Lacey is a medium-sized city located on the coast of the Puget sound in Thurston County, Washington. It was originally settled in 1853 by pioneers heading towards the coast during America’s Westward Expansion. Today, Lacey is a thriving city with a growing economy, and safe, family-friendly neighborhoods. The job market continues to grow as professionals flock to the area, which offers affordable living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Thinking about moving to Lacey? Here’s what you need to know:
Like Seattle and other parts of the midwest, the weather in Lacey is characterized by plenty of rain and cloudy skies. The average temperature in Lacey ranges from 34 to 80 degrees throughout the year, but the area rarely dips below freezing. That means that although Lacey gets 49 inches of rainfall every year, yearly snowfall is measured at just 6 inches per year, and quickly melts away.
Lacey has a total population of just over 46,000 people. A majority of residents here are married, and 46% of the population is made up of families with school-aged children. About two-thirds of people living in Lacey are white; 10% are Asian, 8% are Latino, and 6% are Black or African American. The main zip codes in Lacey are 98503, 98513 and 98516, and the main area code is 360.
While the median age in Lacey is 34, the largest age bracket by the numbers is residents between the ages of 5-17, followed by those who are 25-34; each of these brackets makes up about 15% of the total population. Almost all Lacey residents over the age of 25 have completed high school, and more than a third have also received a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited university. Just 2% of the population went on to pursue a Master’s or Doctoral Degree.
How Much Does it Cost to Live in Lacey?
Living in Lacey is slightly more expensive than the national average, but it’s very affordable when compared with other similarly sized cities in the US. The median home value in Lacey is $298,000 and has been trending upwards since 2012, classifying the city as a “Seller’s Market” at the moment. However, since property values are predicted to keep going up, buying now may result in higher resale value for your home later!
That being said, today Lacey’s residents are evenly split between homeowners and renters. The average monthly rent in Lacey is $1,200, making it an affordable choice for those who can’t afford to buy yet. One other Lacey cost of living to keep in mind is transportation; most folks living in the city own 2 cars, and fuel prices here tend to be higher than the American average. With an average commute time of 25 minutes, fuel and repair costs can quickly add up.
Families relocating to Lacey can choose from a total of 54 schools for their children. This number includes 18 elementary schools, 9 middle schools, and 8 high schools across public and private institutions. Timberline High School and North Thurston High School are two of the highest rated public high schools in the city. Both are part of the North Thurston Public School District, and offer students an array of course options, including Advanced Placement classes.
The schools also participate in the AVID program, which stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination, allowing students to progress through their studies at their own speed. AVID has been shown to have a hugely positive effect on students’ college readiness and graduation levels.
Jobs in Lacey
The median household income in Lacey is $64,631 per year, and like the value of homes in the area, income for residents has been steadily rising. The majority of residents in the city make their income in a salaried position. The employment rate in Lacey grew 6.57% from 2015-2016. Lacey’s economy sustains about 20,000 jobs, most of which are held by locals. The most common occupations in the municipality are in Administrative, Management, and Sales roles. According to city data, the largest employers in Lacey are State and Local Governments, Providence St. Peter Hospital and Safeway.
Best Lacey Neighborhoods
Wondering where to live in Lacey? This vibrant city has a variety of wonderful neighborhoods to choose from, whether you’re an urbanite who wants to live downtown, a family looking for their dream home, or a senior seeking the perfect 55+ community. Here are a few of our favorite neighborhoods in Lacey:
- Horizon Pointe: This master-planned community lies on the southern tip of the city and featured beautiful, new construction homes with large plots of land. Homes here are part of the North Thurston School District, making them highly sought after by families.
- Cantergrove at Long Lake: This popular Lacey neighborhood features more than 100 homes, which mostly sell in the mid-to-high $300,000s. Amenities include a community park and lake, with walking trails and opportunities for boating and fishing.
