Q: How far is the drive from JBLM to downtown Lacey?
A: Downtown would be exit 114, about 15 minutes from the main gate. Hawks Prairie, exit 109 or 111, is faster, because there is less traffic prior to hitting Lacey.
Q: Is the drive to Olympia further than the drive to Lacey?
A: Downtown Olympia is a few minutes further, the boundary’s between Olympia and Lacey are really blurry, with some parts of Olympia showing up on the north side of Lacey in Hawks Prairie.
Q: Is there a back way to Lacey and Olympia other than taking the freeway (I-5)?
A: You can cut thru Dupont, and then jump from exit to exit from Dupont to Mounts Road…and then thru Nisqually. I have taken this route if I-5 is jammed. This is really the only option, because there are only two bridges across the Nisqually River. You can also take the Mounts Road gate and go through Nisqually but it is only open limited hours.
Q: What is the population of Lacey?
A: During the 2016 Census, the population was determined to be approx. 47, 600.
Q: What are the main employment opportunities in the Lacey and Thurston County area?
A: The largest single employer in the Lacey/Olympia area is the Military/JBLM, followed by the state government. There are also numerous large corporations relocating distribution centers to Lacey (Target, Home Depot, and several others have huge facilities here). Lacey is a rapidly growing community, with lots of opportunity, and lots to do.
Q: What about shopping in Lacey? Is there a Mall?
A: There is the South Sound Center in “downtown” Lacey, hosting lots of businesses, and several very large stores (Sears, Kohls, Target, etc), There is also the Capital Mall, about 10 minutes away on the west side of Olympia, that is even larger.
Q: Are there any good biking or walking trails in the Lacey Wa area?
A: We have a thing in the west called “Rails to Trails”. There are many old rail lines that have been converted to trails. Most are paved, and the Chehalis Trail is over 30 miles long, and ends up at an old abandoned timber mill on the banks of Puget Sound.
Q: Is there access to salt water, could I find a home that is on salt water?
A: There is Salt Water access in the Lacey area. Water Frontage, and especially salt water frontage, is very expensive. Also, much of the water front was built a long time ago, so if you find a really good deal on an older water front home, it is probably because it has been neglected…Permits for repairs, when next to the water, also get expensive, and complicated.
Q: My wife wants to finish her Bachelors when we get back to the states, are there any graduate schools in Lacey Wa or the surrounding cities?
A: St Martins University in Lacey is a nationally recognized engineering school (I believe that they also have some less demanding curriculum). There is also the Evergreen State College in Olympia, a popular school of the sciences, environment, ecology and archaeology. University of Washington also has a satellite campus in Tacoma.
Q: What kinds of recreational activities are available in Lacey?
A: There are numerous biking and walking trails, water front parks and even scuba diving on a couple of wrecks off of Tolmie Park. The lake behind the Lacey Community center is stocked with Trout, and there are fishing contests for kids (and parents) on a fairly regular basis. Some consider Cabelas to be a recreational event and there is the Hands On Children’s Museum in Olympia, right down the hill next to the port and marina.