The Ultimate Neighborhood Guide to Downtown Tacoma, WA [2022]

The Ultimate Neighborhood Guide to Downtown Tacoma, WA [2022]

The Ultimate Neighborhood Guide to Downtown Tacoma, WA

On the bottom edge of Puget Sound lies Tacoma, Washington, a city of just over 219,000 people. It’s part of the larger South Sound region with a population of about 1 million.  After a period of decline, Tacoma made a comeback in the 1990s with a ton of development and restoration.  Now, young and old alike enjoy all that Tacoma has to offer.  With the waters coming into the middle of the city, the area is picturesque with tons of amazing areas and charm.

Living in Downtown Tacoma

People who live downtown love the views of Mt. Rainier, the Cascade Mountains, Commencement Bay, and the Port of Tacoma, where you can see commerce in action with the loading and unloading of cargo ships.  Downtown Tacoma is one of the most affordable places to live in the area.  Condominiums, lofts, single-family, and vintage homes are integrated within these neighborhoods:

The Foss Waterway

The Thea Foss Waterway area is a popular downtown Tacoma neighborhood that is great to hang out or live in.  There are condominiums for purchase, museums to visit, and a waterfront walkway where you can find restaurants, parks, picnic areas, and kayak or paddleboard rentals.  You can walk there from central downtown and access the waterfront via two bridges and a glass elevator.

The Theater District

Along with the restoration of old buildings are two theaters – the Pantages Theater and The Rialto.  Dating back to 1918, these are venues for music and theater.  A more modern venue was added in 1993 called Theater on the Square.  Lofts with tall ceilings and original bricks have sprung up throughout downtown and are trendy homes.

Pantages Theater In Tacoma, WA

Pacific Avenue

Tacoma’s charm shines through in the Pacific Avenue area.  Renovated brick buildings from the late 1800s and early 1900s are now shops, museums, lofts, restaurants, and more.  Local hangouts include:

Plus, check out Dale Chihuly’s art inside Union Station (now a US District Court).

Other Neighborhoods

Tacoma Downtown has a few more neighborhoods worth mentioning.

  • Stadium District is a historic neighborhood with a grocery store, coffee shop, boutiques, and eateries.  There you’ll also find Wright Park, a 27-acre park with a conservatory, arboretum, hundreds of trees, walking trails, and a pond.  Stadium district is one of several neighborhoods known for revitalizing the neighborhoods to include single-family homes mixed in with mixed-use business districts.
  • St. Helens has stunning views of Commencement Bay
  • Dome District has shopping, restaurants, and the Tacoma Dome, where conventions and concerts occr.
  • McCarver Neighborhood has newer condominiums and townhomes and a maple-lined central street.

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Getting Around

Downtown Tacoma has everything within easy walking distance or via a free Link Light Rail. You’ll still want that car to get to neighboring cities, off to the mountains, north to Seattle, or south to Olympia.

Working in Tacoma

There are plenty of opportunities to work for small and large businesses in the downtown area.  Tacoma is home to lumber company Simpson, and food companies, Roman Meal and Brown and Haley.  Fun fact:  candy giant Mars, Incorporated, started in Tacoma in 1911.  The biggest employers in the area are Joint Base Lewis-McChord (an army base 9 miles south of the city), MultiCare Health System, the State of Washington, and Tacoma Public Schools.

The Downtown Tacoma Partnership will work with you to start your own business if that is your dream.

Working In Tacoma, WA

Schools

The Tacoma Public Schools serve the area with 36 elementary schools, 11 middle schools, and ten high schools.  There are non-traditional high schools, alternative high schools, and charter schools.  Downtown Tacoma is also home to the Tacoma School of the Arts for high school students and numerous private schools.

The University of Washington built a campus that incorporates some of the area’s historic buildings.  Other colleges close by are the University of Puget SoundTacoma Community CollegeCity University of Seattle-Tacoma, and Bates Technical College.

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Shopping

There are so many things to do in Downtown Tacoma.  Pacific Avenue has unique shops, and restaurants in classic buildings.  Another option is Antiques Row, with several multi-level antique stores.  Find hidden treasures at Lily Pad Antiques, and many more.  Tacoma Mall is on the city’s outskirts for big store shopping experiences – think Macy’s, Nordstrom and JC Penney.

Museum District

Tacoma’s Museum District is comprised of world-class museums, including:

Each of these offers a unique perspective of the area.

Other Landmarks

If you haven’t realized, Tacoma cherishes its old buildings, incorporating them into neighborhoods.  There are 165 individual city landmarks and 1,000 historic properties scattered throughout the metro area.  Some near downtown are:

Fireboat No.1- National Historic Landmark - Tacoma, WA

Outdoors

While some may find the rainy pacific northwest weather an adjustment, there are plenty of sunny days to enjoy the waterfront and the mountains.  Metro Parks Tacoma maintains over 50 parks and open spaces in and around Tacoma.  We mentioned the easy walk to Foss Waterway, plus where 6th Avenue meets the water is a scuba diving area. Downtown’s Frost Park has sidewalk chalk contests.  Those with pups can take them to Rogers Off-Leash Dog Park.

Venture a little further to Port Defiance Park with a 5-mile drive leading to Owen Beach, Fort Nisqually, and Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium.  The Cascade Mountains, Mt Rainier, and Mt. St Helens are very close for wilderness seekers.

