Best places to live in Oregon

Mar 15th, 2017, 02:52 AM
Original Poster
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Best places to live in Oregon

My wife and I are considering retiring (very early in life!) in Oregon. I was considering Washington, but Oregon seems to have better weather/more sunny days. We like to golf, hike, cycle, garden and like a bit of culture. (Note we will have another place in a warm weather city, so can get our culture there). We might like a place with 2-5 acres but still near a town with a "vibe" (restaurants, farmer's market, college, ...). Any thoughts? Corvallis, Bend and McMinnville seem frequently mentioned. Bend seems a bit expensive and McMinnville seems to have minimal selection. Other places we should consider?
Ucaimaman is offline  
Mar 15th, 2017, 07:01 AM
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Yes, Bend is expensive. I live 50 miles south of Bend about halfway between Bend and Crater Lake NP.
I retired and moved to Oregon at age 55.8.
Yesterday afternoon I was in Medford which is another city to look at. Just down I-5 is Ashland which has Shakespeare theater.
The Tower theater in Bend has a great variety of shows. Last month I saw the Irish Rovers. The lead in band was We Banjo 3.
Bend now has 2 colleges and has a great Medical Center.
My BIL (still working) lives in Corvallis. He intends to remain in the Corvallis area when he retires later this year.
The advantage to living in the I-5 corridor is the shorter trip to the coast.
If you are a Duck fan instead of a Beaver fan check out Eugene as well.
tomfuller is offline  
Mar 15th, 2017, 07:40 AM
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Where are you coming from? That makes a big difference in what you think of as far as cost of living.

We live in both the Portland and Seattle areas, and I am a born and raised Oregonian.

WA does have sunny areas, but you need to go further from Seattle to get that. Central and eastern WA are good for golf, hiking, etc. Plus, WA does not have income tax, and OR does, so that might be a factor for you.

Bend, Corvallis and McMinnville are all wonderful places, IMO. We live just north of McMinnville and I lived in Corvallis for 4 years during college. We visit Bend, but I have not lived there/near there so can't comment on that aspect. Corvallis is great. Most everything there centers around the University. The farmers markets in Corvallis and McMinnville are very good. The one negative about Corvallis is medical. Our kids went to college there as well, and one will graduate next week from there, so this is current info re the medical. I will spare you the details, but when our kids needed immediate medical I went and got them out of there as the doctors there were terrible. Yes, I am generalizing based upon several incidents, but they were shocking enough that I would never be seen for anything there if possible. McMinnville does have a hospital and friends have had good luck there, but it is also close enough to Portland for specialists etc.
mms is offline  
Mar 15th, 2017, 09:11 AM
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Bend lies east of the Cascades in the high desert, so its weather is reliably good, and outdoor recreational opportunities, including cycling, golf and hiking, abound. Which makes it a favorite vacation destination, and not only for Oregonians living west of the Cascades. If you decide to move there, don't be surprised if your neighbors came from California. So yes, it's more expensive, but otherwise it checks all your boxes.

Corvallis and McMinnville both lie west of the Cascades, where weather is much less predictable. Except for rain, which is often in the forecast October - May. That's great for gardening, and doesn't stop people from playing golf or hiking, once they've gotten used to it. I don't know of many good golf courses around Corvallis and McMinnville though, so you might consider something a little closer to the Portland metro area. Forest Grove maybe. If golf is a top priority, there's no question: Bandon. $-)
FaceInTheCrowd is offline  
Mar 15th, 2017, 09:16 AM
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I love Corvallis!! My family lives there so I visit often. The entire Willammette Valley is beautiful. Eugene is a nice college town. The Oregon Coast is beautiful too but the towns perhaps not as large as you are seeking.

But the main thing you need to understand about Oregon (and Washington) as states, is there is "WEST of the mountains" or "EAST of the mountains" in each of them... which are entirely different places (climate wise, politically, etc.)

We joke the states should have been divided north to south, instead of west to east!
suze is offline  
Mar 15th, 2017, 03:22 PM
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You might also look at southern Oregon, around the Medford-Ashland area. Ashland (big Shakespeare/theater festival annually) is quite picturesque, Medford much less so, but the little town of Jacksonville is the real sleeper. Have a google.

I also am a HUGE fan of Hood River and the Hood River valley. An hour from Portland, you've got a major array of recreation and cultural activities, 4 seasons but nothing too extreme, terrific local food, wine, beer, skiing an hour away, golf, fishing and activities on the river adjacent, orchards, U-pick, wineries... amazing.
Gardyloo is online now  
Mar 16th, 2017, 07:49 AM
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Ashland is great.
Since you are a golfer and hiker I would head for Central Oregon. Eagle crest Resort would be nice. Newer community, on a golf course, close to Bend and Redmond. I have several friends who live there and are enjoying.
If you are looking for a few acres somewhere along the Lorane Hwy outside of Eugene would be nice. Lots of wineries close by, short trip into Eugene.
sunbum1944 is online now  
Mar 17th, 2017, 12:08 AM
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Oregon has the 6th highest cost of living in the nation even though there is no sales tax. The state taxes income from retirement accounts like a 401(k) or an IRA at the full state income tax rates of about 7 to 10%. If you're retiring (young) with a pension, that income will be taxed too.

Tom can tell you more about the weather...HOW MANY more sunny days than Washington?
DebbieDoesDulles is offline  
Mar 17th, 2017, 07:17 AM
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DebbieDoesDallas--OR also taxes military retirement. Other states with income taxes do not. The most frustrating part about that is we don't have any real bases in the state do have no benefits such as the commissary etc.
mms is offline  
Mar 17th, 2017, 07:50 AM
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Wonder if the OP is one and done.
Gardyloo is online now  
Mar 17th, 2017, 12:44 PM
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Hello! There are oh-so-many lovely places in Oregon, you really can't go wrong. As someone who has lived in both Oregon and Washington, and still visits Washington frequently, I agree that Oregon has a slight advantage weather-wise - though all the comments about taxes are certainly worth bearing in mind. Here's an idea I haven't seen mentioned: the Roseburg area. LOTS of Californians have quietly discovered our little paradise over the last decade or so, and now enjoy quality healthcare, a super-friendly and affordable enclave with a burgeoning winery industry, some interesting dining, and lots of outdoor recreation. We've been here twelve years now (Portland transplants) and have a charming home which backs up to the Umpqua River. People bike, raft, hike, camp and fish. There is quite a nice country club for golf and social events, as well as a public course. Best of all, we have an absolutely wonderful summer concert series each year in one of our riverfront parks - Google search Roseburg Halfshell. There is a community college, with one of the few winery programs in the country. It is not quite two hours up to Crater Lake, same headed the opposite direction to the coast; an hour up to Eugene, and about an hour-and-a-half down to Medford/Jacksonville/Ashland where you can enjoy any number of music or theater events.
LaurelwoodOregonGal is offline  
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