Olympia travel guide

Olympia Tourism | Olympia Guide

You're Going to Love Olympia

The Washington State capital of Olympia is the perfect place to take in the beauty of the Pacific Northwest's evergreen population and eclectic culture.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Olympia

1. Washington State Capitol

Take in daily guided tours through the legislature building recounting its history and regional importance.

2. Washington Center for the Performing Arts

This performance space offers cultural concerts, musicals, and other artistic events throughout the year.

3. Priest Point Park

There are many hiking trails, children's playgrounds, rose gardens, and more scattered along the waterfront and through the surrounding 314 acres of park.

4. Painted Plate

Perfect for families, here you can paint your own personalized ceramic bowls, plates, and trinkets to be fired in the kiln for you afterwards.

5. Boston Harbor

There are many outdoor water sports available near downtown offering hourly kayaking, paddle boarding, and boating rentals.

Where to Eat in Olympia

McMenamin's Spar Café has been serving as a cultural hub of the city since 1930 with regular movie screenings and quiz nights. The restaurant serves mainly American fare, costing around $40 for two people.

Most popular restaurants in Olympia

French American
Excellent (89 reviews)

When to visit Olympia

Olympia in February
Estimated hotel price
1 night at 3-star hotel
Olympia in February
Estimated hotel price
1 night at 3-star hotel

The best time to visit Olympia is between May and September, when the weather is more temperate and there is a better opportunity to explore Washington State's natural beauty.

Data provided by weatherbase
Fahrenheit (°F)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Olympia


The Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) is located around 60 miles from Olympia. Sound Transit public transportation can get you from the airport to downtown Seattle for as little as $3, but most travelers drive from Olympia along the I5 freeway.


Amtrak trains offer services down the Western US Coastline as well as throughout Washington State, with the nearest station in nearby Lacey. Tickets from Seattle to Olympia cost $15 and the journey is one hour.


The Interstate 5 freeway runs from Seattle all the way down through Portland to San Diego, passing right by the State Capitol in Olympia.


Greyhound offers bus services from Seattle to Olympia for $11.

Airlines serving Olympia

United Airlines
Good (69,461 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (47,643 reviews)
Good (28,355 reviews)
Good (30,715 reviews)
Good (3,796 reviews)
Air France
Good (4,354 reviews)
British Airways
Good (23,336 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (23,596 reviews)
Excellent (9,182 reviews)
Good (6,149 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Excellent (11,515 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (25,037 reviews)
Austrian Airlines
Good (4,858 reviews)
Excellent (15,757 reviews)
Brussels Airlines
Good (2,480 reviews)
Good (5,576 reviews)
Scandinavian Airlines
Good (5,438 reviews)
Alaska Airlines
Excellent (30,283 reviews)
Spirit Airlines
Okay (63,056 reviews)
Good (3,869 reviews)
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Where to stay in Olympia

The Hilton Garden Inn is located right by Watershed Park with a close connection to downtown Olympia. The Governor Hotel is right in the middle of downtown Olympia, close to the capitol building as well as many restaurants and bars.

Popular neighborhoods in Olympia

Downtown - here in the heart of the city you will find many mom and pop restaurants, traditional crafts, and performance spaces.

Westside - this area is home to the largest shopping mall as well as some larger chain restaurants and residential housing.

East Bay Inlet - this neighborhood along the waterfront has many hiking trails leading up to Priest Point Park.

Where to stay in popular areas of Olympia

Most booked hotels in Olympia

Hampton Inn & Suites Olympia Lacey, WA
Excellent (9, 358 reviews)
Best Western Liberty Inn DuPont
Excellent (8.9, 160 reviews)
Hilton Garden Inn Olympia
Excellent (8.8, 188 reviews)
Best Western Plus Lacey Inn & Suites
Excellent (8.7, 236 reviews)
Ramada by Wyndham Olympia
Excellent (8.6, 999 reviews)
Ramada by Wyndham Olympia
Excellent (8.6, 999 reviews)
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How to Get Around Olympia

Public Transportation

The Intercity Transit system runs throughout Olympia and into nearby cities, Lacey and Tumwater. The cost of a day pass is $2.5.


Taxi tariffs start at $2.50 and will cost you around $15 for a trip around the city center attractions and parks.


Olympia runs from east to west, with many one way streets. Capitol Way leads north to south, with 4th Avenue cutting through the city east-west. A rental car costs start at $20 a day.

The Cost of Living in Olympia

Shopping Streets

The Olympia Farmers Market is the best spot to shop for groceries and local handicrafts, open between March and October. The Capital Mall is the main shopping center with international brands selling clothes, jewelry, and homewares.

Groceries and Other

The main grocery stores are the Bayview Thriftway and the Olympia Food Co-op. A dozen eggs costs $3.

Cheap meal
A pair of jeans
Single public transport ticket
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