Moving to Tacoma

Downtown Tacoma retains its charm with many historic buildings, a friendly atmosphere, and a close-knit community.  It is worth checking out if you enjoy an urban atmosphere.  It has culture, education, unique homes, and always new mixed in with the old.

Ron Rougeaux, located in Olympia, Washington is a highly skilled and knowledgeable real estate agent. PNW Homes Group are committed to their key core values of trustworthiness, integrity, and loyalty providing quality service is his highest priority. Whether you are buying, selling, or curious about the market, PNW Homes has the answers. 

A local Tacoma real estate agent is ready to help you find your dream home!

Call Today!

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Posted in Buying a Home

Ranked: The 10 Best High Schools in Olympia, WA [2021 Edition]

Ranked: The 10 Best High Schools in Olympia, WA [2021 Edition]

Ranked: The 10 Best High Schools in Olympia, WA [2021 Edition]

Olympia, Washington has so many amazing things going for it. It’s a beautiful city full of great real estate, amazing scenery, and fantastic schools. There are so many great schools that each have their own special features. If you are thinking about making a move, have a look at this list of the best high schools in Olympia, Wa ranked from 10 all the way to number 1. 

#10  New Market High School | 7299 New Market Street SW, Tumwater, WA 98501


This high school is a public alternative school with a total of 47 students in grades 10-12. They have a student-to-teacher ratio of 34 to 1. They have been given the rating of #441 Most Diverse Public High Schools in the State by niche.com.

View All Homes For Sale Near New Market High School >>>

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#9  Secondary Options School | 7741 Littlerock Road SW, Olympia, WA 98512


Secondary Options is a public alternative school that has a total of 100 students in grades 8-12. They have a student-to-teacher ratio of 24 to 1 and an average graduation rate of 45%. They have been given the ranking of #504 Most Diverse Public High School in Washington.

View All Homes For Sale Near Secondary Options School >>>

#8 Olympia Regional Learning Academy | 2400 15th ave SE, Olympia, WA 98501


This public alternative school has a total of 58 students in grades k-12. They have an excellent student-to-teacher ratio of 5 to 1. They have been graded with a B- from niche.com and they have also been ranked as the #178 Best Public High School Teachers in Washington and #195 Best High Schools for STEM in Washington. 

View All Homes For Sale Near Olympia Regional Learning Academy >>>

#7  South Sound High School | 411 College St NE, Lacey, WA 98516


South Sound High School is a public alternative school that has around 104 students in grades 9-12 and a student-to-teacher ratio of 12 to 1. They have been given a grade of B- from Niche.com and they have also been ranked as #87 Most Diverse Public High School in Washington.  

View All Homes For Sale Near South Sound High School >>>

#6 North Thurston High School | 600 Sleater Kinney Rd NE, Lacey, WA 98506


This high school has about 1,475 students in grades 9-12 and a student-to-teacher ratio of 22 to 1. It has been given a B+ grade by niche.com and they have also ranked them as #89 Best College Prep Public High Schools in Washington, #110 Most Diver Public High Schools in Washington, and #113 Best Public High Schools in Washington. The school offers AP classes and a Gifted Program and they have an average graduation rate of 86%.

View All Homes For Sale Near North Thurston High School >>>

#5  Avanti High School | 1113 Legion Way SE, Olympia, WA 98501


This highly-rated public high school has a total of 147 students in grades 9-12 with a student-to-teacher ratio of 18 to 1. They have been given a grade of B+ by niche.com and they have also been given the rankings of #16 Best Public High School Teachers in Washington, #91 Best Public High Schools in Washington, and #160 Best College Prep Public High School in Washington. They offer IB courses for students and have an average graduation rate of 75%.

View All Homes For Sale Near Avanti High School >>>

#4 A. G. West Black Hills High School | 7741 Littlerock Rd SW, Tumwater, WA 98512 


A.G. West Black Hills High School has a total of 867 students in grades 9-12 with a student-to-teacher ratio of 22 to 1. The school has been graded with an A- from niche.com along with being given the rankings of #52 Best Public High School Teachers in Washington, #78 Best Public High Schools in Washington, and #97 Best College Prep High School in Washington. The school offers AP courses and a Gifted Program and they have an average graduation rate of 92%.

View All Homes For Sale Near A. G. West Black Hills High School >>>

#3  Timberline High School | 6120 Mullen Rd SE, Lacey, WA 98503


This public school has been rated highly and they have a total student population of 1,458 in grades 9-12. Their student-to-teacher ratio is 22 to 1 and they offer AP courses and a Gifted Program plus they have a graduation rate of 95%. The school has been given a grade of A- by niche.com and they have also been ranked as #43 Most Diverse Public High School in Washington, #64 Best Public High School in Washington, and #66 Best College Prep Public High Schools in Washington.

View All Homes For Sale Near Timberline High School >>>

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#2  Capital High School, 2707 Conger Ave NW, Olympia, WA 98502


Capital High school has a total of 1,389 students in grades 9-12 and a student-to-teacher ratio of 22 to 1. The school offers IB courses and has an average graduation rate of 92%. They have been graded with an A- by niche.com along with getting the ranking #57 Best Public High Schools in Washington, #59 Best College Prep Public High Schools in Washington, and #74 Best Public High School Teachers in Washington.

