The area upon which Olympia was built was once home to the Lushootseed-speaking people. Europeans first visited the area in 1792 during a charting expedition, and settlers began claiming land as early as 1846. By 1850, the residents decided on the name Olympia for the town due to the community's view of the Olympic Mountains. Over the years, Olympia has become a hub for musicians and artists and has been named one of the best college towns in the U.S. thanks to its abundance of outdoor activities and vibrant downtown.
Whatever your reasons for visiting Olympia, it's important to find the right hotel that allows you to explore everything this wonderful capital city has to offer.
Best Time to Visit Olympia, WA
The Pacific Northwest might be known for gray, rainy skies, but the weather fluctuates throughout the year. July and August bring sunny skies and glorious weather, making the summer months an ideal time for outdoor recreation. There's still a slight chance of rain, of course, so be sure to bring your umbrella regardless of the time of year you come to Olympia. Keep in mind, though, that hotel rates tend to go up in the summer as an influx of travelers visit the area. You can reduce some of these costs by booking your trip well in advance.
September is generally considered the area's shoulder season because the summer tourist crowds have tapered off, but the skies are often still cloudless. If you plan on exploring any of the nearby Olympic Mountains, you can still find flowers in bloom, making September the perfect month for a hike. You can also enjoy reduced hotel rates.
Washington State's infamous rainy season is primarily between October and early July, but don't let that deter you from visiting. Olympia has many indoor attractions that are worth seeing as you seek a reprieve from the rain. During the winter, ski season kicks into high gear, but rain can still be heavy during the winter months, so pack appropriately.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Olympia, WA:
Olympia by Star Rating
Below we've posted 3 graphs demonstrating mean nightly cost patterns by star rating class in Olympia, WA. You can use these illustrations to evaluate the least expensive time to make a reservation in Olympia for upcoming travels.
Luxury Hotel Options in Olympia, WA
If you prefer more upscale lodgings in Olympia, you have a few options. TownePlace Suites by Marriott Olympia is located in the heart of downtown, placing you in a convenient central location. Guest suites feature fully equipped kitchens with dishwashers, microwaves, and refrigerators. Additional amenities include a lovely outdoor BBQ area, daily housekeeping, an on-site fitness center, and guest laundry. Business travelers can also take advantage of the free high-speed internet, well-lit work desks, and a piping hot breakfast.
Located within walking distance of the Hands On Children's Museum, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Olympia is a contemporary hotel featuring contemporary guest rooms with custom-designed beds. Guest amenities include free Wi-Fi, 40-inch flat-screen TVs, microwaves, mini-fridges, and coffee makers. Suites add pull-out sofas in separate living areas. Enjoy an available cooked-to-order breakfast, an on-site bistro, an indoor pool, a fitness center, a business center, and freshly baked cookies.
Candlewood Suites Olympia/Lacey is a laid-back property four miles from the Hands On Children's Museum and the Yashiro Japanese Garden. The hotel's studios offer flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi internet access, and kitchenettes with dishwashers. Suites add separate living rooms with sofa beds. Enjoy the on-site gym, DVD library, gazebo with BBQ grill, free parking, and laundry facilities.
Affordable Hotel Options in Olympia, WA
Finding an affordable hotel in Olympia is easier than you might think. Quality Inn & Suites just off I-5 places you within walking distance of Saint Martin's University. This basic accommodation features guest rooms with free Wi-Fi access, 32-inch flat-screen TVs, microwaves, mini-fridges, and coffee makers; suites add whirlpool tubs. Enjoy all-day coffee in the lobby, a free hot breakfast, an on-site fitness room, guest laundry facilities, a business center, and free large-vehicle parking.
Super 8 Lacey Olympia Area is a contemporary budget accommodation off I-5 less than five miles from downtown Olympia. All guest rooms feature cable TV, work desks, microwaves, coffee makers, and mini-fridges, and suites offer extra space. Guest amenities include a continental breakfast, large-vehicle parking, a hot tub, a heated indoor pool, a business center, and an on-site laundromat.
