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ESCONDIDO, CA-This North County city might not make most people’s short list as a destination for retirees. But a national magazine apparently sees it differently, and Escondido is among a half-dozen cities described as Money Magazine’s “Best Places to Retire in the U.S.”

After poring over Census data and reviewing hundreds of cities nationwide, the magazine’s editors chose Escondido, Edisto and Seanbrook islands, SC; Eugene, OR; Hanover, NH; Oxford, Miss. and Tucson, AZ.

The selections were made by identifying places that combine cultural and historical flavor with affordable housing and quality of life with factors such as low property taxes, good home values and access to airports also taken into consideration, according to the magazine.

The magazine named three cities as runner-up: Boynton Beach, Florida which combines the languor of a beach community with a charming small town; Santa Fe, N.M. with its desert setting, rich history and unbeatable culture; and, the San Juan Islands, Washington, which enjoy warm winters and cool summers in the heart of Puget Sound.

“Escondido is a quiet and inexpensive haven that’s surrounded by avocado and citrus groves, mountains and desert, yet offers many of the cultural attractions of its big-city brethren,” according to the magazine article published Monday.

“At the center of Escondido, the hub of an area known as North County or San Diego North, is the $82 million California Center for the Arts, with a concert hall, theater, fine arts museum, and gallery space.”

Relatively low home prices for Southern California are another lure, with three-bedroom, 2,000-sf houses available for $350,000 or less, according to Money.

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