View All Homes For Sale Near Capital High School >>>

#1 Olympia High School | 1302 North St SE, Olympia, WA 98501


Olympia High School is ranked as one of the best schools in Olympia, WA and has a student population of 1,879 students in grades 9-12 and a student-to-teacher ratio of 23 to 1. They offer both AP and IB courses plus they have an average graduation rate of 92%. They have been given the grade of A by niche.com along with the rankings #21 Best Public High School in Washington, #22 Best College Prep Public High School in Washington, and #29 Best Public High School Teachers in Washington.

View All Homes For Sale Near Olympia High School >>>

There are plenty of great high schools in the Olympia area that are just waiting for your family to attend. It’s a great idea to look through the details of each school including the school rankings for Olympia Wa, before making your final choice. There are so many to choose from so choosing the one that suits you and your family’s needs is the best to have the highest chance of success. 

Ron Rougeaux, located in Olympia, Washington is a highly skilled and knowledgeable real estate agent. PNW Homes Group are committed to their key core values of trustworthiness, integrity, and loyalty providing quality service is his highest priority. Whether you are buying, selling, or curious about the market, PNW Homes has the answers. 

The 8 Best Neighborhoods to Live in Olympia, WA [2021]

The 8 Best Neighborhoods to Live in Olympia, WA [2021]

Best Neighborhoods Olympia

The capital of Washington State is 60 miles south of Seattle on the southern end of Puget Sound. Budd Inlet goes right into the center of the city.  Olympia is a perfect place for those who love the outdoors as well as love the city. The ocean is a little way to the west, and the mountains are a little way to the north and east. Tacoma and Seattle are a short drive.

Olympia has a decent cost of living – definitely more affordable than Seattle and Tacoma. They are very proud of their public transportation system with the Sounder Train and an extensive bus system. Amtrak also has routes to Tacoma and Seattle by train. Many people work for the government, but great jobs are available in technology, distribution, healthcare, and hospitality.

If you love the outdoors (and the rain), you’ll enjoy the many parks, forests, and waterways. Rock climbing, backpacking, and kayaking destinations are right outside your door. Mt. St. Helens, ocean beaches, and Hood Canal are a short drive. Heritage Park is next to the State Capitol, Capitol Lake, and downtown Olympia. The Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge is a national natural landmark with 275 migratory bird species, marshes, and an abundance of salmon.

Those who like the performing and visual arts will not be disappointed in the selection of theaters, concerts, and art museums. The Squaxin Island Museum teaches visitors about native tribes in the area. The Wet Science Center is all about water. 

Living in Olympia, WA


Children attend the Olympia School District. There are 11 elementary schools, four middle schools, and three high schools. There are several private schools, as well as good support for homeschooling families. South Puget Sound Community College and Evergreen State College provide associate, bachelor, and master’s degree programs for higher education.

With 33 neighborhoods on all sides of the inlet, moving to Olympia is all about finding your perfect home. Some have gorgeous views of the water, some have great proximity to downtown, some are great for families, and some are on the outskirts where it’s quiet.  Here are a few highlights to get you started.

Cain Road


Cain Road has 835 newer upscale homes supported by an active homeowner’s association. Home prices vary from $350,000 to $930,000. The majority of the homes were built in the 1950s through the 1990s. Most homes have 3-4 bedrooms.  The average commute time is 10-19 minutes. The median household income is nearly twice that of the rest of Olympia. There are two local parks in the area – Watershed Park and McGrath Woods Park.  Children who attend the Washington Middle School do not have to go far.

Middle School

Castlewood


Castlewood is a larger community with a population of 1266 and a median home price of $325,000. This is a family community with residential homes and amenities. There are several parks in the area, including LBA Park, Margaret McKenny Park, and Chambers Lake Trailhead Park. Johnson Berry Farm is close by for berry picking.  Children attend Margaret McKenny Elementary School and Washington Middle School. 

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East Bay Drive


A narrow neighborhood right on the coastline, East Bay Drive has condominiums, waterfront properties, and gorgeous homes. There are beaches in your backyard, and nearby at Priest Point Park. Take a hike on the rocky beachfront alongside Ellis Cove.  East Bay Drive has a population of 193 and a median home price of $850,000, with homes selling as high as $1.2 million.

Eastside


Eastside is a mix of residential and businesses and is close to downtown for easy commutes. One of the older neighborhoods in the area, its history dates back to the mid-1800s. Homes are modest in size, with a median price of $394,000. The active neighborhood association sponsors community events such as the Annual Summer Picnic.

Indian Creek


A quieter neighborhood with an older population, Indian Creek has 539 residents. This is a great place for retirees and those looking for a safe and secure area.  The median home price is $327,490. There are several parks for walking, including Woodland Trail / Frederick Street Crossing and McGrath Woods Park. There are also several churches in the neighborhood, including Westminster Presbyterian Church and the Church of Living Water.

Nottingham


With a taste of England in the neighborhood and street names, Nottingham is a delightful area. With a population of 203, this small community is one of the most affluent and safest. It’s very close to shopping and restaurants. Schools in the area are Pioneer Elementary, Sunrise Beach School, and Olympia High School.  

