Last Updated on April 27, 2023

With a homey, small-town feel and beautiful surroundings, Olympia is the perfect place for the budding sightseer.

Surrounded by national parks and national forests and the beautiful Washington coastline, its perfect for outdoor enthusiasts.

Hands On Children’s Museum

Founded in 1987, The Hands On Children’s Museum is the perfect place to bring those kids with curious minds.

It is open 7 days a week and they have a variety of events and programs to choose from. Since 1998 the museum has outgrown its location three times and has gone from a fledgling museum to a major landmark in Olympia.

Washington State Capitol Building

No trip to Olympia would be complete without checking out the Washington state capitol building. Built in 1928, it’s the legislative building and home of the government of Washington.

Free guided tours that last around 50 minutes and there are also various special events on the campus.

Percival Landing Park

One of the three waterfront parks in Olympia, Percival Landing Park is a busy gathering spot for celebrations and social events. The original dock was built in 1860 and has since become an area of historic and cultural significance.

It’s a popular tourist destination right in the center of downtown Olympia. Check out the 0.9-mile-long boardwalk on the eastern shore perfect for those who want a nice stroll by the water.

Tumwater Falls Park

This 15-acre nature park located on a riverside is the perfect spot for outdoor enthusiasts.

Construction of the scenic park was started in 1962 and since then attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

The park is open from 8 am until 7 pm every day and boasts several attractions including riverwalk tours, fisheries and waterfalls.

Pioneer Park

Pioneer Park is the perfect spot for families. Located in the small town of Tumwater, WA just outside of Olympia it lies just on the Deschutes River. It is mainly used for sports games and boasts a baseball field, two softball fields, three soccer fields and two sand volleyball courts.

It also has a nice size children’s area and access to the river. Check out the 4th of July fireworks held here each year a major attraction.

Priest Point Park

Established in 1905, Priest Point Park was the city’s first waterfront park. Mainly known for its many trails the park is perfect for nature lovers.

Views of downtown Olympia and the capitol building can be found when up on the trail and views of the Olympia mountains to the west make the area a perfect sightseeing location.

Capitol Lake

Capitol Lake sits at the mouth of the Deschutes river in between Olympia and Tumwater. An artificial lake, it was originally a basin that would gather up the wastewater from Olympia. Capitol lake was then built in 1951 and has since become a landmark in Olympia.

The lake is around 260 acres and has numerous attractions including a beautiful sidewalk for walking and running, public parks nearby and an interpretive center.

LBA Park

For baseball lovers then the LBA Park is a must, as it’s the only park in Olympia built specifically for baseball. LBA stands for Little Baseball Association, the park was developed in 1974 in an arrangement between the LBA and the City of Olympia.

The LBA now holds priority on all field events on the park and in 2017 the park was expanded through the purchase of the neighboring property. Nonetheless, the park does boast several attractions for the regular public as well such as picnic areas and a running track.

Olympia Farmers Market

The Olympia Farmers Market is open Thursday- Sunday 10 am- 3 pm and is a busy marketplace of over 100 vendors. With an estimated 400,000 visitors a year it’s a true landmark of modern-day Olympia and has been since 1975.

All produce or goods at the market have been grown or made locally so you know you’re getting the best quality.

Washington Center For the Performing Arts

For those looking for more of a refined experience, the Washington Center for the Performing Arts is the perfect place to go. It presents a broad spectrum of artists from all backgrounds both nationally and internationally.

WET Science Center

Another one for the kids, the WET science center provides a safe environment for kids to learn about water and its impact on the earth. The center is open Monday-Saturday.

Puget Sound Estuarium

Open only on weekends, the Puget Sound Estuarium is a marine life discovery center with several attractions available. Once again, the perfect place to bring the kids. Weekday private tours can be scheduled by phone.

There are plenty of live animals such as crabs and fish in their aquarium. Adults and kids alike will learn how to identify the various sea creatures living in Olympia. They also boast a natural history collection gifted to them by the Washington Department of Ecology.

Olympic Flight Museum

Another major attraction, the Olympic Flight Museum is a must see when visiting Olympia. Established in 1998 at the Olympia regional airport, it’s the home of several different aircraft on display including the P-51D Mustang, a WWII plane, and the L-39Z0 Albatros, the most used jet trainer in the world.

