Olympia is enveloped by the luscious landscape of the Pacific Northwest region. The residents of Washington’s capital city, chiefly a community of artists, nature lovers, and liberal arts students, represent a progressive perspective. They encourage a “handmade” lifestyle – shopping local, crafting inhouse, and advocating the arts. Read on to learn more about the top things to do in Olympia, WA.
Olympia balances a small town feel with its identity as the capital of Washington State. The city is powered by a respect for the natural world and the dedication of the creatives who call this place home.
Some of the best attractions near Olympia include:
Olympia takes pride in its dedication to thought-provoking and functional public art. The city commits one dollar per person and 1% of government construction projects to displaying both major installations and pieces from local artists for all to enjoy.
Here are some cheap things to do in Olympia:
Seattle may be the home of the first Starbucks, but Olympia and its neighboring towns have just as strong a claim to world-class coffee as any contender. Be sure to check out the South Sound Coffee Trail to try specialty joe from a variety of local roasters.
Other popular activities near Olympia include:
One of Olympia’s most beloved festivals is the Procession of the Species held on Earth Day. The downtown culture comes alive with breweries, shopping centers, food trucks, and more.
Other exciting activities near Olympia:
An hour east of Olympia is the Starry Hill Observatory & Planetarium in Eaton. Starry Hill plays a number of special interest shows on the dome-shaped screen in the planetarium and often hosts Star Parties, an event that teaches party-goers how to target constellations and use telescopes to find them.
Some of the best nighttime activities near Olympia include:
The Olympia Farmers Market as been around for more than 40 years. It plays an active role in the businesses in and around Olympia. Patrons spend the day shopping for produce, fruit, meats, dairy, baked goods, and artisan crafts while listening to live music.
Some of the top weekend activities near Olympia are:
Try taking the family to one of the unique museums in Olympia can be found moored in West Bat. The Tugboat Sand Man is more than 100 years old and contains a museum dedicated to the maritime history of the South Puget Sound. Little history buffs will learn a lot from the exhibits in the museum.
Here are some of the other family-friendly things to do near Olympia:
Sometimes, the best way to show that you care is to do something as a couple in Olympia. Book a room for the weekend at the Little Creek Casino Resort, where you can hit the slots, watch a show, and relax together at the Seven Inlets Spa.
Other top date night ideas in Olympia:
Get the gang together for a weekend trip to Mount Rainier, one of the active volcanoes in Washington. There are plenty of group activities within the Mount Rainier National Park, such as hiking, mountain biking, and year-round camping.
Here’re the best things to do with your friends near Olympia:
For those looking to to get crafty indoors, check out the Arbutus Folk School. This non-profit, volunteer-run school is dedicated to preserving crafting knowledge from the past and present. Sign up for classes on pottery, ceramics, embroidery, and blacksmithing.
Some soothing things to do indoors in Olympia include:
Sightseeing starts with the accessible public parks of Olympia. The Artesian Well and Commons is an urban park in Downtown Olympia centered around an artesian well. The water to the well is free to the public, and you can often see citizens bottling the water for home use.
The best outdoor activities near Olympia include:
Evergreen State College is an experimental liberal arts college located in Olympia. This college has no “majors,” and instead encourages students to select programs of study that interest them to obtain a Bachelor’s of Arts or Science. This mindset has attracted restaurants, coffee shops, and other businesses that follow their own path.
Don’t miss these must-see attractions near Olympia: