The best beach cities to retire to from California to Oregon that could be within your budget.
Beach towns in the South...more
Beach towns in Oregon and Washington
Retirement in a California beach town can't be beat if you love the sun and surf.
Santa Cruz, California
I knew this area well because my friends and I spent most of our summers soaking up the warm California rays here watching the surfers, walking up and down the vintage boardwalk in our bikinis sipping a 7-up, and on occasion riding the roller coaster (the big Dipper) or the wild mouse (a jarring roller coaster).
Santa Cruz is still a funky beach town with the boardwalk and amusement park. People that come here still reach for the brass ring; the one you grab from your horse on the carousel, not the one you reach for in Silicon Valley on the other side of the mountain.
The beaches encompass nearly 40 miles in the city and its environs at the northern entrance to Monterey Bay. Even though this is still a laid back town with throw-back lifestyles to the 60’s, the median price for a home here isn’t. The median price is about $640,000.
For More: ci.santa-cruz.ca.us, caohwy.com/s/santacru.htm, or scccvc.org
Everything in California is more expensive and it isn’t different here in Encinitas. The median home price is around $710,000.
Whatever you need regarding surfing in Southern California can be found in Leucadia, Cardiff-by-the-sea (both of which are part of Encinitas), and San Elijo. It’s a surfer’s dream retirement if he or she wants live where some of the finest breaks occur.
Encinitas is about a half-hour's commute north of San Diego when traffic is light but considerably longer during rush hour, which isn’t really only an hour.
Leucadia is largely supported by flower-growing. You can see many of the fields as you drive on the freeway. In all, there are two state parks and seven beaches in Encinitas, including San Elijo, with terrific year-round surf, Cardiff Reef that breaks waves to the left and right, and Swami's, famously known as a "premier winter break" for both beginners and experts.
Tons of shops and restaurants line the streets and it’s a great place to meet new people.
Those who prefer scuba diving hang out at Encinitas Marine Life Refuge, a prime scuba site just offshore from Swami's. For More information go to: cardiffbythesea.org
Other beach towns in California...
Some of the best places to retire are on the coast. More beach retirement cities on the west coast.