Nice Community but oh the weather! - 7/18/2012
It's true - Olympia is an interesting community with educated people, cultural tastes and social tolerance and I like all of that. The cost of living isn't really bad either. But the weather is not so good. The truth is that we would plan to retire here been here 20 years and domestic partner is 5th generation Washingtonian) but for the weather.
The winters are milder than back east, but very wet. I mean there are many days that you don't see the sun and partly cloudy here means its dark enough in the middle of the day to have your house lights on.
My 5th generation washingtonian love says we really have two months of summer here and ten months of fall/spring with rain. Yes we have 50 inches of rain a year, but unlike other places, it takes its time to rain here - often it may rain one tenth of an inch a day with the day being darkish and cloudy all day. That gets depressing.
At first it didn't bother me but after all these years - too much. Many folk here compromise and travel for a month at a time or all winter to sunnier places during the winter months to get a break from the weather. We may do that.[read more...]
Drugs - 3/4/2012
I have read numerous reviews saying how wonderful Olympia is and how it is such a great place and all. Well My wife and I are both nurses at the local hospital and I can tell you that by and large the greatest number of patients we see are either addicted to heroin, or meth. The addiction problem is rampant but either the government is hiding the stats from us or the enforcement is so lax that nothing is done about it. Additionally Pierce county, just north of us is the number one meth county in the state and Thurston county is rated 4th in the state. I moved here 2 years ago from and within the first 6 months my wallet and cell phone were stolen from a picnic table while palying catch with my kids not 20 feet away. Then my car was broken into in my driveway, in broad daylight, on a nice quiet cul-de-sac full of brand new homes. Then again some kids went up and down the street shooting out car windows. Thankfully nobody was hit by any stray bullets.
It is a nice city and all but like any other city it has it's problems and crime, drugs and druggies.
Cost of Living - 3/12/2011
This place is expensive and does not have adequate shopping. Must go to Seattle to find things.[read more...]
pros and cons - 11/21/2010
I've lived in Olympia most of my life. I'm moving. I'm tired of it here.
Pros: Beautiful area. Lots of parks, trails, and nature. Laid back. Not that hectic.
Some places to get healthy food, (mostly the food co-ops, and Trader Joes).
It is relatively safe. I think crime is and will rise though thanks to shady people, or parents with delinquent kids, moving here and transferring their previous problems to our town. That's just the evolution of cities though. You have a nice, peaceful town, it gets popular, so all the riff raff come pouring in and the town goes to crap. It's sad but true.
Cons: Weather sucks. Cloudy and rainy most of the year. Cold. Not too cold though. You get about a month to two months of nice, warm, sunny, dry weather a year. The rest of the year is cold and wet. Even if it's not raining, the air is really cold and damp. Even at nights during the summer. If you don't live in a house, it's hard to keep anything from getting moldy or rusty. Even stuff in my basement here is getting rusty.
It's getting expensive here, (food, rent, houses, utilities, etc.)
Lots of druggies, alcoholics, punk kids, and homeless people downtown now. They've taken over.
Downtown has gotten really dilapidated in some ares. Broken windows, and graffiti are more prevalent now.
4th Ave and the downtown bus station are where most of the riff raff hang out.
There are some nice people here, but a lot of people are fake, stuck up, grouchy, snobs. Most of the time when you say hi to people while walking on the sidewalk or on a trail, they give you a dirty look instead of a smile, as if you have the audacity to be nice. Even a lot of the so called hippies are stuck up here. Open minded, spiritually enlightened my a**. I don't care what anyone says, this town isn't a friendly town. It is more so when the weather's nice, but even then, not so much.
I'm sure people are going to be pissed that I think this, but I've lived here for 20 years and that's what I've experienced the most. Some days you can run into friendly people all day, but most days, you don't. If you have your own car, it's a lot better, because a lot of the rude, classless, people take the city bus. Not taking the bus alone, will make your experience here a lot more enjoyable.
Traffic's getting pretty bad.
I think the huge influx of people from all over is what drove the prices up, made the traffic bad, and brought in a lot of shady characters.
If you're from a higher crime, bigger city, then this town will probably feel a lot better to you. Growing up in this town though, I don't like how it's changed.
