View of the shoreline lined with waterfront buildings in Port Townsend, Washington.

7 Senior-Friendly Towns in the Pacific Coast

The US portion of the Pacific Coast runs alongside three states: Washington, Oregon, and California. With lush scenery and rich heritage, it is full of activities for all ages and at all levels. This region along the coast is also home to some of the most prestigious senior communities, hospitals, and shopping. With no shortage of adventures from indoors to outdoors, the Pacific Coast is the perfect place to wind down, worry less, and live life to the fullest. From larger towns with all the amenities to smaller areas with picturesque beach houses and driftwood bays, retirees can find the perfect haven in these three coastal states.

Eureka, California

Historic buildings in Eureka, California.
Historic buildings in the downtown area of Eureka, California.

Eureka covers all the bases, from endless amenities to outdoor excursions and opportunities to embrace the local culture. Seniors interested in staying active can walk the various waterfront trails or explore the beauty of the Humbolt Botanical Gardens. Adventure seekers should head to Sequoia Park Zoo, which offers the chance to see not only animals like spider monkeys and red pandas but also the Redwood Sky Walk. Here, one can cross the bridges between giant trees, with much of the park being accessible and interpretive. Most retirees in town also love to golf at the Eureka Municipal Golf Course or join the local yacht club.

Eureka is also home to many dog parks, perfect for walking your best friend. Continue walking through town to admire Victorian architecture, or stop at the Morris Graves Museum of Art and the Da Gou Rou Louwi Cultural Center for more in-depth learning. There is also a library, movie theater, comedy club, and a Friday Night Market, so everyone can find a great way to stay busy in their golden years.

The town has a public transit system, making commuting easy for those who can’t walk or drive too far. Moreover, one can feel at ease knowing there is the Providence St. Joseph Hospital Eureka for healthcare and the Humbolt Senior Resource Center, which offers a library, bingo, yoga, and much more. Buying a home in Eureka will set retirees back an average of $475,000.

Coos Bay, Oregon

Boats along the harbor in Coos Bay, Oregon.
Boats along the harbor in Coos Bay, Oregon. Editorial credit: Manuela Durson /

Coos Bay is a wonderful retirement destination full of history, adventure, and shopping. Daily errands are a breeze as one can shop local crafts, artisanal creations, and produce at the farmers market or pick up some groceries at a deli or natural grocery store. The town is also home to a Safeway and Walmart, so seniors will find everything they need within a short walk. Speaking of walking, there are plenty of opportunities to stay fit in Coos Bay. For example, at Mingus Park, located right in town, residents enjoy the outdoor pool, catch an event at the amphitheater, or bird watch at the pond. For the golfers, continue to test your skills at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, Coos Golf Club, and the Sunset Bay Golf Course. Bring your boat and take advantage of the public boat launch and vast chances for fishing and sightseeing. Meanwhile, history buffs can browse the Coos Art Museum and the Oregon Coast Historic Railway Museum.

The town of Coos Bay has a public transit system known as CCAT, which provides a daily loop service, so getting around is a breeze. The Bay Area Hospital covers medical needs, and anything missing is sure to be available in the neighboring communities of Charleston and North Bend. An added benefit is that Coos Bay is quite affordable, with an average home in town costing around $395,000, which is on the lower end of this list.

Sequim, Washington

Lush lavender farm in Sequim, Washington.
A lush lavender farm in Sequim, Washington. Editorial credit: Francisco Blanco /

Sequim is a lovely town nestled right near the Olympic National Forest, perfect for an active retirement. Seniors can enjoy hiking, sightseeing, and adventure tours or traverse the Olympic Discovery Trail, a 134-mile stretch between Port Townsend and La Push. Fishing is another popular activity, and the locals love to catch salmon, halibut, and steelhead or go crabbing for the famous Dungeness crab. Even if not fishing, one can take a sailing charter, admire the beautiful coastal shores, or get lucky to see some whales. For a more relaxing evening, often preferred by seniors, the town’s nickname as the “Lavender Capital of North America” comes in full swing. Residents visit one of the stunning lavender farms or spend the afternoon at a U-pick, where they can pick not only lavender, but strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries.

The area of Sequim is great for social retirees, as over 37% of locals are above the age of 65. Moreover, socializing is easy with tons of events, such as the Sequim Lavender Weekend and Irrigation Festival. The Olympic Health Center, clinics specializing in heart and cancer treatment, and an in-town animal hospital cover your and your furry friend's health needs. The only drawback is that homes in Sequim cost around $716,000, which is on the expensive side.

Crescent City, California

The Ocean World Aquarium in Crescent City, California.
The Ocean World Aquarium and nearby businesses in Crescent City, California. Editorial credit: Victoria Ditkovsky /

Known as the gateway to the redwoods, Crescent City has beautiful beaches, giant redwood forests, and parks perfect for picnicking and hiking. Active retirees head straight to South Beach to take up paddleboarding or beach comb at Crescent Beach. Continue the adrenaline-filled fun at the Castle Rock Wildlife Refuge, where one can see seabirds, harbor seals, sea lions, whales, and sharks. Similarly, Tolowa Dunes State Park offers a river, forest ridges, wetlands, and sand dunes to explore as well.

