Road Trip:
Seattle to Olympia

Same delivery & return locations
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A road trip from Seattle to Olympia is an excellent way to explore Washington state's natural beauty and cultural richness. Olympia, the capital city, is just a short drive away and offers a perfect getaway for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Seattle.

History of Olympia

Founded in 1851, Olympia has a rich history that reflects the development of the Pacific Northwest. As the capital of Washington, Olympia has seen significant growth over the years, becoming an important center for culture, commerce, and government. The city's historic downtown area features beautifully preserved 19th-century architecture and the iconic Washington State Capitol building. A visit to Olympia allows you to step back in time and explore the city's fascinating past.

Washington State Capitol

What Kind of Car You Should Rent to Get to Olympia

When planning your road trip to Olympia, consider renting a vehicle from Kyte that suits the needs of your journey. For those traveling with family or friends, a spacious SUV would be ideal, providing ample room for passengers and luggage. If you're interested in exploring scenic routes and backroads, an AWD vehicle would be perfect for navigating the diverse terrain. During the winter months, opt for a car with good traction control to ensure a safe and enjoyable driving experience.

How to Get to Olympia from Seattle

The most direct route to Olympia from Seattle is via I-5 S. To begin your journey, merge onto I-5 S and drive for approximately 60 miles before taking exit 105. This route takes about an hour, covering 61 miles, making it a quick and convenient option for those looking to maximize their time in Olympia.

The Route from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

If you're starting your trip from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Kyte offers a convenient handover spot near the airport at 3000 S 176th St, SeaTac, WA 98188. To reach the handover location, exit the baggage claim area and follow signs for the Light Rail through the catwalk into the parking garage. Continue along the hallway until you reach another catwalk leading to the Light Rail Station, then take the stairs down to the street.

Once you're on the street, follow S 176th Street for just under a block to meet your Kyte Surfer at the corner of 30th Avenue. Please refrain from waiting at the SureStay Hotel and instead meet at the designated location. From there, follow these directions to merge onto I-5 S: Head south toward S 176th St, turn left onto S 176th St, and continue for 0.9 miles. Turn right onto Military Rd S, then left onto S 188th St. Finally, turn right to merge onto I-5 S, and continue with the previously mentioned directions to Olympia.

Scenic Alternative

For those looking for a more scenic route, consider taking I-5 S, WA-167 S, WA-512 W, and I-5 S to 14th Ave SE in Olympia. This route offers a different perspective of Washington's beautiful landscapes, covering 68.2 miles in approximately 1 hour and 9 minutes. Begin by heading southwest on Madison St, turning right after Bartell Drugs, and then right again at the first cross street onto Spring St. Merge onto I-5 S via the ramp to Portland and continue for 10 miles before taking exit 154A to merge onto I-405 N toward Renton. After 2 miles, take exit 2 to merge onto WA-167 S, and drive for 20.3 miles. Use the right lanes to take the WA-512 W exit toward WA-161 S/Puyallup/Olympia and continue onto WA-161 S/WA-512 W for 11.7 miles. Finally, take the exit onto I-5 S toward Portland, drive 21.5 miles, and use the right lanes to take exit 105 toward State Capitol/City Center.

This alternative route offers a more varied and picturesque view of Washington's countryside, showcasing the state's diverse landscapes and natural beauty.

Safety Tips for Driving From Seattle to Olympia

To ensure a safe and enjoyable road trip, follow these safety tips when driving from Seattle to Olympia:

    • Be aware of local weather conditions and adjust your driving accordingly.

    • Stay within the speed limits and obey traffic regulations.

    • Keep a safe distance from other vehicles on the road.

    • Remain alert and focused on your surroundings, avoiding distractions such as texting or using a mobile device while driving.

Attractions in Olympia

In Olympia, you'll find an array of attractions catering to various interests. From exploring the impressive Washington State Capitol building and its manicured grounds to visiting the Hands-On Children's Museum for a fun, interactive experience, there's something for everyone in the capital city. History buffs can delve into the region's past at the State Capital Museum, while art enthusiasts can admire the rotating exhibits at the Olympia Art and Heritage Center. Outdoor lovers can also take advantage of Olympia's numerous parks and green spaces, such as the picturesque Percival Landing Park or the tranquil Priest Point Park. In short, Olympia offers diverse attractions that will create lasting memories for visitors of all ages.

River in Olympia

Water Sports

Olympia is surrounded by stunning waterways, making it a water sports paradise for locals and visitors alike. The Puget Sound is an excellent destination for boating and sailing, offering breathtaking views of the Olympic Mountains and a chance to see seals, porpoises, and whales in their natural habitat. Kayaking and paddleboarding are popular activities in the area's numerous lakes and rivers, including the scenic Deschutes River. Olympia has plenty of rental shops and guided tours for water sports enthusiasts of all levels, making exploring the region's aquatic wonders easy. Whether you're seeking a thrilling adventure or a relaxing day on the water, Olympia's water sports scene has something for everyone.

Hiking and Biking

Olympia offers plenty of opportunities for hiking and biking, with numerous trails and parks throughout the area. With its extensive network of trails and parks, Olympia offers plenty of opportunities for both novice and experienced hikers and bikers. Tumwater Falls Park, located just a few minutes from downtown Olympia, is a popular destination for nature lovers, featuring stunning waterfalls and picturesque walking paths. For those looking to explore the region's wildlife, the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge boasts over 3 miles of trails, offering visitors a chance to see a diverse array of bird species and other wildlife. Olympia also has several challenging hikes, such as the 3.2-mile Mount Ellinor Trail, which rewards hikers with panoramic views of the Olympic Mountains. With its beautiful scenery and variety of trails, Olympia is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves the great outdoors.

Shopping and Dining

Shopping enthusiasts will find plenty to explore in Downtown Olympia's bustling retail scene. With its diverse mix of locally-owned boutiques, vintage stores, and art galleries, Downtown Olympia is a shopper's paradise. From handmade crafts to artisanal goods, the shops in Olympia offer a unique selection of products that reflect the city's artistic flair. Additionally, the city's farmers market is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike, offering fresh produce, handcrafted goods, and live music every Saturday.

When it comes to dining, Downtown Olympia has an array of restaurants that cater to every taste and budget. From upscale eateries to casual cafes, the city's food scene offers a mix of international cuisines and local favorites. Seafood lovers will appreciate the fresh catch at Anthony's HomePort, while those seeking a more casual dining experience can enjoy a burger and beer at the 3 Magnets Brewing Co.

Annual Festivals in Olympia

Throughout the year, Olympia is home to a variety of festivals that showcase the city's rich cultural heritage. The Procession of the Species, held in April, is a beloved event that features a parade of people dressed as animals, celebrating the diversity of nature and humanity. In the summer, the Olympia Arts Walk and the Olympia Brew Fest draw crowds to downtown Olympia, where visitors can sample local craft beers and peruse works of art from local artists.

In addition to these cultural events, Olympia also hosts several music festivals throughout the year. The Lakefair Music and Arts Festival in July is a popular event that features live music, carnival rides, and a variety of food vendors. The Rhythm and Rye is a local venue that hosts live music performances year-round, showcasing the talents of musicians from across the Pacific Northwest. No matter what time of year you visit, there is always something happening in Olympia, making it a vibrant and exciting destination for tourists and locals alike.


A road trip from Seattle to Olympia is an excellent way to experience the beauty and charm of Washington State. With a convenient and comfortable car from Kyte, you can explore any route you choose, from Seattle to Washington's capital!