Trying to figure out where to stay in Olympia, Washington? You’re in the right place! I’m a Washington State local and I’ve got helpful recommendations and tips I think you should know about before visiting this vibrant Washington city.
In this guide, I’ll walk you through the best places to stay in Olympia. We’ll start with the top Olympia hotels. Then, we’ll look at areas in Olympia and Thurston County that you should consider for your trip.
Let’s dive in!
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Best Places to Stay in Olympia
Just looking for a quick answer on the best places to stay in Olympia? Here are my top picks:
- 🌟 Best Overall Hotel – Hampton Inn and Suites Olympia Lacey
- 💎 Best Luxury Hotel – Courtyard by Marriott Olympia
- 👪 Best for Families – Ramada by Windham Olympia
- 💻 Best for Business – Holiday Inn Express & Suites Lacey
- 🛎️ Best Boutique – The Marie Bed and Breakfast
- 🏛️ Best near Capitol Campus – TownePlace Suites by Marriott
- 🛏️ Best Budget – Olympia Hotel at Capitol Lake
- 💑 Best for Couples – Swantown Inn
Ok, let’s do a deep dive of the best areas and neighborhoods in Olympia:
4 Best Neighborhoods & Areas to Stay in Olympia
Olympia, the Washington state capitol, is a relatively small city. Most of its quaint neighborhoods are within 15 minutes of one another. However, there are enough differences between them to affect your hotel choices.
We’ll look at lodging options in Olympia proper and its neighboring cities, Lacey and Tumwater. The borders between Olympia and these two cities can be blurry, but they also have excellent accommodations.
Go to downtown Olympia to experience the city’s best entertainment, nightlife, and culture. Downtown Olympia is small and walkable. Downtown Olympia is jam-packed with some of the best things to do in Olympia. You’ll find interesting local shops, restaurants, bars, and breweries.
Explore the Historic District or listen to live music at Cryptatropa Bar. Catch a show at Harlequin Productions, and buy local goods at the year-round Olympia Farmers Market.
The Harbor Days Festival brings thousands to downtown Olympia in early September. You can check out historic ships, watch tugboat races, and soak up all the festivities during this time.
There aren’t a ton of hotels concentrated in the city center of Olympia, but one solid option is the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel. This hotel is within walking distance of some of Olympia’s best attractions like the Children’s Museum and Percival Landing Park.
Choose TownPlace Suites for a longer visit. The rooms here have well-equipped kitchens, work areas, and living spaces to make an extended visit comfortable.
Pros of Staying in Downtown Olympia:
- Lively with lots of bars, restaurants, shopping, and entertainment
- Central, easy to get anywhere
Cons of Staying in Downtown Olympia:
- Certain parts can feel unsafe
- Limited in terms of high-quality hotels
📚 Downtown Olympia Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Entertainment
🏠 Apartments – Browse Top Rentals in Downtown Olympia
🍽️ Where to Eat – Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar ($$), Arepa Latin Street Food ($), Budd Bay Cafe ($$)
🍸 Where to Drink – Well 80 Brewhouse, Cryptatropa Bar, Rumors Wine Bar
🎟️ Top Attractions – Historic District, Olympia Farmers Market, Percival Landing, Hands On Children’s Museum
The Westside neighborhood may be more your speed if you’re craving a more local-feeling place to stay in Olympia. The neighborhoods that make up the Westside have plenty of character. The Westside is an attractive option for people looking to move to Olympia, but there’s a lot to do here too.
Westside has a mix of local businesses and familiar, national chains. Capital Mall is the area’s shopping destination with over 100 stores to peruse. Locally owned restaurants and neighborhood gems like Headless Mumby Brewing are half a mile away from the mall.
The Westside’s parks are year-round gathering places. Enjoy summertime markets and live music at West Central Park. Go to Yauger Park for the skatepark, and athletic fields, or to unleash kids at the playground. Take a waterside stroll at West Bay Park or go bird spotting at Grass Lake Nature Reserve.
The Olympia Hotel at Capitol Lake is the main hotel to stay at on the Westside. Try out the Marie Bed and Breakfast if you’d prefer something a little more luxe and historic (though not kid-friendly).
Pros of Staying in Westside:
- More communal, local feeling
- Very safe area
- Easy access to shopping and restaurants
Cons of Staying in Westside:
- Not as walkable, you’ll need a car to get around
- Very few hotel options
📚 Westside Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Local Vibes
🏠 Apartments – Browse Top Rentals in Westside
🍽️ Where to Eat – Tugboat Annie’s ($$), Hash ($$), Iron Rabbit Restaurant & Bar ($$)
🍸 Where to Drink – Headless Mumby Brewing, The Westside Tavern
🎟️ Top Attractions – Marathon Park, West Central Park, Capital Mall
Eastside & Lacey
Eastside is made up of several small and historic Olympia neighborhoods. It’s right next to the neighboring city, Lacey. Both the Eastside and Lacey are excellent places to stay in Olympia.
