With 68 million baby boomers nearing the age of retirement, it will be important to learn about the ten best retirement towns in California. Why California? With nearly 40 million people and access to the Pacific coastline, there are plenty of people, places, and things to experience and learn about in a very relaxed and open environment. Coupled with exceptional weather and a high standard of living, California has many excellent towns in which to retire.
Sitting on a mountain slope east of the San Francisco Bay, Berkeley is best known for its collegiate environment but also offers a world class city life. With a mix of old and new architecture throughout the city, access to some of the best restaurants in the world alongside quiet streets with gorgeous tropical gardens is to be expected in Berkeley.
Santa Barbara, CA
Located about 85 miles north of Los Angeles, Santa Barbara has the unquestionable touch of Spanish influence from its buildings to its culture. Usually attracting more affluent retirees, Santa Barbara offers high end shopping in its downtown area and with many colleges and museums, the cultural scene is very active. Education and tourism are big economic contributors to the local economy which also allow for numerous volunteer opportunities.
Palm Springs, CA
Being one of the most famous retirement cities in California, Palm Springs is located in the beautiful Coachella Valley. Known as the getaway destination for Los Angeles movie stars in the past, Palm Springs is still known for its wealthy residents and famous streets like Frank Sinatra Drive. With a population of 48,000, many retirees find this area to be the perfect size while still offering a lifestyle usually reserved for metropolitan cities.
Nestled in Napa Valley, the city of Napa offers some of the best restaurants in the world such as The French Laundry. Gated communities with numerous golf courses draw in the those retirees who are active, while those who prefer to sit and have a nice glass of wine will also appreciate what Napa has to offer.
Santa Cruz, CA
Sitting on the Northern California Coast, Santa Cruz is known for its numerous mobile home retirement parks and apartment communities. Being only half an hour from Monterey and Carmel, driving across the border takes no time. Being so close to the Pacific Ocean, as well, offers the escape so many are looking for during retirement.
With cities like Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Mateo, Redwood City, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Santa Clara, Campbell, Milpitas, Saratoga, Los Gatos, San Jose, and Fremont encompassing Silicon Valley, there is a wealth of good weather, shopping, and numerous retirement communities spread out throughout these cities.
Known as one of the best places for a healthy retirement, Anaheim is of course home to the only park designed by Walt Disney himself. If you are not a big fan of Disney, there a a multitude of activities from zen yoga to endless boardwalks.
Ranked the 87th best city in America to live in overall, Clayton is more appealing to retirees due to its small population, low crime rate, and great temperatures. Being close to San Francisco makes access to night life and culture a short drive away. For those retirees who wish to remain active, there are numerous walking, biking, and horse trails that lead to both downtown or the nearby mountain.
Nestled in between Los Angeles and Orange County, Walnut gained national attention as being one of the best cities to live in not only in California, but the US as a whole. Being a small community allows for a small crime rate while the city is almost entirely residential. For those looking for a quiet place to relax, Walnut is a perfect choice.
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
While most of Orange County is unaffordable for most, Rancho Santa Margarita offers lower home prices while still offering the lifestyle that those in nearby Laguna Beach have. Resting underneath the Saddleback Mountains, few retirees complain of the pristine views of the lake or the thirty minute drive to the beach.