Of course it depends on where you go, who you meet, etc., that will determine your viewpoint. Some people love this place. I used to.
I like the beauty and nature of this place the most.
I dislike the people and the weather the most.
Olympia, WA has a Great Quality of Life! - 5/20/2010
Having lived in Olympia for over 28 years, I can truly say I love it here. Being the State Capitol, there are always folks with divergent views expressing themselves.
The mountains, Puget Sound, fresh air........relaxed lifestyle and proximity to Seattle, Portland, the Pacific Ocean, skiing.........all appeal to me.
As a Realtor, I really enjoy helping folks move to our wonderful town/city, and sharing with them all the special things to do, places to eat etc. [read more...]
Absolutely Gorgeous - 5/2/2010
The City of Olympia must be one of the most beautiful cities in the country. The flowering plum trees start off spring in February/March, followed by pink or white dogwood trees (sometimes both on one tree as a result of creative grafting), and all manner of flowering cherry trees. People grow every kind of flower in their yards you can think of. As the capital city of Washington, aesthetics are emphasized by government and individuals. Spring here is wonderful! And the rest of the year ain't bad either.[read more...]
Olympia is stimulating and comfortable - 4/5/2010
With a wide range of political views and eclectic cultural happenings, both influenced by the presence of the state government and the Evergreen State College, Olympia is a great place to be stimulated and also a great place to relax and enjoy life. Rural areas to live are within easy reach of the more urban areas. People are friendly.[read more...]
Great City to Visit - 7/31/2009
Downtown Olympia's waterfront is very picturesque and is located on Puget Sound. The city is quaint and enjoys a small town atmosphere. Olympia is definitely worth a visit from July through October. However,during the remaining eight months of the year, the climate is mild, cloudy and rainy.The politics in western Washington is very liberal, and you'll frequently see groups picketing for their cause throughout downtown and the capitol.[read more...]
Unemployment Info on this site - 6/21/2009
Keep in mind that giant lay-offs in government are in process and will most likely be completed by the end of June/July 2009. Because we are the capitol, most living wage jobs are government. We are bracing for a loss of 8000 state jobs total with a large bulk of them to happen here. Employment is not looking quite so rosy.[read more...]
Blessed to be living here - 4/27/2008
I can't explain really why moving here from So. Cal last November was like coming home. The beauty of this area is unbelievable but I really don't like the desert. The sound, the mountains, the capital building all views from the same spot downtown.The people are amazingly friendly, loving, giving and appreciate the city for the most part. No one we know can believe how fast we made friends and fit in, like there was no searching. The neighborhoods, unlike where we came from are friendly and people wave to you and if you have a need are right there asking if they can help. Yes there are a few odd ones, mostly the extreme liberal viewed college kids that make youthful mistakes once in a while and the protestors who have nothing better to do, but overall we will never move from here if we can help it. The rents are still cheaper than CA, the taxes about the same, but still no state income tax.The farmers market has the best organically grown vegies and meats and fish around. The seafood is awesome. The library system is great. Plenty of volunteer positions and jobs in the area. Really heaven on earth.[read more...]
Religion - 4/27/2008
Olympia and Western Washington are amongst the least churched in the nation and there are a few different churches in the Olympia area compared to Los Angeles suburbs. Olympians are amongst the friendliest I have ever come across and very community oriented, something that you should see in the christian community.Olympians love to help everybody and have more volunteers in every area than I have ever seen and very few in percentage are church goers.[read more...]
The Best of Almost Everything - 3/1/2008
Less than a mile from the city limits, our property backs up to a 30+ acre greenbelt/wetlands and we have a "country" environment within minutes of our front door. Its a 3 minute drive to the local Safeway, 12 minutes to the Regal 16 cinema and 20 minutes to the "big" shopping mall.[read more...]
Heritage Park Fountain - 2/24/2008
There is a wonderful fountain in Heritage Park in downtown Olympia, near the Percival Landing. It's one of those fountains where streams of water shoot up from the ground in changing patterns. At night, each jet stream of water is illuminated by a light. It's really quite beautiful.[read more...]
