Fort Lewis is almost smack in between Olympia and Tacoma, Washington. It's just 9 minutes south of Tacoma on I-5, and about 15 miles north of Olympia. The base is home to 25,000 active duty soldiers and civilian workers. 120,000 military retirees also call it home, along with 29,000 military family members.
Although rainy, Fort Lewis fully experiences all four seasons. The terrain of Washington, along with the mild, enjoyable climate, makes it ideal for outdoor activities during the spring, summer and most of fall. Hiking and camping are popular activities. The students of Fort Lewis are serviced by Clover Park School District, which educates 12,000 students in eight preschools, four elementary schools, four public high schools and four private schools. Many of the Fort Lewis rental houses are within convenient walking distance of these schools.
There are several subdivisions as opposed to neighborhoods on base to consider when moving to the area. Town Center offers several house plans for two- and three-bedroom homes, featuring one to two and a half baths. Some units in Town Center offer extra amenities, such as two-car garages and private patios. Town Center is the only non-smoking community in Fort Lewis.
Greenwood: Has 257 homes, including single-family dwellings, duplexes and multiplex dwellings. Two-, three- and four-bedroom homes are available with one to two bathrooms. Extra amenities include fireplaces, single-car garages or carports. Godfather's Pizza is in this neighborhood, offering up a mean slice.
Eagleview: Consists of 132 single-family and duplexes for rent or purchase for enlisted soldiers. These homes have three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a family room, fenced yards and single-car garages.
Broadmoor: Located in the historic Fort Lewis district, and available to generals, senior officers and field grade officers. Here, there are 169 single-family homes for rent or sale, duplexes and multiplex units. The Joint Base Lewis-McChord Memorial Park is here.
Similar communities in Fort Lewis include those of New Hillside, Davis Hill and Parkway. In addition to these communities, Fort Lewis workers and their families can also secure off-base housing in surrounding towns and cities.
Air transport into and out of Fort Lewis comes through Sea-Tac Airport. Amtrak also offers transport to the area. Pierce Transit and taxi services are used for transport in and around the base, along with privately owned vehicles. Military personnel living on base in homes or apartment rentals can keep their vehicle registrations from other states, as well as U.S. territories. For commuting around Washington state, the Puget Sound is serviced by 23 ferry service vessels. Biking and motorcycling are also popular modes of transportation.
Aside from the on-base housing at Fort Lewis, many of the military and civilian population look for houses or apartments for rent in nearby DuPont, Olympia, Lacey, Yelm and Spanaway. Washington has no income tax, which is another reason it's so popular for retired military personnel. JBLM is the second-largest employer in the state, and all of the on-base housing is privatized.