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Reader Requested Short Review of Brookings, Oregon
At the foot of the Klamath Mountains and along the Chetco River on Oregon's scenic southern coast, Brookings (population 6,500) makes it home. Sometimes lumped in with the nearby town of Harbor and called Brookings-Harbor, it is surrounded by pristine mountains and thick forests and is the busiest recreational port on the Oregon coast.
The town started out as a logging hub in the early-1900s and today is an outdoor-oriented community with an authentic, rugged quality. Crab fishermen and shrimpers set out to sea each morning. Fishing, camping, sailing, rafting, kayaking and backpacking are a way of life in three nearby state parks. Fifteen miles of clean, uncrowded strips of sand are the perfect place for beachcombing.
Nearly half of all residents are age 45 or better. Politics lean to the right, and racial diversity is minimal. The town has grown by 45% over the last decade or two as it has annexed some surrounding population centers. The crime level meets the national average. The cost of living is 12% above the national average.
The median home price is $325,000. Properties are primarily ranch ramblers and raised ranch ramblers, most on a wooded lots.
Situated in Oregon's "banana belt," Brookings has relatively warm temperatures throughout the year. That, combined with wet winter, means that subtropical plants thrive and gardens overflow, giving the area a bounty of eye-catching color. Azalea Park is the "crown jewel" of Brooking's parks and bursts with with pink, red and lavendars flowers. It is also the site of Sunday afternoon summer concerts.
The Winter Art and Chocolate Festival is perhaps the town's most well attended event. The Festival of the Arts and the Southern Oregon Kite Festival also draw sizeable crowds.
Every second Saturday, 10 art galleries provide free hors d'oeuvres, new art exhibits and live music. Residents also enjoy three theatre groups and a golf course. Whale watching from the harbor is a fun activity.
Most merchants are locally-owned and include antiques stores, shoe stores, hardware stores and bookstores. Many of these are in the simple but attractive downtown. There are also a couple of shopping centers and some discount stores. The Brookings Harbor Farmers' Market takes place in the big white tent south of town every Wednesday and Saturday year round. It is a great place to find fresh produce, hot treats and local artisans.
The Chetco Library has an interlibrary loan program, a homebound book program and free internet wi-fi.
Curry Medical Center is accredited by DNV Health Care and offers a wide range of services. A new Emergency Department is in the works. Sutter Coast Hospital is 20 miles away in Crescent City, California and provides further care. It is accredited by the Joint Commission.
Public transportation in the form of a dial-a-ride program is provided by Curry Public Transit Monday through Friday. The fare is $4, but people age 60+ ride for half price. Coastal Express travels along the coastal Highway 101 and connects Brookings with points north and south ($4 per city segment).
The nearest domestic airport is in Crescent City, California, and the nearest international airport is nearly 350 miles away in Portland, Oregon.
The Oregon Area Agency on Aging has an office in Brookings and provides assistance with housing, employment, nutrition and more. The Chetco Activity Center receives rave reviews and serves daily congregate meals ($6 for people age 60+). It also has a variety of activities, including exercise classes, driving classes, computer classes and card games.
Summer temperatures are in the 50s, 60s and 70s, and winter temperatures are in the 40s and 50s. Nearly 80 inches of rain fall each year on average. Snow is rare, but summer fog is common. The sun shines 190 days of the year.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes | Is Oregon Tax-Friendly for Retirement? No
Brookings oozes seaside charm and has a gorgeous setting, plenty of outdoor recreation and a relatively mild climate for the Oregon coast. It is worth a look at retirement time.
Oregon became a territory in 1846, but its request to become a state was bogged down by Congress and the free versus slave state debate. Southern politicians finally allowed Oregon to enter the Union as a free state on February 14, 1859.
Although the 42nd parallel marks its southern border, water delineates most of the Beaver State's boundaries. The Columbia River separates Washington from Oregon on the north. The Snake River helps form the state's eastern border with Idaho. The Pacific Ocean is on its western edge.
Oregon is one of the country's most geographically diverse states and is characterized by volcanoes, dense forests, high deserts, and abundant bodies of water. For its latitude, its climate is mild. Mount Hood, at 11,249 feet, is the state's highest point. Crater Lake, the center of the state's only national park, is the deepest lake in the United States.
Timber, fishing, and hydroelectric power have pushed the state's economy in the past. Technology, however, is finding a firm footing. Tektronix and Intel helped establish the state's Silicon Forest. Notable companies who are or have been part of the forest include Google, eBay, Airbnb, and WebMD. Sportswear companies like Columbia and Nike also bring in billions to the state.
Portland, the state's most populous city, has more breweries in its boundaries than any other in the world. As of 2016, there were more than 60. The city boasts the world's smallest park. Mill Ends Park, dedicated in 1948, is a total of 452 square feet.
Population - 4,093,465
Persons 65 years old and over - 17%
High school graduates, persons age 25+ - 89%
Bachelor's degree or higher, age 25+ - 31%
Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin - 12%
White persons, not Hispanic - 76%
Median household income - $51,243
Median home value - $237,300
Social Security taxed? No
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
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