The capital of the State of Washington sits on Puget Sound and excites with its aquatic pursuits, art, wildlife and museums.
Olympia is an attractive city of natural beauty and historic and cultural attractions. See public displays of art, cruise waterways and wander through a rainforest.
Charter a boat and sail around Puget Sound or canoe along the vast waterway. If you are looking for a more adventurous pursuit, go whitewater rafting on the Cispus or Skykomish rivers.
Olympia has more than 900 acres (364 hectares) of parks within its boundaries and a network of trails. Grab your camera for a wildlife watching trip at the Woodard Bay Natural Resources Conservation Area. There are habitats for bald eagles, bats, river otters and harbor seals. See more wildlife, such as woodpeckers, grouse and warblers, on the McLane Creek Nature Trail in Capitol State Forest. Stroll through wetlands and a temperate rainforest at Watershed Park.
A popular place for a walk is the boardwalk at the waterfront Percival Landing Park. Here you can enjoy views of the Olympic Mountains, visit bars, shops and restaurants and admire displays of public art.
There’s more artistic work on show in several city locations. Since 1990, new construction projects have budgets set aside for public art. Rest on one of the downtown area’s colorful art benches and refill your water bottle from the artesian well.
Learn more about Olympia’s past by touring historic attractions. Explore the mid-19th-century Bigelow House and see original furniture and Victorian-era artifacts. Pick up insights into the area’s Native American history at the State Capital Museum.
Also worth a visit is the Washington State Capitol campus. See the senate chamber in the Capitol building and marvel at the interior ceiling of the dome. View art installations around the campus including World War II and Korean War memorials.
Arrive in Olympia by train, car, bus or plane. The closest airport is Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, 48 miles (77 kilometers) away. The nearest railway station is 5 miles (8 kilometers) away in Lacey. Get around by the city’s efficient bus system or via the 32 miles (51 kilometers) of bike lanes.
Visit Olympia for a vacation filled with nature, culture and history.