Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
North of San Francisco, Mellow Sebastopol is Part of California's Fertile Wine Region and Has a Bohemian Vibe
About 20 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean and an hour north of San Francisco in Northern California, sleepy Sebastopol makes its home. It is surrounded by pretty rolling hills and vineyards.
A closely-knit enclave, Sebastopol has a bohemian vibe and a "live and let live" outlook. Herb shops, organic markets selling kale and tofu, holistic healing retailers and art galleries dot the small, charming downtown. The thriving foodie scene is all about locally grown ingredients and sustainability. Although eateries might serve uptown cuisine, attire is always casual. Locals also enjoy nearly a dozen wine tasting rooms in around town. Two festivals, the Apple Blossom Festival and the Gravenstein Apple Fair, celebrate this area's apple-producing heritage and always draw an appreciative crowd. Neighborhoods are wooded, and homes, everything from ranch ramblers and Cape Cods to arts and crafts styles, are spread out. Florence Avenue is known for its distinctive yard art.
Population: 7,500 (city proper)
Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 50%
Cost of Living: 105% above the national average
Median Home Price: $999,000
Climate: The area has few temperature fluctuations. Summer temperatures are in the 60s and 70s, and winter temperatures in the 30s, 40s and 50s. Winters bring rain and fog.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? Yes
At Least One Hospital Accredited by the Joint Commission? No, but Santa Rosa Memorial is just eight miles away and is accredited. It is also a Primary Stroke Center.
Public Transit: Yes, with stops at the senior center, post office, hospital and grocery
Crime Rate: Below the national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Very liberal
Is California Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? No
Cons: The earthquake risk is 1,500% greater than the national average, and the area is no stranger to wildfires. The 2019 Kincaid Fire caused emergency evacuations in Sebastopol, and the city has issued instructions about what to do if PG&E, the local power company, shuts off electricity to prevent future wildfires.
Notes: Santa Rosa, about 10 miles away, is where many residents go for city amenities. A wetland sits between Sebastopol and Santa Rosa, and most winters it floods eastern Sebastopol. Palm Drive Hospital, the local facility, is small, with just 37 beds. Sebastopol has maintained its population during the last decade, and home prices have increased 13% since a year ago.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes, although the earthquake risk, wildfire risk and power shut off risk are certainly things to consider before relocating to Sebastopol.
Thanks to the treaty that ended the Mexican-American War, the Golden State became a U.S. territory in 1847. Soon after, gold was found at Sutter's Mill. The land crowded with fortune seekers, and, shortly thereafter, California entered the Union as its 31st state in 1850.
California has 900 miles of coastline and claims the highest and lowest point in the continental U.S. Its terrain varies dramatically - from sandy beaches to rugged mountains, deserts to fertile farmland. Landmarks like Hollywood, Disneyland, and the Golden Gate Bridge play a large part in the nation's history and imagination.
Although Texas and New York have tried to close the gap, California's economy continues to be nation's largest. Agriculture, manufacturing, biotechnology, and tourism are some of its leading industries.
Cities of the Golden State have put some odd laws on the books. It's illegal to molest a monarch in Pacific Grove. Want to throw a frisbee on an L.A. County beach? Better ask a lifeguard first. What about bowling on the sidewalks of Chico? Strictly forbidden!
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