South Capitol


Located south of downtown and the state capitol building, this neighborhood is excellent for those who work in the downtown area. The median home price is $577,000, and the homes are older with established trees in their yards.  The city’s oldest school – Lincoln Options Elementary (built in 1922), is in this neighborhood. Tennis courts, picnic areas, and turf ball fields are found at Stevens Field. Young professionals and families make South Capitol their home within walking distance of restaurants, coffee shops, arts events, and a produce market.

Coffee Shops in South Capitol

South Westside  


Many of the more desirable neighborhoods are on the east side of the inlet, but South Westside is an exception.  This is one of the largest neighborhoods in terms of population. Homes here average in price from $420,000 to $530,000. There are plenty of restaurants, cafes, shopping centers, and fitness facilities. The Capital Philharmonic is located in South Westside.  It’s dog-friendly and walkable. There are several public and private schools that children can attend. There are plenty of green spaces and access to the inlet at Marathon Park.

Moving to Olympia, WA


For an area with great schools, friendly tree-lined neighborhoods, plenty of outdoor activities, special events, and fresh produce and seafood, you can’t beat Olympia, WA. With views of Mt. Ranier and Puget Sound, there’s city life in the middle of an outdoor mecca. Find the local hangouts and enjoy the best of the pacific northwest.

A local Olympia real estate agent is ready to help you find your dream home!

Call Today!

Ranked: The Best Private Elementary Schools in Seattle [2021]

Ranked: The Best Private Elementary Schools in Seattle [2021]

Best Private Elementary Schools

Parents want the best education for their children.  Public schools provide the basics and some stand way above the rest, but to ensure that your children are learning certain values in a smaller, individualized setting, many parents choose to send their children to a private school.  These can be religious-based or non-sectarian. 

The Seattle area has 96 private elementary schools serving over 20,000 students.  Nearly half of these have religious affiliations, but many do not.  Some are just for younger students, and some cover up to 12th grade.  Some also incorporate after-care programs to accommodate your work schedule.  Tuition costs vary, but the average yearly rate is $18,945.  The number of students ranges from just a few dozen to several hundred.  Here are some of the best private schools in the Seattle area:

The Bush School

One of the oldest and largest private schools is The Bush School.  Founded by Helen Taylor Bush in 1924, this non-sectarian school has 660 students in grades Preschool-12th.  The average class size is around 15 students, and they are from all different backgrounds.  The school stresses independent and creative thinking, intercultural fluency, and citizenship with excellent academics, arts, and sports.  There is also an off-site campus where students can participate in wilderness activities.  The Bush School is selective about the students it selects, and tuition ranges from $27,500 for lower grades to $35,255 for high school. 

View All Homes For Sale Near The Bush School >>>

Epiphany School

Epiphany School is an independent, non-parochial school for pre-kindergarten to 5th-grade students.  Offering a well-rounded education that includes excellent academics, value, and character-based learning in a caring, inclusive environment.  This school encourages parental participation.  There are 236 students and tuition runs $26,705 per year.  Founded in 1958, this is an established school with a great reputation.  The average teacher-to-student ratio is 7:1, which is about half the national average, so all students will get the attention they need.  There are several extracurricular activities including LEGO engineering, gymnastics, and yoga.

View All Homes For Sale Near Epiphany School >>>

Hamlin Robinson School

If your student is struggling with dyslexia or other language-based learning differences, the Hamlin Robinson School will provide your student with individualized instruction in a multi-sensory approach.  The teachers build positive self-esteem and encouragement for students who are discouraged about their challenges.  There are 324 students in grades 1-8 and the average class size is 15.  Tuition ranges from $25,854 to $28,280 depending on the grade.  There are plenty of sports and extra-curricular activities to round out your student’s learning experience.  With a nurturing, diverse environment, teachers are well-versed in the latest techniques to encourage your student to thrive.

View All Homes For Sale Near Hamlin Robinson School >>>

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Bright Water Waldorf School

The Waldorf education originated in Germany in 1919.  Since then, Waldorf schools and their philosophy have spread across the world.  The Bright Water Waldorf School opened in 1998 to bring this prestigious educational experience to Seattle.  Serving 184 students through grade 8, students are exposed to a rich curriculum, innovative teaching methods, individual attention, and a caring community.  There is a rich academic experience as well as sports opportunities.  Your student will build confidence and receive an outstanding education for $7,900 to $18,375 tuition for the school year.  Around 60% of students who apply for admission are accepted.

View All Homes For Sale Near Bright Water Waldorf School >>>

Holy Rosary School

Around 40% of private schools in Seattle are run by the Catholic Church.  Holy Rosary School ranks in the top 20% of private schools in the entire state of Washington.  Serving pre-kindergarten to 8th grade, the 482 students enjoy a faith-based education centered on Bible teachings.  Faith and prayer are integrated into the curriculum and lifestyle.  In addition, Holy Rosary School integrates elements of STEM to give students a technology education that will prepare them for the future.  Band, chess club, LEGO Robotics, and Youth Choir round out the student’s experience.

View All Homes For Sale Near Holy Rosary School >>>

Dartmoor School

For those students who want individualized attention, Dartmoor school provides one-on-one instruction.  Whether your student struggles with a learning challenge or is ahead of the curve, Dartmoor can help.   Founded in 1990, Dartmoor has helped thousands of students excel.  They serve grades 1-12 and tuition varies.  This type of school environment is perfect for athletes and performers as the schedule is flexible and unique to each student.

