Washington Attractions June 28, 2022
2 Washington Nature Centers That Make Excellent Family Day Trip Destinations
Washington State is home to a great deal of activities, both recreational and educational, and fit for all. From wildlife refuges to game farms, there’s something for any and all families. Here are just two of the most exciting places to take the family on a day trip in the Evergreen State.
Established in 1974, the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge is located in Olympia. Its main purpose is to protect and conserve the Nisqually River Delta’s fish and wildlife.
Within its 4,500 acres, you’ll find an assortment of habitats, including marine waters, salt marsh, grassland, and freshwater wetlands. For migratory birds of the Pacific Flyway, it functions as a winter sanctuary and a stopover for rest.
Here, you can connect with nature by exploring the area’s trails and looking out for a variety of unique wildlife, such as 250 species of birds, 60 species of insects, 7 species of amphibians, 95 species of fish, and more.
Among its eight trails, you’ll find the one-mile-long Nisqually Estuary Boardwalk that takes you around the preserve. Along the way, you can observe the freshwater marshes and woodlands and search for wildlife, such as bald eagles, snakes, and seals.
Added to the register of the National Natural Landmarks in 1971, the refuge is also an important habitat for Nisqually Chinook salmon.
Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge Service Trail, Washington 98327, USA
Don’t forget to stop at the Norm Dicks Visitor Center to check out their exhibits when you visit.
Opened in 1972, at Olympic Game Farm in Sequim, you can see an assortment of unique animals that you might not otherwise ever encounter.
Just some of nearly two hundred animals include Kodiak bears, Roosevelt elk, American bison, zebras, and even moose.
One of the best parts of this attraction is that you can do a self-guided (and paced) driving tour. They are available every day and no reservations are necessary. And not to worry about the weather; even on rainy days, you’re bound to get some visitors.
And they aren’t shy either. Leave your windows down and they’ll come right up. Especially if you’ve got some bread to feed them. The best time for viewing wildlife is from the morning until the early afternoon.
The 84-acre farm is actually connected to Walt Disney. In fact, it was named Disney’s Wild Animal Ranch from about the 1950s until the game farm opened to the public. Animals used in Disney’s nature films were housed and trained here, with some films even shot at the location. You can take a look at some of the memorabilia in the historical studio barn on site.
The driving tour isn’t your only way to see animals here. In the summer, you can walk around and take in the petting zoo, freshwater aquarium, and reptile room.
Olympic Game Farm, 1423 Ward Rd, Sequim, WA 98382, USA
For the most up-to-date information, check out the websites for
Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge and Olympic Game Farm.
Have you visited either of these nature centers in Washington? Tell us about it in the comments!
And if you’re looking for more fun places like this within the Evergreen State, check out
Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge. Address: Olympic Game Farm, 1423 Ward Rd, Sequim, WA 98382, USA Address: Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge Service Trail, Washington 98327, USA