Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Grants Pass, Oregon
In Scenic, Rugged Southwestern Oregon, Grants Pass is Known for its Charming Downtown, Outdoor Way of Life and Down to Earth Residents
Just an hour north of the California border in rugged, scenic southwestern Oregon, Grants Pass straddles the Rogue River and is known for its down to earth people and outdoor way of life. It dates from 1865 and is named after Civil War general Ulysses S. Grant.
The charming downtown has wide streets, red brick sidewalks and short yellow and red brick buildings with cafes, bookstores, shops and galleries. The Rogue Theatre, a farmers' market and the Grants Museum of Art are here, too. Interstate 5 runs through town, bringing outdoor types who want to raft, hike, fish, bike and camp in the nearby Rogue River Siskiyou National Forest. Residents enjoy an outdoor pool, a community center and 20 parks, including Riverside Park, which has a rose garden and festival grounds. There is a boat launch at Baker Park, and Cathedral Hills County Park has trails for hikers, bikers, and equestrians. Crater Lake and the Oregon Caves National Monument are easy day trips.
Cultural events are in good supply, too, and include Art Along the Rogue, First Friday Arts Night, Boatnik, Back to the 50s and a summer musical theater. Many of these events are geared toward tourists, but locals enjoy them as well. The Rogue Community College campus has continuing education programs, and its Wiseman Gallery has a national reputation.
Neighborhoods are neatly laid out and swaddled by pine trees. Housing stock includes ranch ramblers, raised ranch ramblers, bungalows and manufactured homes.
Population: 40,000 (city proper)
Age 45 or Better: 43%
Cost of Living: 3% above the national average
Median Home Price: $425,000
Climate: Summer temperatures are in the 70s, 80s and 90s, and winter temperatures are in the 20s, 30s and 40s. On average, the area receives 30 inches of rain and five inches of snow each year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? Yes
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? No, but Asante Three Rivers Medical Center is accredited by the National Integrated Accreditation for Healthcare Organizations (NIAHO).
Public Transit: No
Crime Rate: Below the national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Conservative
College Educated: 32%
Cons: The poverty rate is above the national average, thanks mostly to the decline of the area's timber industry. The earthquake risk is 445% higher than the national average.
Is Oregon Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? No
Notes: People seem to like Grants Pass, and it has grown 15% in the last decade. Home prices have remained steady since last year. Some long time residents complain about increasing traffic and say that the town is losing some of its rural charm. Class lines are evident. A lot of newcomers are California transplants.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes, although the above average poverty rate is a concern.
Oregon became a territory in 1846, but its request to become a state was bogged down by Congress and the free versus slave state debate. Southern politicians finally allowed Oregon to enter the Union as a free state on February 14, 1859.
Although the 42nd parallel marks its southern border, water delineates most of the Beaver State's boundaries. The Columbia River separates Washington from Oregon on the north. The Snake River helps form the state's eastern border with Idaho. The Pacific Ocean is on its western edge.
Oregon is one of the country's most geographically diverse states and is characterized by volcanoes, dense forests, high deserts, and abundant bodies of water. For its latitude, its climate is mild. Mount Hood, at 11,249 feet, is the state's highest point. Crater Lake, the center of the state's only national park, is the deepest lake in the United States.
Timber, fishing, and hydroelectric power have pushed the state's economy in the past. Technology, however, is finding a firm footing. Tektronix and Intel helped establish the state's Silicon Forest. Notable companies who are or have been part of the forest include Google, eBay, Airbnb, and WebMD. Sportswear companies like Columbia and Nike also bring in billions to the state.
Portland, the state's most populous city, has more breweries in its boundaries than any other in the world. As of 2016, there were more than 60. The city boasts the world's smallest park. Mill Ends Park, dedicated in 1948, is a total of 452 square feet.
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