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Port Townsend touted nationally as a great place to retire

From the Peninsula Daily News, November 9, 2013: PORT TOWNSEND — A retirement-oriented website has named Port Townsend as one of the five best small towns for post-career baby boomers who want a comfortable, interesting place to spend their golden years.

In a report in USA Today, John Brady, who operates the site, named Port Townsend along with Old Saybrook, Conn.; Evergreen, Colo.; Beaufort, S.C.; and Mount Dora, Fla.

“Port Townsend was a thriving port settlement, but unfortunately, the Union Pacific Railroad bypassed it,” Brady wrote.

“This event left the town with an incomparable stock of great Victorian buildings and houses that were never 'remodeled.'

“Most of Port Townsend is preserved as a national historic district,” Brady continued.

“It has an incomparable setting on the water and with views of the Cascade Mountains to the east and the Olympic Mountains on its west.”

Brady called the list “highly subjective” and said he had not been to Port Townsend but heard from acquaintances that it was a perfect place to settle down.

Port Townsend retiree Al Ryan agrees.

“There is a lot going on here,” said the retired pharmacologist, who spends some of his retirement time involved with the Port Towsend Kiwanis Club.

“We have a lot of volunteers, which is a great aspect of living here.”

Brady said 76 million baby boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, currently are living in the United States, “and ten thousand of them retire every day.”

Brady said the water, architecture and close proximity to recreation all work in Port Townsend's favor.

While many boomers settle in urban environments, some prefer small towns, Brady said, and everyone wants to get away from places where a car is required to shop or recreate.

“I don't think you can generalize, but a lot of people want to get out of the suburbs where they have to get into their car to go somewhere,” he said.

One of the reasons people gravitate to small towns is the availability of a social network, Brady said.

“The ease of making social connections is another key attraction of small-town life,” he said.

“It's easy for you to walk around and meet people.”

Port Townsend has received several similar accolades in recent years and was a finalist in a Budget Travel magazine contest to judge the “coolest small town” for two years running.

With this in mind, locals feel that Port Townsend is not just a great place to retire but a great place, period.

“We may be recognized as the best place to retire, but hold on to your hat because in a few years, we are going to be recognized as the town with the best school system and the best cultural, educational, arts community in the nation,” said City Councilwoman Michelle Sandoval, a former two-term mayor.

“It's desirable to live here, and it translates to retirees because they get to live wherever they want.

See the article online...