...are you going to San Francisco?
Northern California retirement communities on the coast are characterized by cool and fresh air rarely going over 80 degrees in the summer.
The state escapes the sticky climate of the East Coast. The coastal area is Mediterranean, the inland areas can be hot but rarely humid, and the high mountains can be very cold with lots of snow.
Northern California coastal towns can go for days or weeks in the summer with foggy cool days. Most affected are San Francisco and Monterey.
I can't imagine anyone not wanting to live here. Of course, it is far from the East Coast where family may reside. All of California is a great place for retirement living.
Inland from Santa Cruz you cross the Santa Cruz Mountains into San Jose and the famous Silicon Valley. The climate in this area differs from the coast with occasional very hot days in the summer. See our article on California for more on climate.
The major cities in the Silicon Valley area (referred to as the Bay Area) are Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Mateo, Redwood City, upscale Los Altos Hills and Los Altos, Santa Clara, Campbell, Milpitas, Saratoga, Los Gatos, San Jose, and Fremont.
San Francisco and Oakland are also considered part of the Bay Area. The larger communities with lots of amenities are few due to how expensive land is in this area.
San Jose and the Bay Area listings, go here.
Let's start with the coastal county of Santa Cruz, midway between San Francisco and Monterey on the Northern California coast and "over the hill" from San Jose.
The main cities in Santa Cruz County are:
There are retirement communities, apartments and many mobile parks.
There are a few unique manufactured home retirement communities in this area and many senior mobile home parks.
Going inland about an hour from Watsonville, in Santa Cruz County, is Los Banos. Good location that is still close enough to San Jose to enjoy its amenities but far enough away for a country lifestyle. Prices will be more economical as well in this area.
LOCATION: Los Banos
FEATURE: Country area approx. 1+ hour (80 mi.) from San Jose
CONTACT: Auction Dr. and West H St. - 888-408-6590
From $200's by K Hovnanian. Gated community of single homes with luxury amenities. Nice lower-priced area not too far from San Jose.
LOCATION: Walnut Creek
FEATURE: Large Rossmoor (Leisure World) community - Resales
CONTACT: Ph: 925-932-1162 (Realty) - 1641 Tice Valley Blvd., Walnut Creek
Just outside San Francisco. Beautiful area for a Northern California retirement community. Easy drive to the wine country, San Francisco or major Bay Area attractions.
Photo by Trilogy® at Shea Homes - The Vineyards
Photo by Trilogy® at Shea Homes - The Vineyards
FEATURE: One hour to San Francisco
CONTACT: Ph: 800-685-6494 - 1700 Trilogy Parkway, Brentwood - appts recommended for Fridays (open noon-5) - Other days: 9-5
Brentwood - 481 acres. Single story homes, adjacent winery and golf. Unique features. East Bay foothills one hour from San Francisco. Now from high $700,000's. Ask about Shea Green Certified Homes.
New 55+ community in Brentwood:
FEATURE: Attached homes with loft
CONTACT: 1511 Spumante Lane, Brentwood; 866-696-7432 - Open Daily - Fridays noon-5; Other days 9-5
Small to spacious duplex homes starting in high $400's - homes are approximately one hour from San Francisco - clubhouse, pool and more.
Another personal favorite area. Highly recommended area for great climate, clean air and water, country ambience, wineries and gourmet dining. Luther Burbank, who resided in Santa Rosa, said of Sonoma County, "the chosen spot of all earth."
FEATURE: In wine country with great Northern California climate
CONTACT: Ph: 1-888-327-8111 - 1800 Atrium Pkwy., Napa
In the midst of the wine country. Rental apartments plan starting $2520./month (verify) or community care plan with deposit and monthly fee. Contemporary style with Mediterranean influence.
Note: See by Appointment 1-707-320-2207
More recently, adding fine dining venue, Aquatic Center, 92 large apartments.
LOCATION: Santa Rosa
FEATURE: Sonoma Wine country - Resales
CONTACT: 6391 Pine Valley Dr., Santa Rosa - Open 11-5 Daily - 707-539-1611 - 3 days notice to schedule a resident tour or call local Realtor
30 minutes to Pacific Ocean - one hour to San Francisco in the wine country of Sonoma County. North of Napa. Approximately 3000 homes - 35 years community for over 55. Newest part of the community is now under construction and will be the last neighborhood built on Oakmont's 1255 acres--called
FEATURE: Meals and housekeeping included in rent
CONTACT: Ph: 707-939-7856 - 405 West MacArthur St., Sonoma
80-unit apartment complex in this beautiful area. So many community amenities yet is on a month-to-month rental basis. Fee starts at $3100. (verify as rents can change) for studio and goes up for larger. Also, 2nd person fee. Includes meals, housekeeping and more. There is an on-site Activity Director.
LOCATION: San Rafael
FEATURE: Near San Francisco in wine country
CONTACT: Ph: 800-772-6264 - 400 Deer Valley Rd., San Rafael
15 miles north of Golden Gate Bridge and an easy drive to the wine country. Beautiful and upscale area in California. On 30 acres - Luxury resale condominiums and villas - Wellness Program - Own your home and monthly fee for outstanding services and amenities - Concierge, Clubhouse and much more.
