Things to Do in Olympia, Washington

Olympia, Washington (WA) is a charming city nestled in the stunning Pacific Northwest region of the United States. This vibrant destination offers a wide array of activities for visitors to enjoy. From exploring historic landmarks to immersing in the local culture and indulging in outdoor adventures, Olympia has something to cater to every traveler’s interests.

Explore the Washington State Capitol, with its impressive architecture and beautiful grounds. Visit the Hands On Children’s Museum, where kids can engage in interactive learning experiences. Take a tour of the Washington State Capitol Museum to learn about the state’s political history. Discover fresh produce and local crafts at the Olympia Farmers Market.

For nature enthusiasts, Priest Point Park offers outdoor activities such as hiking, picnicking, and birdwatching, while Tumwater Falls Park showcases the natural beauty of cascading waterfalls. History buffs can explore the Bigelow House Museum and delve into the local history.

The city also offers educational experiences at the WET Science Center and wildlife spotting at the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. Food lovers can indulge in local cuisine and craft beer at various restaurants and breweries throughout the city.

Situated in Washington’s South Puget Sound region, Olympia is surrounded by a wealth of nearby attractions. Visitors can consider exploring the nearby cities of Seattle and Tacoma, or venturing into the natural wonders of Olympic National Park and Mount Rainier National Park.

Whether you are seeking family-friendly activities, outdoor adventures, or culinary delights, Olympia has it all. The best time of year to visit depends on personal preferences, with mild summers and cool winters offering different experiences. So, plan your trip and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey in Olympia, Washington.

Explore the Washington State Capitol

Explore the Washington State Capitol - Things to Do in Olympia, Washington

Photo Credits: Anxiousandabroad.Com by Bruce Nelson

The Washington State Capitol is a must-visit attraction in Olympia, Washington. Get ready to explore the beautiful architecture and rich history of this important government building. Located on the Capitol Campus, it serves as the seat of government for the state of Washington.

The Capitol building boasts an impressive rotunda and stunning legislative chambers that are open to the public. Visitors can take guided tours to learn about the state’s legislative process and the significance of the Capitol. The campus surrounding the Capitol also features well-manicured gardens and scenic views of downtown Olympia and Puget Sound.

Don’t miss the opportunity to see the iconic dome and the legislative chambers where important decisions are made. So, if you’re in Olympia, make sure to set aside time to explore the Washington State Capitol. It offers a fascinating glimpse into the state’s government and history.

Visit the Hands On Children’s Museum

When visiting Olympia, Washington, a must-see attraction is the Hands On Children’s Museum. Visit the Hands On Children’s Museum to experience the following:

  1. Interactive exhibits: The museum offers a wide range of exhibits that encourage children to actively participate and engage with the displays. From a giant treehouse to a waterworks area, children will have a blast exploring and learning through hands-on experiences.
  2. Education through play: The museum believes in the power of play to enhance learning. Each exhibit is designed to ignite children’s curiosity and imagination, fostering their intellectual and creative development.
  3. STEM focus: The museum incorporates science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts into many of its exhibits. Children can experiment with physics, engineering principles, and even engage in coding activities.
  4. Sensory-friendly environment: The museum is committed to being inclusive and provides a sensory-friendly environment for children with special needs. They offer sensory tools and designated quiet areas to ensure all children can enjoy their visit.
  5. Variety of programs and events: Visit the Hands On Children’s Museum to find out about various programs and events, including workshops, camps, and special exhibits. Check their website for the current schedule to make the most of your visit.

Whether you are a local or a visitor to Olympia, a visit to the Hands On Children’s Museum is a fantastic opportunity for children to learn, play, and explore in an engaging and interactive environment.

Tour the Washington State Capitol Museum

When in Olympia, Washington, a must-visit attraction is the Washington State Capitol Museum. Take a tour of the Washington State Capitol Museum and delve into the rich history and governance of the state. Explore the impressive architecture of the capitol building and admire the beautiful views from the observation deck. Witness the legislative process in action and gain insights into the workings of the government.

If you’re interested in politics or want to learn more about Washington’s history, visiting the Washington State Capitol Museum is the perfect way to enhance your knowledge. Discover interesting facts about notable politicians and significant events that have shaped the state.

Be sure to check the museum’s operating hours and any restrictions on tours to plan your visit accordingly. Remember to bring your camera to capture the grandeur of the capitol and the intriguing exhibits.

Immerse yourself in the world of politics and history by touring the Washington State Capitol Museum. Gain a deeper understanding of the state’s governance and appreciate the significance of this iconic landmark.

