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Thread summary:

Family relocating from Wisconsin to Washington or Oregon, searching for small towns between Seattle and Portland, desire scenic areas, low crime, good schools, not too rainy

Old 04-22-2007, 08:47 AM
djg djg started this thread
8 posts, read 20,605 times
Reputation: 15


Hello! My family and I currently live in Wisconsin and may be relocating to the OR/WA area. We would need to live somewhere between Seattle and Portland. Here is what we are looking for...some specifics:

1. BEAUTIFUL Landscape
2. Low crime
3. Good schools

We have 4 children (ages 7, 3, & 16 month old twins) so we'd really like to be near lots of activities - including lots of outdoor activities (even if it is just a nice stroll in a beautiful park & etc).

We'd prefer a smaller city/town - but as long as it's beautiful, low crime, and has good schools, we'd consider a large city as well.

Traffic is no concern of ours since my husband would not be commuting to anywhere specific (he'd be traveling all over both OR & WA).

Also, what is the truth about the weather? Does it really rain all the time? If so, we'd prefer a place that is somewhat dry since I'd be staying at home with the kids and might go nuts if I can't escape outdoors once and while!

Thanks for your help! I'm sure I will think of more questions as soon as I'm finished posting this!!!!

Speaking of.....I wanted the scoop on Olympia - it LOOKS beautiful in PICTURES, but what is it really like to live there?

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Old 04-22-2007, 07:06 PM
Location: IE CA.
643 posts, read 2,122,892 times
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I like up in North Washington mself or around Bend Oregon if you need sun. If I could pick and stayed in the pac nw I would go to Bend OR. Everything you would need and more for recreation and very good schools. I would stay within city limits though the city is better then the outskirts. I am trying to find a way to go to Vancouver BC myself and I love Bellingham from what I saw. The truth about the weather is you are going to be in rain for 9 full months. That is no exageration by any extent. Around Seattle is major crime with Tacoma. Olympia is safe but boring ... very very boring. Not real pretty and not much to do outdoors or in. Just a government place. One place I hear wonderful things about is Bothel Washington. GREAT schools and in the banana belt so warmer and sunnier. Seattle not to far away. Keep in mind Bellingham and north is most gorgeous but also is an easy hour and a half drive north from Seattle area. Seems like it wouldnt be such a drive but it is and even longer with the traffic.
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Old 04-22-2007, 08:57 PM
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I would vote for checking out the area around Olympia. There are some very good grade schools in Thurston County.

I guess boring depends on what you like to do. There are lots of outdoor activities geared for families and children. Check out the local newspaper, The Olympian, to get an idea of what's going on.

If you are talking only from the prospective of Night Life, I would have to agree that Seattle and Portland are hands-down much better.

For a family with small children, night life is no longer ranked very high on my list.

Lots of neat places to kayak on the sound around Olympia and lots of lakes in the area.

Good Luck on your search.
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Old 04-23-2007, 01:54 PM
Location: Yelm, WA
2 posts, read 6,212 times
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Thumbs up The scoop on Olympia

Olympia sounds like the place you are looking for. The Schools most people seem to like around here are: Olympia, North Thurston and Yelm school districts. I am born in Olympia and currently live in a small town near Olympia called Yelm. The crime rate in Washington is lower than the national average overall and most cities I've been to in other states or other countries seemed much worse crimewise, most were intolerable. Olympia seems to have less crime than the other cities around in Washington, probably because it's the capital and they probably pay more attention there than anywhere else.

Although Olympia is the capitol, it has a laid back feel to it as it is a pretty small city actually. It has more restaurants, entertainment and shopping than one might expect because of the college and the politicians.

It doesn't really rain that much but probably more than Wisconsin. However, there are a lot of cloudy days where you see no sun but it is still fine to go outside because there is no rain. Olympia is at a low elevation down by the water so clouds roll in from the water but mostly don't dump the rain until they hit the mountains. I think the problem people have is the overcast skys rather than the rain.

Olympia is bordered by two suburbs of Tumwater and Lacey. There are also several small towns nearby: Yelm, Rainier and Tenino.

Last edited by zachary; 04-23-2007 at 02:00 PM.. Reason: Typo
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Old 04-23-2007, 03:06 PM
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Thurston county is a great place to raise a family and the Olympia school district is very desireable. Lacey is nice and the newer part has everything that a town could offer. There's also affordable homes and lots of new construction to choose from. Moderator cut: realtor advertising....yes it does rain all the time...I was at home with my baby for a while and the weather did get to me...Dupont is a lovely area...
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Old 04-23-2007, 05:46 PM
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you should check out the tri cities over on the east side of the state. tri cities is not a big city, nor is it a small town. the weather is very mild, and rain is something we see very little of. we have the columbia river flowing right through the middle of town so the scenery is great. our park system is one of the best ive ever seen. most of the river fron property is public parks.. all connected by extensive bike paths. the schools in west kennewick and south richland are some of the best public schools in the state. crime is rare, not a problem anywhere. basically its the perfect place to raise a family, in my opinion. i have some great pictures i can send you if you want. i can also give you some websites about the city and the school systems. good luck!
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Old 04-23-2007, 05:51 PM
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take a look at the tri cities over on the east side of the state. its not a small town, nor is it a big city. we have the columbia river flowing right through the middle of town, so the scenery is gorgeous. most of the waterfront is taken up by public parks, all connected by an extensive system of bike paths. kennewick and richland have some of the best public schools in the state. i have some great pictures of the area i can send you if you want. i can also give you a few local websites about the area and the schools. basically this is the perfect place to raise a family in my opinion. the weather is mild, and we hardly ever see rain. let me know if theres anything i can do to help.
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Old 04-29-2007, 10:34 PM
4 posts, read 102,838 times
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Default WA vs Bend

Washington does have a lot of rain but if you are in the Vancouver area it doesn't rain constantly as it does in other parts of the state. The systems go through quickly and don't stay long. It doesn't rain every day.

Bend has more sunshine but they also have snow. It depends on what kind of weather you can handle. Bend is also very very dry so if you move there get a lot of chap stick! They also have a lot of smoke during the summer during fire season. Lots of things to consider. It's a nice place but it all depends on what your lifestyle is and what is important to you. Each city has crime and things people don't like. What one likes another dislikes.

I would suggest making a list of your most important criteria then look at what you can afford and what you are willing to live with. Vancouver is less expensive than Bellingham, Seattle, Olympia areas. Your job may dictate where you live. Another consideration. If you live North of Vancouver (Olympia, Seattle) be prepared to live with traffic congestion. Also, if you live in Vancouver and work in Portland it's not a quick trip over the river to work. More traffic there too.

Each city has something to offer. It's a very personal thing and subjective. You need to base your decision on your own personal preferences. Look at them all very carefully and research each area with your list at hand. With all that considered, you will be able to make an informed decision.

Best of luck to you!
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