Though I no longer work a regular job, it still feels like a vacation when I break from the usual routine. And, for the past four weeks, we’ve enjoyed a major break from our regular routine. In late July, we left Santa Fe for an extended road trip to the West, Northwest, and Rockies. We saw family, friends, and national parks. Along the way, we visited a dozen potentially appealing retirement towns, and learned a few lessons….
Our first full day on the road, we passed through Flagstaff, Arizona (population: 68,667, elevation: 6,903 feet, average high: 65 F, average low: 36 F, annual precipitation: 18 inches, median home: $244,600), where we grabbed coffee and did a bit of shopping. Flagstaff’s setting high on the edge of the largest Ponderosa Pine forest in the continental U.S. has always appealed to us, though the snowy winters eliminate it from consideration for full-time residence. We’ll keep it as a vacation destination.
From Flagstaff, we made it to Las Vegas, Nevada (population: 603,488, elevation: 2,000 feet, average high: 80 F, average low: 59 F, annual precipitation: 4 inches, median home: $162,400). Though the Vegas club and entertainment scene is not for us, the city has other draws: mild winters, outdoor sports, low cost of living, and some nice neighborhoods.