Category Archives: Lifestyles

Chandler AZ

Making Snowbird Plans? Chase the Sun to Chandler Arizona

The 55+ set loves the Arizona lifestyle, and who can blame them? With cities like Chandler making it easy to settle in and spend more time out on the course, relaxing poolside or taking advantage of its robust job market, snowbirds, and full-time residents agree there’s no better place to jumpstart their next chapter. Just 20 minutes from Sky Harbor International, and  Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airports, and 22 miles outside the Valley of the Sun, Chandler is the suburb named one of Arizona’s best by Niche.com, and has been a resounding favorite with a  growing number of technology, and manufacturing enterprises. Progressive, and brimming with activity, Chandler is all about having everything at arm’s reach.

Established in 1912 by veterinarian Alexander John Chandler after purchasing an 18,000-acre piece of land known as Chandler Ranch, agriculture played a key role in the city’s burgeoning economy. Not straying too far from its homegrown roots with events like the Chandler Ostrich  Festival paying homage to over a century of ranching history, Chandler has quickly grown into a high-tech Silicon Valley of sorts – home to business giants like PayPal, and Intel Corporation.  Not ready to call it quits, many baby boomers relocate to cities like this long before they plan to retire not just for the endless recreation, but also for the opportunity to launch new careers or explore entrepreneurship.

Surfer Surfing at Huntington Beach

It’s Always Surf Season at Huntington Beach

Not ready to bid farewell to summer? Between Newport and Sunset Beach, one town is riding the wave one laid-back day at a time. Named one of Wallet Hub’s top 10 happiest cities, and fondly dubbed “Surf City USA”, Huntington Beach has an irresistible carefree vibe, and a youthful, effervescent energy. As you wander around downtown – a refreshing frozen creation in hand, there’s something about the “retro California” feel that sets this city apart from Orange County’s fast-paced lifestyle. Whether you were born to surf, or just love a spectacular sunset, living in Huntington Beach is the Pacific Coast version of an island getaway – and just like a trip to Dubai, the weather is pretty fantastic all year round.

Park the Car Bring the Surfboard
With almost nine miles of sparkling coastline and offbeat palm-lined streets to explore, your best bet for soaking in the sea-breeze is perched atop a surfboard, or on two or four (as in double bike) wheels. No gear? No problem. Huntington Beach is dotted with quirky little surf and rental shops like privately owned, Zack’s Rentals offering every mode of beachside transportation you could imagine from beach cruisers, and tandem bikes to recreational gear including surf and bodyboards, volleyballs, footballs, and wetsuits. Additionally, many grocery stores and restaurants are within an easy walking distance from one another – with a flip-flop and shorts dress code of course.

Houston, Texas

Why Houston Will Be Your Best Move Yet

When they said everything was bigger in Texas, they were probably referring to Houston. Whether you want to call it H-Town or Magnolia City, Houston’s sheer size in terms of population, and geographic stats pales in comparison to places like New York City, and Los Angeles. Ranked the #1 creator of jobs in the nation, with an affordability factor you won’t find in most cosmopolitan destinations, America’s 4th largest city caters to everyone from urban cowboys, and sports fans, to affluent sophisticates – but when it comes to the BBQ scene neither is likely to argue about how amazing it is.

If you’re considering a metropolitan retirement, Houston is a worthy contender. Home to the world’s largest medical facility, Texas Medical Center, and named one of the top 20 cities to retire by Smart Asset, Houston’s nest egg friendly climate scores big with baby boomers. Nothing is more exciting than the bright lights of downtown, but if retreating to the burbs is more your scene, Movoto listed Webster, and Shenandoah in its “best of” list for not just livability, but for their high percentages of senior amenities, and the number of active adults 65 or better. With a median home value of 179,400 according to Zillow, no state income tax, as well as low energy rates, this city gives you more bang for your buck.

Eco Friendly

Simple Solutions to Green Up Your Nest

Going green is more than just about saving energy. Taking a deep breath of clean air at the end of a day is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle, and why builders like Kolter Homes believe that wellness should begin at home. As buzzy as the phrases eco-friendly, and clean living have become, feeling our best goes beyond the food pyramid to include the home innovations, and technologies that protect both ourselves, and the environment.

Clear the Air
When it comes to indoor pollutants, home is a notorious problem child. From our beloved pets to the bowl of potpourri on the coffee table, our sanctuaries are a trap for dust and odors. Open windows as much as possible to allow fresh air to circulate, and consider investing in an air purifier, and a vacuum equipped with HEPA filtration technology. Along with becoming fastidious about dusting, experts also recommend changing your home’s air filter every 30-60 days – more frequently for allergy sufferers and households with pets. You might want to head to your garden center because believe it or not, houseplants not only spruce things up, they also serve an important role in absorbing airborne toxins such as carbon monoxide, benzene, and formaldehyde.

