Sierra Vista, Arizona
Sierra Vista situated in South East Arizona about 70 miles southeast of Tucson and sits at an elevation of 4623 feet. It is nestled in the Mule, Dragoon and Whetstone mountains. With a present-day population of 45,000 people, this pleasant city grew up around Fort Huachuca, which had been established to protect settlers in the area. Suppliers to the fort lived in Sierra Vista, and today the city still attracts military families and retirees. It is an easy-going place, bathed in sunshine with pretty mountain views. Of the population, 32% is age 45 or better, and 60% of residents consider themselves Republican. The median household income is below the national average.
The city has been growing by roughly 20% during the last decade, and the cost of living meets the national average. The median home price is approximately $195,000, which is above the national average. There is a master planned community for people age 55 or better. It is called Winterhaven and is situated within Country Club Estates, a golf course development.
For a city this size, Sierra Vista has an in oppressive array of amenities including the Sierra Vista Symphony which performs regularly. Restaurants are in good supply although many seem to be fast food establishments. The Mall at Sierra Vista is large and has a number of nationally known retailers.
The University of Arizona has a campus in Sierra Vista, and Cochise Community College is also located here. The city has more than 30 churches, and the Sierra Vista public transportation system has discounted fares for seniors. The Oscar Yrun community center has a good selection of programs for the senior set and a program called Monthly Dine-a-Nights is a great way for seniors to get together and try out new restaurants.
The city also has an annual four-day festival called Southwest Wings Birding Festival which attracts birdwatchers and their friends from all over the world. Sierra Vista is, after all, nicknamed the “Hummingbird Capital of the World,” with hundreds of different species of hummingbirds making their home here.
Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center is the primary health care facility and is accredited by the Joint Commission. It is a teaching hospital and has 71 beds plus a 24 hour emergency department.
Summers are hot, with temperatures reaching into the low 100s. Winters are mild with temperatures in the 40s 50s and 60s. It rains an average of 14 inches per year. Humidity is low. On the comfort index, a combination of temperature and humidity, Sierra Vista comes in well above the national average.
While the city has been growing, it does not have room to grow much more. It is bordered by Fort Huachuca, the San Pedro Riparian Area preserve and the Huachuca Mountains so space is limited.
The crime rate in Sierra Vista meets the national average. This combined with its low-key lifestyle, hot weather and reasonable cost of living make Sierra Vista a place to consider for retirement.