Olympia is both an important and fun destination in Washington State. You can stop there on a road trip through the area and visit the State Capitol, several museums, breweries, and all sorts of local scenic attractions. Olympia is also popular because it is located very near some great things to see and do. Here are just five of the many great things to see and do within an easy drive of Olympia
Ocean Shores is located on the Pacific coastline just west of Olympia. This beachfront community that sits on a peninsula has a lot to offer. There are tourist activities available like bumper boats, go karts, moped rentals, miniature golf, and more. The best part of Ocean Shores though is of course the beach. There is plenty of beach space to explore and stake out for yourself too. There are also miles of drivable beach too which means you can roll down the window and feel the wind off the water while you motor down the beach and find a place all to yourself. Visiting Ocean Shores for a couple of hours or more while staying in Olympia is a great idea.
Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad
Travel east from Olympia to the tiny town of Elbe and you’ll be able to take part in a very cool activity, the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad. Here you’ll be able to climb aboard a historic train and enjoy a trip through the woods on a rail line that has been operating in the area for a very long time. The route gives you a view of many things you would never see from the road and you also get a chance to check out one of the best railroad museums in the region. There’s nothiung quite like a ride on the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad.
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is located in a scenic part of Tacoma known as Point Defiance. The zoo is historic in nature which is very interesting, but what will be even better for you and anyone you’re traveling with are all the animals there. The zoo includes great examples of exotic animals from around the world. There is also a nice section devoted to animals from the Pacific Northwest. You’re sure to leave Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium trying to decide which was your favorite animal that you saw.
Johnston Ridge Observatory
Located south from Olympia by about two hours is Johnston Ridge Observatory. This important scenic sight is the best place to observe the crater of Mt. St. Helens from. You can tour the visitor center and learn a great deal about the surrounding land and the eruption that changed the geography there in 1980. You can also venture out to the viewpoint and see the hugeness of this important location up close and in person. You’ll really want to have your camera along for this. It’s something you won’t want to miss.
Ferry Ride to Seattle
With a drive of a little over an hour north to Bremerton, you can drive or walk on board and take an hour long ferry ride across Puget Sound to the Seattle Waterfront. Once there, you can hang out in the waterfront area, get a bite to eat, do some shopping, and then get back on board for another ferry ride back. While the Seattle Waterfront is great and has a lot to offer, one of the best parts about this experience is the ferry ride across the water. Relax and watch the water go by and the scenery change. There’s always plenty of activity on the water too with other ferries, sailboats, and ships active in the area. A ferry ride to Seattle is a great way to make any trip to Olympia even better.