All in all I'm fairly happy here. Just taking into consideration that we are not flooded out. No hurricane season. No tornado alley. No high humidity. No bugs. No poisonous snakes. No nuclear power plants (except Hanford). No oil spills off the coast. Mild climate. Four seasons....ok, 3 1/2 (this year only) as spring morphed right into fall.
Then also I take into consideration that we have little smog. No major traffic congestion issues, with the exception of JBLM @ I-5. Adequate bike lanes. Not great, but adequate. Amtrak that connects us to the rest of the nation. Mass transit that works for many. Great pedestrian access to all parts of town and within walking distance; and getting better. A lake with a walking/jogging trail in the heart of town. Several nice vistas from many vantage points. And lots of trees.
Next the cultural climate. Just to name a few that spring to mind: The Procession of the Species Celebration, Harlequin Theater, Olympia Film Society at the State Theater, Folk music at Traditions, music at the Farmers Market, The Japanese Garden, Bon Odori Celebration, The Pet Parade (though I have never seen it once), Lakefair (I only go for the Demo burger), Wooden Boat festival, Harbor Days (though I have never seen the tugboat races...from where?), and lots and lots of jazz. Oh, and other kinds of music, too, I guess. Even Celtic (don't ask me why).
I like the downtown for its flavor of the month businesses, too. Some drop out. Others drop in. An ever changing landscape of shops and restaurants. It takes time to grow a culture; I think we're doing a pretty good job. Especially in spite of the fact that we don't have a theme-park setting like Leavenworth, old buildings like Port Townsend, large buildings like Portland, or hills like Seattle & San Francisco. I like all those places but I keep coming back to Olympia. (It's not the water, it's the people).