The Getaway
20 American Towns for a Blissful Retirement

After decades of hard work, you've finally reached retirement. Now, you can relax without any barriers weighing you down and with ample space on your schedule. But where should you retire? With so many communities to choose from, finding the right fit can be tricky. These top destinations encompass a range of benefits, from warm temperatures to recreational opportunities, natural attractions, and entertainment to fill your itinerary with excellent weather and a large population of peers. Do your research on retirement villages, and you can enjoy your golden years in rejuvenated bliss. After all, you've earned it.


01 Corte Madera, California

Nestled into California's thriving San Francisco Bay, this small city of around 10,000 residents is a popular destination for retirees seeking a taste of the good life. Corte Madera boasts a year-round schedule of engaging classes and events specifically for older adults, with options ranging from yoga programs to bingo games, big band dances, and art lessons. Whether you want to meet friends for a decadent meal, master new dance moves, or participate in a pickleball league, active seniors can thrive in this vibrant locale.

02 Chatham, Massachusetts

This charming fishing village is quintessentially Cape Cod, giving you easy access to the diverse outdoor opportunities this area has to offer. Enjoy fishing, boating, and hiking along the Atlantic Coast, or savor the bird-watching experience of a lifetime at the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge. Scenic beaches let you explore natural beauty every day, and since nearly half of Chatham residents are over age 65, you'll be among friends no matter where you wander.

03 Surf City, New Jersey

Its location on Long Beach Island, a small barrier island in the Atlantic, provides a unique way of life for residents of Surf City, New Jersey. If you choose this locale for retirement, finding new connections shouldn't be complicated — over 75% of residents are older adults, and a small population of just over 1,000 means this is a place where everyone knows their neighbors by name. Seniors over 65 can access ocean and bay beaches for free, and the Surf City Yacht Club offers sailing and boating events to connect you with fellow fans of the life aquatic.

04 Greenville, Delaware

If you're seeking a bedroom community with Northeastern flair, head to this retiree-friendly destination. Not only is Delaware one of the most tax-friendly states for older adults (no state or local sales taxes and no taxes on your estate or social security), but Greenville offers a low cost of living overall. Medical centers are abundant if you need health care services, and the city's woodsy natural landscape, combined with quiet shops, parks, and museums, creates a peaceful ambiance around every corner.

05 Herricks, New York

This quaint hamlet is located on Long Island, so you can grab a train or bus to experience the rest of the island (and NYC) whenever you wish. Its convenient location is only part of the magic, as the community center keeps seniors in mind with stimulating activities scheduled throughout the week. Retirees 60+ are welcome to stop by for painting, bingo, Tai Chi, line dancing, informational speeches, social events, and much more, so you can always find something to keep your mind and body occupied.

06 Carolina Shores, North Carolina

While it's technically part of metropolitan Myrtle Beach, Carolina Shores boasts a seaside ambiance all its own. Active living is a breeze at one of the area's planned communities. Situated within walking distance of the Atlantic Ocean, these state-of-the-art communities are a retiree's oasis with a coastal climate and peaceful vibe. Visit outdoor pools to soak in the sun, wind your way through nature trails, spend the day at a white sand beach, or hit the links at over 20 local golf courses. A huge hit among the retirement crowd, 80% of residents here are over age 45.

07 Gulf Stream, Florida

With a population under 1,000, a coastal vibe, and a median age over 60 years old, it's no surprise that Gulf Stream, Florida, is a hit among retirees. Year-round sunshine and ocean access are obvious draws, especially if you want to enjoy your retirement in an adventurous way. Adrenaline junkies and outdoor enthusiasts will feel right at home with swimming, boating, golfing, fishing, and striking nature opportunities available for exploration 365 days a year.

08 Sun Lakes, Arizona

Since this planned community was designed just for retirees, you can experience resort-style living without leaving home. Expansive swimming pools help you beat the Arizona heat, scenic trails offer countless hiking and biking opportunities, and tennis courts, fitness centers, restaurants, and boutiques are located within five country club-style neighborhoods. You can meet like-minded friends in hundreds of special interest clubs, revitalize in whirlpools and saunas, spend the day at one of the stocked fishing lakes, or travel to nearby Phoenix for shopping, dining, and cultural events.

09 DeCordova, Texas

Elevate your life in this gated community, where you can finally experience the itinerary of your dreams. On-site, you'll find everything from a country club with a 27-hole golf course to a park, tennis courts, a luxurious swimming pool, a fitness center, numerous sports courts, and so much more. Nestled along a pristine shoreline, it provides the waterfront views and indoor/outdoor lifestyle that many of us seek in our retirement years.

