Main Street and windmill in Solvang, a city in Southern California's Santa Ynez Valley. Editorial credit: HannaTor /

6 Towns Perfect for Retirement in Southern California

Southern California is a great residential area for those who enjoy high-quality living. Big cities like Los Angeles and San Diego are the choicest places to live in. However, if you are looking to live in the suburbs or countryside after retirement, these six towns are the perfect places to check out. They promote communal relationships, affordable cost of living, excellent healthcare centers, and resources tailored to the needs of their senior citizens.

La Quinta

Old Town La Quinta in Coachella Valley, United States, features a stunning mountain view in Riverside County.
Old Town La Quinta in Coachella Valley, United States, features a stunning mountain view in Riverside County.

La Quinta is a resort town with a rich history complimented by the Cahuillas, ranches, desert clubs, and the Bradshaw Trail. La Quinta is usually warm all year round, which is a typical climate in the Coachella Valley where the town is situated. The warm climate makes it an excellent place for older people whose health might be averse to cold weather. On average, the price of a home there is $854.5K.

The Palms At La Quinta Gracious Retirement Living & Assisted Living and Memory Care and Caleo Bay Assisted Living and Memory Care are great community options that are available. Go for regular medical checkups or emergency care at La Quinta Medical Center or Eisenhower George and Julia Argyros Health Center. The park is a great place to meet locals, bond with family, or relax by yourself in a serene environment. Visit parks like Lake Cahuilla Veterans Regional Park, Civic Center Campus, and La Quinta Park. Check out the Old Town La Quinta mall, where you can shop and eat. Speaking of eats, the La Quinta Cliffhouse and Morgan’s in the Desert are exceptional restaurants to check out on a family outing. Spa La Quinta is a resort and club. Sign up as a member to access its benefits. Get acquainted with the town at La Quinta Museum, or spend your afternoons reading at La Quinta Library.

Sierra Madre

Wisteria Festival event at Sierra Madre, California.

Wisteria Festival event at Sierra Madre, California. Editorial credit: Kit Leong /

Sierra Madre, the "Village of the Foothills," is considered one of the best places to live in California. The name means Mother Range due to its setting at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains, like the Sierra Madre Occidental. The homes in the community have a median price of $1.6M. However, with assisted living centers like The British Home, senior citizens can choose to live in retirement homes.

About 2,332 seniors are living in this town, so retirees will not feel alone or left out. You can also visit places like Bailey Canyon Wilderness Park, the West side of Sierra Vista Park, The Buccaneer Lounge, or RT Rogers Brewing, Co., where locals are usually found for an opportunity to meet new people and make friends. Visit the Lizzie’s Trail Inn and The Richardson House Historical Museum for some history lessons about the town. Feeling down? Go for a health checkup at Sierra Madre Community Medical Group or Wound Care Advantage.


Solvang, California, USA - Danish village in Santa Barbara County. Many buildings reflect traditional Danish style.

Solvang, California, USA - Danish village in Santa Barbara County. Editorial credit: OLOS /

Solvang, California, is a city founded by the Danish People in 1911. However, it is said that it was once settled by the Spanish in 1804 before it was abandoned due to the Conquest of Alta California campaign of the Mexican-American War. Retirees who love sunny suburban communities will enjoy their days here. Get treated at the Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital. The town also provides suitable homes such as the Atterdag Village of Solvang and the Solvang Senior Center. You can also buy a house at an average price of $1.6M.

Moving around in Solvang is relatively easy as residents can take walks or public buses. Spend your days exploring the Sunny Fields Park and the Hans Christian Andersen Park. There is so much to see, like the Solvang Windmill and the Ostrichland USA attractions. If you are looking for what to do in the evenings, take a tour of the numerous museums, such as the California Nature Art Museum, Hans Christian Andersen Museum, Elverhøj Museum of History & Art, and Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum. Eat out at Olsen's Danish Village Bakery or Paula's Pancake House. Don’t miss the Solvang Danish Days Foundation community festival held in September. If you would like to know more about the town before making your choice, check out the Solvang Visitor Center for more information.

Dana Point

Sunset view of Dana Point, California.

Sunset view of Dana Point, California.

Dana Point is a city named after Richard Henry Dana Jr. It has 31,864 residents and 7,603 senior citizens. The city provides facilities and homes for seniors, such as Sea Bluffs Ivy Signature Living and Aegis Living Dana Point. Retirees can also buy homes at a median price of $2.3M. The weather is usually warmer in August and September. Residents can get around using Uber, rented bikes, mass transport, or Dana Point Trolley.

Enjoy the serenity of Dana Point when you live here by visiting the scenic parks and beaches. Some of them are Pines Park, Strand Vista Park, Baby Beach, Dana Strands Beach, Doris Walker Overlook, Salt Creek Beach, and Doheny State Beach. Go for watersport activities like fishing and whale watching at Dana Point Harbor. See and learn about the protected marine preserves in the ocean at Dana Point Preserve, where the Dana Point Nature Interpretive Center is located. Get medical care at MemorialCare Medical Group - Dana Point.


Aerial photo of Carpinteria, California coastline.

Aerial photo of Carpinteria, California coastline.

Carpinteria is an affluent seaside town in Southeast California. There are about 2,847 senior citizens living in this city. April to November are the best and coolest months of the year. If you are planning to buy a home here, budget about $825K on average. Retirees can also stay at retirement homes like GranVida Senior Living and Memory Care. You can also use resident medical care services such as Beach Medical Clinic or Santa Barbara County Public Health: Carpinteria Health Care Center.

Relax or go on a picnic with friends at Tar Pits Park or Carpinteria State Beach. Go on a nature adventure with your family at Carpinteria Salt Marsh Nature Park, Carpinteria Bluffs Nature Preserve, and Seaside Gardens. Carpinteria has a rich history. Learn all about it at Carpinteria Valley Museum. Eat out at The Worker Bee Café or buy baked goods at Santa Barbara Hives.


The Evergreen Cafe in Wrightwood, California, offers a cozy atmosphere and delicious food for locals and visitors alike.

The Evergreen Cafe in Wrightwood, California. By Rennett Stowe, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Wrightwood is a small mountain town with great amenities and facilities for everyone, including senior citizens, where the median home price is $553.5K. About 1,310 senior residents live in Wrightwood. If you plan to retire here, prepare for the long, cold winter season. Summers are arid and warm but short. Get regular checkups at Wrightwood Medical to stay healthy. Transportation in Wrightwood is seamless. You can move around by taking a shuttle, taking a walk, or using a car.

Get to know the locals by visiting popular places like Evergreen Cafe & Racoon Saloon and Village Grind Cafe. Check out the Alice's Vintage Cottage for antiques and gifts for family members. Dine out with friends at The Yodeler. Get a present for your grandchildren during the holidays at Applewood Court.

Why Choose Southern California for Retirement?

After many years of hard work, the best way to reward yourself is by settling in a town that fits your lifestyle. If you are searching for a town that offers a slower pace, clean air, and a strong sense of community, these small towns truly deliver.

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