LOCATION: Manteca in San Joaquin County
FEATURE: In master community The Collective
CONTACT: 1106 Crescent Ave. - 209-454-1337; Open 10-7 (verify)
By Taylor Morrison to Manteca - single medium to spacious 2-bedroom homes. Start $400's. Resort amenities.
LOCATION: El Dorado Hills
FEATURE: 1 1/2 hours to Lake Tahoe
CONTACT: 4689 Golden Foothill Parkway, El Dorado Hills - You can call for more information to: 877-368-8464 - Open Daily
El Dorado Hills north of Sacramento - By Lennar - Small town feeling yet close to Sacramento. (approx. 1 1/2 hours drive to Lake Tahoe)
New in Roseville:
FEATURE: Gated 493 single homes comprised of 3 communities
CONTACT: 4073 Afterlight Lane, Roseville - 916-905-1615 - Open Daily
From small to large square footage homes by Lennar in 3 neighborhoods. Pricing starts $400's.
Sacramento has been popular for "boomers" to get away from urban areas like the Bay Area. Lake Tahoe is a mere 2 hours drive away. Being so close to the mountains, Lake Tahoe and Yosemite is what makes Northern California communities so great.
Resale at Elk Grove (Just south of Sacramento):
Elk Grove has beautiful countryside and farms.
Resales at Lincoln Hills (North of Sacramento):
Apartments at Roseville (North of Sacramento):
Auburn (North of Sacramento)
Between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe-Sierra foothills area is very popular with seniors. It is warmer than living in the higher elevation mountains in the winter yet close to mountains for lakes, fishing trips and other outdoor activities.
LOCATION: Rio Vista
FEATURE: Amenity-rich for 55+ in the East Bay; starting mid-$300's
CONTACT: 2079 Stars Dr. - 877-899-1091 - Open 8:30-8:00
Luxury single homes in the East Bay, and 51 miles to Sacramento, with resort amenities:
Photo Credit: Trilogy® at Shea Homes - Rio Vista
LOCATION: Rio Vista
FEATURE: Luxury Golf resort community starting mid-$300's
CONTACT: 800-685-6494 - 222 Summerset Dr., Rio Vista - open daily - Nearing Sell-Out - Remaining homes in $400's (verify)
East of San Francisco - Gated resort community near Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.
Explore their Center for Higher Learning. Some of the possible subjects are: computers/internet, digital photography, foreign languages, pottery.
The Golf Vista Club features facilities for pool, indoor running track, aerobics, cardio equipment, weight training machines, personal instructions and Fitness Studios for classes.
In Manteca, country area between Sacramento and Bay Area. Large luxury homes South of Sacramento. Two and three-bedroom homes started low $300's. Community has gorgeous clubhouse, pools, many more amenities and 18-hole putting course. 1451 Americana St., Manteca
Resale Homes at El Dorado Hills (North of Sacramento):
Also offering weekly housekeeping, laundry facilities, utilities except phone, 24-hour staff available, emergency response system. Amenities include a library, beauty shop, exercise room, theater, and cozy area with fireplace. Studio and one-bedroom units. Their website lists the rates.
Ph: 530-894-0384 - 1199 Diablo Ave., Chico
|1. Smith Ranch Homes||San Rafael||See More|
|2. Meadows||Napa||See More|
|3. Heritage El Dorado Hills||El Dorado Hills||See More|
San Jose, Santa Cruz, Watsonville
Walnut Creek, San Rafael, Sonoma, Santa Rosa, Napa
Brentwood, Elk Grove, Roseville, Auburn, Lincoln, Rio Vista, Eldorado Hills, Manteca, Sacramento
Key to Starting Prices:
$ -Under $100,000
$$ - $100,000 to $200,000 - $$$ - $200,000-$300,000
$$$$ - $400,000-$500,000
$$$$$ - above $500,000
$$ - Pajaro Village | Valley Heights | Rossmoor | Destinations at Vineyard Point | Smith Ranch Homes (up to $$$$$) | Four Seasons at Los Banos
$$$ - Glenbrooke | Four Seasons at Westshore | The Club Roseville | Woodbridge | Heritage at El Dorado Hills | Four Seasons Winter | Four Seasons at Beaumont | Summit at Liberty
$$$$ - Trilogy at the Vineyards | Heritage at El Dorado Hills | Meadows at Oakmont | Solaria | Venture at The Collective
Lower-priced areas are:
|1. Summit at Liberty||Rio Vista/$300's||See More|
|2. Venture at The Collective||Manteca/$400's||See More|
|3. Four Seasons Los Banos||Los Banos/mid-$200's||See More|
|4. Solaire||Roseville/$400's||See More|
|5. Barcelona||Brentwood/$400's||See More|
California home prices out of your range? There's a way to find affordable housing in California: manufactured homes: