I'm daydreaming but 10-15 years from now hopefully I'll still be alive and thinking more concretely about this as I will br ready to retire and definitely move out of Atlanta. As a long-time paddler, it will need to be a place that can keep my happy on the water. I like urban (i.e., cultural attractions, coffee shops, a plethora of fun places to eat), blue skies, and variegated shorelines with lots of stuff to poke around in and explore. I also don't like cold water, and I do like forests. But for reasons having to do with my girlfriend, I can imagine that we might end up on the west coast where I know I can't have all that, or even much of it. Let's say I could live with cold water and gray skies (I am telling myself that I could maybe escape to Baja for months at a time), is there anywhere on the US west coast that fits the formula. I am guessing Seattle and the Bay area. I don't know that I could afford the bay area (is Seattle any less). The Oregon coast looks gorgeous, but I worry that for paddling, its not all that interesting - a lot of paddling to get out of the break and then nothing to see or explore, just long monotonous shoreline and fighting the wind. Is there anywhere I'm leaving out? Do people who regularly paddle the northern CA or Oregon (or Washington) coast, find it enjoyable month after month year after year or does it get old. I've paddled a little bit in San Diego and haven't been overwhelmed, plus it seems like mostly scrub terrain down here. Any comparisons of Seattle vs living in British Columbia (like Victoria)? Basically, just wondering for those who know the west coast, where they would be most happy permanently hunkering down.
Paddler's Truck Rack
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|Messages in this Topic|
Posted by: mrmannerz on Nov-10-13 10:01 AM (EST)
I lived in Seattle from 1985-2012. I don't think much of the city to tell the truth and the state has a faulty tax structure (no income tax but a 8% sales tax) leading to infrastructure issues that are bound to get worse. But, it is surrounded by great terrain. Puget Sound makes for some great sea kayaking...it'll keep you busy for a long time...and the system of national forests is immense. As I was leaving, Seattle was going through another real estate boom, and I personally think that the soul of the city was going to shit. If I was going to live in western washington, I'd be thinking anywhere between Everett, WA and Vancouver, BC, the Portland region, the west side of Puget Sound, or Vancouver Island.
Posted by: magooch on Nov-10-13 11:10 AM (EST)
I've only lived in Washington State for about 66 years, so I'm still getting used to it. No we don't have a state income tax and no the state is not falling apart. Like any other state, the condition of things has a lot more to do with the quality of the elected officials than how much tax they extract from us.
"No perfect place"|
Posted by: pikabike on Nov-10-13 1:22 PM (EST)
It's not that extreme|
Posted by: pikabike on Nov-10-13 1:34 PM (EST)
Paddle in the rain or sit in the house and die? Life consists of more than just those two choices. Wow.
...and then there's life in Maine.....|
Posted by: bigspencer on Nov-15-13 11:15 PM (EST)
Posted by: mrmannerz on Nov-10-13 1:46 PM (EST)
The OP's question was about retirement. Tax structure is an important factor in retirement, as is cost of living, hostpitals etc.
Posted by: pikabike on Nov-11-13 1:29 PM (EST)
None of the responses you refer to were rude or political. Just stating facts and opinions, and not mixing up the two.
For accuracy's sake.|
Posted by: magooch on Nov-11-13 9:38 PM (EST)
If we can't be civil, we should at least be accurate. The Columbia River below Bonneville Dam is at least 130 miles to the coast.
Posted by: cockneykayaker on Nov-10-13 2:54 PM (EST)
I'd like to visit|
Posted by: LeeG on Nov-10-13 8:01 PM (EST)
Posted by: Glenn_MacGrady on Nov-10-13 3:17 PM (EST)
Maybe the greater Sacramento area.
Hood River Oregon|
Posted by: yatipope on Nov-10-13 7:12 PM (EST)
I lived a dozen years in Olympia WA and DID NOT like the social-economic atmosphere at all as well as the weather but I have to admit,..for an avid hard-core paddler, the extreme Pacific NW was the BEST. I specifically LOVED the Olympic Peninsula. If I had the opportunity to CHOSE a place in the area to retire and enjoy good weather along with great paddling and scenery,..it would be Hood River Oregon.
Posted by: LeeG on Nov-10-13 7:57 PM (EST)
morrow bay california|
Posted by: leighrobin on Nov-10-13 8:27 PM (EST)
Posted by: tsunamichuck1 on Nov-10-13 11:56 PM (EST)
Posted by: slushpaddler on Nov-11-13 8:44 AM (EST)
Posted by: Cliffjrs on Nov-11-13 10:48 AM (EST)
on the Big Island.