View All Homes For Sale Near Dartmoor School >>>

Seattle Christian School

Founded in 1946, Seattle Christian School is designed for those students and families desiring a strong faith-based educational experience.  With 512 students in grades Kindergarten through 12, this school is small enough for individualized attention yet large enough to offer advanced academics and all major sports. Tuition is $11,500 per year with discounts available for those in financial need.  Students are well-prepared educationally and spiritually for life. 

View All Homes For Sale Near Seattle Christian Schools >>>

Academy Schools

For another small school option, Academy Schools offers classes of between one and ten students.  Teachers play the role of facilitators or coaches to nurture the students out of their comfort zone into their full potential.  They believe that every child is gifted and prove this with 100% of their students going on to college.  Founded in 1995, this non-sectarian organization is home to 48 students.  Yearly tuition ranges from $9,750 to $21,250 depending on grade.  Extracurricular activities include Cooking, Robotics, Arts, and Music.

View All Homes For Sale Near Academy Schools >>>

Bertschi School

246 students in Preschool through 5th grade attend the Bertschi School.  Founded in 1975, their philosophy is to educate children to become compassionate, confident, and creative learners.  Tuition is $30,789 per year.  The student-to-teacher ratio is 9:1. There is a collaboration between teachers, parents, and students to establish a conducive and tolerant learning environment.  Their campus is committed to sustainability and living with nature.  In addition to stellar academics, students can study art, technology, dance, and music.

View All Homes For Sale Near Bertschi School >>>

So Many Choices!

Seattle is a mecca for school choice, and these are a few of the best private elementary schools in the area.  From Amish to Christian to non-sectarian, you will be able to find the one that fits with your family values.  Whether your child is gifted or needs special attention, there are alternatives.  While cost may be a factor for some, many schools have financial aid programs.  Visit the school and talk to the administration to explore what the school has to offer.  The possibilities are abundant, and you are sure to find the perfect fit for you and your child. 

Ron Rougeaux, located in Olympia, Washington is a highly skilled and knowledgeable real estate agent. PNW Homes Group are committed to their key core values of trustworthiness, integrity, and loyalty providing quality service is his highest priority. Whether you are buying, selling, or curious about the market, PNW Homes has the answers. 

A local Seattle real estate agent is ready to help you find your dream home!

Call Today!

Bellevue, WA: 10 Things To Know About Living In This Suburb [2021]

Bellevue, WA: 10 Things To Know About Living In This Suburb [2021]

Bellevue, WA Suburbs

Bellevue, Washington, is a suburb of Seattle that has many advantages over living in the city. Bellevue has nearly 500,000 residents spread across a wide area with plenty of shopping and restaurants to keep people occupied and happy. 

If you’re thinking about joining the ranks of this fabulous suburb, here are 10 things you need to know about living in Bellevue, Washington:

1. Bellevue is Expensive to Live in 

Bellevue is one of the most expensive cities to live in Washington State, even more so than Seattle. The median income of this affluent neighborhood is high, at over $98,000, but that doesn’t stop Bellevue from being exceptionally expensive to live in with only about half of its residents paying less than $3,200 for rent per month while the rest pay upwards of $6,500 for rent each month! 

Bellevue, WA Housing

2. Bellevue has an Award-Winning School District 

Bellevue has an award winning school district, home to some of the best schools in America such as Interlake High School, which Newsweek ranked No. 2 in Washington State and No. 593 nationally! Bellevue’s high schools like Interlake also offer a large variety of courses other than just math, English, or sciences, but even languages like Mandarin Chinese.  

The city is also home to Bellevue College, which is also Bellevue’s only public community college, and Bellevue University, which offers residents the chance to get a bachelor’s degree without leaving Bellevue itself! 

3. The Public Transit is Reliable 

Bellevue has a bus system called the Rapid Ride that provides public transportation across Bellevue from its eastern edge to the western side with stops along Highway 520, Bellevue Way NE and NE 4th Street as well as many other popular streets throughout the area. The Rapid Ride is one of Washington State’s best transit systems as it’s incredibly reliable and efficient. There is also SoundTransit’s Link Light Rail that Bellevue is connected to via the Bellevue Downtown and Bellevue South stations.

4. Bellevue has a Very Diverse Population 

Bellevue is a diverse neighborhood that prides itself in welcoming people of all kinds. Bellevue embraces this diversity and welcomes anyone to the area, be it for housing or just visiting. Bellevue has a very diverse population and strives to be as inclusive as possible. 

The Asian population has grown by almost 50% since 2000 to make up about 20 percent of Bellevue’s total population, making Asians the largest ethnic group, followed very closely by Causcasian at 17 percent, while other races make up just over 30 percent including African-Americans, Hispanics, and others. 

Diversity in Bellevue, WA

5. It’s Not a Great City for Cyclists 

While Bellevue does have a bike trail system called the Bridle Trails, which goes around Lake Sammamish through the city providing plenty of space for some friendly suburban cycling, the area does not have bike lanes on its main roads making Bellevue a bad city for bicycles. The suburb’s location in the middle of three separate counties also means the area doesn’t fall under any county’s jurisdiction, which means no one is responsible for the non-existent bike infrastructure problems.

