Surrounded by the jagged peaks of the Olympic Mountain Range and the marine-rich waters of Puget Sound, Olympia, Washington, is a playground for lovers of all things outdoors. Hiking and biking trails lead into the evergreen forests. Tempting bodies of water such as Budd Inlet and the sound invite boaters to launch their craft for a day’s exploration. Hotels can be found downtown, on the western edge of Capitol Lake and along major highways.
Sporting guest room names such as the Senate Suite, Governor Suite and the Evergreen Suite, there is no mistaking the fact that the Governor Hotel is in the Washington state capital. Offering panoramic views of Capitol Lake and Sylvester Park, only a block away, as well as the city, guest rooms offer niceties such as a safe large enough to hold your laptop, wireless Internet and balconies. A full breakfast buffet is included in the room rate. In the warmer months take advantage of the heated swimming pool. An eight-person hot-tub and dry sauna, as well as a fitness center, are available year-round. Curl up with a good book or surf the Internet in a cozy nook called “The Study,” located just off the lobby. Within walking distance of the hotel are the State Capitol Building, the State Capitol Museum, the jogging paths of Heritage Park and the wonders of the Hand-On Children’s Museum.
Phoenix Inn Suites–Olympia
Budd Inlet, an offshoot of Puget Sound, is across the street, and the Olympia Farmer’s Market is less than three blocks from the Phoenix Inn Suites. The three-story low-rise looks more motel-like, but amenities such as an indoor pool and hot tub and a 24-hour business center bring the customer service level up a notch. One specialty is fresh-baked cookies, available in the lobby each evening, welcoming you back from your day’s explorations with the scents of cinnamon, vanilla or chocolate chips … or maybe even all three. Find some tasty produce or a heat-and-eat meal and enjoy it in your room, which is equipped with mini-fridge, microwave and coffee maker. A continental breakfast buffet is included in the daily rate. Book the romance package and enjoy a spa suite, chocolates, chilled sparkling cider, fresh flower bouquet, breakfast in bed and a late, 2 p.m. check-out.
Red Lion Hotel Olympia
Sitting on the western edge of Capitol Lake near the Thurston County Courthouse, the Red Lion Hotel Olympia offers a relaxed and affordable option. Enter the lobby and you feel you are in the middle of a handsome living room, complete with natural stone fireplace and an overstuffed sofa seating area. The light and airy decor continues into the guest rooms and the American Bistro and Lounge, which overlooks Capitol Lake. Relax on the landscaped deck of the seasonal outdoor free-form pool or put in a workout in the on-site fitness center. This hotel is just north of Interpretive Park and the Tumwater Historical Park. Pets are welcome here with payment of an additional fee.
Quality Inn Olympia
Travelers arriving in Olympia by car might find the Quality Inn Olympia a convenient option. Located off of Interstate 5, the low-rise motel-like property with the bright red roof is hard to miss. The red, though more subdued, continues into the lobby and even accents the guest-room furnishings. This is a smaller property, only 62 rooms, but it offers a seasonal swimming pool, on-site laundry, exercise room and business center. The large lot offers parking for big rigs and RVs, and your four-legged best friend is welcome upon payment of a nightly fee. Find some edible treasures at the Farmer’s Market, sample some local beer at the Fishtale Brewery or tour the state Capital. All these trips and more are within a mile of the Quality Inn. Nearby restaurants include Budd Bay Cafe, serving fresh seafood, and Cielo Blu, which offers a rather eclectic menu.
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