Best to stay put |
Posted by: seadart on Nov-11-13 11:45 AM (EST)
There is no place out here worth visiting.
The RED TRIANGLE Great White Sharks|
Posted by: barracuda on Nov-11-13 1:10 PM (EST)
Great White Sharks!!!? Mexican...|
Posted by: canoeswithduckheads on Nov-11-13 2:29 PM (EST)
Yes, Mexican Great White Sharks|
Posted by: barracuda on Nov-11-13 3:09 PM (EST)
The Mexican Great White Sharks are the worse kind. All up and down the Cali Coast.
thanks for all the input|
Posted by: Monkeyhead on Nov-11-13 7:10 PM (EST)
Were it not for my girlfriend, who hates the heat and isn't very fond of the south either (for cultural reasons), Florida WOULD be on the table. Even I though might find the sun a bit too much. I say sun and not heat because I can take the heat (prefer it to cold) but a little past the Florida border its really more a matter of solar radiation penetrating your skin and destroying tissue. You feel the radiation as much as the heat (at least I do), and I don't like it, but it absolutely does have great and varied paddling opportunities which I have taken advantage of on many occasions. If I had my druthers, I might end up just a bit north of Charleston SC. I really like the saltmarsh environment in that part of the coast. The water is warm. Charleston itself has become a bit of a foodie town. Enough of a nearby city to keep me occupied with city-like things. But again, I think to keep my girlfriend happy, I may have to end up north of that latitude. I'm from the Chesapeake Bay area and she say's she'd be OK maybe moving there. Not sure where though. Maybe Annapolis. The Delmarva peninsula is pretty country - that sounds like I'm saying its scenic, but what I mean that it is fairly rural and AM christian radio stations and flat terrain and chicken farms and budweiser - which is not my thing really, not that there's anything wrong with that...I just don't think I'd be happy there. South Bay western shore is more developed...lots of military bases, but from what I've read, not too great of a place to live. Baltimore is kind of cool but too far from the ocean. Maybe Annapolis area (close to DC and development, some nice paddling areas, some nice areas to live I suspect that aren't outrageously priced). Anyway, I agree 100% with earlier comment that you really have to get out and visit these places, not just do internet research. But you also have to research where to visit.
Exactly How I Ended Up in NORCAL|
Posted by: barracuda on Nov-11-13 8:48 PM (EST)
Married a gal from the West Coast while I was living in Florida. We had a kid. Few years later she hates me, and she hates Florida. She took the kid out to Cali and I followed along.
Well,..now its East Coast?|
Posted by: yatipope on Nov-11-13 8:57 PM (EST)
Actually I think Charleston is a wonderful place not only for paddling but living. I live In Columbia SC which is a fantastic place for paddlers but often visit Charleston. The entire coast of SC is an excellent region for paddling with ACE Basin, huge tracts of wild shoreline, islands and the IntraCoastal Waterway. Its cultural, historical and culinary attractions are plentiful. I would visit it and experience it in the spring!
Posted by: slushpaddler on Nov-12-13 3:42 PM (EST)
If you're going to discard an entire region - don't keep the worst part!
Posted by: pikabike on Nov-11-13 1:35 PM (EST)
I think the secret was out decades ago!
I Have Been Against Imigration...|
Posted by: barracuda on Nov-11-13 2:10 PM (EST)
I have been against immigration...
The real question in "10-15 years" is...|
Posted by: spiritboat on Nov-11-13 9:04 PM (EST)
Will you finally make an honest woman out of that "girlfriend" and marry her?;-
Marriage is so overrated.|
Posted by: cliffjrs on Nov-13-13 9:23 AM (EST)
Having had more than my share, marriage is so overrated. My kids don't listen either.
It's also overpriced...|
Posted by: spiritboat on Nov-13-13 9:19 PM (EST)
ONE ex-wife, TWO fully grown kids, and THREE bartenders here -- And all of them dependent upon ME for income!!!
Posted by: nickjc on Nov-12-13 2:30 PM (EST)
While it does rain here in Seattle a fair number of days for about 8 months, it only rarely rains more than a an 1/2 inch per day. What a lot of people can't take the grey skies in the winter. I've had several friends move to sunnier climes over the 20 yrs I've lived here. I lived in Berkeley before this which has perhaps the best climate anywhere.