Discover Olympia Farmers Market

When visiting Olympia, Washington, it is essential to discover the Olympia Farmers Market. This market is a treasure trove of unique finds and offers a bustling hub of activity. Here are a few reasons why you should visit:

  • Support local farmers and artisans: The Olympia Farmers Market is home to over 100 vendors, allowing you to discover and support local businesses. You will find a wide variety of fresh produce, locally made crafts, and unique products.
  • Taste the flavors of the region: At the market, you can savor the delicious and diverse flavors of Olympia. From farm-fresh fruits and vegetables to artisan cheeses and baked goods, there is something for everyone.
  • Experience the vibrant atmosphere: Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Olympia at the Farmers Market. Engage with the community and enjoy the bustling atmosphere filled with friendly vendors and eager customers.
  • Find unique treasures: The market is a wonderful place to find one-of-a-kind artwork, vintage clothing, and handmade jewelry. Discover unique treasures that you won’t find anywhere else.
  • Enjoy live entertainment: While browsing and shopping at the market, you can also enjoy live entertainment. From local musicians to street performers, the market offers a lively and entertaining atmosphere.

Visiting the Olympia Farmers Market will allow you to discover the local scene, support local businesses, and immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Olympia, Washington.

Enjoy Outdoor Activities at Priest Point Park

Enjoy Outdoor Activities at Priest Point Park - Things to Do in Olympia, Washington

Photo Credits: Anxiousandabroad.Com by Jerry White

Priest Point Park is the perfect destination for those looking to enjoy outdoor activities. With its scenic trails winding through lush forests, visitors can take a leisurely stroll while appreciating the surrounding natural beauty.

The park offers spacious open fields, ideal for engaging in recreational activities like picnicking or playing a game of frisbee. For those looking to have a splash, there is a beach area where you can relax by the water or go for a swim on warm days.

Nature enthusiasts will delight in the diverse wildlife and bird-watching opportunities available in the park. Whether you seek a peaceful retreat or an active day outdoors, Priest Point Park provides the ideal setting for enjoying a variety of outdoor activities.

Learn About Local History at the Bigelow House Museum

Discover the allure of local history at the Bigelow House Museum and delve into the captivating narrative of Olympia, Washington. Learn about local history at the Bigelow House Museum and delve into the rich heritage of Olympia, Washington.

The Bigelow House Museum offers a unique opportunity to explore the history of the region. With its well-preserved architecture and curated exhibits, visitors can gain valuable insights into the local community’s past.

As you step through the doors of the museum, you will be transported back in time. From the intricate details of the Victorian-era furnishings to the stories shared by knowledgeable guides, this historical gem provides an immersive experience.

The museum showcases artifacts and displays that highlight the lives of early settlers, the development of the city, and the significant events that shaped Olympia’s history. Through interactive exhibits and engaging narratives, visitors can gain a deeper understanding of the local heritage.

If you are passionate about history or simply curious about the roots of the community you are visiting, a visit to the Bigelow House Museum is a must. Immerse yourself in the vibrant tapestry of Olympia’s past and uncover the stories that have shaped the city into what it is today.

Discover the allure of local history at the Bigelow House Museum and delve into the captivating narrative of Olympia, Washington.

Experience the Beauty of Tumwater Falls Park

Experience the Beauty of Tumwater Falls Park - Things to Do in Olympia, Washington

Photo Credits: Anxiousandabroad.Com by Carl Anderson

If you want to experience the beauty of Tumwater Falls Park, visiting Olympia, Washington is a must. This scenic park, located along the Deschutes River, offers breathtaking views of waterfalls, lush greenery, and wildlife. To fully appreciate the park, you can take a leisurely walk along the trails, have a picnic in the designated areas, or simply sit and enjoy the peaceful ambiance of nature.

An interesting fact about Tumwater Falls Park is that it is home to the Tumwater Falls Hatchery, where salmon are raised and released into the river to maintain healthy populations. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about the conservation efforts for these incredible fish.

Visit the WET Science Center

The WET Science Center in Olympia, Washington is a must-visit attraction for science enthusiasts. Visit the WET Science Center to experience an engaging and interactive adventure for visitors of all ages. At the WET Science Center, you can explore various exhibits, participate in hands-on experiments, and learn fascinating facts about water and environmental conservation. Make sure to visit the WET Science Center in Olympia and immerse yourself in the world of science and discovery. Expand your knowledge and understanding of the importance of water in our daily lives by visiting the WET Science Center. So, if you are in Olympia, don’t miss the chance to visit the WET Science Center and immerse yourself in the world of science and discovery.