As for daily errands, most locals shop at the summer farmers market for fresh produce or head over to the local Home Depot, Walmart, and Walgreens. You can also find places serving up fresh seafood and crab, or catch your own at the B-Street Pier. Afterward, sample a new brew at SeaQuake Brewing Company or Port O'Pints Brewing Company. For socializing opportunities, head to the Del Norte Senior Center, which offers dining events, yoga, crocheting, card games, art classes, ballet, and tax and flu clinics. With so much to see and do, Crescent City homes are slightly expensive going for around $447,000. Those on a strict budget can opt for retirement homes like the Addie Meedom House instead, which offer great care and affordable living.

Lincoln City, Oregon

People flying kites during a kite festival in Lincoln City, Oregon.
People flying kites during a kite festival along the beach in Lincoln City, Oregon. Editorial credit: Bob Pool /

Lincoln City, a town in Lincoln County, Oregon, is an outdoorsy person's dream. Retirees here adore the endless land- and water-based opportunities, such as fishing in Josephine Memorial Park or Devil's Lake. One can also stay on the beaches around town for beachcombing, clamming, tidepooling, and crabbing at the Taft Waterfront Park. For a more active experience, hike to Drift Creek Falls or the Valley of the Giants or walk around the Cutler City Wetlands. Seniors who enjoy shopping can head to the Lincoln City Outlet Mall, which has lots of your favorite big-name brands, or stay local and shop the antique stores, handcrafted crafts, and homemade sweet shops throughout downtown.

If the day-to-day sites get boring, the Chinook Winds Casino hosts many events throughout the year, including a vintage car show that old agers love. Retirees are also not bound in Lincoln City, and anyone can catch the NW Connector, a bus service that stops in the various nearby coastal cities. Lincoln City is also home to the Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital, which boasts a Level IV trauma center that has been treating locals since the 1960s. While homes in Lincoln City are a bit steep, with a median housing price of about $562,000, senior living communities like Lakeview Senior Living offer affordable alternatives.

Port Townsend, Washington

Waterfront buildings in Port Townsend, Washington.
VIbrant waterfront buildings and businesses in Port Townsend, Washington.

With a mix of Native American culture, Victorian-era architecture, and maritime influence, Port Townsend is a diverse town for retirement. Near Olympic National Park, locals can hike Mount Townsend or the Grand Ridge. For a more tame experience, wander through Fort Worden State Park, which has beach access and mountain and ocean views. The Olympic Discovery Trail also runs right by, perfect for walking and biking. The Wilderbee Farm offers u-pick options, including lavender, flowers, blueberries, and pumpkins in the fall.

A great way to mingle with local seniors is over a drink, and Port Townsend is the perfect place for this. Locals can sample delicious concoctions at the Eaglemount, Alpenfire, and Finnriver cideries or sip wine at the Marrowstone and Port Townsend Vineyards. Those not drinking can finish up their errands at Safeway or a locally owned market. Your health is a priority with in-town pharmacies, natural health clinics, doctor's offices, dental clinics, and the Jefferson Healthcare Medical Center, which functions as a hospital. Even more town amenities include public transit and a seniors center offering healthcare, games, classes, clubs, and meals. However, all the benefits come at a price, as homes in Port Townsend cost around $794,000.

Long Beach, Washington

Entrance sign to Long Beach, Washington.
Entrance sign to the town of Long Beach, Washington. Editorial credit: Torgado /

As the name suggests, Long Beach is a town home to a long beach that can make any day scenic. Located right near the Washington/Oregon border, this town offers endless road trips, hiking opportunities, and lots of nearby villages and towns to explore. Retirees can explore in various ways, such as renting a bike and riding along the beach trails or walking the boardwalks at the Willapa Natural Wildlife Refuge. The area is also home to farms, nurseries, and greenhouses, including cranberry farms and oyster farms, for a unique outdoor escape. Want to try something different during your golden years? Visit the Cranberry Museum or browse the World Kite Museum, each showcasing unique exhibits full of information. For those who enjoy the arts, there is the Peninsula Arts Center, as well as the Nepture Movie Theater.

And for your peace of mind, the Ocean Beach Hospital is there for all other medical needs. Animals are also safe as there is also an in-town veterinarian office. A seniors center is located only a few minutes away in the neighboring community of Ocean Park. It offers gardening, a bookmobile, as well as dinner events, garage sales, and an onsite thrift store. Take up a new hobby at one of their classes, including homesteading, technology, arts and crafts, painting, cooking, and sewing. There are also exercise options such as Zumba, swing dancing, and yoga. The best part is that homes in Long Beach are well worth the coastal surroundings, with an average cost of around $400,000.

When it's time to retire, you want to know your community has your back. From the importance of exceptional hospitals to fitness options, amenities, shopping, and housing, many factors come together to make the perfect town. If you want to wake up to the sound of the ocean every morning and watch the sunset at the beach, the Pacific Coast may be just what you're looking for. Choose from areas dedicated to nature and discovery, farming and gardening, or rich artsy culture. Between Washington, Oregon, and California, you have a huge list of possible places to call home.

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