We think Olympia is a great place to base yourself while traveling the Puget Sound and the Olympic Peninsula. Olympia has great restaurants to come back to after a day of sightseeing, driving, hiking or biking.
Some of our favorite day trips include;
- Nisqually Wildlife Refuge is only a short drive north of Olympia, however you could spend a full day their walking and birdwatching.
- Mount St Helens is about is under 2 hours south east of Olympia. A short drive down Intersate 5 then a peaceful drive to the Johnston Ridge Observatory. Note it is closed during the winter.
- Olympic National Park is very big and offers many opportunities for hiking or a scenic drive. You can do the loop in a day if you push it, but we do not recommend it. A drive out to the beaches or the Hoh Rainforest is great.
- Port Townsend is a scenic 2 hour drive up the Hood canal. Great beaches at Fort Warden. Nice restaurants. Historic downtown.
- Mount Rainier is just over an hour away, but more realistically 2 hours to get to the first hikes. Paradise makes a great stop for lunch, make sure you eat at the Paradise Inn restaurant over the fast food at the visitors center.
So we hope that gives you a little inspiration!