Oak Harbor, Washington, has a vibrant 55+ retirement community. It’s popular due to its quiet location and easy access to services, support, and outdoor recreation opportunities for active, independent seniors. If you’re looking for a small, friendly town to retire, consider Oak Harbor.
Why The 55+ Community Loves Oak Harbor
The charming community of Oak Harbor is located on beautiful Whidbey Island, a short drive or ferry ride from major metropolitan centers in the Pacific Northwest (such as Everett and Seattle). Residents wake up to stunning views of the Cascade and Olympic Mountains and the waters of Puget Sound. Whether you’re looking for an assisted living facility or your own retirement home in a small seaside community in Washington, Oak Harbor is the perfect place for you.
According to the 2022 census, Oak Harbor has a modest population of just over 24,000. Approximately 12% of the residents are over 55 and chose Oak Harbor as their retirement community, and if you spend just one day in the community, you’ll understand why! Seniors particularly love the Cottages, Cherry Hill, Whidbey Green, and Fairway Point communities. There are also several 55+ mobile home parks within Oak Harbor, including Harborview and Western Village Mobile Home Parks.
The community has many services and supports for their aging population. These supports encourage personal independence and healthy aging, with many opportunities for socializing and enjoying nature. Recreational opportunities (linked below) abound in Oak Harbor, with many drop-in fitness and activities for seniors, including Tai Chi, yoga, dance, day trips, and social events at the Senior Center.
Oak Harbor also has proud military affiliations (with several active, local air bases on the island), and you’ll often find uniformed servicemen and women around the community. Retired veterans find themselves at home here. Contact us for more information.
Keeping active in retirement is good for your physical and mental health. Oak Harbor has no shortage of safe, age-appropriate activities and programs for 55+ residents. The local recreation center hosts many drop-in fitness programs and social activities for seniors. The local pool is a community treasure and offers water aerobic classes and healthy low impact exercise.
To keep your mind active, the local Sno-Isle Library (Oak Harbor branch) features physical book borrowing and digital services, including access to wifi and printing. It also has accessible parking (including 1 van-accessible space) and some materials shelved at lower levels for easier access by seniors with physical limitations. Of course, the helpful library staff and volunteers are happy to lend a hand.
Seniors love Oak Harbor due to its proximity to many natural outdoor adventure spaces. Outdoor-loving seniors in the community enjoy walks in the many local forested areas, parks, and beaches. A favorite day trip is the nearby Deception Pass, with over 3,800 acres of waterways (with fresh and saltwater beaches) and outdoor beach and parking spaces for walking, boating, and outdoor activities.
Oak Harbor is also known for its slower pace and welcoming seaside communities. Its art scene, food and beverage establishments, and family-owned shops and services are a great way to get out and meet and support the local community.
The Arts Whether you’re an artist or lover of the arts, Oak Harbor is the place for you. Seniors taking up arts get inspired by the local seaside community, with its ocean and mountain views, and small-town vibes. Retired residents enjoy browsing the artists' shops throughout town and talking up the artists and shop owners.
As a seaside town, the local Food and Drink scene will match your expectations. From local romantic vineyards to farmers markets with fresh, local produce, you can get anything you need to make a tasty meal at home.
Don’t want to cook? Oak Harbor has a variety of family-owned eateries and cafes to enjoy a tasty meal or beverage, or you can order meal delivery.
Seniors who enjoy Shopping locally and supporting small businesses enjoy shopping in Oak Harbor. You can buy locally made jams and baked goods, home goods, apparel, and stunning art pieces that reflect the local community. They’re great for your home or as gifts for out-of-town loved ones and friends.
The community takes care of its older population. One organization, Island Senior Resources, has various supports for seniors, including a medical equipment lending library, caregiver services, and medical transportation services. They also have a directory of resources and activities you can join with other like-minded, independent seniors in the community. You can support their organization by buying from their Senior Thrift Store at the corner of Woodard and SR 525.
The community also has several medical clinics and walk-in doctor’s offices for your medical needs. Whidby Health Emergency Medical Services provides 24/7 emergency medical support for the community from three ambulance stations in Oak Harbor. The closest hospitals are the Naval Hospital in Oak Harbor and the Whidbey Health Hospital in Coupeville, Washington.
For independent seniors who want to live in their own homes, several local in-home care aides and nurses service this community. They help local seniors with medical support at home, as well as some domestic support as needed. You can also bring in a caregiver through the Medicaid program if you meet the financial and need requirements.
The community also has several organizations who provide healthy meals for seniors. These include Meals on Wheels, frozen take-out meals, community meals, and liquid nutritional supplements. Seniors pay what they can by donation for these services.
Better Homes and Gardens McKenzie Realty is an Oak Harbor real estate agency with a passion for helping clients aged 55+ find their dream retirement homes. Their solutions-based approach and commitment to putting people first has earned them a reputation as one of the most trusted and respected real estate companies in the area.
Since 2016, Better Homes and Gardens McKenzie Realty has helped over 700 heroes in their real estate transactions since joining forces with the Homes for Heroes program. As the local Homes for Heroes affiliate for Whidbey Island, Camano Island, Fidalgo Island including Anacortes, & La Conner, we offer extraordinary savings to the heroes who provide extraordinary services to our community every day. If you are a Health Care Professional, Firefighter, Police Officer, Teacher, or Military active duty, retired, veteran or reservist, you will qualify to save many thousands of dollars when working with household brand like Better Homes and Gardens McKenzie Realty whose agents have been serving back and helping our clients now for 30 years plus both the Oak Harbor and Bayview offices are locally owned and operated by Craig McKenzie who is a proud Navy veteran himself! By the way, we can offer this program to any deserving hero anywhere in Washington State and are happy to help facilitate that for our heroes as we want to make sure every hero is served anywhere in this state and quite frankly the United States which we can help with as well!!
With a focus on providing exceptional service and delivering extraordinary results, Better Homes and Gardens McKenzie Realty is a valuable resource for anyone looking to make a sound investment while buying or selling a retirement property in Oak Harbor and the great Northwest.
If you are looking to find a Realtor in Oak Harbor, or anywhere on Whidbey Island and the surrounding areas, we would love to be your choice. Please contact us to set up an appointment to meet with one of our top notch real estate professionals.