptown truffle fries will surely tempt you. Tossed with compound butter and made with shaved parmesan, these fries feature fresh parsley and truffle salt and are served with the restaurant’s own truffle aioli.

Other dinner options for eating out or to bring back to your room include The Grill at 507, the Masonry Café Catering bakery and cafe, Casa Mia’s Italian menu and Bertoglio’s Pizzeria, to name just a few. Can’t decide? Eat at a different place for each meal!

After dinner, catch a movie at the nearby Yelm Cinemas, an independently-owned theater with eight movie screens featuring recliner seats to enjoy first-run movies along with classic films. Or knock down some pins at Prairie Lanes. Or stroll through downtown. And for a nightcap, there are several options, including the Uptown, two locations for the 507 Taproom and Fill Station and more.

Day Two in Yelm: Coffee, Pastry, Art Gallery, Museum, Shopping, Parks and More

When you are in Yelm, visit its many shops and boutiques. The Shiplap Shop & Coffee House offers coffee and pastries, and you can explore its farmhouse decor, furniture and other treasures. Photo courtesy: Shiplap Shop & Coffee House

Saturday morning, grab a coffee and a comforting pastry at the Shiplap Shop & Coffee House. While you eat and explore Shiplap’s gifts and household items, you debate which of the many indoor and outdoor activities you want to try.

For example, for indoor fun, visit InGenius! Local Artisan Gallery & Boutique featuring the works of more than 40 local artisans. Or pop into the Yelm Historical Museum. Operated by the Yelm Prairie Historical Society, the museum displays include artifacts from when the Yelm Prairie was managed by the Nisqually Indian Tribe, early pioneer settlements at Fort Nisqually to the early 20th century period and more. Or, for a little shopping therapy, stop in Yelm’s unique boutiques like Between SistersBejoyful Holistics and Funtime Toys & Gifts.

If you want to head outdoors, walk through the Yelm Farmers Market, open end of May through the end of October, wander through Yelm’s parks or check out several of the other nearby outdoor attractions.

After your busy afternoon, it’s off to a late lunch or early dinner at the Red Lantern Asian Fusion, offering Thai, Chinese and Vietnamese options with familiar favorites as well as more adventurous dishes.

Finally, you are feeling lucky, so you decide to end the night with slots and table games at the Nisqually Red Wind Casino, just 10 minutes away on the Yelm Highway.

Day Three in Yelm: Brunch, Trail Walk or Bike, Check Out

The InGenius! Local Artisan Gallery & Boutique in Yelm features works of more than 40 artists. Make it part of your Yelm weekend getaway. Photo courtesy: InGenius! Local Artisan Gallery & Boutique

You wake up refreshed on Sunday and head out to the terrific brunch at the Gather Gastropub, known for its sourcing of fresh ingredients from local farmers markets. After that, take in some fresh air by walking or biking along the Yelm-Tenino Trail. This 14.5-mile line begins near the Yelm City Hall and runs through south Thurston County, connecting Yelm, Rainier and Tenino.

Finally, you head back to the hotel and check out. You are restored and ready for what Monday has to offer, thanks to your enjoyable weekend jaunt.

Plan Your Trip to Yelm

The Yelm Cinemas features eight movie screens, reclining seats, first-run movies and classic films. Photo courtesy: Yelm Cinemas

This sample itinerary lists just some businesses and activities that make for a fun mini vacation in Yelm. Now that you have seen examples of what Yelm has to offer, it’s time to plan your own weekend or weekday trip.

For more information about Yelm, contact the Yelm Chamber of Commerce and ask to see the 2022-2023 Community Guide, and visit the websites of the City of Yelm and Experience Olympia and Beyond’s “Top 10 Things to Do in Yelm.”


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