Downtown Olympia  has a number of art galleries and boutiques on 4th and 5th Avenues. Two good ones are State of the Arts Gallery (500 Washington St., 360/705-0317, www.thestateofthearts.com ) and Artists’ Co-Op Gallery (610 Columbia St. SW, 360/357-6920).
Given that this is a government/college town, you'd expect to find good bookstores in Olympia. Biggest is Orca Books (509 4th Ave. E, 360/352-0123, www.orcabooks.com , 10 a.m.–9 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Sun.) open late most nights for browsers. Going Places (515 Washington SE, 360/357-6860) has travel books, maps, and outdoor recreation guides.
Capital Mall (9th Ave. SW and Black Lake Blvd.) is the area’s largest shopping center with nearly 100 shops and restaurants. Just up Black Lake Boulevard is another shopping plaza, Capital Village, with grocery, drug, and hardware stores, plus a sprinkling of fast-food restaurants.
Shipwreck Beads (2727 Westmoor Court SW, 360/754-2323, www.shipwreck-beads.com ) claims to have the world’s largest selection of beads for sale, numbering in the billions.