A Weekend in One of the United States’ Best Small Cities

Olympia has been named one of 29 Best Small Cities in the U.S., based (partially) on its coffee.

National Geographic Traveler, the most widely read travel magazine, recently ranked Olympia among 29 top cities nationwide based on 10 categories that matter to both visitors and locals. The editors recognized Olympia in the categories of Most Caffeinated (coffee shops per capita) and Greenest (for number of parks).

Spend a weekend exploring the region and find out why it’s ranked among top small cities. Here are some of our top picks to experience this caffeinated, green destination.


10 a.m.

Start your long weekend with a free coffee cupping at Olympia Coffee Roasters. This handcrafted roastery, featured on the South Sound Coffee Trail, welcomes newbies and caffeinated connoisseurs alike for an educational tasting opportunity.

Mid-Morning, Lunch on the Go

Check out the delicious food and organically-grown produce at the Olympia Farmers Market. Open every Saturday through March, and then Thursday through Sunday from April–October, this flavorful enclave provides access to the best seafood, produce, cheeses, and locally made foods–all under one roof and is one of the top attractions in the region.


Explore Tumwater Falls, an easy half mile, pet-friendly trail around the Deschutes River. Two waterfalls cascade against the green, lush landscape and the trail is easily accessible and short.


Known as “The Best Little Italian Restaurant in Town,” enjoy delicious pasta, pizza and more authentic Italian fare at Pellegrino’s Italian Kitchen.


Spend the day tasting along the Bountiful Byway.

Designate a driver, bring a picnic and explore the scenic views and tasting opportunities along the Bountiful Byway. Stops include Medicine Creek Winery, Salish Seas Organic Liqueurs, Stottle Winery or Madsen Family Cellars. Find the shops and stops that spark your interest at bountifulbyway.com.

Enjoy fresh air, meet local wildlife or enjoy the sunset on a clear day with a nature walk at the Billy Frank Jr Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge.

Drinks & Dinner

End the day with a local craft brew and fare from the visiting food truck at Top Rung Brewing Co., a unique brewery run by local firefighters.



Enjoy a decidedly different brunch experience at Budd Bay Café where you’ll dine with waterfront views and a menu that’s been voted “Best Brunch in the South Sound” for over 20 consecutive years.


Explore downtown Olympia and visit locally owned boutiques and shops (don’t miss Archibald Sisters, Belleza Ropa and Blackbird Mercantile).

Head to Priest Point Park for 314 acres of easy trails, views of Puget Sound, downtown Olympia and the Capitol Building.

Stay in a variety of hotels, inns and bed and breakfasts detailed at experienceolympia.com. Make sure to share what you’re eating by tagging social posts #DecidedlyDifferent and connect on Facebook, Twitter (@Experience_Oly) and Instagram (@ExperienceOly).