Attractions You’ll Only Find in Everett

With the beauty of Puget Sound, and enchantment of the San Juan Islands just a ferry ride away, Everett sits at the doorstep of the natural wonderland that epitomizes the Pacific Northwest. Less than an hour from the espresso-infused streets of Seattle, Everett has become the go-to city for those wanting to steer clear of heavy congestion, and be within reach of big attractions, and entertainment. Rolling out the adventure since 1893, it’s the kind of place where shopping for outdoor gear is a favorite pastime, military roots run deep, and a myriad of activities cater to any and every hobby.

Watch History Take Flight – No-one takes to the sky like Everett. Home to legendary aviation museums including the Flying Heritage Collection – dedicated to the restoration of WWII aircrafts since 1998, the Historic Flight at Kilo-7 located within Pain Field Airport, showcasing a vintage display of aviation history spanning from 1927 to 1957, and of course the highlight for anyone with high flying dreams, the Future of Flight Aviation Center and Boeing Tour. Watch the precision of a 747 being crafted before your eyes, learn what the future of aircraft innovation holds, and what it takes to soar on a 90-minute tour of this operational Boeing plant.

Sonoran Desert

Arizona’s Wild West is Alive and Kicking

Wickenburg – Chasing gold since 1863, and channeling the old west into the modern generation. Cowboys, rodeos, kicking up dust on horseback – the gold rush might be over but if you’re ready to trade your sneakers in for Spurs, this town’s got a saddle with your name all over it. Less than an hour from the Valley of the Sun, near the banks of the Hassayampa River, few places let you explore authentic mining remnants by day, and watch a world-class dance performance by night. Open spaces with room to roam, downtown streets straight from a John Wayne movie set, welcome to the “Dude Ranch Capital of the World.”

A glimpse into Arizona’s prosperous mining past, Vulture City, and abandoned Vulture Mine, is a glimpse into Wickenburg’s boom-town history. Tucked amidst the spectacular Sonoran Desert landscape, the spirit of the American West comes alive as you wander through the restored cabin of Henry Wickenburg, and Assay House – once a thriving business hub. From shopping along Frontier Street, and historic walking tours, to the Del Webb Center for the Performing Arts rolling out an exciting schedule of events, Wickenburg is anything but a tumbleweed scattered ghost town. The city’s economy flourished when the Santa Fe Railroad came to town, and visitors can learn more about Wickenburg’s rough and tumble glory days at the Old Santa Fe Rail Depot- turned visitor center.

california from space

How San Mateo Defines Culture

When we think of a city steeped in “culture,” we usually envision storied historic landmarks, and a vibrant visual, and performing art scene – but scratch below the surface, and it ’s a city’s diverse population that defines true cultural ambiance. When the world harmoniously converges as it does in San Mateo California, we’re given the opportunity to experience a rich tapestry of ethnicities and embrace traditions outside of our own. Located 20 miles south of San Francisco, San Mateo is a respite from the Silicon Valley jungle and has a cherished suburban feel that attracts a community focused crowd of young families, and active retirees.

Set upon the San Francisco Peninsula, San Mateo is a slightly more compact version of its Bay Area neighbors and is equally influenced by technology, higher education, and global diversity. According to Livability.com, foreign-born residents make up more than 30 percent of its fast-growing population – creating a dynamic fusion of language, art, and collective coexistence. From the modern, Frank Lloyd Wright inspired homes found in the San Mateo Highlands, authentic Spanish architecture circa the 1930’s, and the sleek sophistication of its downtown high rises, San Mateo’s blend of styles is as varied as the community itself. It’s the kind of city where people still look out for one another, and with more than 800 shops, and restaurants, an efficient public transit system, and easy access to San Francisco International Airport, one doesn’t have to travel far to meet with friends, plan a weekend getaway, and savor everything from Peruvian, and Cuban fare to authentic Chicago style pizza.

Downtown DeLand Hist Dist -Athens Theatre

DeLand Lives Up To Its Artistic Reputation

With summer winding down, why not spend the last stretch in Athens? Known as the “Athens of Florida”, Deland is an artistically driven town nestled in the Daytona-Orlando Beach area and guaranteed to change everything you thought about the Sunshine State. Founded in 1876 by Henry DeLand, and winner of “America’s Best Main Street” – you won’t find crowds of sun-tan oiled beach bums, but rather a melting pot of local artisans, a global architecture, and historic relics on every street corner. From the Corinthian columns of Volusia County Courthouse, and lifelike depictions of DeLand’s past painted across the city, to the well-preserved charm of turn-of-the-century homes, this slow-paced town has a story to tell.

Surrounded by a canopy of magnificent oak trees, this former persimmon grove is a slice of “old Florida.” Home to more than 70 historic buildings, including The DeLand House built in 1886, and Stetson University, a replica of New England’s ivy leagues, and the heartbeat of the city, the city has been preserved, and revitalized to its former glory. Like most college towns, Deland takes pride in education and draws a diverse crowd to its charming downtown vicinity where old meets new. Markets from a century ago are now home to thriving local businesses from quaint boutiques, and restaurants, to specialty shops tucked behind vintage storefronts.