Walnut Creek vs Novato Retirement Community Comparison

  Heritage Downtown Senior Housing in Walnut Creek CA When searching for the best place to retire in the San Francisco Bay Area, there is a lot to consider. This is why we have put together a detailed Walnut Creek vs Novato retirement community guide. It will provide you with a glimpse into these two senior communities, and serve as a guide in determining which city is right for you. We cover all the essentials – transportation, cost of living, area hospitals, and much more. Let’s dive in and learn all about these two Bay Area cities! [toc]

Popular Retirement Communities in Novato & Walnut Creek

Living in Novato or Walnut Creek can offer a retired senior much. However, although both cities offer much, you might end up preferring one over the other. It all comes down to your preferences in regards to the fine details. This is where our Walnut Creek vs Novato retirement community comparison comes into play. It’s important to learn as much as you can about a retirement city you may be considering. After all, if you plan on spending your golden years there, you should absolutely love the place!

Location – Breathtaking Northern CA Retirement Communities

Location - Senior Retirement Communities in the San Francisco Bay AreaRetiring in the San Francisco Bay Area is a dream come true for some. This location sports gorgeous landscapes, breathtaking ocean and bay views, and much more. It’s also an area that has a lot going on, perfect for any active senior citizen!

Read more to learn about each area and what its location has to offer its senior residents:

Walnut Creek: This popular East Bay senior hot spot is known throughout the area as a wonderful place to retire, as well as visit. It’s a Contra Costa County city that is close to Mount Diablo, which provides lovely views, especially at sunset. Walnut Creek sports plenty of green areas, wide open spaces, rolling hills, parks, hiking trails, and just a beautiful landscape overall. It also features a charming and busy city life, complete with boutiques, businesses, 5-star restaurants, and the like. Most of the action takes place in Downtown Walnut Creek and is within walking distance to the Heritage Downtown, which the senior residents take advantage of on a weekly basis. Those who retire in Walnut Creek can also enjoy easy freeway access. This allows for convenient trip planning. Novato: This North Bay retirement community rests in Marin County about 30 miles from the city of San Francisco. For those of you who are looking for a location with lots of nature, this Northern CA city sports the Mount Burdell Open Space Preserve, the Hamilton Wetlands, and Big Rock Ridge. With this city’s 3,600 acres of open space, there are plenty of places to take walks or go for a hike. This senior hot spot sits near the edge of the San Pablo Bay, as well as the San Francisco Bay waters. Novato Retirement communities also sport a great city life, with a variety of shops and restaurants to choose from. If you love to plan Bay Area getaways, Novato provides two freeways that will enable you to easily travel to other cities for a day of fun.

Climate – Typical Bay Area Weather in Walnut Creek & Novato Senior Communities

Northern CA is a place where you will find great weather patterns, especially in the Bay Area. Even so, some cities have better weather than others. For instance, certain cities experience more rain, while other cities can be extra cold in the winter, and so on. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the weather patterns of these two NorCal retirement cities. Walnut Creek: If you are looking for a city that has almost perfect weather, then you may want to consider retiring in Walnut Creek. It has a low number of rainy days, along with a high number of days with almost unbroken sunshine. This East Bay retirement community features a Mediterranean climate with average temperatures in the 30s and 80s, depending on the time of the year. The residents of the Heritage Downtown seem to love the weather that Walnut Creek has to offer them, and you will too! Novato:  This Bay Area senior community experiences typical Bay Area temperatures. Its averages are in the low 40s to the low 80s, depending upon the season. Because it rests near the edge of the San Pablo and San Francisco Bay waters, the city experiences cool bay breezes, which can be welcomed during the hot summer months. If you would like to avoid rainy cities, then you may want to avoid retiring in Novato because it seems to have a good amount of rain in its yearly forecast. Weather Patterns in a Walnut Creek and Novato Retirement Community

Cost of Living – Retire in an Affordable Bay Area City

Before deciding upon the San Francisco Bay Area city you would like to retire in, it’s best to check out the city’s cost of living data. You wouldn’t want to end up in a situation where after moving, you find that you simply can’t afford to live there. It can be a case of the rent being higher than the average, or a combination of transportation, utilities, and so on. No matter what the case, be sure that you know what you are getting into in regards to a city’s cost of living. You will be happy you did when you have enough money to pay all your bills with extra left over for some fun. With that said, we did some upfront research and found that setting up camp in a Novato retirement community, as well as one in Walnut Creek would be very affordable.

Population – More Seniors Retire in Walnut Creek

These two Northern CA retirement communities have a similar mid-size population. Walnut Creek has a population of 68,516 and Novato’s population is 55,378. These are great numbers – not too high and not too low. Once you start getting into the lower population numbers, you may be offered less senior programs. This is not the case with Walnut Creek or Novato, CA. It’s worth mentioning that Walnut Creek comes out on top with the number of seniors that have retired there, compared to the city of Novato.  Here are a few age-related population numbers:
  • The number of senior citizens ages 65-74 living in Walnut Creek is 13% compared to 11.7% for Novato.
  • The median age is 3.6 years younger in Novato as compared to Walnut Creek.
For those seniors who are 85 and older, you might want to take a look at these numbers: Bay Area Retired Senior Population - Walnut Creek vs Novato

Transportation – Get Around Easily in Walnut Creek & Novato Retirement Communities

Having the ability to freely travel around your city, as well as being able to make it to your medical appointments is essential. There is nothing worse than being homebound when that’s not your preference. This is why it’s imperative to ensure that the Bay Area city you would like to retire in has adequate transportation options. It can mean the difference between leading an active, happy lifestyle to becoming isolated and unhappy. With this in mind, we researched both cities to gather information on their transportation options for you. Let’s take a look at our findings:

Walnut Creek Senior Community Transportation Options:

Transportation - Northern CA Bay Area Senior CommunitiesIf you’re an active senior, then you will love retiring in Walnut Creek. This fabulous East Bay senior community features a variety of transportation options that will get you where you need to go.
  • Senior Mini-Bus: This Bay Area retirement community provides older adults with a Senior Mini-Bus Program. The price is only $1 each way! This sensational program is great for seniors who would prefer not to utilize public transportation. The Senior Mini-Bus Program will take you to the grocery store, your medical appointments, and other various destinations within the city of Walnut Creek.
  • Walnut Creek Downtown Trolley: With services every 12 minutes during the week, and every 20 minutes on the weekends, you will be sure to accomplish whatever it was that you set out to do in the downtown area. It allows you to visit your favorite shops, restaurants, and other stores. This makes it easy to meet a friend for lunch or to run a few errands!
  • Local Shuttle Services: The city of Walnut Creek features the Creekside and Shadelands shuttles. They provide seniors, free of charge, with rides during the week so that they can make it to their doctor’s appointments, go food shopping, and much more.
  • Traditional City Transportation: Walnut Creek’s most popular means of transportation is its city bus, the County Connection. Residents of the Heritage Downtown use this city bus on a weekly basis. It takes them to various destinations within Walnut Creek, as well as to nearby cities. Also, if you would like to travel around the Bay Area, you can conveniently catch the BART. It’s a fast means of transportation that will allow you to take day trips to other Bay Area cities.

Novato Senior Community Transportation Options:

Seniors who retire in Novato can easily get around the city, as well as visit other Bay Area senior communities utilizing the city’s public transportation. Here are two means of transportation for retired Novato seniors:
  • Marin Transit: If you are familiar with riding the city bus, then you won’t have any problems getting around town. The Marin Transit City Bus is a reliable and affordable means of transportation. You can simply catch the bus to run your errands, go to the local mall, and so on.
  • Sonoma–Marin Area Rail Transit: If you move to a Novato Retirement community, you will have access to this newest transportation option in the area. Its the Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit, otherwise known as SMART. This speedy means of transportation will allow you to quickly travel to other Bay Area cities when you are in the mood to explore the area. SMART platforms offer ADA accessible seating, and offer help for those in need when entering or exiting the train.
If exploring the area sounds like something you would be interested in, check out our Bay Area destination guide. In addition to this, take a look at a few other areas to see if they spark your interest for planning a day trip – Pleasanton, Menlo Park, Napa, and San Jose.

Crime Rate – Living in a Safe Bay Area Retirement Community is Essential

It goes without saying that a city’s crime rate is an important factor to consider. You will want to be sure that you choose a San Francisco Bay Area retirement community that will allow you to live in a safe area. The last thing you would want is to end up in a crime-filled neighborhood where you and your belongings will be at risk on a daily basis. Knowing the importance of this subject, we looked into the crime rate for Walnut Creek and Novato retirement communities and found that both are safe cities to live in. However, Novato does have a slightly higher crime rate than Walnut Creek. The residents of the Heritage Downtown feel that their community is very safe. This provides them with a peace of mind.
  • Violent Crime in Novato: 15
  • Violent Crime in Walnut Creek: 11.7
1 = low crime and 100 = high crime

Healthcare – Outstanding Local Hospitals in Northern CA

Healthcare in Walnut Creek and Novato Retirement CommunitiesWhile searching for the best place to retire in the San Francisco Bay area, you will want to consider the area hospitals. Although you may love an area, if you can’t find a quality hospital nearby, it may not be worth moving there. Your health comes first, and with that in mind, you will be happy to hear that both Walnut Creek and Novato retirement communities provide great hospitals.

Walnut Creek John Muir Medical Center:

If you retire in Walnut Creek and are in need of medical care, you can depend on John Muir Medical Center. It’s nearby downtown Walnut Creek which makes residing at the Heritage Downtown convenient when emergencies arise. This hospital was named by U.S. News & World Report, as one of the nation’s premier healthcare providers. Also, John Muir is an impressive medical facility that was given the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™ for certification as a primary stroke center. Additionally, it was also accredited by the American Heart and Stroke Association. John Muir is an exceptional hospital that houses 554 licensed beds. It specializes in orthopedics, rehabilitation, neurosciences, cardiac, trauma, cancer care, and a lot more. John Muir features an Emergency Trauma Center that is used throughout Contra Costa County. Overall, John Muir is a professional medical facility that you can feel confident about using.

Novato Community Hospital

If you settle into a Novato retirement community, you will have access to this outstanding hospital. It provides a 24-hour emergency services department and a critical care unit for those times when urgent care is needed. This Hospital specializes in orthopedic surgery, as well as joint replacement for hips, knees, and more. Plus, Novato hospital offers three surgery suites, with one being for less invasive procedures. Novato Community Hospital stretches out across a 10-acre campus and is known to be a peaceful spa-like environment. Additionally, it was recognized by the Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center. No matter where you retire within Novato, this hospital will be your go-to medical facility for excellent care.

Entertainment – Staying Active Keeps Bay Area Seniors Young at Heart

Life is full of great opportunities to get out of the house and have some fun, especially when you retire in Novato or Walnut Creek, CA. With all there is to do in the Bay Area, it would be a shame to be stuck at home because of transportation issues. With this in mind, we researched these two Northern CA retirement cities and found that they both offer activities and places to visit that would be of interest to senior citizens.

Walnut Creek Retirement Community Entertainment:

Entertainment for Seniors 55 Plus in the San Francisco Bay AreaRetiring in Walnut Creek will provide you more than enough to do. This San Francisco Bay Area senior community is known for its popular entertainment options. In fact, seniors from other Bay Area cities visit Walnut Creek often for a day of fun. Let’s see what this fabulous and charming city has to offer:
  • Shadowbrook Winery: This winery is very popular with the local seniors of Walnut Creek, and for good reason. It’s known to be an outstanding place to have a few quality drinks and spend time visiting with friends. It features fermenting tanks imported from Italy, which makes for an exceptional glass of wine. Plus, Shadowbrook Winery uses an optical sorter that is known throughout the industry for creating the finest of wines. This Bay Area winery features a verandah, a charming area where you and your fellow seniors can sit and converse in front of a lovely fireplace.
  • Walnut Creek Art & Wine Festival: The residents of the Heritage Downtown attend this street festival without missing a year. It’s that good! This Art and Wine Festival is currently in its 38th year! It was voted Best Community Event in Walnut Creek by the 2018 Reader’s Choice Awards, making it even more of a reason to see what it’s all about. It will give you a chance to experience sensational music, great art, popular beers, local wines, and incredible food! If you retire in Walnut Creek, be sure to mark your calendar because it’s certainly an event worth going to.
  • Lesher Center for the Arts: This East Bay gem is a favorite among the seniors who live in the area. The 55+ individuals of the Heritage Downtown visit this art center on a weekly basis. Furthermore, the Heritage Downtown has partnered with the Lesher Center for the Arts, this is a great example of how much it’s loved by the senior community. It showcases performances that include ballets, plays, musicals, comedies, and other entertaining acts. You will also find the Bedford Art Gallery within this center, which is the perfect place to visit if you are interested in incredible works of art. 

