Attractions Nearby Olympia, Day Trips and Excursions

(Olympia, Washington - WA, USA)

Being located on the western side of Washington state means that day trips from Olympia invariably take in the attractions lying on the state's North Pacific Ocean coastline, to the west. Alternatively, the famous volcano of Mount St. Helens is also within reach of the state capital.

Within comfortable driving distance of Olympia are a number of spreading parks, forests and wildlife reserves, which are often easy to get to by following the local thoroughfares, such as Highway US-101 and Interstate I-5. And with the busy Swantown Marina being situated right next to the Budd Inlet, all-day cruises to the Hope Island State Park and Harstine Island are quite possible, if you have the time.

Of course, with the epic and extremely enticing city of Seattle being just 60 miles / 97 km to the northeast of Olympia, excursions here are always popular, both with sightseeing tourists and locals alike. The list of attractions in Seattle is almost endless, ranging from observation decks at the iconic Space Needle and Smith Tower, to the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, the Museum of Flight and the exceptional Seattle Art Museum - SAM for short.

General Information

Especially close to Olympia and perfect for a day trip are the attractions of neighboring Lacey, a small city with big tourism appeal. Much of the allure is based around the plentiful seasonal events that fill the year's calendar and include spring fairs, a Dixieland jazz festival, children's days, community markets and summer concerts at Huntamer Park. Each year on New Year's Day, the Polar Bear Plunge sees brave locals jumping into the freezing waters of Long Lake Park, before warming up in front of roaring campfires.

At around 30 miles / 48 km to the northeast of Olympia, Tacoma makes for an appealing excursion and stands just beyond Lakewood. Tacoma is a busy port city lying alongside the Puget Sound, where it serves as Washington's third-biggest city.

Day trippers will be able to choose between a huge number of cultural attractions here, the best of which include the Tacoma Art Museum, the Fort Nisqually Living History Museum, the LeMay Car Museum and the Washington State History Museum. Shoppers from Olympia regularly make this journey to enjoy some retail therapy at the expansive Tacoma Mall, where more than 150 stores await.

Those with a hire car may like to consider excursions to Auburn, Bellevue, Everett, Kent, Kirkland, Lynnwood, Marysville, Redmond and Shoreline, all of which are to the north of Olympia and along the I-5. To the south and also reached via the I-5 are the attractions of Centralia, Longview and the sizeable city of Portland (Oregon), the latter of which is a little more than 100 miles / 160 km away and is perfect for a weekend break.