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Olympia, Washington

Local Details

Learn more about Olympia, Washington using the City Guide below. Plan a trip, find local shopping centers, or just discover what makes Olympia, Washington so great!

Current Temperature

  • 2:37 AM PDT Oct. 19

City Guide

Olympia is in Washington.

Understand

Olympia is the state capital of Washington State, and the Thurston County seat. The culture of the city reflects a diverse economic base and culture. Olympia is also home to The Evergreen State College, one of six public four-year schools in Washington.

Olympia's art and music scene is unusually large and active for a town of its size, and its identity as a city remains distinct despite strong influences from Seattle, Tacoma and Everett to the North and from Portland/Vancouver to the South. Olympia is a breeding ground for Pacific Northwest alternative culture, and has spawned or influenced many of the region's better-known personalities.

The city's downtown core has been designated as a National Historic District.

The natural beauty in Olympia is of particular note. From downtown, one can see the Olympic Mountains to the northwest set behind Puget Sound's Budd Bay - and towering Mt. Rainier to the southeast set next to the state capitol building and Capitol Lake.

Get in

By plane

  • Fly in through SeaTac airport. http://www.portseattle.org/seatac/
  • Olympia Regional Airport (private, charter)

By train

  • Amtrak station 6 miles from downtown in Lacey. Takes 15-20 mins to drive there, and there are also buses.

By bus

  • Greyhound Bus Station centrally located
  • Shared Route, Biodiesel bus connects Olympia with Seattle and Portland. Fares to Seattle are $10; fares to Portland are $20. Operates on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, as well as some holidays. Bus stops on Franklin Street and State Ave, across from the Olympia Transit Center.
  • City buses are operated by Intercity Transit. Schedules available on their site. Public buses also run from Seattle and Tacoma, you can plan a trip from Sound Transit's website.

Get around

  • Olympia's numbered streets run East-West, and the city is broken into four quadrants with the center point in downtown. Northwest, Northeast, Southwest and Southeast. These indicators come after any address. (123 Main St. NW)
  • Capitol Way is the main north - south street in the downtown area. Fourth Avenue is the main connector that runs through downtown east - west.
  • The city's downtown district lies in the middle of what residents refer to as the Westside and the Eastside. Most residents of the city will claim these two areas are distinctively different.

See

  • The Washington state capitol building. One of the largest free standing masonry domes in the world.
  • The Evergreen State College - Public baccalaureate liberal arts college
  • Puget Sound
  • Olympia Marina
  • Olympia has a thriving music community, with frequent local performances by rock, jazz, blues, folk, and other bands. Local noncommercial community radio station KAOS at 89.3 FM (which also streams live at http://www.kaosradio.org) features tremendous variety of independent artists, often live in their performance studio. The station is located on the campus of The Evergreen State College.

Do

  • Washington Center For The Performing Arts, 512 Washington Street SE, (360) 753-8585. South Puget Sound's largest performing arts facility, provids a wide variety of entertainment and cultural activities.
  • Hands On Children's Museum, 106 11th Ave. SW, (360) 956-0818. The Hands On Children's Museum stimulates curiosity, creativity and learning through fun, interactive exhibits and programs for children.

Buy

  • Olympia Farmer's Market, One of the largest in the state. It's located at the North End of Capitol Way near the waterfront. The market's schedule is seasonal.
  • Tea Lady, 430 Washington Street SE, (360) 786-0350. Tea shop & bar, offer over 700 teas from around the world.
  • Wind Up Here, (360) 943-9045 located at 5th & Washington across from the Performing Arts Center. Toy store for kids of all ages. Educational, hard-to-find & zany toys, puzzles & novelties.

Eat

  • Cebu Restaurant, 9408 Martin Way East, (360) 455-9128, serves excellent Filipino food in a friendly atmosphere. It's a little bit hard to find--it's in a strip mall next to a gas station. If you're heading east on Martin Way, it's not too far past Marvin Road.
  • Eagan's Big Tom Drive Inn: Eastside (2023 4th Ave E, (360)357-4852) has the best burgers anywhere. No contest from anyplace else, in town or otherwise. Nothing beats a Big Tom with the works. Milkshakes and crinkle fries are also excellent. Bring cash and a hearty appetite.
  • Anthony's Homeport 704 Columbia Street NW, (360) 357-9700 on Olympia waterfront. Upper scale fine dining.
  • Lemon Grass Restaurant 212 4th Ave. W, (360) 705-1832. If you love Thai food, this is the place.

Drink

  • The Highclimber Room at The Spar (114 4th Ave E, (360)357-6444) serves up some of the better cocktails in town. You can catch some live music here, but hitting Happy Hour tends to be more rewarding and atmospheric. Pick up a couple of cigars for later at The Spar's smoke counter.
  • The lounge at King Solomon's Reef (212 4th Ave E, 360)357-5552) is the quintessential Olympia dive-bar. Dark, tobacco-stained, with well drinks that bite back and bar food to match, The Reef is where the locals go after shows or just to hang out late at night. A good place to go absorb some drinks while avoiding Oly's meat-market scene.
  • Jake's on 4th - A gay nightclub with dj dancing Thursday - Sunday.
  • The Urban Onion lounge - Gay lounge with dj's spinning on weekends.

Sleep

  • Phoenix Inn Suites, 415 Capitol Way N, Tel: +1 360 570-0555 - All suite accommodations with complimentary breakfast buffet, high speed internet, and 24 hr. business center
  • Chez Cascadia, 323 Milroy St. NW, +1 360 570-0823. Hostel-style beds at $16 per night, private rooms at $30 per night, additional person $10. You can also set up a tent in the backyard, $10 for one person/tent, plus $5 for each additional person in the tent.

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Goods & Services in Olympia, Washington.

Find out the little necessities in life like, Grocery Stores, Department Stores, Gas Stations, Dry Cleaners, Nail Salons, Fast Food, Auto Repair, Plumbers, Shopping Centers and Post Offices.