6. Bellevue has Some Great Parks 

Bellevue has around 10,000 acres of park space with over eighty parks including two dog parks and over sixty playgrounds! There are many great spots to go walking or jogging throughout the city from Downtown Bellevue Park to Lakeview Park where you will find the world famous Fountain Of Rings, which is best enjoyed at night when there are no crowds! The city is also home to more than seventy miles of trails for locals to explore and take in all of nature’s beauty!

7. Bellevue has its Own Downtown 

Bellevue may not have its own downtown like Seattle, but it does have its own shopping district called Lincoln Square Shopping Center that is, in fact, one of America’s oldest shopping malls having opened up back in 1961! Lincoln Square Shopping Center serves as the heart of Bellevue at this point.

Another popular shopping venue in Bellevue is Factoria Mall. The mall was originally built in 1970 but it underwent major renovations in the late 1990s and early 2000s to make it into Bellevue’s premier shopping destination. Today, this fantastic shopping center houses over 100 stores, including some of Bellevue’s best restaurants and bars as well as its only movie theater! 

Downtown Bellevue, WA

8. There are Many Housing Developments 

Bellevue has hundreds of housing developments, but only eleven have over 500 units from places like Newport Heights, which has 800 condos and apartments, The Crossroads at Bellevue with its 1,600 loft style apartments, and Bellevues’s biggest housing development, The Encore, that has 2,600 residential units! 

Bellevue doesn’t have skyscrapers such as those found in Downtown Seattle, but the suburb does strive to compete with its own skyline with dozens of high rise apartment buildings including Bel Air (510 feet), Lincoln Tower (362 feet), and Bellevue Towers (300 feet), which all compete with Bellevue’s biggest highrise, The Bravern, a luxury high-rise apartment building.

9. You Can Live in the City and Enjoy the Benefits of Living in a Suburb 

Bellevue is unique in that it is both a city and a suburb at the same time! While being officially classified as an incorporated city in Washington State, it also shares many characteristics with many suburbs like having no zoning laws and also having a mix of commercial, retail and residential areas. 

Bellevue also has its own city hall, police department and fire department and is home to over 4,500 businesses, which employs roughly 100,000 workers! The city’s large business district is located on 106th Avenue Northeast and NE 8th Street, which are both major thoroughfares in Bellevue where the main shopping mall is located. 

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10. It’s Connected with Seattle to the South 

It’s easy to commute to the neighboring city of Seattle as Bellevue’s east side is connected with the major city and Eastside via Interstate 90, which runs along the city’s southern border. But Interstate 405 is the major Downtown area street which connects I-90 with Interstate 5, whose northern terminus lies in Tukwila near SeaTac Airport.

Bellevue has a lot to offer. From great shopping districts, friendly locals and amazing neighborhoods, to excellent public transportation and plenty of parks and recreation – there is something for everyone in this Northwest Washington city!

Ron Rougeaux, located in Olympia, Washington is a highly skilled and knowledgeable real estate agent. PNW Homes Group are committed to their key core values of trustworthiness, integrity, and loyalty providing quality service is his highest priority. Whether you are buying, selling, or curious about the market, PNW Homes has the answers. 

Revealed: The Best Places To Live In Thurston County, WA [2021]

Revealed: The Best Places To Live In Thurston County, WA [2021]

The Best Places To Live In Thurston County, WA

Making the decision to move to Thurston County, Washington, offers potential residents plenty of fantastic options to consider! Whether you’re looking for the quiet suburbs or a busier city, the county can provide. 

If you’re considering moving to Thurston County, take a look at our list of the very best places to live in the area! 

Olympia


Olympia is the capital city of Washington and an incredibly popular choice for those looking to relocate to Thurston County! With a population of approximately 51,535, Olympia is the largest city in the county and gives residents a taste of the bigger cities, such as Seattle, with a dash of small-town charm. 

Real Estate

The majority of homes found among the Olympia real estate listings are detached, single-family homes and the average cost of these homes is $535,000 (As of June 30, 2021). The second most popular style of home is mobile and manufactured homes, though there are also a number of apartment complexes and condominium buildings. The diverse range of housing design offers plenty of options for people of all lifestyles and age groups. 

The Best Places To Live In Thurston County, WA

Schools

There are over 9,230 students enrolled in the Olympia School District ranging from kindergarten through twelfth grade. The district is made up of a total of eighteen schools: eleven elementary schools, four middle schools, and three high schools. 

Olympia also has a number of post-secondary institutions including Evergreen State College and South Puget Sound Community College. 

What’s Nearby

Olympia is filled and surrounded by artistic venues including Art in Ecology, which can be found in the nearby campus of Saint Martin’s University. This 322,000 square-foot establishment showcases numerous artworks commissioned by the Washington State Arts Commission. 

Locals of Olympia can also easily access the Olympia Regional Airport which is found just south of Olympia in the neighboring Tumwater. Along with the regular flights, the airport hosts the Olympic AirShow, which occurs every Father’s Day weekend. 

Commutes

Nearby cities include: 

Tacoma, WA – 31 miles via I-5 N (32 minutes)

Seattle, WA – 61 miles via I-5 N (1 hour, 14 minutes)

Portland, OR – 115 miles via I-5 S (1 hour, 48 minutes)

Centralia, WA – 25 miles via I-5 S (27 minutes)

Tumwater


Found along the Deschutes River and the Budd Inlet is the scenic town of Tumwater. Originally called “New Market” by American settlers, the name was changed in 1863 and the city was officially incorporated in 1875. 

