Tatiana Morales of CBS News says Vernon, BC is one of the six perfect places for Americans to retire. The other 5 locations are in the US. Vernon is the only Canadian location selected. The advantageous exchange rate between the US and Canadian dollar put Vernon out ahead.
The CBS article was looking for places outstanding in terms of climate, housing prices, and entertainment opportunities. Vernon is only a few hours’ drive from Vancouver, BC in the beautiful Okanagan Valley, famous for lakes, fruit orchards, vineyards, and a number of world-class wineries. It is surrounded on three sides by Okanagan Lake, Kalamalka Lake, and Swan Lake. The swimming, water skiing, and fishing are excellent. Combined with snow-capped mountain peaks this gives Vernon a picture postcard setting.
Festivals and Events
The CBS article recommends retiring in a place your grandchildren will want to visit. Vernon is certainly that kind of place. It hosts a variety of festivals and events throughout the year. The Caetani Summer Sunday Music Festival happens every month from May to September.
The Cowboy Dinner Shows at the O’Keefe Ranch happen every Friday night in July and August. There’s the Provincial Exhibition on the September Labour Day weekend, the Wild Salmon Festival in mid-September, the Victorian Christmas at O’Keefe Ranch in early December, and many more in between.
The warm weather, spectacular beaches, and rich local culture make Vernon an attractive place to live and to visit. Nearby Apex Mountain Ski Resort make it a year round destination.
Compared to larger centres, Vernon real estate is a bargain. 2018 prices show a modest single-family residence averages $128,000 USD. Housing in one of the upscale neighbourhoods overlooking Kalamalka Lake are more expensive. A wide range of housing choices are available to retirees ranging from character or modern stand-alone homes, private senior apartments as well as planned, retired residential communities.
Vernon property taxes are low. The city is the perfect size for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of major centres in Canada and the US. The US/Canadian dollar exchange rate makes it extremely attractive to our American friends.
Safety, Convenience, Accessibility
The quality of life available to retirees in Vernon is excellent. It is a safe, welcoming community that enjoys very little crime. There is little pollution with a huge expanse of outdoors as well as three lakes that surround the city as mentioned above.
The city has a diverse population of about 40,000 without the traffic and congestion that plagues larger cities. And yet it has an excellent public transportation system that services all the neighbourhoods in the city. The city has done an excellent job of planning and developing. Some of the highlights include:
- A refurbished, historic downtown that hosts a wide range of annual events and festivals.
- A great selection of parks and recreation facilities scattered throughout the city offering plenty of green space.
Health Care Options and Other Services
Health care is inexpensive in Vernon. It is well served by Vernon Jubilee Hospital, and Kelowna General Hospital is less than an hour’s drive. Health care options are ever growing such as assisted living facilities and senior residences.
Vernon Jubilee Hospital is Vernon’s premier public hospital. It provides excellent care with 24 hour emergency services, as well as surgical and intensive care.
The Vernon Senior Centre is committed to serving seniors with a wide range of programs designed to meet their needs and address their concerns. Opportunities include:
- Recreation and learning.
- Fitness and entertainment.
- Health programs and services.
Entertainment and Culture
The District Performing Arts Centre attracts talent not normally seen in smaller centres like Vernon. The main auditorium is a 750 seat proscenium arch theatre with orchestra and balcony seating. The Marie Fleming Hall is a flexible ‘black box’ space with potential seating for 100 persons. Each venue has its own lobby, entrance and loading area.
The facility boasts well-appointed backstage areas, superb support staff, and superior sound coverage. Performers, presenters and audiences alike say this is one of the best facilities they have ever experienced.
In addition to a number of historic murals in the downtown area, there is the Vernon Public Art Gallery, Vernon Museum, and several historic and modern performing arts venues.
A Great Place To Retire
This is just a small list of the many reasons why Vernon is one of the best places to retire in North America. If affordable housing in a welcoming and friendly community with full facilities and all the amenities you could imagine is what you are looking for, then Vernon is the place for you.