Living in Thurston County

Thurston County is centrally located to some of the best the Pacific Northwest has to offer. Any day of the week, you can embark on a new adventure. Visit spectacular mountains, like Mount Rainier, one of the most glaciated mountain peaks in the continental US, or Mount St. Helens, the most active volcano in the Cascade Mountains. Create your own tour of the nearby vineyards, distilleries, and microbreweries. Admire the power of the Pacific Ocean and pools of sea creatures along miles of coastal beaches. Stroll the campus of the state’s capital. Take in the culture and nightlife of Seattle and Tacoma. Add in access to high-quality healthcare, a lower cost of living compared to the state overall, and a temperate climate, and Thurston County might be the perfect place to make your forever home.

Covid-19 Precautions

Wearing face masks and following social distancing guidelines are required in Thurston County. Group activities such as in-restaurant dining, movie viewing at theatres, wedding ceremonies, and religious services, are allowed with capacity restrictions that vary

by activity and size of the venue. Guidance may change based on increases or decreases in the county’s transmission rate. For the most current information, go online to thurstoncountywa.gov/phss/coronavirus.

Health Care

Medical providers in Thurston County are committed to providing high-quality care that rivals larger communities for general and specialized healthcare needs. Two hospitals and numerous medical clinics mean you will always have access to top-quality medical care and technology. COVID-19 testing is available at most urgent care clinics and at pop-up testing locations hosted by the Thurston County Public Health Department. Go online to thurstoncountywa.gov/phss/coronavirus to find a testing location.

Arts & Entertainment

Ready to go out and explore? Whether you’re interested in fine dining, the performing arts, museums, shopping, Farmers Markets, hiking, golfing, and more—we’ve got you covered! Call ahead to verify business hours and capacity restrictions.

Parks, Facilities & Trails

There is something for everyone when you explore Thurston County’s 25 regional parks, which cover approximately 2,800 acres and include nearly 50 miles of recreational trail corridors. Each city also maintains parks, playgrounds, and community centers. There’s never a shortage of recreational opportunities in Thurston County.

Schools & Libraries

Exceptional public and private schools can be found in Thurston County. Please refer to our Education section for more information. A community college and two universities provide lifelong learning opportunities. Five branches of the Timberland Regional Library serve Thurston County. Many services are available online: you can apply for a library card, request books, check their monthly calendar for virtual events and classes, Ask a Librarian, and more.

Weather

The Pacific Northwest weather can be unpredictable at times, but the weather in Thurston County also has a beauty all its own. The high temperature during the summer is on average about 77 degrees. The low in the winter averages 35. Rainfall averages 50 inches and snow 6 inches per year.

Transportation

Interstate 5 runs through the heart of Thurston County, making it easy to find your way to Seattle or Portland by car. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is a little more than 50 miles from Olympia. Within the county, Intercity Transit provides bus service and vanpool options, in addition to dial-a-lift service for those with a disability.

BY JULIE LEYDELMEYER