Apr 30, 2024 - News

Where we were: Day trip to Shelton

A logging train is on display on Railroad Avenue in Shelton as a testament to the city's rail and lumber history.

A Simpson logging train on Railroad Avenue. Photo: Christine Clarridge/Axios

Only one person correctly detected that last week's location puzzle was set at the Caboose Visitor Center on Railroad Avenue in Shelton.

Shelton does not show up on a list of Washington's most Instagrammable locales, but that only adds to its charm.

Things to see: The sign welcoming people into town from the south on State Route 3 is engraved in a huge slice of a 600-plus-year-old tree.

A slice of a 600 year-old tree welcomes visitors to Shelton in Washington.
A slab of a tree dated from when it sprouted till it was felled welcomes visitors to Shelton in Mason County. Photo: Christine Clarridge/Axios

At Overlake Park nearby is a giant bandsaw wheel and blade that was built to saw spruce for WWI aircraft, and which sawed 3 billion board feet of lumber over 41 years.

A band saw wheel and blade are on display at Overlook Park in Shelton.
At Overlake Park, a giant band saw wheel and blade are on display. Photo: Christine Clarridge/Axios
  • And downtown, a Simpson logging train on Railroad Avenue — with its caboose fitted out as a little visitor center — serves as a monument to the city's lumber and rail history.

Worth your time: Shelton is home to several thrift shops, including the Nifty Thrifty, Found It Thrift and the Shelton Goodwill, which always seems to have some surprising and unusual items that are fun to browse, if not to buy.

  • Want a workout? Try pedaling a four-wheel vehicle on the Simpson rail tracks with the Vance Creek Railriders.
  • Suzan's Grill on Olympic Highway North was repeatedly recommended by locals as the best value and food around. For $30, including tip, we enjoyed the vegetarian burger and the biscuits and gravy breakfast.

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