The ups and downs of Olympia. - 2/2/2008
If you want to start a family, move a family or you are single then you might want to stop and consider Olympia as a possibility. Before mentioning anything else Olympia's obvious strong point is it's setting, with unobstructed views of the Olympic Mountains and Mt. Rainier standing as nice backgrounds to the glimmering waters of Puget Sound. The public school systems are phenomenal, especially the High Schools. The town has a distinct small town feel despite the fact that it is rather mid-size. Located just south of Tacoma, WA where the most crime in the state is present Olympia manages to dodge this unlucky statistic. In Olympia you will feel safe walking at anytime of day and letting your kids play out in the neighborhood. On the other hand, if you don't enjoy extreme liberals and protests almost every week, lots, I mean , LOTS of rain and gray cloudy days then do not consider moving here. Owning rain boots is almost a law here.[read more...]
Come Join Us in Olympia, WA! - 1/24/2008
Welcome to beautiful, and friendly Olympia, the Capitol of The Evergreen State of Washington. With a County population of over 225,000, Olympia’s approximately 50,000 population is the major cultural center of this Puget Sound region.
The climate of Olympia is a Marine West Coast climate, with an evenly spread annual precipitation, warm summers, and mild winters. Snow occurs annually, but large accumulations are relatively rare...
And, of course, there's our northwest natural beauty -- the rugged Olympic Mountains, snow-capped Mt. Rainier, Steaming Mt. St. Helens, towering Douglas firs, lakes and rivers, salmon, eagles, and the occasional gray whale that winds its way to the tip of Puget Sound.
Maybe it's our livable community with a free Dash Shuttle that connects downtown and the Capitol Campus, bike lanes on 70% of our arterial streets, and citizens...
Olympia has a thriving business climate, and plenty of access
to a wealth of culture and recreation... a place where people can live life to it's fullest...
Olympia’s neighboring Cities of Lacey, Tumwater and Dupont lie within easy commute distance, enhancing the already diverse elements offered.
For recreation, there are health and fitness centers,
golf courses and country, and there are numerous tennis courts throughout the area. With the best in winter sports only minutes away....
Within an hour's drive, are several National Parks and Wildlife Reserves... and, as the gateway to the San Juan Islands, you can take a picturesque ferry ride through miles of inland waterways. With dozens of lakes, rivers, and saltwater inlets, along with the Black Hills, Olympic and Cascade mountains, Olympia is a paradise for fishing... boating... sailing.... water-skiing...hiking... camping, and biking.
There are excellent community centers, and many beautiful municipal and community parks for communing with nature, family outings, and picnics...
Olympia is a regional center for fine arts. A number of theater experiences are available with companies such as Capital Playhouse , Theater Artist Olympia, Olympia Little Theater, and Harlequin Productions at the historic State Theater. The Olympia Symphony Orchestra performs regularly at the Washington Center. Many of the city's venues offer exceptional quality entertainment.... The Fish Brewing Company is a small, locally owned craft brewery producing truly authentic take out British Style organic ales and German style lagers for beer lovers.
The sports fans enjoy local college and high school sporting events throughout the year, along with major league sports less than an hour away in Seattle.
Olympia residents take great pride in their school system... the public schools are well-staffed and well-equipped and offer special programs for the gifted, the handicapped, and the adults that wish to further their education... two of the local public schools have been named as some of the best in the nation by the u.s. dept of education...
Private elementary schools include: Olympia Waldorf School, St. Michael School, Holy Family, Evergreen Christian Center along with a new Catholic high school...
And, for higher education we have an award-winning educational system, including the Evergreen State College - one of the country's top liberal arts institutions, St. Martin's University in Lacey, and South Puget Sound Community College.
For medical services, Olympia offers two accredited hospitals, with hundreds of excellent physicians, surgeons, and specialists, and many fine specialty and outpatient clinics throughout the area to provide our residents with the excellent medical care that they deserve...
The shopping in and around Olympia is FABULOUS...
from the fine stores in and around the area
Malls... to the pleasant stores, shops, and boutiques in
shopping centers, and in the convenient downtown areas...
find everything you hope to find... all of your
favorite brands and styles...
Dining out is also a culinary deligh, with many excellent restaurants that feature everything from the most casual atmosphere, to elegant candlelight dining...and all of your favorite cuisine including exotic foreign foods, fresh Washington Seafood, and the good old
American Hot Dog...
