Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
San Luis Obispo, California
Posh and Prosperous, San Luis Obispo is Close to the Coast and Known for its Beautiful Climate, Academic Vibe and Delightful Town Center
Posh San Luis Obispo (SLO) is one of California's oldest communities, dating from the 1770s. It is halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco and about 10 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean. Highly regarded Polytechnic State University (22,000 students) makes its home here. See San Luis Obispo Hotels
The city is known for its beautiful climate, charming town center and complete lack of fast food drive-thrus. Residents say that having to actually go into a restaurant to eat has created a more relaxed, people-friendly environment. Cute shops, funky galleries and eclectic eateries line tree shaded, downtown streets, but the heart of the city is the historic Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. Court Street Center, Bubblegum Alley, the museum of art and the wonderful weekly farmers' market are all nearby. Palm Theatre is home of the city's international film festival, and the Festival Mosaic is held in the spacious Christopher Cohan Performing Arts Center. Residents also enjoy Friday night summer concerts in Mission Plaza.
The city manages more than 4,000 acres of parks and open space, and a hike up Bishop's Peak presents stunning views of the city and the university. The two closest beaches are Avila Beach and Pismo Beach, both about 10 minutes away. Directly to the west of the SLO, about 15 minutes away, Montano De Oro State Park has eucalyptus groves and isolated stretches of sand.
SLO housing is varied, with everything from adobes and Mediterraneans to classic Californian, mid-20th century single story ranch ramblers with a flat roof, abundant windows and open floor plan.
Population: 48,000 (city proper)
Age 45 or Better: 32%
Cost of Living: 105% above the national average
Median Home Price: $998,000
Climate: This area has a cool Mediterranean climate. Summer temperatures are in the 60s and 70s, and winter temperatures are in the 40s and 50s. On average, the area receives about 20 inches of rain per year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? Yes
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? Yes
Crime Rate: Meets the national average
Public Transit: Yes
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Liberal
College Educated: 50%
Is California Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? No
Cons: The earthquake risk is 1,120% higher than the national average. Several wildfires have burned in San Luis Obispo County over the years, with one or two coming close to the city itself.
Notes: SLO has been called the "happiest town in America" by at least one national publication. The city has maintained its population during the last decade. Home prices have increased 7% since a year ago.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
Thanks to the treaty that ended the Mexican-American War, the Golden State became a U.S. territory in 1847. Soon after, gold was found at Sutter's Mill. The land crowded with fortune seekers, and, shortly thereafter, California entered the Union as its 31st state in 1850.
California has 900 miles of coastline and claims the highest and lowest point in the continental U.S. Its terrain varies dramatically - from sandy beaches to rugged mountains, deserts to fertile farmland. Landmarks like Hollywood, Disneyland, and the Golden Gate Bridge play a large part in the nation's history and imagination.
Although Texas and New York have tried to close the gap, California's economy continues to be nation's largest. Agriculture, manufacturing, biotechnology, and tourism are some of its leading industries.
Cities of the Golden State have put some odd laws on the books. It's illegal to molest a monarch in Pacific Grove. Want to throw a frisbee on an L.A. County beach? Better ask a lifeguard first. What about bowling on the sidewalks of Chico? Strictly forbidden!
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