- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
Olympia has been the capital of Washington since 1853, the beginning of city and state. It is small for the capital city of a major state, but that makes it all the more pleasant to visit. The old and charming downtown area is compact and easy on the feet, stretching between Capitol Lake and the gathering of austere government buildings to the south, the shipping and yacht docks around glistening Budd Inlet to the west, the colorful market area capping the north end of town, and I-5 running along the eastern edge. There are little unexpected surprises all through town, from pretty little half-block parks and blossoming miniature gardens to clutches of Thai and Vietnamese restaurants and antiques shops. The imposing state capitol, finished in 1928, is set above the south end of town like a fortress, framed by a skirt of granite steps. The monumental 287-foot-high dome is the fourth-largest masonry dome in the world (only St. Peter's in Rome, St. Paul's in London, and the national Capitol in the other Washington are larger).
Olympia at a Glance
Elsewhere in Washington Cascade Mountains and Valleys
- Gig Harbor
- La Conner
Fodor's Trip Planning Ideas
- Fodor's Go List 2014: Where we are going in 2014
- World Cup Fever: Start planning your trip to Brazil!
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Best of Europe: Fodor's Picks the Best Places to Visit in Europe