Great place for real people (!)
Olympia is great. It's a big small town with a political lean due to the location of the states capital, and draws people from all over the country due to it's experimental- learning based liberal arts college. The vibrant downtown offers a large farmers market, multiple super affordable restaurants, art galleries, bars, live music, unique businesses, and a children's museum. The dense neighborhood sections are cozy and extremely walkable, and very accessible free public transit can take you to the majority of the city and surrounding areas of interest. Downtown may have some homeless residents, but most people who I have interacted with have been polite, and I have never felt unsafe. The violent crime rate is very low in the city, although property crime is quite high. Avoid north commute past the base. Although there are not many high paying jobs within the city, but if you're the type of person who strives to be middle income, this is a good place for you. Most Olympia residents are content with blue collar jobs, working for the government, nonprofits, or running local small businesses. I'm consistently blown away by how nice people are here compared to 45 minutes from NYC where I grew up. People can click together, but if you get over the fear of not fitting in and actually reach out to people, i've never had people not reciprocate. I guess the "freeze" is that people don't immediately completely accept you into their lives, but if you show them you can respect their boundaries, i've found the ice to break rather quickly.
Damien | Olympia, WA