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Olympia is a city built on mud, garbage, and sawdust that had the audacity to name itself after the city of the gods. It was founded in 1850 as a small port town and quickly grew into a rough and tumble city of pioneer families, sweaty loggers, shellfish farmers, tough prostitutes, and entrepreneurs.

When Washington State was officially established, the scrappy citizens of Olympia fought off cities like Seattle, Vancouver, and Tacoma to become the official State Capital. Local Olympians had big dreams for their small town and they refused to back down. As a result of their hard work and tenacity, Olympia now has one of the most beautiful capitol campuses in the country and is continuing to evolve into one of the most interesting cities in America.


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Today, Olympia's culture is heavily influenced by three college campuses -- most notably The Evergreen State College, a notoriously liberal campus that produces a strange combination of visionaries, artists, and deadbeats. You'll often find these interesting characters hanging out downtown at one of the 50 coffee shops debating literature, playing music, talking politics, creating art, or smoking pot. Admittedly, there's a lot less marijuana than there was in the 70's, but you'll still catch an occasional whiff of that optimistic era while walking down the streets. You'll also wander past a strange mixture of gritty machine shops, modern art galleries, 5-star restaurants, street food, dive bars, and world-class performances of Shakespeare. It's a weird and eclectic town that isn't far from it's blue collar roots but pulls of a kind of sincere elegance.
 
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