Where to See Fall Leaves in Olympia and Throughout Thurston County

capitol state forest
The drive around Capitol State Forest does not disappoint during the fall months. This photo was taken on Waddell Road.

Longer, colder nights make for an explosion of color every year during the autumn months. There is nothing like heading out for a fall drive or a walk to see nature on full display. While we may be the Evergreen state, we have plenty of deciduous trees and bushes popping against the green in gold, orange and fiery red. Here are a few places to see fall leaves in Olympia and throughout Thurston County.

The Capitol Campus is a beautiful sight when the leaves start to change!

Capitol Campus

The Capitol Campus is always beautiful this time of year, with the trees on the campus and surrounding streets putting on a lovely show. Drive through or get out and walk around – It’s a great time to snap a photo of the building itself, framed by fall color.

Capitol Lake

The Capitol Lake is another great place to drive by or stop and take a short walk to enjoy the fall leaves in Olympia. You can get some beautiful photos here too!

Capitol Forest

If you’re looking for a hike among the turning colors, head to the Capitol Forest. The Mima Falls Trailhead off Marksman Street SW is a good choice. The ferns and evergreens provide a nice backdrop for the pops of colors seen throughout your walk or bike, or horse ride – just remember your Discover Pass!

martin way in Olympia with trees turning red
Martin Way in Olympia has some amazing trees turning red with fall color. Get off the freeway and enjoy the sights of fall! Photo credit: Kristina Lotz

Watershed Park

2500 Henderson Boulevard SE, Olympia

Watershed Park is another park that has a nice mix of evergreens and deciduous trees that put on a lovely show in the fall. It’s a great place to take a fall walk in Olympia.

Martin Way East

Martin Way has some beautiful fall color if you drive east from Sleater Kenney Road NE. If you have some shopping to do, get off the freeway and take the time to enjoy the autumn foliage.

6th Street in Lacey

You may not go down this small side street by Lacey City Hall and Saint Martin’s University between College Street and Sleater Kenney often, but you should during the fall! It’s a tree-lined street that really stuns during the fall with colorful leaves aplenty. And if you’re hungry, Jasmine Thai is right there, surrounded by stunning golden trees. For a lovely fall meal, try their pumpkin curry!

trees with yellow leaves lining a business driveway off a street in Lacey, Washington
Gorgeous golden color awaits you down 6th street in Lacey. These beautiful trees line the entrance to Jasmine Thai. Photo credit: Kristina Lotz

Tumwater Boulevard

Tumwater Boulevard has many deciduous trees lining both sides of the road, making it a great drive to see fall color! It’s particularly nice west of Capitol Boulevard. Sometimes taking the scenic route is well-worth it.

Steamboat Island

If you are looking for a longer drive, head to Steamboat Island area. There are lots of beautiful spots full of fall color on the drive up north.

Have a favorite fall leaf spot? Send us a photo and location to submit@ThurstonTalk.com and we may add it!

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