Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Rockaway Beach, Oregon
A Peaceful, Casual Place with Mountains on its East Side and Seven Miles of Beach on its West Side, Rockaway Beach is a World Unto Itself
Hidden by the Oregon Coast Mountain Range in northwestern Oregon, the rugged Tillamook County coastline was largely undiscovered at the turn of the 20th century. When Portland's steam trains reached the town of Hillsboro in 1906, builders rushed to subdivide the land. Rockaway Beach was part of that boom and officially became a seaside resort in 1909.
A world unto itself, Rockaway Beach is a casual, scenic place with mountains on its east side and seven miles of often empty beach on its west side. It also has two giant sandstone rocks known as Twin Rocks jutting up out of the water just offshore.
One main road (Oregon Coast Highway 101) runs through town. Side streets radiate from it and are dotted with simple souvenier shops, ice cream parlors, kite stores, eateries and more. The beach may be best known for its annual kite and art festival. Locals also enjoy a pirate festival, a renowned 4th of July fireworks display and a fun farmers' market.
In-town Lake Lytle has a public pier and is stocked with rainbow and cutthroat trout. Moroney Canal links Lytle to the city's other lake - Crescent. The nearby 45-acre Cedar Growth Nature Preserve has a boardwalk that leads through a bog of giant trees. Opportunities for beachcombing, tidepooling or hiking abound at every turn.
Residences are on small lots and clustered closely together. The majority sit between Highway 101 and the beach. Some, though, are on land that has been carved out of the forest to the east of town. Housing includes motel-like town homes, some condos, single family dwellings and vacation homes.
Population: 1,500 (city proper)
Age 45 or Better: 68%
Cost of Living: 9% above the national average
Median Home Price: $450,000
Climate: Summer temperatures are in the 60s and 70s, and winter temperatures are in the 20s, 30s and 40s. On average, the area receives 90 inches of rain and two inches of snow per year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No. The nearest hospital, Providence Seaside Hospital, is 25 miles away in Seaside. It accepts Medicare patients.
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? No. The nearest accredited hospital, Providence Seaside Hospital, is 25 miles away in Seaside. Rockaway Beach does have a medical clinic, though. It provides primary care but not emergency care.
Public Transit: No
Crime Rate: Well below the national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Liberal
College Educated: 32%
Is Oregon Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? No
Cons: The earthquake risk is nearly 200% above the national average.
Notes: Tourists come in the summer. Home prices have increased 6% since a year ago. The population has increased 10% during the last decade.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes, although the distance to a hospital is a concern.
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.
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