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Discover Olympia with www.olywalks.com Walking tours of Olympia and the surrounding area.
Dixie Havlak has lived in Olympia for 25 years and was raised in Seattle. She has entertained foreign visitors, kids groups, family groups, and local residents with casual tours prior to offering these tours to the public. She has been a scout leader for over 20 years, is a hike leader for Mountaineers, and is trained in first aid. Raising three children in the area, adventuring in the out of doors, and participating in a variety of cultural events has given her a broad and balanced view of the wonders of Olympia and Western Washington.
Why tour Olympia?
Olympia, along with Tumwater, is the oldest settlement in Western Washington, giving it an eclectic mix of historic and modern buildings. Rich in history, it also has an appealing array of specialty shops, theaters, coffee houses, antique shops, and galleries in its compact historical district. At the lower end of Puget Sound, it has a boardwalk perfect for a scenic stroll and ending at an observation tower and one of the best Farmer's Markets in the state.
A block from the docks of Budd inlet, the man-made Capitol Lake reflects the capital dome and provides a nature filled 1.5 mile lake walk. Above the lake, the spectacular Capitol Building is surrounded by grounds filled with gardens, memorials, a fountain, and the best view in town. All is connected with the free shuttle bus, making this an easy and fun city to visit for a few hours or a few days!
Waterfront: From the Farmer’s Market, walk to the Port Plaza observation tower to view the port operations and Budd inlet. Then follow the 9/10 mile boardwalk past marinas, public art, wildlife, and historic sites along Percival Landing. The tour ends at Heritage Fountain or Capital Lake, with talk of oysters, canoes, bridges, Chinese and monoliths. From there connect to Downtown for a tour of the historic district or continue around the lake. 1.5 hours ( Begining mid summer part of the boardwalk will be under reconstruction and will make for an informative diversion from the regular tour)
Downtown: Starting either at the waterfront or the historic Sylvester Park, your guided ½ mile walk brings the streets, buildings and alleys of old Olympia to life as you walk what was once a forest trail, a major highway, an industrial zone, and a political hot spot. Discover hidden artwork and architectural features while appreciating the variety of local enterprises giving character to our town. Hop the DASH free bus to connect with the Farmer’s Market or the Capitol Grounds. 1.5 hours
Capitol Grounds: Overlooking Capital Lake and gracing our spectacular Capitol building, these grounds are scattered with monuments and special trees and plantings, all with their own stories to tell. After touring the grounds, take the shuttle or a brisk walk into downtown, or take the switchback trail to connect with the waterfront. This tour can also connect with a tour of the Capitol building provided by the state (11-3, daily).
East Bay Waterfront Walk: Added to celebrate the opening of the new Lott WET center and the upcoming public plaza and Hand's On Children's museum, this tour introduces you to the changing scene where sawmills and mudflats once predominated. Learn how the waterfront has moved, the east hill residential area developed, and the real story of the Swan of Swantown. Enjoy the flora and fauna while walking the well developed Eastbay trail. See how our Boatworks works and our Port is turning this area into a people friendly urban waterfront. Meets at WET. 1.25 hours
Capital Lake Walk: For hardier walkers, this scenic walk provides natural interpretation of the man made lake and its rivers, wildlife, and environmental issues. Bring binoculars in case of seal, eagles, or swans! The trip takes us past the old Tumwater brewery, conjuring up stories of the earliest Western Washington settlement. This tour connects with any of the above tours. 4.4 miles total
Discover more tours at www.olywalks.com