Explore the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

When visiting Olympia, Washington, it is essential to explore the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. This unique wildlife refuge provides the opportunity to observe a diverse range of wildlife in their natural habitat.

  • Spotting Wildlife: At the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, visitors can witness a variety of animals, including over 200 bird species. From bald eagles to great blue herons, there are numerous opportunities for birdwatching.
  • Scenic Trails: With over five miles of well-maintained trails, the refuge offers picturesque views of forests, wetlands, and the Nisqually River. Nature lovers can enjoy a peaceful stroll while immersing themselves in the beauty of the surrounding landscape.
  • Education and Interpretation: Enhancing visitors’ understanding of the local ecosystem, the refuge provides educational programs and guided tours. This interactive learning experience allows individuals to appreciate the importance of wildlife conservation and habitat preservation.
  • Photography Opportunities: As a paradise for photographers, the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge features stunning landscapes and diverse wildlife. Capture memorable shots of awe-inspiring scenery and the fascinating animals that call this refuge home.
  • Environmental Stewardship: In commitment to protecting the natural environment and supporting biodiversity, the refuge fosters conservation efforts. By exploring the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, visitors actively contribute to creating a healthier ecosystem.

Embark on an adventure at the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge and immerse yourself in the beauty and wonders of nature.

Indulge in Local Cuisine and Craft Beer

When visiting Olympia, Washington, one of the must-do activities is to indulge in the local cuisine and craft beer scene.

  • Local cuisine: Olympia is renowned for its fresh seafood, farm-to-table dining, and diverse culinary options. You can truly indulge in the delicious Pacific Northwest flavors at restaurants like Waterstreet Cafe or Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar.
  • Craft beer: Olympia also boasts a thriving craft beer scene. You can fully experience it by visiting local breweries such as Three Magnets Brewing Co. or Fish Tale Brewpub, where you will find a wide selection of unique and flavorful brews.

Pro-tip: Take a brewery tour to learn about the beer-making process and sample a variety of local craft beers. Don’t forget to try some beer pairings with the local cuisine to elevate your dining experience!

Where Is Olympia, Washington Located?

Olympia, Washington is located in the northwest region of the United States. It is situated in the western part of Washington state, on the southern tip of the Puget Sound.

What Is the Best Time of Year to Visit Olympia?

The best time of year to visit Olympia, Washington is during the summer months, specifically from June to August. During this time, the weather is generally mild and comfortable, with average temperatures ranging from the 70s to low 80s Fahrenheit. This makes it ideal for outdoor activities and exploring the numerous attractions in the city.

Additionally, summer is when Olympia hosts various events and festivals, providing visitors with a vibrant and lively atmosphere. From music festivals to art fairs, there is always something happening in the city during the summer months.

It is important to note that while summer is the most popular time to visit Olympia, it is also the peak tourist season. This means that attractions and accommodations may be more crowded, and prices may be higher. If you prefer a quieter and more budget-friendly experience, consider visiting Olympia during the shoulder seasons of spring or fall.

What Is the Best Time of Year to Visit Olympia?

What Are Some Nearby Attractions to Visit?

Are you wondering what are some nearby attractions to visit when you’re in Olympia, Washington? Well, here’s a list of attractions you should definitely consider exploring:

  • Washington State Capitol: Take a tour of the Washington State Capitol to learn about the state’s government and history.
  • Hands On Children’s Museum: Visit the Hands On Children’s Museum, a fun and interactive museum where kids can learn through play.
  • Washington State Capitol Museum: Explore the Washington State Capitol Museum to delve deeper into the history and culture of the state.
  • Olympia Farmers Market: Discover the Olympia Farmers Market, where you can enjoy fresh produce, local crafts, and delicious food.
  • Priest Point Park: Enjoy outdoor activities at Priest Point Park, such as hiking, picnicking, and bird-watching.

These attractions offer a great mix of history, culture, and outdoor experiences, ensuring that there is something for everyone to enjoy during their visit to Olympia.

What Are Some Family-Friendly Activities in Olympia?

