After staying busy with a family and career, retirement may sound daunting. In reality, it’s the perfect time to circle back to all of your favorite hobbies, or break into ones you never had the time to explore. At Harbor Heights, you can discover exciting activities thanks to the close-knit social community, or stumble upon the arts with downtown Olympia galleries, venues and local landmarks providing plenty of inspiration. This luxury 55+ community has everything you need to learn something new and make friends along the way.

Traditional cameras give Bruce the incredible ability to capture detailed shots like this hummingbird. Photo credit: Bruce Milliman

Residents Stay Busy and Have Fun at Harbor Heights

Bruce Milliman and his wife decided they were ready to transition into a more manageable home, so they started looking at places in the area. They had raised their family and shared their lives together in Thurston County, so they were hopeful they could find something that met their needs without having to go far. “We were shocked to find something with this view in proximity to everything downtown,” recalls Bruce. “It is just beautiful.” They moved in a year ago and have continued to fall in love with the local scenery. The sky terrace at Harbor Heights is of particular note, offering breathtaking views of the mountains and water. Outside of the community, there is so much to see within walking distance, from the oceanfront boardwalk to the unique small businesses sprinkled across Downtown Olympia.

In addition to incredible natural beauty surrounding this upscale living, Harbor Heights boasts a warm, neighborly atmosphere that promotes connection and community. For those that like to try new things or meet new people, Harbor Heights really has everything you could ask for. From the arts and crafts room to the theatre, the community amenities offer tons of options to dabble in your passions. On top of that, the residents themselves are supported in creating their own activities and groups to deepen their connection and bring their interests to others.

“One unique thing about Harbor Heights is their monthly meeting for people to share hobbies,” says Bruce. “Some do quilting or writing, or many different hobbies, and each month someone shares.” For hobbyists, Harbor Heights has every opportunity to connect, share and learn.

The seals always bring a great laugh and fun season of photography for Bruce. Photo credit: Bruce Milliman

Photographer Bruce Milliman Captures Thurston County Wildlife

Recently, Bruce had the honor of presenting at the monthly hobby gathering and shared his favorite photographs over the years. He originally picked up photography during his family travels to capture beautiful moments, and became more serious about the art three years ago. “I got a new lens and camera when I retired, which can take 20 shots in one second,” explains Bruce. “When people say they can’t get some of the shots I do, I always just tell them I am cheating!” Bruce has been amazed by the technological advancements of modern photography, from smartphones to digital, and loves being able to share this artform with others. Bruce’s favorite person to share photography with is his son, who challenges him artistically in this medium.

Since wildlife is Bruce’s favorite focus in his photography, he has adopted a patient and determined attitude toward capturing stunning photos. “My first real moment of pride was a hummingbird who I had habituated in the backyard. He would let me get pretty closed, so after about a month and hundreds of pictures, I finally got a great shot. To get a good picture is a lot of luck, but to be in the right place at the right time you have to position yourself and be patient.” As much as Bruce loves to share his work and challenge himself to improve, the real heart of his work is purely for enjoyment. When residents or friends have asked if they could have one of his photos, he gladly shares his prints and has loved to see his work enjoyed by others.

Bruce’s favorite spots to shoot in the area are along the boardwalk near Harbor Heights, so he enjoys spending time walking his dog there with camera in hand just in case the moment strikes.  “Living here allows me to look and observe what is around so easily,” Bruce shares. “On any day you can see anything from otters and seals to eagles and blue herons. Of course, I always joke my best pictures are the ones I never got to take because I didn’t have my camera on me or the battery ran out – I have 10 world-class images locked in my mind that will never be on film!” For Bruce, this just keeps the motivation alive as he ventures out another day, hopeful he will finally capture that next amazing shot of Puget Sound’s wildlife. You can follow Bruce’s photography on Instagram.

Bruce was in the right place at the right time to photograph an opossum out during the day. Photo credit: Bruce Milliman

Visit Harbor Heights and Discover Your Next Home in Olympia

Like Bruce, many of the residents at Harbor Heights have rediscovered passions and friendships thanks to the community’s amazing atmosphere and location. If you have been looking for the right home in Olympia for the next chapter of your life, Harbor Heights provides upscale living with all of the amenities, local beauty, and more to keep you happy and entertained for years to come. Stop by today for a tour and discover your next home right here.

Harbor Heights
500 Columbia St NW, Olympia


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