Evening view of Downtown Riverside, California

The Inland Empire area of California is a picturesque place to retire.

California’s Inland Empire, also known as San Bernardino Valley, is a popular area among Boomers looking to settle down in a 55+ community. Located Southeast of Los Angeles between Orange County and the Palm Springs area, this picturesque area is surrounded by rolling hills and mountain ranges on all sides. The area includes the cities of Banning, Hemet, Apple Valley, Murrieta, Corona, San Bernardino, Riverside, and Ontario.

Active adults are attracted to the Inland Empire for a myriad of reasons, including the fact that it’s one of the most affordable regions in the Southern California area. Luckily, there are a large number of 55+ communities to choose from in the area. Read on to discover the top five reasons why the Inland Empire is a wonderful place to retire in.

1. Idyllic Mediterranean Climate

While the Inland Empire covers a diverse region of microclimates, as a whole, the area enjoys warm, sunny summers and moderate winters. While summer through early fall is generally warm and dry, temperatures cool off from November to March with mild rain and moderately chilly nights.

The upper mountainous region experiences colder temperatures than the valleys, which tend to stay much warmer. Riverside, a popular city in the area, enjoys an annual high temperature of a comfortable 79.5°F and an annual low temperature of just 51.4°F, rarely getting below 36°F or above 103°F.

2. Reasonably Priced Homes

Compared to its neighboring areas to the north, south, and west, the inland empire is a much more affordable place to purchase a home, and there are many wonderful 55+ communities to choose from—28 to be exact. In fact, budget-conscious homebuyers in the Inland Empire can find many communities that offer resale homes in the $100K to $300K price range.

Jess Ranch is a popular, affordable 55+ community in Apple Valley with resale homes starting at $94K. Jess Ranch offers attached, condo, single-family homes in a large, friendly community.

Sun Lakes Country Club in Banning is another sprawling, vibrant 55+ community with many resale homes averaging at a reasonable price point of around $250K.

One of the most popular 55+ communities in California is Sun City in Menifee, which was built by celebrated builder Del Webb and offers attached and single-family resale homes in a variety of affordable price points and home sizes.

There are many other age-restricted communities perfect for retirement in the area, offering a low-maintenance lifestyle with resort-like amenities and plenty of social and entertainment opportunities. Check out the full list here.

3. Exciting Nearby Attractions

With both Los Angeles and Palm Springs less than a two-hour drive away, and San Diego and Las Vegas under three hours away, there’s a dizzying number of exciting day excursions available near the Inland Empire.

Spend a day shopping, dining, and site-seeing in “The City of Angels,” or take the grandchildren to the beach and Legoland in the San Diego area. Palm Springs offers world-class resorts, while Las Vegas is an entertainment, dining, and gambling mecca. For residents of the Inland Empire, the options for day trips and weekend getaways are nearly limitless.

4. Outdoor Recreational Opportunities

The Inland Empire area may be one of the only places in the U.S. where residents can both snow ski and beach comb on the very same day. Living in the area means you’re only 45 minutes away from both nearby ski slopes and the Pacific Ocean.

Although within driving distance of the ocean, the Inland Empire is far enough away that coastal fog is not an issue, and there are many sunny days to take advantage of. Hiking, fishing, biking, boating, camping, horseback riding, and many other outdoor activities can be enjoyed in the immediate area.

Nearby Big Bear Lake is a popular fishing, boating, and camping area, and golfers enjoy the many nearby golf courses, including two of the area's oldest golf clubs—Redlands Country Club and San Bernardino's Arrowhead Country Club. There are also many notable vineyards and wineries in the area, with dozens in the nearby Temecula Wine Country and Cucamonga Valley Wine Country.

5. Quality Health Care

When it comes to the retirement years, quality health care within close proximity is an important issue, and the Inland Empire offers a vast array of health care options.

The popular healthcare provider Kaiser Permanente Medical Center is located in both the cities of Riverside and Fontana, and the Eisenhower Medical Center is found in Rancho Mirage, renowned for its geriatric treatment. Nationally ranked Loma Linda University Medical Center is located in San Bernadino County, ranking high in gastroenterology and G.I. Surgery.

With so many nationally recognized healthcare providers and medical centers in the area, active adults can stay on top of their health, pop in for regular checkups, and save time for the important things—like enjoying all of the wonderful benefits of living in the beautiful Inland Empire.