Truth in advertizing|
Posted by: bartc on Nov-12-13 7:38 PM (EST)
I live on the SF Bay. We have excellent kayaking year round in the Bay, ocean, sloughs, rivers, and nearby you can find many more. The weather is very good most of the year compared with the NW or the SE - it's your Fall and Spring pretty much combined. We do not have the constant rain of the NW. Our coastlines are drop dead gorgeous all over. SF is a very cosmopolitan city (OK it's not NY or London, but neither is Atlanta) with great eating and great outings.
This is the part that'll break you|
Posted by: pikabike on Nov-13-13 12:35 AM (EST)
You mention weather over and over again, but if cost of living is a concern (which it is for almost everybody), the real killer is this:
Posted by: blitzemall on Nov-13-13 8:43 AM (EST)
I've lived in Washington State, California, and Georgia. In my opinion, your best bet would be Charleston or Savannah. As far as the west coast is concerned, I'd vote for a small town outside of Seattle named Port Townsend. Or if so inclined, become a Canuck and go with Victoria.
Posted by: magooch on Nov-13-13 9:46 AM (EST)
Port Townsend is in a bit of a rain shadow. You'll still have the clouds, but often they just rip away and head east to the Cascades. It is also just a hop skip and a jump to the San Juans. And if you're a macho paddler, Deception Pass isn't that far away either. You might also want to check out Oak Harbor and Camano Island. Or you could go west to the real rain shadow at Sequim.
Posted by: blitzemall on Nov-13-13 1:40 PM (EST)
Sequim would fix the rain problem for sure.
Posted by: Monkeyhead on Nov-13-13 8:48 PM (EST)
More rain shadow towns|
Posted by: pikabike on Nov-14-13 1:49 PM (EST)
Parts of the islands (both the US and Canada sides) are considered to be in the rain shadow also.
Posted by: pikabike on Nov-14-13 2:03 PM (EST)
"Closer to Seattle" means closer via combination of auto and ferry (or private plane). If you don't like using the ferry system, the drive is much longer.
Posted by: slushpaddler on Nov-13-13 10:01 AM (EST)
For a safer homesite, |
Posted by: g2d on Nov-14-13 12:05 PM (EST)
pick a spot not exposed to tsunamis, landslides from earthquakes, forest and brush fires, mud flows from volcanoes, flooding, and eventually, sea rise. Local volcanoes can be bad, but you'd probably be safe from the Yellowstone supervolcano, due to go off any time now to solve our global warming problem.
Posted by: willowleaf on Nov-14-13 2:07 PM (EST)
If you have not visited it, go and check it out. They call it the "Florida of Canada" since the location has such mild weather (due to the influence of Pacific currents) and so many people retire there. Yet the city of Victoria also has a young hip vibe and is quite bueautiful, with great public spaces, a fantastic natural history museum and fine shopping and restaurants. The paddling options are sublime and the Strathcona Mountains in the interior farther north are spectacular. I loved it so much on our first visit that I visited a real estate office to snag a "homes for sale" guide. Pricey, but not so bad compared to Seattle or Vancouver city across the Strait.
Posted by: ppine on Nov-15-13 1:07 PM (EST)
Paddling in the salt water is great from San Francisco to Alaska. Liberal politics in CA, OR and WA. Great food culture.
West Coast Bliss|
Posted by: riverhyker on Nov-15-13 2:50 PM (EST)
I don't know exactly what you are looking for, but I would LOVE to live in the San Diego area. Warm water, warm weather, more kayaking/fishing......Oh, I will stop dreaming...but it is where I would be if I could afford it. Lived there before and the para-sailing and all of the other things to do is the kicker. The problem is MONEY...I have a brother-in law that lives in FL w/a long wooden walkway/to the river and that would be great too. I Love walking/floating/fishing the rivers of the mid-west also....Can anyone tell me where I can have all of these w/o being broke and homeless???
Not that great here ....|
Posted by: seadart on Nov-16-13 5:51 PM (EST)
You wouldn't like Southern Oregon|
Posted by: yaknot on Nov-16-13 3:29 PM (EST)
or Northern California coast since it is mostly rural. I find the shopping and restaurants lacking on the southern Oregon coast. Also, the coast is isolated from the rest of the state because of the coastal mountains and national forests. You have to go north of Coos bay to get into the more interesting restaurants and towns.