Olympia Inn has been a time-honored property in Washington's capital city for many years, placing travelers within walking distance of Olympia's downtown shops, the Puget Sound, and the Capitol campus. Its straightforward guest rooms feature air conditioning, microwaves, mini-fridges, cable TV, free local phone calls, and free Wi-Fi internet access. Guests can also enjoy free parking.
Motel 6 is a basic budget property four miles from downtown. Guest rooms are bright and colorful with flat-screen TVs, expanded cable, paid Wi-Fi, granite countertops, and wood floors. Mini-fridges are available upon request for an extra fee. Free morning coffee is provided, as is truck parking, and there's an on-site coin laundry and seasonal outdoor pool.
2 Star Average Prices: $81.62
Olympia, WA Hotels with Discounts
If you plan your trip carefully, you can save even more money by taking advantage of hotel discounts in Olympia. Many area hotels, including TownePlace Suites Olympia, offer discounts to AAA/CAA members, AARP members, seniors, corporate travelers, government employees, and military families. Depending on the property, you can save as much as 20 percent just by booking the special rate and showing your proof of eligibility at check-in.
Other area hotels, including the Best Western Tumwater Inn, offer special discounted rates to rewards members. If you have a favorite hotel chain you like to frequent, it pays to sign up for the rewards program so you can start earning points to put toward a free night.
Best Value Options in Olympia, WA
Olympia boasts several mid-range hotels that give travelers plenty of value for their dollar. Holiday Inn Express & Suites Lacey is a standard property just over four miles from the WET Science Center. Unfussy guest rooms and suites feature flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, work desks, high-pressure showerheads, mini-fridges, microwaves, and coffee makers, while suites add pull-out sofas. Additional amenities include a free hot breakfast bar, free guest parking, an indoor pool, a fitness center, and a business center.
For one of the best values in downtown Olympia, book a room at the Governor Hotel. This contemporary three-star property is within walking distance of both the Washington State Governor's Mansion and Capitol Lake Park. Guest rooms are classy and minimalist with free Wi-Fi internet access, flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, mini-fridges, coffee makers, and microwaves. Suites add leather recliners, additional living space, private balconies, and whirlpool tubs. Extra amenities include free parking, free coffee, and a complimentary breakfast buffet.
Located off I-5, Ramada Olympia is a classic hotel within walking distance of St. Martin's University. Guest rooms are traditionally decorated and feature free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, microwaves, mini-fridges, and coffee makers. Suites with kitchenettes, whirlpool tubs, and extra living rooms are also available. Enjoy a free hot breakfast, a heated indoor pool, an on-site fitness room, a whirlpool, laundry facilities, and a business center.
Top Attractions in Olympia, WA
With so much to explore in Olympia, you may be wondering which sites to add to your itinerary first. If you're traveling with kids, a trip to the Hands On Children's Museum is a must. This interactive museum features both art and science exhibits and offers a variety of special events throughout the year to keep the kids entertained.
If you prefer history and architecture, head to the Daniel R. Bigelow House. This historic home on Glass Avenue is now a museum dedicated to preserving the history of Olympia and the early Washington Territory. The house itself remains one of the earliest of its kind still standing in the entire Pacific Northwest.
Any trip to Olympia requires a visit to the Washington State Capitol. Home of the state government, the Capitol is the fifth-tallest masonry dome structure in the world, and the tallest in North America. Tours are available during regular business hours and are free.
Yashiro Japanese Garden is another must-see attraction. This beautiful garden was dedicated in 1990 to symbolize the relationship between Olympia and her sister city, Yashiro, Japan. The park features public art and picnic areas and is a wonderful place for a nature stroll.
For more outdoor recreation, head to the 260-acre Capitol Lake. This artificial lake features a number of hiking trails throughout both Heritage and Marathon Parks, which are located on either side of the lake. With easy access to the Capitol Campus, Capitol Lake is a popular spot for jogging and other recreational activities.
Exploring Washington State's capital city is a tall order, but no matter what your itinerary includes, you'll find a vibrant, diverse, green city with plenty to offer every kind of traveler. Whether you're looking to splurge on an upscale hotel downtown or you need a budget-friendly property with basic amenities, you can find the perfect hotel in Olympia designed to meet your needs and budget.