The old courthouse in downtown Roseburg, Oregon, USA. Editorial credit: Manuela Durson /

9 Top-Ranked Towns in Oregon for Retirees

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau in 2020 shows that of the 4.2 million people in Oregon, almost 20% are seniors. This is a credit to the diverse natural landscapes, friendly tax policies, cozy mild climate, and endless outdoor opportunities that make the Beaver State a popular retirement destination. While famous cities like Portland and Bend steal the headlines with their vibrant downtowns and buzzing nightlife, the small towns present the ideal setting for retirement life. 

From rich cultural heritage and a slow pace of life to strong community ties and charming outdoor adventures, these hidden gems promise pensioners smooth sailing into their sunset years. They also provide access to critical health services and other social amenities to address their senior citizens' needs. Whether you enjoy a relaxing coastal environment or being close to mountain trails and forests, these top towns in Oregon should be a priority for fresh retirees.


Beautiful cityscape and golf course aerial overlook of Prineville from Ochoco State Scenic Viewpoint.
Beautiful cityscape and golf course aerial overlook of Prineville from Ochoco State Scenic Viewpoint.

The outdoors beckons in this cozy town of Crook County, known for its picturesque natural landscapes. This helps to explain the high number of senior residents, who comprise over 20% of the town’s population. Several open spaces in Prineville present endless recreational opportunities for retirees, including the sprawling Ochoco Wayside State Park. This natural haven offers spectacular vistas of the surrounding landscapes, inviting you to stretch your legs while soaking in the scenery. Prineville is also home to the Prineville Reservoir, which draws campers, boaters, kayakers, and canoers to make the most of aquatic recreation.

A tour of Bowman Museum lets you explore local pioneer history in an old building listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Prineville’s violent crime rate stands at 2.61 per 1,000 residents, making it significantly safer than America as a whole. The median home price is just under $400K, and renowned medical facilities like St. Charles Prineville provide emergency services for patients.

Klamath Falls

National wildlife refuge & marshes, Klamath Falls Oregon.
National wildlife refuge & marshes, Klamath Falls, Oregon.

Renowned for being the gateway to Crater Lake National Park, Klamath Falls is surrounded by breathtaking landscapes and offers a relaxed atmosphere suitable for retirement. The small community of about 23,000 delights pensioners with a plethora of recreational opportunities to keep them on their toes. From Moore Park and Steen Sports Park to Upper Klamath Lake, there is plenty of outdoor entertainment. For indoor pursuits, Klamath County Museums provides a relaxed way of acclimating to the town’s history and culture, and when the grandkids visit, you can spend a fun day with them at the Children’s Museum of Klamath Falls. It doesn’t cost much to own a house in Klamath Falls; the median home price is around $277K, which is below the national average. The living cost here is 2% below the country’s average, while the odds of being a victim of violent crime are 1 in 180, making it a safe and affordable retirement destination. 

La Grande

Anthony Lakes, La Grande, Oregon.
Anthony Lakes, La Grande, Oregon.

This adorable village in Union County boasts a rich arts and theater scene, which complements the general easygoing atmosphere of the area. Its lovely downtown houses a bustling arts landscape, with residents gathering at Liberty Theater and the Art Center East to enjoy moving live performances and admire unique art creations. The tight-knit community best expresses its warmth to newcomers at the La Grande Farmers’ Market, an excellent place to establish lifelong relationships. Stepping into the countryside, pensioners will find countless outdoor adventures in the Umatilla and Wallowa-Whitman national forests sandwiching the town. 

The home median price in La Grande is around $170,000. However, retirees can find cheaper housing at different senior living centers, such as Grand Ronde Retirement Residence. Not too far away is the Grande Ronde Hospital, which offers ready medical care when needed. Finally, the crime rate is lower than the United States average. 


The famous Pendleton Round-Up rodeo arena in Pendleton, Oregon. Editorial credit: CrackerClips Stock Media /
The famous Pendleton Round-Up rodeo arena in Pendleton, Oregon. Editorial credit: CrackerClips Stock Media /

Pendleton takes pride in its rich heritage, evidenced by multiple cultural centers around the town. The Pendleton Roundup Grandstand is a perfect example and hosts an annual rodeo extravaganza that draws over 50,000 visitors from around the state to witness a century-old tradition. At the Heritage Station Museum, you can browse a diverse collection of exhibits chronicling various aspects of the town’s history, including its railway heritage. Pendleton has numerous family-friendly pursuits that come in handy when grandkids show up, including the Pendleton Family Aquatic Center and the Children’s Museum of Eastern Oregon. You have a 1 in 363 chance of being a victim of violent crime in Pendleton, which should save retirees the trouble of constantly watching their backs. Homes here cost around $330K on average, and several assisted living communities, like Ashley Manor Senior Living, guarantee senior citizens loving companionship in the last chapter of their lives. 


Sunset over Cheadle Lake, Lebanon, Oregon.
Sunset over Cheadle Lake, Lebanon, Oregon.

