Are you ready to see my top 5 places to retire? As I said in part one, you might be surprised by what I pick for number one.
5. San Diego, California - A gorgeous town with excellent weather overall and easy access to a wide variety of beaches. Not to mention plenty of fun and interesting places to visit. It's a great place to help boomers and seniors stay active year round. On top of all that, people rave about the various restaurants they love to visit. You're close to sight-seeing pleasures in Mexico, and what fun to be able to visit the San Diego Zoo and Sea World easily.
4. Honolulu, Hawaii - My parents spent ten years right in the heart of Waikiki when my dad's Parkinson's Disease started to progress. In Hawaii, he was able walk miles each day as well as play his beloved golf. They lived just minutes from the beach and thoroughly enjoyed it. Everything they needed was within walking distance. We are still convinced that living in the lovely state of Hawaii with grand weather daily helped him stay as active as he did for over 20 years from his initial diagnosis.
3. Los Angeles, California - Want to know what my favorite thing in L.A. is? Olvera Street. It's a popular tourist attraction with several restaurants and tiny shops full of fun and historical delights from Mexico. They have the best taquitos in the world at the very edge of Olvera street at a teeny tiny place called Cielito Lindo. Many people, like my own family, have been visiting this delicious spot for decades - some of us over 50 years! I don't have the energy to want to make the long drive there anymore so settling close to that along with all the other delicious restaurants L.A. is famous for would be grand. Not to mention all the intriguing opportunities for tours and sightseeing. The beach and the mountains are just an hour or two in each direction. Oh yes! Los Angeles is definitely on my top-10 list.
2. Sacramento, California - I love both Sacramento and Placer Counties. There are so many interesting things to see and do nearby and within a couple hours of driving. From ocean fun in San Francisco to mountain sports, not to mention several great golf courses, good exercise opportunities abound. Sacramento, itself, has the most intriguing neighborhoods with little delicious restaurants tucked away in fun spots. And there are plenty of malls to keep us busy shopping and eating deliciously. For history buffs, Old Town Sacramento and Fort Sutter are always a treat not to mention the Capitol building and its surrounding area.
1. Seattle, Washington - I might be a bit prejudiced on this one since I am living in this area, but Seattle truly is a lovely locale. I am thrilled that I can't go more than a few miles in any direction without seeing the glistening of the sun off the ocean, the Puget Sound or one of the many creeks and lakes that abound here. Mt. Rainier is gorgeous and can be seen from so many areas. It's a real sight for sore eyes! There are hiking trails all over, including very easy ones. Traillink.com has a list of several that are even wheelchair accessible. Each city in the area has its own "personality" and there are so many unique places to eat, I doubt we'd run out of new places to try. And oh my, what fun to ride ferries and whale-watch!
After creating this list, I realized that the locations I daydream about the most generally have delicious food, good weather overall, great places to visit and take visitors to, and fun destinations to shop. Now that you've seen my list of the 10 best places to retire in the United States, what do you think? Do you agree or disagree or have other ideas? I'd love to hear your comments and suggestions.
Written by senior living writer Kaye Swain