Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Growing, Prosperous Parker Sits Beneath a Towering Blue Sky in the Shadow of the Rocky Mountains and is Home to Large Properties and Beautiful Views
About 20 miles southeast of Denver in pretty northcentral Colorado, Parker is a growing bedroom and commuter community with a newish, affluent feeling. It sits amid a rolling landscape of scrub grass and ranch land under a big blue sky in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains.
Town history reaches back to the Pikes Peak gold rush when Alfred Butters opened a post office and way station to service the flood of new residents. The restored 20 Mile House in Old Town is a testament to these early days.
The downtown is small with one main street lined with cute restaurants and shops, the 100-year-old Ruth Memorial chapel and the Main Street Center. Parker Road runs through the middle of town and is dotted with banks, eateries, shopping centers, dentists and the like in new buildings.
The PACE center boasts a 536-seat theater, an art gallery, a dance studio, a media lab, a teaching kitchen, a lecture series, workshops and more.
Coloradoans love the outdoors, and Parker's 1,200 acres of open space and extensive trail system along Cherry Creek give locals plenty of room for biking, hiking, and telemarking. Residents are well-educated and many work in southeast Denver's high-tech corporate corridor.
Spacious neighborhoods radiate - some people say sprawl - out from the downtown area. Most homes are large on a large lot and are spread out from one another. Mountain views, as well as coyotes, come standard.
Population: 62,000 (city proper)
Age 45 or Better: 20%
Cost of Living: 50% above the national average
Median Home Price: $675,000
Climate: Parker has a semi-arid climate and sits at 5,868 feet above sea level. Summer temperatures are in the 80s and 90s, and winter temperatures are in the 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s. The area receives 13 inches of rain and 55 inches of snow per year on average.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? Yes
At Least One Accredited by Joint Commission? Yes
Public Transit: The city has a limited Call-n-Ride service, and RTD provides bus service to Denver.
Crime Rate: Well below the national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Conservative
College Educated: 54%
Is Colorado Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: Traffic congestion is sometimes a problem, particularly along Parker Road.
Notes: Parker Adventist Hospital is a Primary Stroke Center and a Level III Adult Trauma Center. The city has little racial diversity and has grown 20% within the last decade. Not too long ago, Douglas County, where Parker is located, was the fastest growing county in the nation. Pikes Peak looms in the far distance. Home prices have increased 2% since last year.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
Similar to California, the Colorado area was surrendered to the United States in 1848 at the end of the Mexican-American War. It did not become a state until 1876, 100 years after the nation's birth.
The Centennial State's geography includes high plains, deserts, foothills, and mountains. Its Rockies are part of the 3,000-plus mile geologic uplift known as the North American Cordillera. More than 50 of the Cordillera's peaks taller than 14,000 feet are in Colorado. Outdoor recreation ranges from backpacking and climbing to road cycling and skiing.
With roots in mining and agriculture, Colorado's economy has branched in many directions. It currently has a high concentration of tech and scientific research companies. Food processing, manufacturing, and tourism round out the state's industries.
The Centennial State maintains a long list of superlatives. It has the highest paved road, the deepest geothermal hot spring, and the nation's largest concentration of scenic byways. Colorado is the only state in the Union to reject the Olympics and one of the first to legalize recreational marijuana.
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