New Neighbors Guide – Thurston Summer 2021

Welcome to the New Neighbors Guide!

On behalf of the local community, we welcome you to Thurston County. Whether you’re here temporarily or plan to make this a permanent home, we know you’re going to love our region. With our natural beauty, lakes, streams and forested trails, this is the perfect location for outdoor fun. With some of the best coffee in the world and a vibrant food and entertainment scene, Thurston County has something for everyone.

This resource guide offers tips and reminders to get you settled and to get the nuts and bolts of your new home well underway. This resource will also help you get connected to your local community, schools and health care, and help you put down “roots” in your daily life here. From great ideas for your home and events to engage in the community, we have you covered.

Let’s face it, moving to a new city can be costly and time-consuming—but it’s also exciting! This guide is written by a mix of perspectives from native Thurston Countians to people who moved here from out of the area. Our group reminisced about what we wish people had told us when we first moved here.

As we put together this issue, we look forward to providing you with information and education about all the “best things” in Thurston County and we hope to give you a sense of place where you belong and can engage and feel connected. We welcome you, our “new neighbor,” to Thurston County.

Kindest regards,


Robin Lucas, Publisher

This Issue’s Content

New to Thurston County?

Here’s What You Need to Know There is always so much to do when you move. This checklist will help you to quickly navigate a few important tasks related to […]

Linnea’s To Reopen West Olympia Boutique

Just a few months after celebrating the fourth anniversary of Linnea’s – (Multicare) Olympia at Capital Medical Center, the unthinkable happened—a global pandemic. Linnea Grantham, boutique owner, recalls receiving the […]

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 […]

Oly Fed CEO is ‘Here for You, Here for Good

“I believe every team member plays a critical role and everybody contributes to our success,” says Lori Drummond, president and CEO of Olympia Federal Savings, or Oly Fed for short. […]

Enrolling in School in Thurston County

Parents have more options than ever before in choosing an academic environment that best fits the needs of their student. In Thurston County, there are 60 public primary schools, 17 […]

From Homeless Backpacks to All Kids Win

Homeless and hungry children and teens are an existing, exponential problem in our country. It may not cross one’s mind that the student they see walking down the school hallway […]

Giving Back in Thurston County

A great way to quickly learn about your new community and meet new friends is to get involved with a nonprofit organization. Every community offers numerous opportunities to support these […]

Spotlight: South Sound success Story

Heidi Duncan of Duncan Insurance, Olympia It could be that some superheroes come into being from a toxic spider bite, but other superheroes are just born into their roles as […]

Defining Space in an Open Floor Plan

An open concept living room, dining room, and kitchen by nature blurs the lines between each area or room. The best way to define your space is to determine how […]

Making Your House a Home

Tips to transform a house into a home with décor and furniture from the heart Your entry is the initial introduction to your home and sets the stage for you […]

The HeART of the Home Cabinets by Trivonna

Cabinets by Trivonna of Olympia pride themselves on a design experience that is uniquely customized to their individual client’s dreams and wishes. Trivonna Cabinets brings to life an artful design […]

Getting Settled into a New Home

After the last box is moved into your new home, you might think the hardest part of moving is over. And you’re right, but there are still things to take […]

Holy Lamb Organics: Natural Bedding

Holy Lamb Organics has been making natural bedding products locally by hand in the small town of Oakville, Washington for 18 years. The South Sound community can access a “touch […]

Continuing a Legacy—Panowicz Jewelers

Founded in 1948 by Anton Panowicz Sr., the local, family-owned jewelry store recently celebrated its 72nd anniversary serving the Thurston County community. After seven decades, Panowicz Jewelers still holds true […]

Capitol City Honda: A Family Tradition

Kelly Leavesque, owner of Capitol City Honda, understands better than most what it means to do business in your hometown. According to Kelly, “It means your neighbors are buying from […]

Merle Norman: More than a Cosmetic Store

Even though it’s been reopened since June 1 of last year, the owner of Lacey’s Merle Norman Cosmetics, Wigs and Day Spa, Madelin White, answers phone calls every day asking […]

El Sarape: Spicing up the Community since 1979

There’s a good reason that El Sarape has four restaurant locations. The food is authentic and delicious, and the service is consistently inviting. When the Mexican restaurant first opened in […]

Olympia OB/GYN Heroes: Babies Born During a Pandemic

Babies are born when they are ready, not when a pandemic says so. Dedicated medical personnel tackle coronavirus challenges to deliver them safely. That’s true of the team at Olympia […]

Health & Wellness Close to Home

Moving to a new community means finding new healthcare providers for you and your family. Thurston County offers a wide variety of independent health practitioners and large healthcare systems to […]

Olympia Farmers Market

Shopping at the Olympia Farmers Market can be a great way to get to know your community while supporting your local economy. Open year-round with three distinct operating seasons, it’s […]

Service at the Heart of Light Dental Studios

We can all agree on the qualities for the ideal dental provider: round-the-clock service, free consultations, same-day appointments, entire-family bookings, empathetic service and affordable care. It’s nearly impossible to find […]

Tumwater Eye Center: Designed with New Technology

At the Tumwater Eye Center, Dr. Douglas Jeske and his wife Karen have created a distinctive look and customer experience for their patients.  This new facility, located at 6510 Capitol […]

Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County: Youth Inspiring Youth

Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County inspire youth to realize their greatness. Boys & Girls Clubs fill the gap between school and home by providing a welcoming, positive, out-of-school […]

Warm-Weather Wellness Tips for Seniors

Warmer weather often awakens a desire to get outside and be active. But seniors who have a higher sensitivity to heat need to use caution when making plans in the […]