When visiting Olympia, Washington with your family, there are several fun and engaging activities to enjoy:

  • Explore the Hands On Children’s Museum: This interactive museum offers a variety of exhibits and activities designed for kids to learn and play.
  • Visit the Washington State Capitol Museum: Discover the history and government of Washington State through exhibits, artifacts, and guided tours.
  • Discover the Olympia Farmers Market: Spend a day exploring this vibrant market filled with fresh produce, local crafts, and delicious food options.
  • Enjoy Outdoor Activities at Priest Point Park: Take a hike, have a picnic, or simply relax in the beautiful surroundings of this waterfront park.
  • Learn About Local History at the Bigelow House Museum: Step back in time and learn about Olympia’s history through guided tours of this historic home.
  • Experience the Beauty of Tumwater Falls Park: Take a stroll along the scenic trails, enjoy the breathtaking waterfalls, and appreciate the natural beauty of the park.
  • Visit the WET Science Center: Engage in hands-on science exhibits and educational programs that focus on water, ecology, and sustainability.
  • Explore the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge: Observe a diverse range of wildlife, including migratory birds, while walking along the refuge’s nature trails.

These family-friendly activities in Olympia offer something for everyone and are sure to create lasting memories for your family.

What Are the Best Outdoor Activities in Olympia?

The best outdoor activities in Olympia offer a variety of options for nature enthusiasts and adventurers. What Are the Best Outdoor Activities in Olympia? Here are some top choices:

  • Explore Priest Point Park: This expansive park features scenic trails, beautiful gardens, and waterfront views, perfect for hiking, picnicking, and birdwatching.
  • Experience the beauty of Tumwater Falls Park: This picturesque park is home to stunning waterfalls, walking trails, and picnic areas, providing a tranquil escape in nature.
  • Visit the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge: Nature lovers can enjoy walking trails, wildlife viewing, and birdwatching in this extensive refuge that is home to a diverse range of species.
  • Indulge in outdoor recreation at Capitol State Forest: This forest offers opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and camping amidst beautiful scenery.
  • Enjoy water activities at Budd Inlet: The inlet provides a perfect setting for kayaking, paddleboarding, and boating, allowing visitors to explore the coastal waters.
  • Go biking on the Chehalis Western Trail: This scenic trail stretches over 22 miles, offering a great opportunity for cycling and enjoying the natural beauty of the area.

These outdoor activities in Olympia provide a chance to immerse oneself in nature, enjoy some physical activity, and appreciate the natural beauty of the region.

Where Can You Find the Best Restaurants in Olympia?

If you’re wondering where can you find the best restaurants in Olympia, Washington, you won’t be disappointed. Here are some great options to satisfy your taste buds:

  • Fishtale Brewpub: Enjoy delicious seafood dishes paired with their extensive selection of craft beers.
  • Basilico Ristorante Italiano: Indulge in authentic Italian cuisine, including homemade pasta and wood-fired pizza.
  • Hearthfire Grill: Experience the flavors of the Pacific Northwest with their locally sourced ingredients and wood-fired cooking techniques.
  • Budd Bay Cafe: savor fresh seafood dishes while taking in stunning waterfront views.
  • Gardner’s Seafood and Pasta: Dive into their seafood-focused menu, featuring dishes like Dungeness crab cakes and fresh oysters.

Whether you’re in the mood for seafood, Italian cuisine, or Pacific Northwest flavors, Olympia has a restaurant to satisfy every craving. Remember to make reservations in advance, especially for popular establishments, to ensure you have an unforgettable dining experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are some unique outdoor recreation options in Olympia, Washington?

A: Olympia offers a range of unique outdoor recreation options, including visiting the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, exploring the Mima Mounds Natural Area Preserve, and hiking in Capitol State Forest.

Q: What are some interesting things to do in the historic district of Olympia?

A: In the historic district of Olympia, you can enjoy exploring murals, visiting shops and art venues, dining at local restaurants, and experiencing the vibrant nightlife with its bars and entertainment options.

Q: Is the Great Wolf Lodge in Olympia pet-friendly?

A: No, the Great Wolf Lodge in Olympia is not pet-friendly.

Q: What are some points of interest and landmarks in Olympia?

A: Olympia has several points of interest and landmarks, such as the Washington State Capitol Building and Campus, the Artesian Well, and the Bigelow House Museum that provide insights into the area’s history and culture.

Q: Are there any educational sites in Olympia worth visiting?

A: Yes, Olympia has several educational sites worth visiting, including the Hands-On Children’s Museum, the Olympic Flight Museum, and the Washington Center for the Performing Arts, which offer cultural and educational experiences for visitors of all ages.

Q: How can I create a travel plan for my visit to Olympia?

A: To create a travel plan for your visit to Olympia, you can explore the Olympia and Beyond website for upcoming events, restaurants, hotels, attractions, and more. Save your favorite items by clicking on the “♥” button to add them to your personal itinerary, which can be shared with friends via email or with a link.

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