Olympia (Washington)

Olympia is in the South Sound region of Washington.

The State Capitol Building rises over Capitol Lake Park

Olympia is the capital of Washington State, and the Thurston County seat. The city reflects a diverse economic base and culture. It has a population of 46,478 (2010 Census) and 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 somewhat of a breeding ground for Pacific Northwest alternative culture having 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 of 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

By car

Olympia is located along Interstate 5 (I-5), approximately 65 mi south of Seattle (65 min), 100 mi (2 hr) north of Portland and 60mi east from Grays Harbor.

By bus

  • 64 local route from Bay 'G' to the Amtrak Station in Lacey via College St. Makes multiple stops to pick up and drop off people on request.
  • 603, 605, 612 Express buses from Bay 'M' (NE corner @ Olympia Ave & Franklin) to downtown Tacoma & Tacoma Dome via Lacey & Lakewood. Look at schedules closely as they do not make all the same stops between Olympia and downtown Tacoma and not all routes continue from 10th & Commerce in downtown Tacoma to the Tacoma Dome Station either. Transfer to Pierce Transit Buses in downtown Tacoma, Tacoma Mall or Lakewood. Transfer to ST #594 bus to downtown Seattle or ST #574 to the airport in Lakewood.
  • 609 Express buses from Tumwater to downtown Tacoma via downtown Olympia, Lacey and Lakewood. Bus does NOT serve the downtown transit center but a limited number of stops on 11th with the nearest at Capitol & 11th.
  • 620 Weekend express bus from downtown Olympia to Tacoma Mall via Lacey & Lakewood. No service to downtown Tacoma or Tacoma Dome.
  • #592 goes up to Seattle via Dupont and Lakewood during the morning rush hour and back to Olympia during the afternoon-evening rush hour. Not all #592 bus begin and end in downtown Olympia some begin/end in Dupont instead. Check schedules or get on Intercity #603,605,612 or 620 to Lakewood and transfer to one of the below routes.
  • #574 continues to the airport from Lakewood via Tacoma Dome, Federal Way, Kent & Sea-Tac though most of the day and weekends. Transfer to/from Intercity Transit buses in Lakewood & Tacoma.
  • #594 continues to downtown Seattle via Tacoma from Lakewood though most of the day and weekends. Transfer to/from Intercity Transit buses in Lakewood & Tacoma.

By train

Unlike the other cities where the Amtrak stations are in a downtown location, Amtrak is located in a separate location 7.5mi/12km SE of downtown Olympia. The #64 bus goes from the train station up into downtown Olympia

  • Amtrak Cascades... runs between between Seattle and Portland 4x daily serving Tukwila, Tacoma, Lacey (Olympia), Centralia and Kelso in Washington state. They run from Seattle to Vancouver via Everett, Mt Vernon & Bellingham 2x daily and from Portland to Eugene via Oregon City, Salem & Albany 2x daily. Additional service from Seattle to Vancouver and from Portland to Eugene are provided on the Amtrak Thruway Bus.
  • Amtrak Coast Starlight makes an once daily trip in each direction between Seattle and Los Angeles along the same route with the same stops as the Amtrak Cascades (except Tukwila & Oregon City) between Seattle and Eugene, OR.

Get around


East Bay


The South Sound Wine Trail includes stops at Medicine Creek Winery, Madsen Family Cellars, Northwest Mountain Winery, Stottle Winery, Olympia Wine Tasting Bar (McCrea Cellars & Vina Salida), and Walter Dacon. During your tour you will often have the chance to speak with the winemakers and owners to receive unique insight into their wines.






Go next

Routes through Olympia

Seattle Lacey  N  S  Tumwater Portland
Port Angeles Shelton  N  S  Tumwater END
Aberdeen via Elma  W  E  END

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, March 14, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.