Authenticity is the name of the game in Olympia. You’ll really be able to exhale and dig into your creativity in Olympia, the capital city of Washington that’s home to some 50,000 residents. It’s a small city inside a larger county metropolitan area, where access to nature is a top priority and free-spirited entrepreneurs are thriving in everything from arts and entertainment to craft beer. The economy is strong and expected to continue flourishing in the years to come, making Olympia the perfect place to start a business, take the next step in your career and build a life with your family.
Top Industries and Employers: State government, healthcare, retail, natural products and agriculture
Best Coffee Shop: Try a cup of Dancing Goats at Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters, named for the energetic goats who discovered coffee during the 9th century, as the legend goes.
Best Local Beer/Brewery: Any of the “well made” beers at Well 80 Brewhouse, brewed with Olympia’s famed artesian well water — water from downtown well No. 80, to be exact.
Must-Have Meal: Any of the fish and chips options from Budd Bay Cafe
Best Co-Working Space: This isn’t your average co-working space. The Lamplighters is a community hub for creatives, complete with a recording studio, a reference library, space to display your art work and more. They also offer professional consulting on everything from social media to podcasts to graphic design.
Best Meetup Spot (When Meeting Up Is a Thing Again): Grab a glass of wine or a craft cocktail at Swing Wine Bar.
Creative Hub: The Arbutus Folk School offers incredible courses in ceramics, music, blacksmithing, tapestry weaving, embroidery and tons of other art forms. Plus, the artists in residence will inspire you with their diverse talents.
Favorite Weekend Activity: Hanging out at the Olympia Farmers’ Market, exploring the public art and murals throughout downtown and catching live music or a film at the historic Capitol Theater, put on by the Olympia Film Society.
Free Way to Have Fun: Biking the 22-mile Chehalis-Western trail, a repurposed railroad corridor that winds through farmland, forests, prairies, wetlands and other beautiful scenery.
Local Dream Job: Craft brewer or distiller. You can even earn an associate’s degree in craft brewing and distilling from South Puget Sound Community College!
- Sarah Kuta