Olympia serves as the capital of Washington state and the county seat of Thurston County. With over 50,000 residents, this South Sound region city has an abundance of history and beauty. It also features a maze of different zip codes assigned to its many unique neighborhoods.
In this guide, we’ll explore all the zip codes in use across various parts of Olympia.
Table of Contents
The Origination of Zip Codes
To preface our breakdown of local zip codes, let’s first understand where the concept of zip codes came from in the United States:
Early 1900s – As cities grew more populated, mail sorting and routing became extremely complex without standardized address formats. This caused packages and letters to be delayed.
1963 – Robert Moon proposed a zone improvement plan (or “ZIP” code) that divided addresses into numerical prefixes to streamline processing for postal workers. This facilitated faster nation-wide delivery.
1983 – The ZIP+4 extension was introduced to add a more specific four-digit suffix to route mail to exact delivery points as accuracy requirements increased.
Today zip codes have become ingrained into address validation and identification procedures important to both government agencies as well as private businesses.
Now let’s see how they play into various Olympia area neighborhoods.
Overview of Olympia Zip Codes
As the capital and fourth largest city in Washington, Olympia is made up of many distinct districts – each with their own zip code prefixes.
Here is a brief summary of the active zip codes used across different Olympia neighborhoods:
- 98501 – Downtown and central Olympia
- 98502 – West Olympia and outlying regions
- 98503 – Areas around Priest Point Park
- 98506 – Lacey suburb bordering Olympia
- 98507 – Neighborhood along Moxlie Creek
- 98508 – South East Olympia and Rainier zip code
Now let’s explore the geography and key landmarks that fall within each district.
Key Olympia Zip Code Areas
Olympia’s zip codes correspond closely to the different neighborhood areas of the city as it expanded over time:
As downtown Olympia’s core zip code, 98501 belongs to landmarks like:
- The Washington State Capitol Campus
- Heritage Park
- Capitol Lake
- Olympia Farmers Market
It includes much of the original platted downtown with major civic services.
Found northwest of the city center, 98502 encompasses a large swath of properties including:
- Kaiser Permanente Capitol Medical Center
- Saint Martin’s University
- Olympia Regional Airport
- Olympia High School
It serves as a westward expansion zip code for various suburban neighborhoods.
This code belongs specifically to the narrow peninsula region surrounding:
- Priest Point Park
- Burfoot Park
- Capitol City Golf Club
- Olympia Yacht Club
Known for gorgeous views and access to Budd Inlet, it is prized as a exclusive residential area.
Unlike other codes, 98506 belongs primarily to the adjoining city of Lacey that shares a border with Olympia neighborhoods. So you may see this zip code creep into adjoining southeast areas.
Made up of northeast neighborhoods along the Moxlie Creek corridor, 98507 contains:
- East Bay Public Plaza
- Mottman Industrial Park
- Rocky Prairie Community Park
- Closed landfill brownfield site
It represents a small but distinct residential and natural area.
Lastly, 98508 belongs to various southern region neighborhoods that spill over the border with Tumwater. This code includes:
- Marathon Park
- Rainier Vista Park
- South Puget Sound Community College
- Capitol Christian Academy
It covers many suburban communities as Olympia city limits expand.
This summarizes the origins and alignment of the major zip code districts across Olympia. Now let’s look at frequently asked questions.
FAQs About Olympia, WA Zip Codes
Here are some common questions and answers about zip code borders in Olympia:
What’s the main Olympia zip code?
The core Olympia downtown area uses 98501, including landmarks like the State Capitol and Olympia City Hall. So this is considered the primary Olympia zip.
How many zip codes are there in Olympia, WA?
There are at least six active zip codes fully contained within official Olympia city boundaries, ranging from 98501 to 98508 in their numbering sequence.
Why does the city of Lacey have an Olympia zip code?
Though mainly located in Thurston County, Lacey shares a border with Olympia causing parts of it to be absorbed within zip code 98506.
Can a single zip code cover multiple neighborhoods?
Yes, while districts like 98503 belong specifically to Priest Point Park, other zip codes like 98502 cover a larger swath of northwest Olympia neighborhoods and suburbs.
Do zip codes ever change in Olympia?
For the most part they remain stable over time once assigned. However, new housing developments may prompt the post office to add additional zip code prefixes to new neighborhoods as the population grows.
We hope this outline provides more clarity into the complex web of zip codes in use across Olympia. Let us know if you have any other questions!