The annual air show is also held here.

Bigelow House Museum

The oldest residence in Olympia, this museum is the former home of pioneer lawyer Daniel R. Bigelow, a pivotal figure in early Washington history. It is also one of the oldest houses still standing in the Pacific Northwest.

The museum is dedicated to preserving early Washington state history. There are documents and artefact’s on display representing over 150 years of the Bigelow family’s participation in community matters.

Mima Mounds Natural Area Preserve

Mima Mounds is a state protected natural area encompassing over 630 acres of oak forest, savanna and prairie grasslands.

There are various trails in the area, with many suitable for kids and wheelchair accessible due to a low elevation.

Medicine Creek Winery

Located on a farm in the Nisqually Valley just outside of Olympia, it comprises the farm, the tasting room, wine processing area, barrel room and even a dance floor. The barn also has availability for function hire.

Lattins Country Cider Mill & Farm

The farm was opened in 1956 and through the years has grown tremendously. There are several attractions on the farm including an Easter egg hunt and other activities for the family and children.

On-site, there is the main store that sells produced cider and baked goods.

Stottle Winery

Located just north of the city in the small town of Lacey, WA, the Stottle winery has a tasting room and also hosts events throughout the year.

Woodard Bay Conservation Area

This beautiful nature reserve is perfect for birdwatchers and wildlife seekers. Once used by the logging industry, it was founded in 1928 and protected in 1991. It’s a sanctuary for animals including otters and bald eagles.

Marathon Park

This Waterfront park was used as the start and finish site for the 1984 U.S. trials for the first Women’s Olympic Marathon. The park is within walking distance of downtown Olympia,.

There is also a contingent of birdwatchers who visit the park each year due to its natural beauty and seclusion. The park is open between 7.am-9.pm, 7 days a week.

Heritage Park Fountains

The fountains are known as Olympias swimming pool. Free to use and always busy on hot days, it’s located in the heart of downtown.

Medal of Honor Memorial.

Located to the northeast of the Washington State Capitol Building is the Medal of Honour Memorial. The memorial holds the names of all the recipients of the medal of honor from Washington state.

The Medal of Honour is the highest distinction awarded to U.S military personnel.

The memorial is patterned after the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C and stands over 11-feet-tall.

Watershed Park

At over 153 acres, the Watershed Park is a public rainforest park. The numerous tree species within the park include big leaf maple and Douglas fir trees.

Old Capitol Building

The Old Capitol Building was designed by Willis A. Ritchie and then built between 1890-1892. It was the seat of government in Washington State from 1905-1928 before moving to the current Capitol building.

The building has survived many disasters over the years including a devastating earthquake in 1949. The building is currently used by the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Winged Victory Monument

Unveiled on May 30th, 1938, the monument was dedicated to those who fought in World War I. The bronze sculpture stands at 12-foot-tall and features a soldier, sailor, a marine and a nurse.

It is located just north of Capitol campus and serves as the main attraction in many memorial events.

Washington State Governors Mansion

No trip would be to Olympia would be complete without a trip to the governor’s mansion.

Designed in 1908 by architectural firm Russell and Babcock of Tacoma, it was then completed in 1909. The Georgian mansion offers guided tours regularly.

It is located on the grounds of the state capitol campus in Olympia with a great view of the mountains.

Lake Lois Habitat Reserve

Another of Washington state’s beautiful nature reserves, it features a quarter-mile nature trail, bank fishing and benches all along the trail. Lake Lois Habitat Reserve was named after Lois McKinney, a woman who operated a resort on the lake.

Rutledge Corn Maze

And finally, one more for the kids, Rutledge Corn Maze offers numerous attractions including swing sets, wagon rides and zip swings.

After dark, there is the haunted corn maze which opens after 8 pm. Filled with scary stuff it is only recommended for ages 10 and up. After dark, there is also zombie paintball, a trailer ride through Zombie country to shoot zombies with 50 paintballs. For groups there are also fire pit rentals available year-round, pits can be hired in 2-hour blocks.

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  • rovology

    Rovology is leveraging advice from Vagabonds, Tourists, Digital Nomads, Wayfarers and Travel Writers to give our readers a guide on the best things to do no matter where they go.