Stay on the Eastside to have close proximity to downtown without being right in the action. This part of the city is residential. It has close-knit neighborhoods, friendly locals, and pretty, manicured streets. Local bakeries like Left Bank Pastry, old-school diners, and multiple grocery co-ops add to the area’s small-town vibe.
I recommend couples stay in the Eastside, particularly at Swantown Inn. This gorgeous bed and breakfast in a historic home is perfect for romance. You won’t be far away from the city’s best restaurants, bars, and entertainment because it’s also only about a mile from downtown,
Lacey is a good spot to stay because it has the best hotels in the area. This Olympia suburb is sprawling, but the hotels are condensed into the area bordering Olympia. It’s not the most scenic or pretty place, but it’s only a 10-minute drive downtown. The hotels are also near shopping centers.
The Hampton Inn and Suites Olympia Lacey is the best overall hotel if you choose to stay in Lacey. It has all the amenities that families, solo, and business travelers might want like a pool, free breakfast, and workstations.
Pros of Staying in Eastside & Lacey:
- Easy to get downtown
- Small town atmosphere
- Has the best hotels in Olympia
Cons of Staying in Eastside & Lacey:
- The Lacey area is not as scenic
🏠 Apartments – Browse Top Rentals in Eastside, Lacey
🍽️ Where to Eat – Left Bank Pastry ($), Eastside Big Tom ($), Martin Way Diner ($$)
🍸 Where to Drink – Northwest Beerwerks, State and Central
🎟️ Top Attractions – Bigelow House Museum, Squaxin Park
South Olympia & Tumwater
The South Olympia area extends beyond Capitol Campus. Just south of that is Tumwater, another Olympia suburb. These areas are quiet and largely residential. There are a lot of single-family homes with no real cluster of restaurants, shops, or bars. However, the area is beautiful, safe, and close to many great outdoor spaces.
You can easily explore the Capitol Campus and parks, which is one of the best attractions in Washington if you stay in South Olympia. Watershed Park has excellent hiking trails. Tumwater Falls Park is one of the best places to watch the salmon run in Oly.
Drive a little further to Millersylvania Park for camping, fishing, or boating. Or, wander through Mima Mounds Natural Area to see one of Washington state’s strange geological phenomena.
The Courtyard by Marriott Olympia is a great hotel option if you stay in this area. This hotel is brand new, and it shows in all of the modern touches, clean and pristine guest rooms, and friendly staff. Hilton Garden Inn Olympia is another option that’s just across the street from Courtyard, but with more affordable prices.
Pros of Staying in South Olympia:
- Close to great parks, outdoor excursions
- Quiet and safe
- Close to Capitol Campus
Cons of Staying in South Olympia:
- May feel a little bland for some
🏠 Apartments – Browse Top Rentals in South Olympia, Tumwater
🍽️ Where to Eat – Olympia Baking Company ($), Vic’s Pizzeria ($$), Jean-Pierre’s Three16 ($$$)
🍸 Where to Drink – Uncork and Unwind, Pints Barn
🎟️ Top Attractions – Capitol Campus, Watershed Park, Brewery Park at Tumwater Falls, Millersylvania State Park
Tips for Staying in Olympia, WA
Consider Staying in a Bed and Breakfast
Bed and breakfasts are some of the best lodging options in Olympia since they are in gorgeous, historic homes. Both Marie Bed and Breakfast and Swantown Inn are excellent. Stay at either if you’re interested in a luxe or romantic stay complete with delicious home-cooked breakfasts in the morning.
Look at Accommodations Further Afield
You can find even more Olympia hotel deals if you look in other cities and areas in Thurston County. Tumwater and Lacey border Olympia to the south and the east. There are hotels with great prices and amenities in both cities. The family-friendly Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound, WA is another excellent option that’s only 20 minutes away from Olympia.
Decide on Your Itinerary Before Renting a Car
I’d recommend renting a car to explore Olympia for most people. You can get by without a car depending on what you want to do, though. You can walk or use public transit if you plan on spending time in downtown Olympia and the capital campus area only. Rent a car if you want to explore further afield to see national parks, Washington waterfalls, farms, or other attractions. Most hotels in the Olympia area offer free parking to accommodate rentals.
Get Out on the Water
Olympia’s location on south Puget Sound makes it an excellent spot to get on the water. Take advantage of the bays and lakes in the area. Rent kayaks and paddle boards at Boston Harbor, go fishing at Black Lake or explore the beach during low tide at Tolmie State Park.
Grab Some Tasty Craft Beer
You’re in luck if you’re a beer lover in Olympia. There are several great breweries, bottle shops, and taprooms in town. Try Headless Mumby Brewing, Oly Taproom, and Matchless Brewing for some of the best brews.
FAQs About Staying in Olympia
Is Olympia a walkable city?
What is the safest area of Olympia?
What is Olympia, WA is known for?
Olympia, WA is known for being the capital of Washington state. Olympia is a family-friendly destination with ample outdoor opportunities and kind, art-loving locals.
Choosing where to stay in Olympia, Washington is easy as long as you know what you want to do and experience. The state capital is the gem of Thurston County and one of the best places in Washington state. Have fun exploring!
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