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Retire to California

California, the most populous state in the U.S., became a state in 1850. California is the westernmost state of the contiguous 48 with a coastline along the Pacific Ocean.

California vineyard
California vineyard
© iStockPhoto.com/barsik

California is the third largest state geographically in the U.S. Large cities include Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, San Jose, Fresno, Oakland, Long Beach and Sacramento, the capital.

California has a diverse topography from the west coast on the Pacific to the mountains in the east, the great forests of the north to the desert in the south. The climate is just as extreme as the geography but a large swath of California is known for its mild temperatures.

California is an economic leader in agriculture, aerospace and information technology. California is a high tax state, with high state marginal tax rates.

Retirement Cities

California is a favorite of retirees and eight places are included in our survey of best places to retire. Get video tours of these great cities at California videos.

Monterey, CA
To the Monterey, CA City Report
Ranks high in: Big City Home Price Comparison, Air Quality, Home Energy Use, Nearest Big City, Climate
Population: 28,294
City Type: West Coast, College Town, Wine Country
Climate Type: Temperate & Dry
Local Resources:
     Find homes for sale in Monterey!
Napa, CA
To the Napa, CA City Report
Ranks high in: Home Energy Use
Population: 79,068
City Type: Lakes & Rivers, Wine Country
Climate Type: Temperate & Dry
Local Resources:
     Find homes for sale in Napa!
Palm Springs, CA
To the Palm Springs, CA City Report
Ranks high in: Population Density, Water Quality
Population: 46,281
City Type: Mountains, Golf
Climate Type: Warm & Dry
Local Resources:
     Find homes for sale in Palm Springs!
South Lake Tahoe, CA
To the South Lake Tahoe, CA City Report
Ranks high in: Nearest Big City, Recreation
Population: 21,387
City Type: Lakes & Rivers, Mountains, Casinos
Climate Type: Cool & Dry
Local Resources:
     Find homes for sale in South Lake Tahoe!
San Luis Obispo, CA
To the San Luis Obispo, CA City Report
Ranks high in: Home Price Appreciation, Population Age, Home Energy Use
Population: 46,377
City Type: West Coast, College Town, Wine Country
Climate Type: Temperate & Dry
Local Resources:
     Find homes for sale in San Luis Obispo!
Newport Beach, CA
To the Newport Beach, CA City Report
Ranks high in: Home Price Appreciation, Building Permit Growth, Family Income, Medical Care, Home Energy Use, Recreation
Population: 87,273
City Type: West Coast
Climate Type: Temperate & Dry
Local Resources:
     Find homes for sale in Newport Beach!
Half Moon Bay, CA
To the Half Moon Bay, CA City Report
Ranks high in: Family Income, Crime, Home Energy Use, Climate
Population: 12,013
City Type: West Coast, Mountains, Wine Country
Climate Type: Temperate & Dry
Local Resources:
     Find homes for sale in Half Moon Bay!
Bishop, CA
To the Bishop, CA City Report
Ranks high in: Building Permit Growth, Recreation
Population: 3,863
City Type: Mountains, National Parks
Climate Type: Cool & Dry
Local Resources:
     Find homes for sale in Bishop!








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