I drive down there 3 times a year to meet family coming up from the Redwoods. I like it a lot. They have a small gunshow at the Fairgrounds. Folks come down from the hills with some interesting stuff.
If you look further north the property gets more reasonable in price. I wanted to by a place in Glendale but it was too remote for my wife.If you avoid the Ashland area & Multnomah County, The rest of Oregon is excellent IMHO.
I currently live in Grants Pass and like it well enough. I grew up a little outside of Rogue River, in Wimer, and I'm not a huge fan of living in the city. Although, if you have to live in a city, GP is about the best I could ask for. There are a few cons though.
First, I know you said you were retiring here, but keep in mind a HUGE percentage of the population is retired. This means that there are a lot of elderly drivers (take that as you may; I'm just saying . . .), but also a lot of doctors, so medical care seems to be plentiful. Some real estate prices are also hirer due to retirees coming in from California with enough money to buy some nice pieces of land. I think this contributes to GP's higher costs vs someplace like Glendale (although the current economic slump helps things a bit).
Second, it's not the most liberal or diverse environment. This leads to a lack of alternative lifestyles and not a huge amount of racial variety. Although things seem much more open than I remember them being as a youth.
Third, this is a smaller city so you suffer from the lack of indoor activities, especially during the winter months. A lot of bars and restaurants are the primary businesses.
But there are a lot of pros too. You get a sampling of four distinct seasons. If you like outdoor activities, there are a ton (hiking, skiing nearby, fishing and more fishing, coast within reasonable distance, some great back roads for drives in the convertible, some great four wheeling locations, and a ton of other things). You can drive 15 minutes outside of the city and be surrounded by a bunch of trees and very few people.
Bottom line, in my mind, if you like a lot of culture and indoor activities, this might be the wrong place. If you like the outdoors and want to maximize that experience and not have a lot of people around, compared to Lake Tahoe for instance, but still have some city amenities, then Grants Pass is likely what you are looking for. I like it here but wish it had less and more at the same time.
Sorry for the long post but I hope that helps a little. You probably already knew most of that. Good luck with your decision/move.
Sounds like it should work for you. Ashland does have a fair amount of cultural events if you don't mind the drive. The Shakespeare festival is fairly famous.
One note though, the shooting range in Grants Pass has been closed, from my understanding. We still go out into the woods and find a hillside to use as a backdrop. Doesn't seem to be a problem as long as you pick up after yourself. I hate finding an area covered in shells.
Thanks, that's good to know. Do you know why the range was closed? The OSP was practicing there when I was last there. I'd have thought that it was too useful to close it down. Any idea if it was lack of money or liberal politics?
I heard it was lack of money, but this is all just rumor and speculation. I don't even know for sure they are closed. I only went there once and didn't like paying the day use fee. Guess I just grew up heading into the woods for shooting. Perfectly safe if you find a good backdrop.
CA357, with the things you have mentioned as activities I think GP is the place for you.
It has more rain than Medford, and I think has more fun activities during the summer months for the family.
It's heaven for people who want to hike, camp, shoot, take drives in the forest, fish or just plain retire!!!