Welcome to a very special place, a place unlike any other in the world. Sequim (pronounced Skwim) lies in the Dungeness Valley, nestled between the majestic Olympic Mountains and the serene waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Highway 101 runs south of town with three exits into Sequim. This makes the city the gateway to the attractions of the North Olympic Peninsula. Sequim enjoys mild weather, truly spectacular scenery, and the bounty of land and sea. What makes the city really special though is the people. Whether long-term resident or “Jimmie-Come-Lately”, you’ll find our citizens friendly, relaxed and happy to be here.
Download our Sequim Downtown “Fun Map”
Location and Climate
The Sequim-Dungeness Valley area is located on the north coast of the Olympic Peninsula. We are about an hour and a half from the Seattle ferries, and half an hour from the ferry to Victoria, British Columbia. The town of Sequim is about 4 miles from the shore and the famous Dungeness Spit.
Due to a unique location in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains, the weather in Sequim is noticeably dryer than the rest of the area. The Olympics block the rains that soak the rest of the area. Sequim averages only 16 inches of rain a year. This “rain shadow” and mild temperatures have made Sequim a very popular retirement and recreation area, as well as a pleasant tourist destination. To view current Sequim weather click here.
The area was home to the S’Klallam tribe long before the arrival of Europeans. The descendants of these Native Americans still make their home on Sequim Bay. First homesteaded in 1854, the arid valley had a good natural port and abundant seafood. No doubt early pioneers thought they’d found paradise when they discovered this low rainfall valley. They soon discovered that the same sunshine and lack of water made the area difficult to farm. In 1896, a visionary pioneer proposed to irrigate the valley using water from the Dungeness River. The residents were organized and dug irrigation ditches by hand. These soon spread across the valley bringing life-giving water and prosperity. The town of Sequim flourished. Every year since, Sequim has honored the memory of that first surge of water delivered to the thirsty Dungeness Valley with the Irrigation Festival, the oldest continuous community festival in the state.
Today, about 25,000 wonderful folks live in Sequim and the surrounding Dungeness Valley. Since the city has attracted retirees from all over, an increasing percentage are senior citizens. Even with our growth, we are proud of our home-town sense of community. For more information please visit the City of Sequim’s web site.
Kids from kindergarten through 12th grade receive a quality education in Sequim’s fine, growing school system. Peninsula College offers several adult courses in Sequim, and the main campus in Port Angeles is just a short drive away. Some four-year degrees are offered through an arrangement with Western Washington University. The Sequim branch library of the North Olympic Library System is well stocked, with over 120,000 volumes available.
Sequim School District No. 323
503 N. Sequim Ave.
Sequim, WA 98382
Sequim High School
601 N. Sequim Ave.
Sequim Middle School
220 W. Alder St.
171 Carlsborg Road
Helen Haller Elementary
350 W. Fir St.
Sequim’s hospital needs are provided by Olympic Medical Center, a 126-bed full service Medical Center in Port Angeles. OMC also maintains a number of healthcare facilities in Sequim itself. Services available in Sequim through OMC include laboratory services, physical therapy, radiation oncology, and health education.
We have more than 160 service, fraternal, and special interest groups in the area. Many national associations have active branches here. Whatever your interest, you’ll find plenty of activities in which to get involved. Email us to request a copy of a list of organizations. The accuracy of the list depends on the input we get from the organizations.
We also have more than 20 churches in Sequim, representing most major denominations. Others are available in communities nearby. Our churches are very active in a variety of community programs and are centers for many social events as well.
Our older citizens enjoy the many activities and opportunities available locally. Sequim is the home of a very active Senior Center called The Shipley Center, where something is always going on. The Center offers tours, activities, social events and much more! You’ll find Sequim a very friendly area towards seniors. You’ll ride free on the bus, and you will find many local businesses offer senior discounts. No wonder Sequim has been chosen as one of the country’s best retirement locations! Learn more about what The Huffington Post says about Sequim in their article “6 Of The Best American Cities For Growing Old And Happy”. See Chamber’s membership directory for retirement related businesses.
There is NO state income tax! Sales tax is collected on all non-food purchases. Property tax is a little over one percent of assessed value.
The City of Sequim provides water, sewer and garbage service. There are many rural properties in the Dungeness Valley where wells and septic systems prevail and trash is picked up by a private contractor. There is no natural gas service, but oil and propane are available from private firms. Electric power is provided by Clallam County P.U.D.
For more information please visit the City of Sequim’s web site.