See a film downtown at the Olympia Film Society

Whether it be a rainy day, or a date night, the Olympia Film Society presents films in a traditional single screen movie theater. This downtown icon on 5th avenue features predominantly art house movies. Their calendar stretches out for a month or two allowing you to pre-plan the perfect date night.

Grab dinner before or after at Darby’s across the road, or walk a block to Aqua Via for some finer dining. Or head the other way to the pub, that is the Fish Tale Pub, one of our favorites. Then wander Olympia with your sweetheart.

Do not forget their annual film festival, held in November it is always interesting and opening night is always a big party!

Olympia, A Friendly Small City

Olympia recently made it on a to a top ten list of America’s Friendliest Small Cities. Although the photo associated with the article is not Olympia, it is indicative of the city.  We are a small city, a state capital, a college town, a waterfront city, a transportation hub, but most of all a bunch of friendly diverse people.

This makes for a great place to base yourself as you explore not just the immediate area but the region. There is not a better place to go and explore, take in the sites, monuments, parks and bigger cities, then come back for the evening and experience our dining and arts offerings.

Vintage Aircraft and Annual Airshow

The Olympic Flight Museum is a small but extremely interesting aviation museum located at the Olympia Airport. Along with the various airplanes and helicopters it houses other memorabilia that will intrigue and educate both young and old visitors.

They host a number of smaller events during the year, such as the Paper Airplane Flight School, but the big event is the annual air show. During this event expect to see many more airplanes fly in to Olympia, making for an impressive days outing!

The museum’s opening hours change with the seasons so be sure to check their web site to avoid disappointment.

Got kids? Olympia has you covered!

One of the best ways to entertain and tire out your kids is to go for a walk or hike. Our friends over at Exotic Hikes have a great ebook for hikes with kids.

The Olympia Farmers’ Market is great and now open year round on Saturdays. Great for lunch after a walk on Percival Landing.

Give the kids a taste of history and grandeur and tour the Capital Campus.

No list of ideas would be complete without mentioning the amazing Hands On Children’s Museum or the WET Science Center.

Other Places to look for ideas.

Local blog Thurston Talk has a Thrifty Thurston writter who has a lot of similar and great suggestions for parents with kids. Check out their ideas!

Eastside Big Tom | The Ultimate Drive-through Burger Joint

Located in the top of Olympia’s Eastside neighborhood, Eastside Big Tom is iconic and the mainstay of the burger joints here in Olympia. A rare double-sided drive-through it also features an outdoor sitting area, some of which is well covered.

Big Tom Logo

The artwork is fantastic with the businesses’ mascot, “Big Tom”, dressed as a multitude of characters, from Bat Tom, Iron Tom, Seahawks Tom and a couple of dozen others.

It is a great place to take the kids on a sunny warm day. If you do not eat at the picnic tables, Lion’s Park is at the other end of the street.

Now the important thing is that the burgers, fries, tots and shakes are all amazing! The prices are good and the quality is top notch. Take a look at the menu here.

The Fish Bowl Brew Pub | Fish Tale Brew Pub

We had the conversation once with a server over the name of the pub. It can be either, as signs inside the pub attest, along with two streams of reviews on a couple of review sites.

So regardless of what you call it you need to know that the pub is nearly always busy. Do not let this put you off. Tables open up and there is a whole balcony of seating as well.

The food, for a pub, is great tasting comfort food for the most part. Burger, Fish and Chips (salmon or cod), fries that are hot and stringy. The beer is all brewed across the street in the brewery. Ask for the sampler tray if you are in to beer.

They even have a mug club and a loyalty card.

Swantown Inn Bed & Breakfast

Historical Bed and Breakfast with Day Spa in walking distance to downtown Olympia. One of only three bed and breakfasts in Olympia. A very unique mansion with a modern day spa on-site.

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Arts Walk Olympia | Fall and Spring

One of our favorite semi-annual events has to be Olympia’s Arts Walk. It is when Olympia comes alive for a Friday and Saturday bubbling over with personalities, and visually astounding us with a variety of artists.

If you love art and you are anywhere near Olympia this really is a great place to be!

The City of Olympia’s information on this event can be found here

For fantastic details such as maps and vendor and artist information see the Arts Walk Web site.

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