Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Retire in Santa Rosa, California?
Overview: In Sonoma County, only 55 miles north of San Francisco and about 25 miles from the Pacific Ocean, pretty Santa Rosa has been named as one of the happiest places in the United States. It sits amid vineyards and farmland and started with a simple adobe house in the 1830s.
The attractive downtown has a mix of one to four or five story buildings with restaurants, retailers, banks, bookstores and the like. Historic districts in the city center include Old Courthouse Square and Railroad Square, which has a high concentration of restaurants and antique shops. The Charles M. Schulz Museum and the Luther Burbank Home and Gardens are among the city's most popular museums. The 6th Street Playhouse has two performance spaces and produces about eight shows per year. The city is also known for its symphony, theater collective, and summer repertory theater. Markets include Whole Foods, the Sonoma Market and two farmers' markets. Wine tasting rooms and good restaurants abound.
Hood Mountain is on Santa Rosa's southeastern edge and offers opportunities for birding, biking, and horseback riding. Annadel State Park, on the city's northeastern border, has miles of trails and wildflowers. The Santa Rosa Creek runs through downtown, and its greenway can be a stopping place for snowy egrets.
The city has at least 30 different named neighborhoods, including several historic ones. Housing stock is eclectic, ranging from manufactured homes and contemporaries with clean lines to bungalows and Mediterraneans. Oakmont Village is a lovely 55+ single home community with mountain and vineyard views.
Population: 175,000 (city proper)
Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 40%
Cost of Living: 62% above the national average
Median Home Price: $495,000
Climate: This area has a Mediterranean climate with hot dry summers and cool, wet winters. Summer temperatures are in the 70s, 80s and 90s, and winter temperatures are in the 30s and 40s. On average, the area receives 30 inches of rain each year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? Yes
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? Yes
Public Transit: Yes
Crime Rate: Below the national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Very, very liberal
Is California Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? No
Cons: The earthquake risk is 715% higher than the national average.
Notes: Santa Rosa offers a rich quality of life and has grown by 50% within the last decade or two.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
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