Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Cañon City, Colorado
A High Altitude Riverfront Town, Cañon City Boasts a Handsome Downtown, Plentiful Outdoor Recreation and a Rich History
Peaceful Cañon City sits along the Arkansas River at 5,343 feet above sea level in the Rocky Mountains of pretty south central Colorado. It dates from the mid-1800s, and today its lovingly preserved downtown is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The city is has an interesting and notorious past as a home to outlaws (1860s), movie stars (1910s) and the KKK (1920s). Today it is known for having 13 state and federal correctional facilities, which provide a solid economic base, and for its growing arts scene. Wide streets boast vintage Victorian storefronts that house eateries, shops and art galleries. The town is remote, with one highway in and out, but the nearby 1,250 foot deep Royal Gorge, the terrifying, wooden plank suspension bridge that hangs over it and the 1950s-era Royal Gorge Route Railroad bring tons of tourists to town every summer. Vacationers also come to raft the Arkansas, which has some of the state's best whitewater, and to hike and camp in the surrounding mountains.
Festivals include the Cañon City Art Festival, the Royal Gorge Whitewater Festival and the Annual Harvest Festival. Housing ranges from very simple wood frame homes and ranch ramblers to weathered historic structures.
Population: 17,000 (city proper)
Age 45 or Better: 42%
Cost of Living: 13% below the national average
Median Home Price: $330,000
Climate: Summer temperatures are in the 80s, 90s and sometimes low-100s, and winter temperatures are in the 20s and 30s, which is warmer than many mountain towns. On average, the area receives 36 inches of snow and 12 inches of rain per year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? Yes
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? Yes
Public Transit: The county has a call-ahead door to door van/bus service.
Crime Rate: Meets the national average, although property crime rate is a little on the high side. average.
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Conservative
College Educated: 20%
Is Colorado Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: The Cotter uranium mill outside of town became a Superfund site in 1984. The mill is closed, but the clean up continues, with off and on wrangling between the city, state, mill owners and federal government.
Notes: The town has maintained its population during the last decade. Home prices have increased 22% since last year. Some people say that Cañon City has a "prison vibe," but others appreciate the jobs provided by the prisons. Some areas of town need a little sprucing up.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes. The prisons might be off-putting to many people, but Cañon City is a nice, low key Western small town and worth considering for retirement.
Similar to California, the Colorado area was surrendered to the United States in 1848 at the end of the Mexican-American War. It did not become a state until 1876, 100 years after the nation's birth.
The Centennial State's geography includes high plains, deserts, foothills, and mountains. Its Rockies are part of the 3,000-plus mile geologic uplift known as the North American Cordillera. More than 50 of the Cordillera's peaks taller than 14,000 feet are in Colorado. Outdoor recreation ranges from backpacking and climbing to road cycling and skiing.
With roots in mining and agriculture, Colorado's economy has branched in many directions. It currently has a high concentration of tech and scientific research companies. Food processing, manufacturing, and tourism round out the state's industries.
The Centennial State maintains a long list of superlatives. It has the highest paved road, the deepest geothermal hot spring, and the nation's largest concentration of scenic byways. Colorado is the only state in the Union to reject the Olympics and one of the first to legalize recreational marijuana.
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