Sign Up
Newsletter Signup
Free Fodor's Newsletter

Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.

Passport: Your weekly travel wrap-up
Today's Departure: Your daily dose of travel inspiration

Washington Cascade Mountains and Valleys Travel Guide

Olympia

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).

Read More

Advertisement

Advertisement

Trip Finder