Attractions and Sites
There's Something for Everyone!
It's the Water
Olympia's Artesian Well
This natural, free-flowing artesian well was originally constructed a century ago and continues to flow 10 gallons per minute to this day. Recently remodeled, it's a great place to stop, rest and refill as you explore downtown. More information...
For the Young and Young at Heart
FREE Community Festivals: Check our list for information.
Heritage Park Fountain
Splash in Olympia's Heritage Park Fountain between 4th and 5th Avenues near Heritage Park. Bring a picnic lunch. Enjoy scenic views of the Capitol dome to the south and the Olympic Mountains to the north. Closed Wednesdays. More information...
Olympia's Hands on Children's Museum
Consistently voted the "Best Place To Take Kids" in regional and national polls, the Hands On Children's Museum is one of the Northwest's premier family destinations! A new waterfront Museum with exciting, interactive exhibits and attractions opened in late 2012. More information...
Water Education & Technology (WET) Center
Located just across from the new Hands On Children's Museum , the WET Center provides a fun, hands-on opportunity for people of all ages to learn about water, where it comes from and how we use it, clean it, and recycle it. More information...
Unwind and Explore
Get out and About: View a list of City of Olympia Parks and Trails.
Percival Landing Boardwalk
Moor your boat and stroll along Olympia's newly reconstructed, one mile waterfront boardwalk, Percival Landing. Enjoy scenic views of the Olympic Mountains, restaurants, shops, a brand-new playground and Olympia's Harbor House. More information...
Priest Point Park
This 314 acre regional park includes picnic areas, a playground, basketball, nature trails and more. Descend the Ellis Cove trail from the forest to one mile of scenic saltwater shoreline with views of downtown and the Capitol. More information...
Enjoy forest solitude in Olympia's Watershed Park. Hike the 1.5 mile, mixed surface trail loop that winds through a portion of the 153 acre park - temperate rain forest, springs, and Moxlie Creek. Home to owls, deer, and salmon. More information...
Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge
Bring your binoculars and explore the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. Three thousand acres of widely varying mixed habitats provide resting and nesting areas for migratory waterfowl, songbirds, raptors, and wading birds. More information...
Experience Olympia's Public Art
Public Art Collection: View Olympia's Public Art Collection.
While strolling along Percival Landing, check out the Percival plinths - art stands hosting temporary and permanent sculptures by local artists, as well as baes for performance art. You never know what you might see. More information...
Artesian Well Mosaic
While filling up your water bottle in the middle of downtown at Olympia's Artesian well, admire the underwater themed mosaic by local artist Jennifer Kuhns, completed with the help of community volunteers. More information...
Downtown Art Benches
Enjoy a cup of locally roasted coffee while resting on one of downtown Olympia's art benches. View a Google map of the downtown Olympia art benches sponsored by the downtown Parking and Business Improvement Association (PBIA).
Salmon Run Exhibition and Dale Chihuly Glass
Be awed by the Salmon Run art exhibition in the lobby of The Olympia Center. Each sculpture was handcrafted by a local artist or group. While there, check out Spectra Yellow Macchia with Turquoise Lip Wrap by Dale Chihuly. More information...
Savor a Taste of the Northwest
Olympia's Farmers Market
Your visit to the Capital City isn't complete without a stop at the Olympia Farmers Market, the largest in Washington State. Picturesquely located on Olympia's waterfront, at the foot of Capitol Way. Open April thru October. More information...
Explore the Tradition of Washington State Government
Tours and Information: State Capitol Visitor Information
State Capitol Building and Campus
As Washington State's capital city, Olympia is home to one of the last great domed capitols built in America. Set on a bluff overlooking Puget Sound, it stands 28 stories high. Forty-two broad granite steps lead up to the entrance which symbolize Washington's place as the 42nd state in the Union.
A team of thirty artisans spent five years carving the building's details in sandstone, marble, and wood. Elaborate plaster ceilings, rich with eagles and gilded rosettes, crown each legislative chamber. Louis Comfort Tiffany in the last of his major commissions, designed the building's floor lamps, sconces, and chandeliers.
Step Back in Time
Bigelow House Museum
Visit Olympia's oldest wood framed residence. The Bigelow House was built in 1860 by Oregon Trail pioneer Daniel Bigelow and his wife Ann Elizabeth Bigelow. The Bigelow House displays original furnishings and victorian-era artifacts. More Information...
State Capital Museum
Located in the elegant C.J. and Elizabeth Lord mansion in Olympia's historic South Capitol residential neighborhood, explore two floors of regional Native American and Olympia history exhibits at the State Capital Museum. More information...
Tumwater's Crosby House
Learn about early Tumwater pioneers Nathaniel and Cordelia Crosby (grandparents of famed singer Bing Crosby) with a tour of Tumwater's 1858 Crosby House, one of the oldest wood framed houses in Washington State. More information...
The attractions listed on this page are located on or in municipal, state or federally owned or maintained properties. Admission charges may apply.
You will find these and other Olympia area attractions on the Central Cascades website developd by the Washington and Oregon Departments of Tourism in cooperation with the National Geographic.