A Visit to the Picturesque and Historic State Capitol in Olympia Is a Must
The State Capitol Tour Office, located at 215 Sid Snyder Ave. SW, Olympia, offers a variety of standard tour options. A tour can range from a minimum of 30 minutes to a maximum of three hours. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (360) 902-8880 for more details, but here’s a list of available tours throughout the year.
Legislative Building Tour
The Legislative Building is home to the Washington state Legislature and the offices of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, and State Treasurer. Completed in 1928, the Legislative Building has the tallest free standing masonry dome in North America and houses the world’s largest Tiffany chandelier. The tour of the Legislative Building includes the North Foyer, Rotunda, State Reception Room, and Legislative Galleries. This tour is targeted to all groups and last approximately one hour. General tours are from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekends. These free tours start on the hour every hour, and last one hour. The tours begin at the Tour Information Desk on the second floor of the Legislative Building.
Capitol Campus Botanical Tour
Available Fridays at 11 a.m. from June 3 – Sept. 30
Designed in 1927 by nationally recognized landscape architects Frederick Law and John Charles Olmstead, the Washington State Capitol Campus has one of the most extensive and intact Olmstead-designed capitol landscapes in the nation. This botanist guided tour will introduce visitors to the many varied historic trees and significant plantings of this nationally recognized design. The tour is 60 minutes of standing and walking and is ADA accessible. Appropriate for grades fourth to adult. Group size is limited to 30.
Tours begin in the flag circle on the north side of the Legislative Building.
Available only to groups of 15 students or more, May through December; Monday-Friday only
Using stories, visuals and interactive exercises, this tour introduces younger children to Washington state history and representative government through a hands-on adventure tour of the Washington State Capitol. As part of this tour, each child receives an “Adventure Tour” coloring book to take home. This tour is 45 minutes and is specifically designed for kindergarten through second grade. A minimum of 15 students is required. Teachers can supplement this tour with a self-guided “I SPY” scavenger hunt of the Capitol Campus.
Governor’s Mansion Tour
The oldest standing building on the Capitol Campus, the red-brick Georgian style Executive Mansion has been home to Washington’s governors since 1910. Fully restored and furnished with many antiques from the American Federal period, the mansion is open for public tours on most Wednesdays by reservation. Tours are only available in the afternoon. Group size is limited to 20. This tour is available for fourth grade and up.
Civic Education Tour
Available only to groups of 15 students or more, September-June; Monday-Friday only
This tour is an introduction to representative democracy and the three branches of government and includes information on the Legislative Building’s function, operation, symbolism and history. Also included is a visit to the Temple of Justice, the home of the state Supreme Court, where students participate in a mock court hearing. The tour includes visits to the Rotunda, the State Reception Room, legislative galleries, and offices of elected officials. The tour is three hours (including a lunch period) and is specifically designed for students ages third through 12th grade.
Monument and Memorial Sites
The Washington State Capitol Campus is home to many Veterans Memorials including the Winged Victory, POW-MIA, Medal of Honor, WW II, Korean War Memorials, and Vietnam Veterans. Self-Guided memorial brochures are available at the Visitor Information Desk and at the Legislative Building Tour Information Desk.
— Source: Washington State Department of Enterprise Services