Things to do in or around The Inn at Mallard Cove

The location of our bed and breakfast near Olympia, Washington State’s capital city, makes it the perfect home base for exploring the Puget Sound region.  Spend your vacation just relaxing at the inn, or get out and about to discover the area’s beaches, forests, mountains, and diverse wildlife.

Enjoy many hiking or biking trails:  For a look at some of our favorites, try or the City of Olympia’s Regional Trail Guide Brochure.

Note: Several of the items listed below describe activities of interest to nature lovers; if you are interested in these, please check expanded details on our “Nature Lovers” page.

Within Walking Distance  [Read Details…]

Walk the beach, stroll through gardens and forest, kayak from our private beach, sit on our waterfront observation deck and watch eagles, great blue herons, mallards and many other waterfowl.

The inn’s unique location makes kayaking very popular with guests, both beginners and experienced boaters. Use of kayaks is free to registered guests. Innkeeper-guided kayak tours, also complimentary, are available with prior coordination. See expanded details on kayaking at the bottom of this page.

Walk or jog (1.2 miles) to nearby Nisqually Reach Nature Center, which has a wealth of information on local wildlife and aquariums containing samples of some.

Do nothing! Sit in our quiet library in front of a warm fire, pick one of our thousand-plus books and read, play a board game or cards, or take nap!

Within a 10-minute Drive  [Read Details…]

Visit the Nisqually National Wildlife refuge:

This is one of the nation’s best places for bird watching! Stroll on an easy-to-walk network of trails with placards to educate you on the plants and wildlife you will see. See our “Nature Lovers” page for more information.

Within a 20-minute Drive [Read Details…]

Visit downtown Olympia – Olympia is a great place to walk, dine, and shop. Our favorite places to visit are the boardwalk and waterfront restaurants of Percival Landing and the Olympia Farmer’s Market (in season). There is almost always some type of cultural event going on: Olympia seems to be fertile ground for music, dance, theater, and other art.

Tour the State Capitol

Tour the Governor’s Mansion – Please note that advance registration for is required for Governor’s mansion tours.

Enjoy walking the historic trail and salmon ladder at Tumwater Falls Park. While there, consider a lunch, dinner or glass of wine at Falls Terrace Restaurant.

Use Our Inn as a Base of Operations to Visit Washington Landmarks [Read Details…]

Mt. Rainier – One hour and fifteen minutes away.

Mt. St. Helens – About two hours away.

Olympic Peninsula – About two hours from here, or an all-day trip to circumnavigate the entire peninsula. See the beauty of the Olympic National Park and other quaint coastal towns, beaches and waterways. If you’d prefer to stay up there, partner with one of our B&B colleagues for a stay on the peninsula before or after your stay here! Call or e-mail for details.

Tacoma – Thirty-minutes away: Washington History Museum, antique shops, waterfront, Chihuly Glass Museum, LeMay Collectible Car Museum and more.

Seattle Area – One hour and fifteen minutes away: Too many things to mention! Partner with one of our B&B colleagues in Seattle for a stay there and a stay here! In Seattle, our favorite things are The Museum of Flight, Pike Place Market, The Aquarium, Space Needle, and Seattle Center.

More Tourist Information Resources [Read Details…]

Kayaking at Mallard Cove [Read Details…]

The Inn at Mallard Cove is a perfect destination for kayakers. Boats may be launched from our private beach. Destinations are unlimited but the most popular is the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, a short twenty-minute paddle from the inn. Contact your innkeepers for information on other interesting destinations in our area.

Using the Inn’s Kayaks
Our kayaks are available at no charge to registered guests on a first-come, first-served basis. Please call ahead if you are counting on using our boats! We have three “Loon” sea kayaks made by Old Towne Canoe Company. One, Dewey, is a tandem (two-person) boat and the others, Huey and Louie, are singles. We provide Personal Flotation Devices, gloves, and paddles.

Bringing Your Own Boats
You are welcome to bring your own kayaks or canoes (nothing larger than that, please, and nothing with a motor is permitted). You will need to carry or wheel your boats down a gently sloped, 200-foot long nature trail to the beach. Please bring your own wheels; we have one set but they reside on the beach and may not be available to you. Most people just leave their boats behind some brush at the beach, well out of sight from the shore, while they are here.

Tide Levels
We are subject to large changes in water level. Boats are easiest to launch and recover when the tide is a “plus 8″ or higher. At other times, there can be fifty feet or more of wet tidelands to cross before launching. Click here for local tide tables to determine the best time for kayaking. Or, call or e-mail your innkeepers and we’ll figure it out for you!

If you absolutely, positively must kayak when the tide is low, don’t worry, you can do that by driving to the Luhr Beach Public Boat Ramp, about a mile away, where there is a deep-water channel to launch and/or recover. If you are using our boats and do not have a vehicle, with adequate advance notice, we will provide this service to Luhr Beach at a small charge.

“Yesterday we kayaked directly under a Bald Eagle. Today we watched an Osprey from the breakfast table. Nature at its best all around us.” Carol and Mark, Shoreline, Washington