You may not immediately think of Los Alamos when considering retirement destinations – after all, it’s not one of the most well-known places in the U.S. for people age 65 and older – but it has a lot to offer those who are in their golden years. Residents have convenient access to quality health-care providers, and there are plenty of entertaining things to do throughout the year. Los Alamos’ gorgeous weather is another perk, making it easy for retirees to stay active and enjoy the great outdoors.
Dozens of Cultural Attractions and Activities
In addition to giving the community a fun, college-town vibe, the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos gives retirees opportunities to take a wide variety of classes and workshops. For example, through the school’s community education program, adult students can enroll in classes focused on health and wellness, arts and crafts, interior decorating, creative writing, personal finance and more.
Another place for retirees looking to pick up new skills and information is UnQuarked, a wine-tasking room in Central Park Square. The venue hosts salsa and swing dancing lessons; Canvas and Cocktails events; wine bottle craft nights; and a speakers’ series called On Tap, which takes place twice a month.
“At On Tap, we have world-renowned speakers who come in and talk for 10 or 15 minutes, and then they answer questions,” says Ryn Herrmann, marketing manager for the Los Alamos Commerce & Development Corp. “Basically, attendees have the opportunity to chat and have a glass of wine with people who are at the top of their respective fields.”
A free concert series is held each summer, and attractions like the Los Alamos History Museum and the Bradbury Science Museum host special events such as lectures and film screenings. Plus, there’s so much going on in downtown Los Alamos that AARP included the neighborhood on its 10 Most Livable Neighborhoods in the U.S. list in 2015.
“Retirees have access to really interesting educational and cultural events that are either free or very low-cost,” Herrmann says.
Top-Notch Health-Care Services
The community is primarily served by the Los Alamos Medical Center, which is a 47-bed acute-care facility that provides medical, surgical, obstetrical, pediatric, emergency and diagnostic services. LAMC is accredited by The Joint Commission, earning the organization’s Gold Seal of Approval in 2013.
“There’s excellent health care here,” Herrmann says. “We have a wonderful medical center; it’s outstanding when it comes to basic health care.”
Part of the Los Alamos Retirement Community, Sombrillo Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center also cares for local retirees. The facility assists with stroke and cardiac recovery, pain management, wound and complex medical care, diabetes care and more, and it includes a rehab-to-home unit designed for short-term rehabilitation. In addition, the Los Alamos Retirement Community includes Aspen Ridge Lodge, an assisted living facility.
Retirees in need of quick care for minor emergencies, illnesses and injuries can visit Trinity Urgent Care. No appointments are needed, and Trinity is open daily to handle issues such as urinary infections, seasonal allergies, gynecological issues, respiratory issues and much more.
Wonderful Weather and Outdoor Recreation
Los Alamos’ fantastic weather provides a beautiful backdrop for those looking to enjoy the area’s many outdoor recreation destinations, and it’s a big reason the community continues to draw and retain retirees.
“The weather is amazing,” Herrmann says. “We have a lot of wind from March through May, but otherwise, I love the weather in Los Alamos. We even have beautiful blue skies in the wintertime.”
A few of Los Alamos’ most popular outdoor attractions include Pajarito Mountain, which offers skiing in the wintertime and hiking and mountain biking during the summer; Los Alamos Golf Course, an 18-hole, par 72-course at the base of the Jemez Mountains; and Bandelier National Monument, where visitors can take part in activities like hiking, camping, boating and picnicking.
“We are the gateway to three national parks (Bandelier National Monument, Valles Caldera National Preserve and Manhattan Project National Historical Park), and there are very few places outside of Washington, D.C., where you’ll find this kind of access,” Herrmann says. “Our residents have the great outdoors right at their back door.”