Oregon - Discover The Adventure Of A Scenic Coastline and A Dynamic, Outdoor Lifestyle
Anyone who has spent time searching for the best place to retire is probably aware that may experts have recently heralded Oregon as a retirement destination.
A Great Place for The Arts
At the top of the list for many is Ashland and Medford, its nearby neighbor. A small city with a population of 20,000 located in the southwest corner of the state just across the California border, Ashland has garnered national acclaim for its cultural and artistic attractions. The home of the annual Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ashland hosts an eight-month long schedule of theatrical presentations that draw thousands of visitors each year. Coupled with the Britt Festivals, an outdoor musical event that presents nationally known musical performances of every genre from June through September, and the Medford Jazz Festival, an October event; Ashland is a hotbed of cultural activity that may be unmatched by any other small community in the U.S.
Mild weather, small town atmosphere and a diverse mix of recreational and cultural diversions add up to an attractive and exciting lifestyle, one that has results in the Ashland/Medford area often being proclaimed among the best places to retire by several publications.
Only ten miles apart, these two communities are in the center of a natural paradise surrounded by the Siskiyou Mountains to the west, Mt. Shasta to the east, and close to the Rogue and Klamath Rivers. Ashland, itself, is an extremely pedestrian-friendly city, with Lithia Park’s 100 acres of open, green space in the center of town and miles and walking and biking trails extending in several directions.
Outdoor enthusiasts can also head to Mount Ashland, just fifteen minutes away, for winter-time skiing. Crater Lake National Park, located north of Medford at an elevation of 7,100 feet, is a wild and truly spectacular environment, offering a wide range of activities, including hiking, sailing, scuba diving, white water rafting and cross-country skiing.
Medford also serves as the headquarters for the Rogue River National Forest, 600,000 acres of hidden wildflower meadows, dazzling forests of towering ponderosa pines, and swift flowing mountain streams. In fact, the list of natural attractions surrounding these two communities seems almost endless.
Small Towns And A Sense Of Outdoor Adventure
The small towns along the Oregon Coast are proving to be the preferred retirement destination for a number of retirees. Astoria, Lincoln City and Florence are just a few of the places that have been discovered by Californians and others lured by the prospect of affordable real estate and the scenic beauty of the Pacific Coast.
Situated on the extreme northwest tip of Oregon, on the mouth of the Columbia River and just a few miles from the Pacific Ocean, Astoria has been called “Little San Francisco,” by virtue of its collection of historic Victoria homes, steep hills and bayside location. With a revitalized 1920’s downtown, set against a backdrop of incredible natural beauty, residents truly feel as though they have been drawn back to an era in which the world was less congested and moving at a slower pace...just the place for retirement living.
Another coastal enclave, Lincoln City, is perched on seven miles of beach front on the Central Oregon Coast. While it may be a small town in the strict sense of the term, it is certainly an appealing place to retire for anyone who loves the outdoors and an active, fun-filled lifestyle. The Chamber of Commerce boasts that the community is ranked as one of the top 25 places to retire in the country, and when one considers the mild climate, beautiful scenery and a seemingly endless list of recreational opportunities, this label may be hard to contradict.
Many of whom are drawn to this area by the spectacle of whales making their annual migration along the Pacific Coast. One of the more unique activities in Lincoln City is the annual float search, an event where local artisans create hand-blown glass floats, similar to those which were historically used by Japanese fishermen on their nets, and hide them along the city’s seven miles of beaches to be found by watchful residents as they walk the shoreline.
Florence is yet another small town along the Oregon Coast that has long been a popular choice for retirees in the Pacific Northwest. With a population of only 7,200, Florence is much less crowded than some of the neighboring beach towns to the north. Newcomers are drawn by its stable real estate prices and laid back lifestyle, not to mention the 25 miles of clean, sandy beaches and mild climate.
But Oregon has much more to offer retirees than just a scenic and alluring coastline. Its majestic snow-capped mountains and verdant green river valleys are literally filled with other small towns that also are great for retirement living. And for those who might prefer a more urban setting, Portland and Eugene are vibrant, growing cities with a dynamic mix of arts and culture perfect for retirees desiring a sophisticated city and exciting lifestyle.
This Month’s Spotlight City: Ashland / Medford