Tumwater is known for its picturesque scenery, cascading waterfalls, and general peaceful atmosphere. Anyone looking to get away from it all can find exactly that in this beautiful town! 

Real Estate

The average cost of real estate in Tumwater is approximately $484,000 (As of June 30, 2021) and is mostly made up of detached, single-family homes. Another popular real estate option in this tranquil town is empty lots, perfect for potential residents to design their dream home out in the more rural land of Washington. 

The Best Places To Live In Thurston County, WA

Schools

Students residing in Tumwater are provided education by the Tumwater School District, which is the third-largest district in Thurston County. Home to over 6,000 students, TSD operates out of eleven school buildings. 

There are six elementary schools serving students in kindergarten through fifth grade, two middle schools serving students in sixth through eighth grade, and two high schools serving students in ninth through twelfth grade. There is also one alternative school found within the borders of Tumwater. 

What’s Nearby

There are a number of excellent amenities available to the residents of Tumwater, including both indoor and outdoor excursions. One of the most popular destinations is the beautiful Tumwater Falls Park, home to a salmon run in the fall. 

Among the many historical and educational attractions in and around Tumwater are plenty of exciting destinations. Locals and visitors alike can enjoy farmer’s markets, scenic parks, the State Capitol, and so much more! 

Commutes

Nearby cities include: 

Tacoma, WA – 32 miles via I-5 N (40 minutes)

Seattle, WA – 62 miles via I-5 N (1 hour, 18 minutes)

Portland, OR – 112 miles via I-5 S / I-405 S (1 hour, 45 minutes)

Centralia, WA – 22 miles via I-5 S (25 minutes)

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Lacey


Located along Interstate 5 between Olympia and the Nisqually River is the beautiful city of Lacey. With a population of approximately 42,395, most of the residents of Lacey fall around the age of 35 years old. Lacey is an environmentally conscious city, receiving several awards and titles from both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Arbor Day Foundation. 

Real Estate

Most residents of Lacey own their homes and the population is made up of mostly families and young working professionals. The median cost of real estate is $464,000 (As of June 30, 2021)

Potential residents can find everything from mobile homes starting around $26,000 to large, single-family homes costing as much as $1,995,000 as well as everything in between! Plenty of options from open plots of land to charming multi-family homes and townhomes or detached, single-family homes can be found among the Lacey real estate listings. 

The Best Places To Live In Thurston County, WA

Schools

Lacey is a part of the North Thurston Public School District and consists of twelve elementary schools, five middle schools, and three high schools. Some of these schools fall among the top-ranking institutions in the state. 

Along with the excellent public schools, Lacey residents also have the option of private and religious-based schooling. There are a number of Catholic schools, Montessori schools, and alternative education programs to choose from. 

What’s Nearby

As Lacey continues to expand, many new businesses have popped up, supporting the city’s economy. Locals can find a Regal 16 Movie Theater, LA Fitness, Best Buy, Costco, and Home Depot among the many businesses and strip malls found in and around the area. 

Lacey is home to one of the Northwest’s first indoor malls, the South Sound Center, though it has recently been converted into a partial outdoor shopping center. The center includes retail, warehousing, a retirement community, and more! 

Commutes

Nearby cities include:

Tacoma, WA – 27 miles via I-5 N (32 minutes)

Seattle, WA – 58 miles via I-5 N (1 hour, 16 minutes)

Portland, OR – 119 miles via I-5 S / I-405 S (1 hour, 53 minutes)

Centralia, WA – 29 miles via I-5 S (31 minutes)

It’s clear to see that moving to Thurston County offers numerous fantastic selections of potential places to call home. These three are just a glimpse into the wonderful communities in the area! 

Ron Rougeaux, located in Olympia, Washington is a highly skilled and knowledgeable real estate agent. PNW Homes Group are committed to their key core values of trustworthiness, integrity, and loyalty providing quality service is his highest priority. Whether you are buying, selling, or curious about the market, PNW Homes has the answers. 

Crazy Weather / Crazy Real Estate – PNW-

The heat is suppose to reach 108 degrees today here in Olympia, Washington the Capital of Washington State. Just plain crazy and it should be a record breaker! Please Stay safe and if you need a cooling station, I will post locations on the bottom of this blog.

Yesterday and today I have an open house, and I am glad the home is definitely cool and the tenants have the air conditioning blasting. Even in the heat yesterday I had die hard buyers coming though and viewing the home, along with investors as the home is a great rental property. And of course you have myself making sure not matter what real estate continues on selling. This market in real estate compared with the heat right now is just plain crazy!

We still have more buyers moving up to the PNW and looking for all kinds of homes from investments, their primary home, and especially waterfront. (Waterfront in the PNW is like gold here). If you are looking to buy in this insane market you need an experienced real estate broker that can lead you in the right direction. I see a lot of agents just plain selling any home to anyone, and to me it doesn’t make sense.

Look at my website and profile http://www.pnwhomesgroup.com and if you are considering multiple agents, do your research online. I keep hearing from clients that they feel so lucky to have had me handle their real estate deals and find them the right home. That doesn’t happen by fluke, I have spent years perfecting my trade and multiple years of research in real estate in Washington state. If you have questions in anything regarding real estate in Washington State, in any city from Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater, Centralia, Elma, Shelton, Tacoma, up to Seattle, Bellingham, Bainbridge Island, Port Townsend, to Grays Harbor, and on the Eastern side of Washington all the way to Spokane. I have sold and bought in the cities and so many more for clients. Especially in Primary Homes, Investments, Commerical Properties, and Vacant/Timber Land.

