Are you considering a move to the Pacific Northwest, but you’re not quite sure where to settle down? If you’re looking to experience all the benefits of city living but still like that small-town feel, then Olympia may be the perfect place! As the capital of the state of Washington, Olympia boasts a unique history, welcoming community, strong economy, and a plethora of unique attractions. It’s also home to some of the PNW’s most gorgeous, lush landscapes.
If you’re considering moving to Olympia and want to know what it’s like to live there, then you’ve come to the right place! Keep reading to find out if Olympia, Washington is the right home for you.
All About Olympia, Washington
History & Economy
The early history of Olympia, Washington is rich and unique. For centuries, the Lushootseed-speaking people called the area home. Located on the tip of Puget Sound, the location was known as a paradise of resources due to its abundant sea life and populated streams. In fact, the resources in Olympia were utilized by a number of prominent tribes, such as Squaxin, Puyallup, Suquamish, and many more.
Once European travelers began to settle in the area during the 1840s, the location slowly began to take shape into the small, yet vibrant city it is today. Its population grew exponentially with an influx of new residents via the Oregon Trail. It was officially recognized as a city in 1882 and was named the capital of the Washington territory by Governor Stevens the following year.
The economy in Olympia has shifted quite dramatically over the course of its long history. Initially, its landscape aided strong lumber, oyster fishing, and dairy-based industries. While manufacturing is still a considerable aspect of the city’s economy, its largest industries have transformed to accommodate a more modern workforce. Olympia’s largest industries are currently in public administration, healthcare and social assistance, and retail.
Culture and Natural Landscapes
The culture in Olympia is vibrant and active. While it maintains a quaint, small town atmosphere, you’ll also have the option to engage with its community-focused arts, culture, & heritage events and programs. The city of Olympia is uniquely devoted to preserving its natural history while also prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion to make the city safe and welcoming to all communities.
The residents in Olympia are known for being friendly and welcoming. With its unique attention to cultural excellence, walkability, sense of community, and abundant activities, Olympia is the perfect place for those looking for a special blend of city living and serene beauty. With a wide array of parks, water features, dense forests, and ample opportunities for outdoor recreation, you’re never more than a few minutes away from the peace and serenity of the great outdoors.
Olympia Facts & Figures
- Population: 55,605 as of 2020
- Median age: 38.3
- Size: 20.09 square miles
- Proximity to Seattle: 61.1 miles (approximately 1 hour and 6 minutes by car)
- Cost of living index: 106.1
- Median household income: $59,878
- Median property value: $297,000
- Climate: Summer highs of around 77° in July (warmest month) and winter lows of about 34° in January (coldest month)
- Average annual rainy days: 167 with an average of 53 inches of rain per year
Things To Do in Olympia, Washington
When it comes to fun things to do in Olympia, the sky’s the limit! Just about any activity you can think of can be found in this charming little city. From a wide selection of diverse restaurants and shops, to hiking and outdoor recreation in some of the most beautiful natural parks in the country, you’ll never run out of things to do and explore!
- Downtown Olympia may be small (spanning just .5 miles), but it has no shortage of charming shops, restaurants, and other engaging activities, including farmers markets and museums!
- Olympia is also known for its unique local art scene. There are always new shows at one of the area’s 5 theaters and you can also get in on the Arts Walk, which takes place twice a year.
- The great outdoors have never been more abundant, beautiful, or exciting. The city has over 1,340 acres of diverse parks to suit whatever you’re looking for. From playgrounds, to hiking trails, to wildlife sanctuaries, and much more, if you love the outdoors then Olympia is the perfect place to call home.
Pros & Cons of Living in Olympia, Washington
While Olympia, Washington is a fantastic city with distinctive charm and abundant amenities, it isn’t without its drawbacks. Like any place, there are bound to be some clear advantages and some disadvantages you’ll want to consider before making the big move.
- Olympia’s beautiful and diverse natural environment is hard to beat. With gorgeous views of seemingly endless mountains and forests, as well as plentiful usable park space, it’s perfect for nature lovers.
- From shops, to museums, to community events, there are always tons of activities going on in Olympia.
- With a small but bustling downtown area, the city is extremely walkable.
- There are multiple top-rated schools in Olympia, making it a wonderful home for growing families.
- As is to be expected with any area in the PNW, get ready for rain, rain, and more rain. While there are certainly a fair number of sunny days in the spring and summer months, the majority of the year will be filled with clouds.
- Because it’s the state capital, the majority of jobs in the city are in the public sector. This means that, while there are many opportunities in the private sector, the job market can be competitive and difficult to break into without experience and education.
Ready to make the move to Olympia? West Coast Moving & Storage is here to make your move simple and stress free!
If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that moving is stressful. But with West Coast Moving & Storage, it doesn’t have to be! We’re here to handle the frustrating logistics of moving so that you can get started exploring and enjoying your new home. Our experienced and capable team are at your service.
Contact us online today to get started, ask any questions you may have, and get a free consultation.