Make Olympia Your Day-Trip Destination

If you’re a Tacoma resident, you probably don’t find yourself on I-5 South heading to Olympia very often, but it’s packed with unique waterfront activities that will remind you why you fell in love with this area. The capital city announced a smorgasbord of summer events and attractions aimed at the tried-and-true beer lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, and those with curious minds.

Beer lovers

  • Brewery tours by bike are popping up all over the place, and they’re a fun way to check out local breweries while pumping up your heart rate. The three-hour, 11-mile trek — hosted by South Sound Adventures — takes you through the Capitol Campus and waterfront along Port Plaza and Tumwater Historical Park, and includes three local breweries. Bring your kids along! The tour is for ages 12 and up, and soda is provided for minors. It’ll be the best family bike ride you’ve ever had.

Photo courtesy of Doug Walker

Check it out

  • Keep those little fingers busy at the Hands on Children’s Museum. The museum is hosting a “campout” with s’mores and a bonfire in advance of the big solar eclipse on Aug. 21.
  • At 11 a.m. on the first Tuesday of each month, take a 90-minute tour of the Schmidt House, home to Leopold Schmidt, founder of Olympia Brewery. The free tour is led by Bob Crim, who’s been the caretaker of the house since the 1960s.
  • You’ve probably heard of the Museum of Flight in Tukwila, but did you know there’s an Olympic Flight Museum? Check out the rotating display of aircraft. The museum is located at the Olympia airport.
  • The Squaxin Island Museum features breathtaking architecture that replicates the “early shoreline villages of the Squaxin tribes.”
  • From July through August, daily themes at the WET Science Center are sure to keep your family intrigued. They also feature sensory-friendly Sundays — the next one is from noon to 4 p.m. on Sept. 24.

Cool off

  • The Tenino Quarry Pool is a “secret” spot that started as a functional stone quarry mine in the late 1800s. It’s open July and August, Thursday through Sunday.
  • Offut Lake Resort is tucked away, but offers the perfect location for fishing, swimming, kayaking, or paddling. Rent a boat and finish the day with dinner at the waterside restaurant.
  • Long Lake offers 285 feet of beach front and 10 acres of wooded park, perfect for a short walk with picturesque views.
  • Deep Lake at Millersylvania State Park has two swimming beaches with a total of 3,300 feet of freshwater shoreline. Take a dip after hiking and biking.
  • Black Lake at Columbus Park is great for young kids. It features a playground and a shallow stream for a little splashing. Bigger kids and adults can swim in the roped off area, and the fire pits are ideal for cook-outs and picnic gatherings.

Cruisin’ the port

  • American Cruise Lines is including Olympia as a destination on its Grand Puget Sound Tour. Passengers will likely make five overnight stops as part of the 11-day cruise package, and the cruise will stop near downtown Olympia at Port Plaza between September and November 2018.

For more information about Olympia attractions, visit



is an assistant editor at South Sound magazine. Email her.
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