Please make sure you use the best to help you in Real Estate and I can confidently say I will help you the best way possible amazing customer service to take care of every detail and to actually close the deal.

Call me (360) 338-8355 today to help you list or buy a property in Washington.

Now please stay safe and cool, and if you can go jump in a lake/river/of the ocean for a refreshing dip to cool off. I will be right there with you in the water today. And please find the cooling stations below.

The Olympia Emergency Cooling Center will be open from 12-6 p.m. starting Sat. to Mon., June 26-28. It’s located at the northwest corner of State Ave. and Capitol at 201 Capitol Way N.

In Lacey, the Virgil S. Clarkson Senior Center at  6757 Pacific Avenue SE, Lacey WA  98503 will be open Saturday, June 26 –  Monday, June 28 from Noon – 6 p.m.

These cooling centers will be available for individuals needing shelter during the hottest parts of these days.

Stay safe – and the Best from the Rougeaux’s

Lacey – Washington Real Estate

Lacey


Located along Interstate 5 between Olympia and the Nisqually River is the beautiful city of Lacey. With a population of approximately 42,395, most of the residents of Lacey fall around the age of 35 years old. Lacey is an environmentally conscious city, receiving several awards and titles from both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Arbor Day Foundation. 

Real Estate

Most residents of Lacey own their homes and the population is made up of mostly families and young working professionals. The median cost of real estate is $464,000 (As of June 30, 2021)

Potential residents can find everything from mobile homes starting around $26,000 to large, single-family homes costing as much as $1,995,000 as well as everything in between! Plenty of options from open plots of land to charming multi-family homes and townhomes or detached, single-family homes can be found among the Lacey real estate listings. 

The Best Places To Live In Thurston County, WA

Schools

Lacey is a part of the North Thurston Public School District and consists of twelve elementary schools, five middle schools, and three high schools. Some of these schools fall among the top-ranking institutions in the state. 

Along with the excellent public schools, Lacey residents also have the option of private and religious-based schooling. There are a number of Catholic schools, Montessori schools, and alternative education programs to choose from. 

What’s Nearby

As Lacey continues to expand, many new businesses have popped up, supporting the city’s economy. Locals can find a Regal 16 Movie Theater, LA Fitness, Best Buy, Costco, and Home Depot among the many businesses and strip malls found in and around the area. 

Lacey is home to one of the Northwest’s first indoor malls, the South Sound Center, though it has recently been converted into a partial outdoor shopping center. The center includes retail, warehousing, a retirement community, and more! 

Commutes

Nearby cities include:

Tacoma, WA – 27 miles via I-5 N (32 minutes)

Seattle, WA – 58 miles via I-5 N (1 hour, 16 minutes)

Portland, OR – 119 miles via I-5 S / I-405 S (1 hour, 53 minutes)

Centralia, WA – 29 miles via I-5 S (31 minutes)

It’s clear to see that moving to Thurston County offers numerous fantastic selections of potential places to call home. These three are just a glimpse into the wonderful communities in the area! 

Ron Rougeaux, located in Olympia, Washington is a highly skilled and knowledgeable real estate agent. PNW Homes Group are committed to their key core values of trustworthiness, integrity, and loyalty providing quality service is his highest priority. Whether you are buying, selling, or curious about the market, PNW Homes has the answers. 

A local Thurston County real estate agent is ready to help you find your dream home!

Call Today!

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We Survived Crazy Heat Wave Record! – IN THE PNW-

Survived Crazy heat Wave Record! With no central AC in the house, and tinfoil on the windows, and 2 roll ac units in the kids bedrooms we made it. We started the morning off normally and dropped the kids off to summer camp which they were so excited about (add day camp/yay for us parents). Then I was crazy busy with real estate with morning home showings and getting 1 seller and 1 buyer under contract and 1 new listing. Then I wrapped the morning up with a relaxing Pedi, yes it was amazing lol, they had AC.

When I arrived home about lunch time, @brandy and I were busy tin foiling the windows and I jumped on the roof for the sky light. Of course I didn’t wear shoes, and the roof was scorching. So I quickly taped my feet then back to tin foiling the skylight. After that I keep myself busy with paperwork for the county with building permits for our new build. (Seemed appropriate sweating a filling out multiple forms Thurston county seemed very symbolic).

Then with many jumps in the lake and then laying on the floor in the kids rooms watching a show on the lab top with brandy, eating a lot of watermelon, watering all the plants multiple times a day, hosing down all the animals and fans on them, picking up the mail and getting my adventure magazine that seemed extremely appropriate for the day. We had a busy day, but I was so happy as the PNW is beautiful even in record breaking heat and of course with Brandy by my side it is always an adventure.

I love the heat, Brandy and pets not so much. And the kids chilled in their rooms on Ipad after summer camp. But overall it builds character and reminds me why I work so hard – to pay for all the electric for all the fans/ac units running. I love reminding Brandy we live in the PNW and we don’t need AC, which never goes over well, lol. Although maybe the future will change with hotter weather, central AC may be required.

Hope everyone did well yesterday as well!