Olympia has churches temples, and synagogues of practically every denomination all eager to welcome newcomers...
Discover for yourself why Olympia has hit #10 on the Forbes Magazine 2007 list of Best Places for Business and Careers and is often ranked amongst the top 10 cities in the nation to retire to.
Maybe it's the generosity and creativeness of our friendly and caring people...
The area has a broad economic base... and a well-educated workforce... With an economic engine fueled to a great extent by state government activity, Olympia - the Capital City of Washington State - enjoys the benefits of a stable work force, engaged and educated community...and there are many more employers moving their headquarters out of the crush of the big cities to the low taxes, low utilities, and well trained workforce of Washington...
Olympia's strategic geographic location along Interstate 5 at the gateway to the Olympic Peninsula, puts one within two hours or less of regional recreational attractions - from hiking and skiing in the mountains to beachcombing along ocean shores.
Amtrak is also available for those who prefer a different mode of transportation... and for your longer journeys the modern Olympia Regional Airport providing flights each day to a variety of international airports with flights to most anywhere you wish to go in the world....
Olympia is an area full of pleasant neighborhoods and
beautiful homes... from the reasonably priced homes in planned communities, to the spectacular executive homes in new developments... Olympia has it all...exclusive homes in
deed restricted communities, spectacular older homes in
mature neighborhoods, and homes ideal for retirement or
raising a family... and homes on the water... Olympia is a fabulous place to visit, and an even more fabulous place to live....
Come and join us, in beautiful Olympia, Washington!!
just to clarify... - 7/20/2007
some reviewers say that washington is a liberal state.
but...that adds to the appeal of olympia and seattle.
these cities (especially olympia) envelope you in such a way that you feel like the whole world must be this way. olympia is everything you've read or heard about, and is a very accepting, liberal, green, gay-friendly, educated, artsy city.
if that's the world you want to live in, then olympia is the right place for you.
but don't be fooled into thinking that the realm outside of your cocoon is the same way and has the same views or passions that you do. that would be in absolute error.
just like thinking that any state that has cities like los angeles and san francisco can't possibly have gay-bashing...
just like thinking that any state that boasts having the greatest city in the world, manhattan - NYC, can't possibly have racially-motivated hate crimes...
the stranger (seattle newspaper) put it best when it said that the country may have a conservative slant...but the bigger, educated, progressive cities are liberal. it was when w. was elected - and i STILL have the cover of the paper, since it was the only thing that gave me hope.
live in a progressive and open-minded city (like olympia), but understand that the state IS NOT of the same viewpoint - culturally, politically, etc...[read more...]
died and gone to heaven - 5/7/2007
i came to olympia as a stopping off point after retirement. 30 years in san francisco where i thought i had found paradise and lo and behold, i found something even better. people are wonderful, friendly, involved and commited. the rain supports the lushness and except for those winter wind storms i have no complaints about the weather. each time i enter downtown olympia i'm reminded how much i love it--great library system, restuarants, support for the arts, farmers' market and then of course there's the water and the mountain views. i'm a happy camper.[read more...]
Quality of Life in Olympia, WA - 5/4/2007
Quality of life in Olympia, WA is outstanding. The city is located within a couple of hours drive to the Pacific Ocean, The Cascade Mountains and Eastern Washington which is mostly desert and open farm land. Located at the southern most tip of Puget Sound Olympia is home to outstanding seafood with the specialty crop being tiny Olympia oysters. Washington is a liberal state and is for the most part very "green." Olympia is home to the Parade of the Species annual parade and the twice yearly "Arts Walk" both of which attract thousands of visitors. The Evergreen State College is located just outside of Olympia which accounts for the large culture merge within the city.[read more...]
Looking at the area - 3/22/2007
Thinking of moving down from Seattle. Sick of the traffic, housing prices, and looking for a smaller/progressive town. Oly seems to fit. Any neighborhoods to look at that would be reminiscent of the old Seattle?[read more...]
Olympian - 3/3/2007
I have been living in the city more than 10 years. The weather just makes me very sick during winter time, lots of people have depression synptom here. I am looking forward to moving to Ca, a sunny place even the cost of living is much higher, but I think is more benefical to your health.[read more...]