Fresh Picks: Things to Do in Olympia, WA

A few weeks ago, we went down to Olympia for the night to imbibe at the South Sound Spirits Gathering. Fun fact: my fiancé is from Olympia (Tumwater to be more precise) and we love going down to the Lacey-Tumwater-Olympia area to hang out with the family. It’s currently the 23rd fastest-growing region in the U.S.! Lots of growth and transformation, but the best parts of the Olympia area have been there for years. Here are a few of our favorite haunts, and more suggestions for things to do in our beautiful state capital:

Dirty Dave’s Pizza Parlor

If you say anything bad about Dirty Dave’s, I will fight you. I have such a soft spot in my heart for this place, maybe because I know I’ll be treated to some good ol’ stories from back in the day as told by my fiancé and his family. There’s an old-school salad bar, an arcade in the corner, and lots of old memorabilia taking up every inch of every wall. Did I mention they are bulldog fans? Any place that supports those cute little bags of wrinkles is a winner to me. Fiancbae always gets the famous Jake sandwich, and I opt for a half-order of the spaghetti with garlic bread. 

The Bread Peddler

This was my first time at this wonderful little cafe but it won’t be my last. Breads for dayssss, as per their website:

All of our breads are shaped by hand, a time-consuming method that is gentler on the dough. Stones tiles in our oven and ejected steam give the loaves a rustic caramelized crust, distinctive of European breads and Old World methods.

I can attest, their pain au chocolat is to die for. I aspire to one day taste every pastry they make.

222 Market

I’ve been itching to check out 222 Market since I saw a preview in Seattle Magazine late last year. Adjacent to The Bread Peddler is this new artisanal market, and let’s face it, if it’s artisanal I will probably want to take lots of photos of it. Behold the views of the broth bar (!!!), pantry, Fleurae floral shop, and more.

Archibald Sisters

If you love a fun, quirky store full of tchotchkes, Archibald Sisters is for you. Go there if you need a fun Olympia memento and a postcard of the Capitol building just won’t do. My future stepmother-in-law always gets me a bottle of Oly Girl lotion from their expansive signature line of hand & body products. You can even custom make your own!

Batdorf & Bronson’s

Batdorf is a legend in the oft-crowded space that is the local coffee scene. It’s a great stop for indie coffee or a good Chai tea latte. Make sure to try the Dancing Goats blend!

Capitol Lake

This is the perfect place for a scenic run, stroll, or picnic in the shadow of the Capitol building. If you’re around in the summer, make sure to check out Lakefair. You're also not far from the Olympia Farmers Market (Saturdays) and the waterfront!

Sweet Life Boutique

I remember being so impressed that a boutique like Sweet Life existed in downtown Olympia (now relocated up the hill on Capital Mall Drive.) It was closed when we stopped by on Sunday, but I love to try and stop in when I’m down there. They currently carry One Teaspoon, Flynn Skye, and more great brands!

Thank you Visit Olympia & Best Western Tumwater-Olympia Inn for hosting us!

Disclosure: Accommodations provided in exchange for this review. All opinions are mine!