Avoid the punkers downtown. If you aren't gay or tatooed, the downtown can be skipped altogether without missing a thing!
Fondest memory: Wallupt lake camping(105 miles SE) -it is not overrun by yuppie snobs with trendy northwest wine breath from the burbs of Seattle.
Favorite thing: The very progressive Evergreen State College gives this town a very funky, open, welcoming feel. The State Capitol is beautiful, as are the views of the Sound. Olympia can also be a gateway to nearby wineries and to the almost primeval beauty of Olympic National Park.
Go to the Miller Brewery (on Capitol Blvd and Cleveland...really it's almost Tumwater) and get free beer by taking the tour. It used to be the Olympia Brewery, but Miller bought them out. :(
Olympia beer is still available in mass quantities. Racks of 'stubbies' (small brown bottles) are available at most stores, and McCoy's Tavern (on 4th Ave, towards the eastside of downtown) offers a $4 pitcher of Olympia beer.
I also recommend just immersing yourself in downtown during the day and at night. There are so many cool people, of different varieties, all the time. Spend some time in a coffee shop, sit in on a poetry reading, or dance nuts at a local club. One of the best things about dancing in Olympia is that many people go every week. I have friends from dancing at Thekla on Sunday nights that I never saw except for Sunday nights at Thekla, and then we were good friends.
I almost forgot the Artesian well! The water in Olympia is excellent, rather pure. But if you still can't stand city water, there is a direct line to the artesian wells that supply the city's water. The 'well' is actually a pipe jutting up from the ground and it's located in the parking lot across from McCoy's tavern. Lots of people fill jugs for their drinking water from this well.
There's a legend that if a visitor drinks from the well, they will return someday. Sounds a lot like Rome, but Olympia might be better!
Fondest memory: There are far too many memories to pick one. I love drinking wine with my friends all day. I love calling friends at 10:05 to watch a movie at Lacey Cinemas at 10:15. I love drinking at the bars and seeing twenty people I know. I love wandering the parks and natural spots. I love riding my bike all over Olympia...it's extremely bike friendly.
Just be tolerant and live life to the fullest. That's what Olympia taught me.
Visit the capitol is you find yourself in Olympia. For newcomers this would be fairly interesting I would think though it would be pretty boring to me.
Fondest memory: I miss Happy Terikayi when I'm away from Olympia. They have the best teriyaki in the area and I would recommend trying their yakisoba dish.
This isn't really my fondest, but it's certainly worthy:
Graduation attire at the Evergreen State College 2001
Favorite thing: The historic Capitol Theatre. Host to acts such as James Brown in the early sixties, and still host to numerous events.
Visit the waterfront at Percival Landing.
Fondest memory: Shops, restaurants, and boats. A nice place for a leisurely stroll.