Water and downtown view of Olympia WA

Best Places to Live in the US in 2022 Sponsored by: eXp RealtyeXp Realty

#15. Olympia, WA

Washington State Capitol in Olympia WA
iStock/zrfphoto
Olympia, WA
Quality of Life
Liv Score

647
How We Calculate Our Data
Civics 51
Demographics 42
Economy 78
Education 72
Health 61
Housing 63
Infrastructure 47
Amenities 63

Why Olympia is one of the best cities to live in

As the state’s capital, the words Olympia, WA, elicit a kind of familiarity when spoken, but it’s not name recognition driving people to live in this unique city of 52,000-plus. Instead, a collection of skilled craftsmen calls Olympia home, from brilliant chefs and coffee roasters to brewers and vintners. Residents reap the benefits (in other words, the food and drink scene here is next level). 

Plus, great job opportunities (especially in state and local government) and educational institutions make Olympia one of the best places to live in the U.S. Speaking of government, downtown’s Capitol Building largely adds to the city’s arts and culture scene, as does its beautiful monuments, like the Korean War and World War II memorials, and more than 70 colorful murals dotted through the town. Oh… and since Olympia is located at the southern end of Puget Sound, residents can enjoy gorgeous views and participate in a large variety of water sports. 

What are Olympia’s major industries and employers?

Major industries include government, health care, agriculture, tourism and retail.

What are the major colleges and universities in Olympia?

The Evergreen State College & South Puget Sound Community College

What is the weather like in Olympia? 

Olympia boasts mild temperatures throughout the year. And while the city does experience rainfall during the winter, spring and parts of autumn, its summers are relatively dry. 

What is there to do outside in Olympia?

Take a nice hike with friends (and the furry little guys) at the nearby Capitol State Forest, which features nearly 110,000 acres perfect for biking, fishing, walking and horseback riding. 

Olympia, WA is Remote-Ready

What makes Olympia a great place for remote workers?

Washington means business…seriously, the state was ranked as one of the best places for businesses in the country. So, naturally, Olympia is an excellent place for remote workers. Like its sister city, Seattle, Olympia has no shortage of great coffee shops where workers can get some work done while drinking a delicious cup of joe. Olympia Coffee RoastingDancing Goats® and Burial Grounds Coffee Collective are all great spots. 

What Locals Love in Olympia, WA:

What is the best local bookstore in Olympia?

Peruse the shelves at Olympia’s tried-and-true Browsers Bookshop, which has been in business since 1935. 

How do you spend a weekend in Olympia?

Meet up with a friend for coffee at one of the city’s amazing coffeehouses, like Dancing Goats®, a specialty roaster located downtown.

What can you do for free in Olympia?

Check out fresh produce and handmade items sold by more than 100 vendors at the Olympia Farmers Market (open April through October). 

What’s the best way to spend happy hour in Olympia?

Grab a cocktail and a delicious burger at Nicole’s Bar

What’s something only locals know about Olympia?

Want to test your luck? A trip to Nisqually Red Wind Casino is a must. 

Thinking of Moving to Olympia, Washington?

You’ll find listings of Olympia homes for sale as well as all of Washington real estate on eXp Realty and you can refine your search. These top-rated real estate agents in Olympia are local eXperts and are ready to answer your questions about the best new neighborhoods.

Quick Facts About Olympia, WA

Average Commute
20.4
Median Home Value
$542,452
Med. Household Income
$63,185
Total Population
52,290
Walk Score
38
Median Property Tax
$3,333

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