- Campus Estates: If you love to golf, this might be the best neighborhood in Lacey for you! The master-planned community features a variety of ranch and two-story homes and is just steps away from the green on the Woodlands Course at The Golf Club at Hawks Prairie.
Things to do in Lacey
If there’s one thing people living in Lacey love to do, it’s getting outdoors. In fact, the city loves nature so much that they’ve dedicated more than 20% of the land in Lacey to municipal parks and green spaces. If you want to connect with Lacey’s beautiful surroundings, here are two of our favorite spots to visit.
Priest Point Park
This park was the first established waterfront park in Olympia and remains one of the most beautiful natural spaces in the area. Amenities include walking trails, picnic areas, and a playground, making this a perfect place to take the kids for a fun day outside.
- Park Hours: 8AM-7PM Daily
- Address: 2600 East Bay Drive Northeast, Olympia, WA 98506
Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center
Want to see some of Washington’s wildlife in its natural habitat? You can at the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge! The refuge spans 7 square miles and features several hiking trails, along with educational programs that teach visitors all about the importance of wildlife conservation.
- Park Hours: 9AM-4PM Wednesday-Sunday, Closed on Monday and Tuesday
- Address: 100 Brown Farm Rd NE, Olympia, WA 98516
Restaurants in Lacey
Looking for Lacey’s top eateries? You won’t have to go far to find incredible food in this culturally diverse city. Here are a few of our favorite restaurants in Lacey:
Ram Restaurant and Brewery
Ram Restaurant and Brewery might be a chain, but the food here is so good, you’ll think you’re eating in a specialty pub from NYC. Start your meal with some buffalo wings or pretzel bites with a classic beer cheese dip. Follow with beer-battered fish and chips or a burger, and finish it all off with a cold drink for the perfect night out.
- Hours: 11AM-11PM Sunday-Thursday, 11AM-12AM Friday-Saturday
- Website: https://www.theram.com/
- Address: 8100 Freedom Ln NE c, Lacey, WA 98516
- Phone: (360) 923-5900
Hops N Drops
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When the night calls for classic pub food, head over to Hops N Drops. The menu includes more than a dozen specialty burgers, along with creative mac ‘n cheese plates and plenty of beer on tap.
- Hours: 11AM-11PM Monday-Thursday, 11AM-12PM Friday, 8AM-12AM Saturday, 8AM-11PM Sunday
- Website: https://www.hopsndrops.com/
- Address: 4739 Avery Ln SE, Lacey, WA 98503
- Phone: (360) 528-2174
Puerto Vallarta Restaurant
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If you’re craving classic Mexican cuisine, Puerto Vallarta Restaurant has you covered. Their extensive menu of delicious meals includes signature quesadillas, burritos, tacos, enchiladas and more.
- Hours: 11AM-10PM Monday-Thursday, 11AM-11PM Friday-Saturday, 10AM-10PM Sunday
- Website: https://www.puertovallartarestaurantes.com/
- Address: 1400 Galaxy Dr NE, Lacey, WA 98516
- Phone: (360) 412-5402
Tips for Moving to Lacey
So, is moving to Lacey right for you? We hope so! To help make your move easier, here are our top tips for living in Lacey:
- Prepare for rain. While you won’t need a snow shovel here, you’ll want to make sure you have umbrellas, raincoats and boots at the ready throughout the year.
- Visit the neighborhoods. Before you choose your dream house, learn a bit about the communities you’re considering. Take into account the commute time to your job and the schools that serve the area.
- Get outside! When the sun shines in Lacey, there’s nowhere that’s more beautiful. Take advantage of the city’s sunny days by visiting one of Lacey’s many community parks, or enjoying the water in Puget Sound.
If you have more questions about what it’s like to live in Lacey, or need help with your move, All Ready Moving is here to help. You can reach us at (360) 507-2447 to speak with a friendly staff member, so call now and get moving towards your next chapter in Lacey, WA!