The odds of a violent crime occurring in Lebanon are 1 in 525, making it one of the safest towns in Oregon for retirees. Add this to the lush natural surroundings and easygoing atmosphere, and you have the perfect context to spend your golden years. If you plan to stay active during retirement, you can look forward to countless recreation opportunities at Cheadle Lake, which features the scenic North Shore Trail and bird-watching spots. But if hiking is too much trouble, you can hop aboard the Santiam Excursion Trains to enjoy a relaxed sightseeing excursion throughout Lebanon. 

Downtown Lebanon hosts a mix of businesses with popular gathering spots where seniors can join peers to socialize and catch up after a long day. Barsideous Brewing is an excellent joint if you enjoy craft brews and stages entertaining live performances in a friendly environment. Finally, buying a home in Lebanon will cost you around $272K. 


Roseburg, Oregon, USA. Editorial credit: Victoria Ditkovsky /
Roseburg, Oregon, USA. Editorial credit: Victoria Ditkovsky /

Set along the scenic Umpqua River Valley, Roseburg provides many ways to explore its lush natural surroundings. You can enjoy delightful nature trails in Micelli Park, cutting through wooded areas with picturesque vistas of the Umpqua River. It also offers a ball field, playground, and picnic benches, making it perfect for bringing out the family. Roseburg has several historical and cultural attractions showcasing rich local heritage. Historians can browse unique artifacts at Douglas County Museum as art enthusiasts admire interesting pieces at Umpqua Valley Arts. 

This is a relatively safe community, thanks to close-knit ties that incoming retirees will get a sense of during the Umpqua Valley Farmers Market. The chances of a violent crime are 1 in 262, and the median home value is just under $400K. Lastly, Mercy Medical Center assures senior citizens of ready health access when necessary. 

Coos Bay

Shore Acres State Park is a state park located to the South of Coos Bay in the state of Oregon.
Shore Acres State Park is a state park located to the South of Coos Bay in the state of Oregon.

If your idea of life after retirement involves a cozy coastal setting with unparalleled views of the Pacific Ocean, Coos Bay makes for an enticing prospect. Sitting at the Coos River and Coos Bay confluence, it delivers a rich mix of outdoor recreations to keep pensioners fit and active, with several hiking trails inside Shore Acres State Park. Closer to town, you can find a lovely urban oasis with lush greenery and a serene setting, ideal for relaxing, unwinding, and meditating. 

Coos Bay also draws retirees with its bubbly arts scene, providing attractions like the Egyptian Theater and Coos Art Museum for their entertainment. Thanks to a sizable senior population, with over 21% of the town being 65 years or older, fresh retirees will easily acclimate to their new environment. They can also own a home for around $317K, more affordable than the national average. 


Aerial view of Ashland, Oregon.
Aerial view of Ashland, Oregon.

Ashland is a charming community in southern Oregon made famous by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. This acclaimed theater venue draws enthusiasts from around the region to witness engaging plays, making it one of the town’s top points of interest. There is enough fun outdoors to last the four seasons. During the warmer months, retirees can explore scenic trails through 93 acres of forested grounds inside Lithia Park. The scene is simply stunning in the fall as the leaves change color. During the snowy season, Mt. Ashland Ski Area attracts skiers, snowtubers, and snowboarders for some downhill fun. 

A strong sense of community allows for harmonious living among Ashland residents, and the result is a low crime rate, with a 1 in 575 chance of a violent crime occurring. The town also looks after its senior population through multiple independent living communities, such as Maple Ridge Senior Living and Skylar Senior Living. 


Yaquina Head lighthouse by the Oregon Coast on a beautiful sunset.
Yaquina Head lighthouse by the Oregon Coast on a beautiful sunset.

This western Oregon port town spoils you with one of the most exquisite natural scenery in the region, presenting retirees with a tranquil retreat with a soothing coastal breeze to call their forever home. Newport has no shortage of fun things to do, and Yaquina Head Lighthouse is probably the most photographed landmark in town. Rising 93 feet tall above the Oregon coast, it is the state’s tallest lighthouse and boasts a rich heritage dating back to the 1800s. Family fun abounds when the grandkids visit, led by the awesome Oregon Coast Aquarium, considered among the best aquariums in the country. 

Meanwhile, pensioners have endless opportunities to stay active at South Beach State Park. This historic park is a recreation hub with a sandy beach for lounging, sunbathing, and isolated shoreline trails for hiking and mountain biking. Finally, senior citizens don’t have to keep on looking over their shoulders as the town only records 3.94 violent crime incidents per 1,000 residents. 

Whether seeking charm by the coast, cultural offerings in Southern Oregon, or the pristine forests of the Umpqua Valley, these top-ranked towns in Oregon offer appealing lifestyles tailor-made for retirees. With affordable homes and safe communities, dependable healthcare, recreation, and general quality of life, any of these destinations would make for an enjoyable retirement in picturesque Beaver State. Their vibrant yet laid-back cultures and scenic natural beauty provide an outstanding quality of living without the high costs of major cities. 

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