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Moving to Olympia: Everything You Need To Know

Olympia is the capital city of Washington State and one of the smallest capitals in America by population. This modest-sized city is known for being the economic center of South Puget Sound and offers a vibrant culture, charming downtown, and a range of outdoor activities for its residents. It also is close to Seattle and Portland but with a more affordable cost of living. Despite its smaller size, Olympia is a bustling city with many wonderful amenities.

Olympia, WA Moving Companies

A Vibrant Economy

As the state capital and county seat, about one-third of non-farm jobs in Olympia are government jobs. The local, state, and federal governments are the three largest employers in the area, with most government offices located in or near Tumwater. Other major industries include agriculture, mining, construction, wholesale and retail trade, healthcare, finance, and real estate. Providence St. Peter’s Hospital, Safeway, and Walmart are the city’s top private-sector employers. 

Cost of Living

There is no denying that Puget Sound is an expensive place to live, but Olympia is one of the more affordable places in the area. Olympia is about 13% more expensive than the national average but about 23% cheaper than Seattle and 12% cheaper than Portland. Housing is your biggest expense when it comes to the cost of living, and the median home price in Olympia is around $525,000, while average rent prices are around $1600/ month. More than half of Olympia residents rent, as it tends to be cheaper to rent than buy a home in Olympia. 

Great Schools

Olympia boasts a well-educated population, thanks in large part to its excellent public school system. This is good news for families moving with school-age children. Some of the best schools in the area include Evergreen Christian School, Boston Harbor Elementary School, Black Lake Elementary School, Olympia High School, Washington Middle School, and Evergreen State College. 

Weather in Olympia

Olympia has a Mediterranean climate, which brings dry, short, and warm summers with very cold, wet winters. The weather is heavily influenced by the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, where cold, moist air forms and travels to Western Washington. This can bring cold rain, fog, and clouds. Be prepared for plenty of rainfall, as the area sees an average of 53” of rain each year. The city also sees an average of 6” of snowfall each year. That said, summer temperatures are pleasant, with averages in the upper 70’s and the temperatures rarely reaching 90 degrees. The winters tend to be cold, with average temperatures in the low 30s. The best time of year in Olympia is July through September when the weather is warm and pleasant. 

Plenty of Things to Do

Despite its smaller size, Olympia has plenty of attractions and things to do. For starters, it is an excellent place to live for outdoor activities. Whether you enjoy skiing, hiking, biking, or water activities, you can do all of these things in Olympia. The city has 40 parks, including Squaxin Park, Olympic National Forest, Tolmie State Park, Barclift Park, Burfoot Park, Heritage Park, and LBA Park, just to name a few. 

Olympia is also home to a thriving art culture, with galleries, public artworks, and a biannual Arts Walk. The Hands-On Children’s Museum is also considered one of the premiere hands-on science and education centers in the state. The Washington Center for the Performing Arts is also one of the region’s top performing arts venues. 

Other popular attractions include the Olympic Flight Museum, WET Science Center, Capital Mall, the Olympia Farmers Market, and a slew of excellent restaurants and breweries. 

Best Neighborhoods in Olympia

Although it is not a huge metropolis, there are still dozens of great neighborhoods in the Olympia area. Much of the city’s growth in recent years has been downtown, but you will find charming neighborhoods in every area of the city. Here are some of the best places to live in Olympia: 

South Capital: Located just south of downtown, this is a popular neighborhood for young professionals who want an easy commute to work. It is known for its historic homes and picturesque Maple Park. 

Cain Road: This is an affluent neighborhood with larger homes that are perfect for families. It is among the most affluent neighborhoods in the city and boasts beautiful parks and stately homes. 

Eastside Olympia: This is one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in the city, with quiet residential streets and mature trees lining the sidewalks. It is home to several parks as well as single-family homes and apartments. 

Ready to Move to Olympia? Allied Van Lines Can Help

From lovely mountain views and picturesque neighborhoods to great restaurants and access to the outdoors, Olympia has it all. If you are ready to make the move to Olympia, let the professionals at Allied Van Lines help you with your relocation. Our dedicated team of professionals will work tirelessly to make your move as easy and stress-free as possible. With over 95 years of experience in the industry, we know exactly what it takes to execute a seamless move. Allied offers a comprehensive list of moving services to fit any budget, so call today or start by getting a free quote using our convenient Instaquote tool.