MEDIAN HOUSING PRICE:
WENATCHEE BY THE NUMBERS
; State tax on pensions: No ; State tax on
Social Security: No ; Sales tax: 8% ; Property
10.52% ; Best way to spend $10: Have
a milk shake downtown at Owl Soda Fountain
& Gifts, founded in 1926, then check out “Art
on the Avenues,” a collection of more than 70
unique outdoor sculptures scattered throughout
Wenatchee. ; Best night on the town: Fall in love
with baseball all over again with the AppleSox,
part of the West Coast League, a wooden-bat
summer collegiate league.
The Cascade Range
is a short drive away.
It’s easy to confuse Wenatchee, Washington,
with the Garden of Eden. The stunning
Columbia River runs through this valley town,
which is surrounded by the jagged, glaciated
peaks of the Cascade Range. And unlike in
other parts of the Northwest, here you can
actually see those views in “the Apple Capital
of the World,” named for the orchards that
encircle the town and produce some of the
world’s tastiest specimens. People are drawn
to the region for its almost endless recreational options, which include truly top-notch
skiing, hiking, camping, hunting, and fishing.
You’ll also find a steady stream of cyclists, dog
walkers, skaters, and joggers along the Apple
Capital Recreation Loop Trail, a scenic 10-
mile paved loop that crosses the Columbia
and Wenatchee rivers.
All that and, yes, it’s a bargain: “We moved
here 29 years ago, in part because it was so much
cheaper than Seattle,” says Barb Trandum, 67.
What made her and husband, Jerry, 67, stay,
though, is the hearty appetite locals have for getting involved. “There’s just so much here,” says
Jerry, who is a fan of nearby Rocky Reach Dam
and Ohme Gardens, a 9-acre alpine garden.
MEDIAN HOUSING PRICE:
The gardens at the
Philbrook Museum of Art
are open year-round.
; State tax on pensions:
Yes ; State tax on Social
Security: No ; Sales tax:
5.5% ; Property tax rate:
8.77% ; Best way to spend
$10: Admission to the
Philbrook Museum of Art,
an Italian Renaissance
villa built in the 1920s and
converted to a museum, is
just $7.50. ; Best night on
the town: Although Tulsa
offers plenty of big acts—
Elton John and Paul
McCartney both played
recently at the BOK
Center—it’s got smaller
quirky pleasures, too. Try a
Mexican dinner with local
and organic ingredients at
trendy, affordable Eloté.
Tulsans delight in how
their city surprises outsiders—it’s a small-city jewel,
with an impressive art
deco district downtown,
first-rate art museums, and
plentiful green spaces.
Situated in the northeast
corner of the state, with
the Arkansas River flowing
through it, the city has 26
miles of paved cycling and
walking trails that wind
among fountains, playgrounds, and sculptures.
A few years ago Joel
Hulett, 56, and his wife,
Ada, 58, considered moving his Tulsa law practice
to Los Angeles so he could
work for the entertainment industry. Instead
they decided to stay, and he
started a film-production
company: The couple will
help kick off the Tulsa
International Film Festival
this September. Ada and
Joel also enjoy traveling, so
they like the city’s proximity to Tulsa International
Airport. But Tulsa’s also
just a welcoming place.
Says Ada: “I’ve been here 33
years now, and it never fails
to impress me how friendly
and warm the city is.” ;
Learn more about the next five cities on our MOST AFFORDABLE PLACES LIST—Cheyenne, WY; Columbus, IN; Harrisburg, PA; Ithaca, NY; and Midland, TX—at aarp.org/bestplaces.