Novato Retirement Community Entertainment:

Entertainment for Seniors in Novato Retirement CommunitiesRetiring in Novato CA provides some fantastic entertainment opportunities for seniors. From a round of golf to a walk down memory lane at a local history museum, you will be sure to keep active!
  •  Indian Valley Golf Club: If you love to play a round of golf from time to time, or on a daily basis, you will enjoy retiring in Novato, CA. This Marin County course is nestled within the hills of Indian Valley, which provides breathtaking views during a round of golf. While there, you can take advantage of all they offer, such as a modern driving range, chipping greens, a practice sand trap, and putting greens. They also offer a modern pro shop with everything you could possibly need, from golf attire to rain gear! After a relaxing day on the course, you can stop by the 19th Hole, their popular onsite eatery. It serves up outstanding food and refreshing drinks.
  • Hamilton Field History Museum: For those airfield history buffs out there, this museum will certainly be on your list of must-visit places within Novato. Hamilton Field is a history museum that provides incredible insight into California’s airfield history. Its construction started during the Great Depression in 1932, and was named in honor of Lloyd Hamilton, a World War I flying ace. While there, you will have a chance to see hundreds of artifacts, photos, uniforms, as well as a cockpit simulator. They also have a fantastic library, complete with books and videos. If you move to a retirement community in Novato, you will be sure to love this history-rich museum.

Find Great Senior Housing in Novato or Walnut Creek

With all this information pertaining to these Northern CA senior hot spots, you may be ready to find your new retirement home! This means that it’s time to start searching for Bay Area housing in the city you have chosen. There are many things to take into consideration, such as the affordability factor, the type of amenities you prefer, and so on. No matter what your preferences are, be sure to take your time when deciding upon a final senior home in Novato or Walnut Creek. This will ensure that you end up retiring in a place that you will be happy with for years to come.

Retirement Housing in Novato CA

For those of you who would like to live in a Novato retirement community, we are excited that you have settled on an area. We understand that it can be difficult to find the best retirement location in the San Francisco Bay Area, so this means you have made much progress in your search. Now it’s time to start looking for a specific retirement home in Novato, CA. It’s important to pay attention to such things as how far it is from bus routes, as well as the crime rate, and so on. No matter what retirement housing you choose in this Northern CA senior community, we wish you the best!

Retirement Housing in Walnut Creek CA

If you have your heart set on retiring in Walnut Creek, we know you will love living there! This city has so much to offer its senior residents, from popular entertainment options to senior transportation, it’s a great place to live. You will want to ensure that you move to a senior home that is the best in the area, and this would be the Heritage Downtown. Let’s take a look at these terrific senior apartment homes in Walnut Creek:

The Heritage Downtown Active Senior Living Apartment Homes

The Heritage Downtown Senior Luxury Apartments in Walnut Creek If you are looking for the best retirement housing in Walnut Creek, the answer is the Heritage Downtown! These luxury senior homes are the San Francisco Bay Area’s #1 Senior Living Apartment Community. They offer their residents fantastic amenities, programs, educational classes, and more. The Heritage Downtown has created an environment that provides their senior residents with a chance to live productive and fulfilling lives, as well as make many new friends. Heritage Downtown residents enjoy two technology rooms with internet stations, a fitness center that offers professionally guided classes, resident gardens, and much more. If you are a swimmer,  you will love their beautiful pool, as well as their spa. Heritage Downtown also provides exceptional housekeeping services, group trips, and secured covered parking and storage. These senior apartment homes showcase an award-winning restaurant where residents meet on a daily basis for food and great conversation. If you are one to shop, then the Heritage Downtown’s location will certainly grab your attention. It’s within walking distance to the heart of downtown Walnut Creek where all the popular boutiques and restaurants are! No matter how you look at it, these luxury senior apartment homes are simply the very best in the Bay Area!

Additional Bay Area Retirement Community Comparisons

If you are on the fence as to where you would like to retire, then you may want to check out a few more cities:

Retire in Novato or Walnut Creek and Enjoy the Bay Area to the Fullest!

Those who move to a Walnut Creek or Novato retirement community, you have a lot to look forward to. This would include a great city to explore, new friends to make, and more. No matter where you retire, we hope our community comparison has been helpful in setting you on the right path to finding the best place to retire in the San Francisco Bay Area. Before you go, be sure to watch this amazing video that details all that Walnut Creek has to offer!  
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