When going to visit the Evergreen State full of trees, grassy fields, and other leafy greens (wink wink), one can’t overlook the state’s capital, Olympia. Being my hometown and the place I miss most this summer, I figured I’d give you all a little guide to the city. No, not just the basic tourist guide that tells you to visit the capitol building (as cool as it may be), but the ins and outs of how to navigate the city like a true Olympian college student and foodie. So let’s hold the historic monuments (for now) and get to the good stuff… food.
As everyone knows, you can’t start the day without coffee so let’s grab a cup from Batdorf and Bronson, an Olympian coffee shop with a few locations around the city. Personally, I’d recommend the downtown store. It is in the heart of downtown with big comfy armchairs, wooden bar, and hipsters galore.
Take some time to explore downtown with the fountain close by, incense shops and clothing stores. If you have the time, walk the boardwalk along the bay to the Viewing Tower at Port Plaza and climb to the top to see the view of the bay and the city.
Poster covered walls…
AND even old Pac Man and pinball machines inside. Not to mention, it has the greatest pizza I’ve ever had (including Italy).
They don’t hold back on the grease or the portions and you can enjoy it in the graffitied red pleather booths with a Black Cherry Thomas Kemper in hand.
After wiping the grease from your hands, hop in the car and head out to Boston Harbor Marina.
There you can see a stunning and peaceful view with a local beer or coffee in hand…
Rent a kayak or buy fresh seafood…
My top recommendation is to grab an ice cream cone and walk to the end of the dock to dangle your feet in the water as you enjoy the creamy treat.
Experience the water sports, the view, and the beach until sunset.
As your stomach starts to grumble once the sun hits the horizon, head back to downtown Olympia for a late night dinner at a place that will guarantee you some street cred.
Right across the road from Old School Pizzeria is King Solomon’s Reef. It’s a small dingy diner that’s open until 3 a.m. every night. Full of people drunkenly stumbling in for a late night snack with their best friends, waitresses that sit down at the booth with you when you order, red-eyed people of all ages quietly giggling to themselves while drinking a milkshake and eating a massive pile of totchos (tater-tot nachos). And of course, where all the locals know to meet up when they need some comfort food and some good company.
It is the perfect place to people watch and eat a late night dinner or snack that will leave your tummy happy and perfectly unhealthy with menu items such as mac n cheese, chicken and waffles, milkshakes of all kinds, breakfast all day, and even chicken fried tofu strips for all you non-meat eaters out there.
As the night comes to a close and you’re warmly snuggled up in your food coma. End the night like a true Olympian by siting in one of those sticky booths at “the Reef” with a frosty milkshake in your hand and hopefully a laughing friend by your side.