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7 Most Affordable Towns to Retire on the Pacific Coast

Finding a budget-friendly retirement spot along the Pacific Coast can be tricky.

The region is famous for its raw beauty, with crashing coastal scenes and ancient forests. But it can be a bit notorious for the high cost of living and expensive homes, depending on where you look.

Despite this, it also has places ideal for retirees who want to stretch their dollar in scenic settings.

The states that encompass the Pacific Coast have lots of unique attractions that draw people to live there, like stunning natural landscapes, rich culture, and vibrant communities.

Read on to learn about seven towns that are affordable options to settle down in after your retirement.

Crescent City, California

Beautiful pottery at the Trading Co. Native Made Moccasins building in Crescent City, California
Beautiful pottery at the Trading Co. Native Made Moccasins building in Crescent City, California

With the redwoods just around the corner, any retiree with a passion for nature will feel right at home here.

The town also has home prices and crime both lower than the national average, and offers a safe, affordable place to settle in.

A retiree who enjoys casting out a fishing rod will find the Smith River close by, offering some of the best salmon and steelhead fishing in the area.

Crescent City is surrounded by stunning nature, featuring wild shores and beautiful beaches like Pebble Beach, famous for its bright agate stones. This coastal spot has lots of chances for fun outdoor things to do like walking, watching birds, and spotting whales when they migrate.

The areas around Crescent City were home to many Native American tribes before settlers arrived, like the Tolowa Dee-ni’. Local events, museums, and classes keep their culture alive by highlighting their traditions and stories, and are an important part of the town's current history and legacy.

Westport, Washington

The marina at Westport, Washington.
The marina at Westport, Washington.

With an average house price of just over $280,000, this town is a good option for coastal living after retirement.

The town has a relaxed vibe, with pretty beaches and ocean views. It is an ideal spot for a calm, slow life after retirement.

This place has a rich history of sea travel and is famous for its large deep-sea fishing industry. In Westport, there are lots of boats available for hire that take folks out to sea to catch fish like salmon and tuna.

Westport Light State Park is a must-see stop. Inside the park, you can find Grays Harbor Lighthouse, the tallest lighthouse in Washington. Built in 1898, it is 107 feet high and lets you see amazing views of everything around it from the top.

The town is also lively with things to see and do. Some of the fun things to do include the Westport Art Festival, Crab Races and Crab Feed, and the big World Class Crab Derby.

Eureka, California

Downtown Eureka, California
Downtown Eureka, California, via calimedia / Shutterstock.com

If retiring amongst beautifully preserved architecture sounds appealing, Eureka is a top-tier choice.

It has one of California's largest collections of Victorian houses, and among these, the Carson Mansion stands out as a stunning example of Victorian architecture, known as one of the finest in the whole of America.

The town is also the gateway to some of the tallest, most majestic trees on Earth.The nearby Redwood National and State Parks have ancient giant redwoods, hundreds of years old. These parks draw in people who love nature and hiking from all over the world.

The town is lively, with a community feel that is great for retirees who want to stay active and sociable. There is always something to partake in, like art walks and music festivals.

All year round, it hosts different cultural festivals, including the Redwood Coast Music Festival.

Ocean Shores, Washington

View from the Rock Jetty on a Clear Sunny Day at Ocean Shores Washington.
View from the Rock Jetty on a Clear Sunny Day at Ocean Shores Washington.

With low crime and an affordable cost of living, Ocean Shores is a fine option to retire in.

In fact, the rent in town is 40 percent lower than the national average.

If walking around and searching for gorgeous birds sounds like a great time to you, then you will love your time in Ocean Shores.

The place to check out is Damon Point. It is highly regarded for its beautiful views and calm beach walks. Plus, you can see birds and sometimes even spot grey whales depending on the time of year.

Every year the town holds the Razor Clam Festival & Seafood Extravaganza. Here people gather to search for clams, try to make the top clam chowder, and have fun listening to live music.

Close by, near Ocean Shores, visitors can explore the Quinault Rainforest in the Olympic National Park. This temperate rainforest provides a stark difference to the beach setting of Ocean Shores.

Port Angeles, Washington

Street Scene in Uptown Port Angeles, Washington
Street Scene in Uptown Port Angeles, Washington

With the Olympic National Park just next door, Port Angeles is a prime spot for retirement.

The park has everything from mountains with glaciers, ancient forests, and more than 70 miles of wild beaches. It is also great for hiking, watching animals, and just having fun outside.

Rent in town is 15.6% cheaper than the national average. Plus, there are lots of chances to enjoy the outdoors, making it a great spot if you enjoy nature and save some money.

Retirees who love the arts should check out the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center. It is located in a gorgeous forest park, and visitors can find art from local artists and a sculpture garden with walking trails, combining art with nature.

Traveling to other spots nearby is simple too. From Port Angeles, you can hop on a ferry to Victoria in British Columbia. There, you can visit places like the immersive Royal BC Museum and the world-class Butchart Gardens.

Oceano, California

Oceano, California: Houses that are set amid coastal sand dunes.
Oceano, California: Houses that are set amid coastal sand dunes, via HannaTor / Shutterstock.com

Oceano, while its own unique area, can get lumped together with Pismo Beach. Even on its own, this town is the perfect example of an ideal beach spot.

It has a beautiful pier, sandy beaches, and an active boardwalk. This is where folks come to live the relaxed California lifestyle.

Who wouldn't want a little bit of that sweet Mediterranean-style weather all year? Here the climate is a big draw for folks ready to kick back and enjoy retirement without the chill of winter or the sizzle of summer beating down on them.

Pismo Beach is close to wine areas like Edna Valley, and it is only a quick trip to get there. This lets visitors easily try different wines and see the lovely vineyards along the Central Coast.

The city has great natural spots and facilities that help people stay active, which is important for staying healthy. Retirees can enjoy different activities like beach walks, hiking, playing golf, and doing yoga. A good example to do some of those things is at the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area.

Coos Bay, Oregon

Marina in Coos Bay Oregon.
Marina in Coos Bay Oregon.

This town is the biggest on the Oregon coast and plays a key role in the area's economy because of its deep-water port.

Living in Coos Bay costs less than the average for both the country and the state. It costs about 10.5% less than the average across the U.S. and 21.7% less than what you would typically pay in Oregon.

If you envision heading outdoors after you retire, just south of Coos Bay, visitors can find the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, stretching out for 40 miles next to the ocean.

Here, there are huge areas of beach sand dunes, some of the largest expanses of temperate coastal sand dunes in the world.

Love seafood? The town and area is acclaimed for its seafood. The place has tons of food events every year, like the Charlestown Seafood Festival and other like-minded festivals.

In Conclusion

Retiring along the Pacific Coast can be a dream come true without stretching your finances.

These spots combine affordability with the stunning natural scope of the Pacific Coast.

They also offer lively cultural scenes, and inviting communities. Ideal for retirees, they can also have mild climates and diverse activities that enhance a relaxed yet active lifestyle.

So, if you want to embrace a coastal retirement where budget meets beauty and vitality, the sky is the limit in the Pacific Coast.

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