10 Pinehurst, North Carolina

If you've always dreamt about running off to a quiet cabin in the woods, Pinehurst might be your next best bet. Social security isn't taxed in North Carolina, and this peaceful town has some of the lowest property taxes in the state. Savor every season in a verdant forest environment, whether you want to master your game at one of 9 championship golf courses, swim, garden, play tennis, or partner with a trainer at a state-of-the-art facility. Communities here have a rustic wooded vibe that gets you away from the city's hustle and bustle.

11 Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Hilton Head is one of the most enticing retirement destinations in the nation due to its abundance of gated communities. Each has its own vibe and amenities, but all of them provide a lush setting surrounded by palm trees and beaches. From sailing to deep-sea fishing, swimming, and sports, this lively neighborhood delights the senses.

12 Bingham Farms, Michigan

This picturesque village appears like something out of a fairytale. Located along the banks of the River Rouge, it's just over a mile in size but has a lot to offer within those limits. Striking scenery surrounds the heavily wooded area, which is brimming with flora, fauna, and friendly wildlife. Within the village, welcome home to a commercial district complete with shops, restaurants, and medical offices.

13 Sun City, Arizona

In 1960, Sun City broke the mold by becoming the first residential community for retirees, and it continues to draw older adults in droves. Designed to encourage an active retirement, this lively neighborhood is appealing to every interest, offering hundreds of clubs, sports, activities, hobbies, and events for everyone from artists to athletes. It also features world-class health care within the community, so you don't even have to leave home to enjoy a taste of the good life.

14 Belmont Estates, Virginia

Not all of us want to give up our favorite activities when we retire; Belmont Estates is well aware of this. The retirement community offers something for everyone, with outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and fishing incredibly popular and diverse amenities to make your life easier. If you're craving a sense of adventure, head to nearby Harrisonburg to visit engaging museums, catch world-class entertainment, and treat your tastebuds with a meal at one of 200+ local restaurants.

Suburban Streets halbergman / Getty Images

15 Highland Beach, Florida

A tiny community tucked along Florida's Southeastern Coast, Highland Beach might have flown under your radar. Just 13 feet above sea level, this town is nestled between the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean, giving you aquatic access anywhere in town. The setting is a favorite among snowbirds, with its population swelling in the summer months. Year-round, however, four out of five residents is a retiree. The entire community is walkable without a traffic light in sight, making Highland Beach the ideal place to become one with nature.

16 Dutch Island, Georgia

Island living has never been better — or more affordable — than on the picturesque Dutch Island. Just over 1,000 residents call this 500-acre oasis home, so if you're seeking a secluded retreat, there's no place quite like it. Discover the unique beauty of the area's untouched ecological features, including ponds and lagoons brimming with colorful fish, verdant greenery, and quiet trails. Most locals are over age 55, making this one retiree-friendly isle.

17 West Brunswick Township, Pennsylvania

Nearly half of this tiny township's residents are 55 or older, making it a go-to destination for retirees craving some outdoor adventure. An affordable cost of living combines with low crime rates and readily available health care access, making West Brunswick Township extremely appealing for older adults. If you prefer a small-town feel with quiet cafes, eateries, and shops, this town delivers, but its green spaces are its biggest draw. Parks, walking trails, and natural attractions are prevalent, including the legendary Hawk Mountain with its 20,000+ migratory birds every season.

18 Meadowlakes, Texas

A gated community surrounding the Hidden Falls Golf Club, Meadowlakes is nationally recognized as one of Texas' top retirement destinations. Like-minded retirees can connect over the 18-hole course, but that's not all that this inviting atmosphere boasts. Situated along the picturesque Lake Marble Falls shoreline, it's home to a lively country club, expansive swimming facilities, sports courts, and planned events. In this relaxing atmosphere, life seems to move at a slower pace.

19 Mammoth Spring, Arkansas

Just under 1,000 people call this Southern border town home, and you might be the next. Quaint and charming, this is a place to settle down and relax among some of the largest and most striking natural springs on earth. It's a tight-knit community with affordable housing and a low crime rate, so you can feel safe exploring at any time. Kick up your feet and go trout fishing, take a hike, or just savor every spare minute of your well-deserved free time.

20 Chevy Chase, Maryland

If you've ever considered retiring to the nation's capital, Chevy Chase is a quiet suburb that offers the best of both worlds: peace and quiet with ample amenities within easy reach. Art, culture, and history await around every corner, whether you want to pay a visit to the Washington Monument, the Smithsonian, or your local cafe. Medical care facilities and doctors are plentiful around town, so you can soak in the scenery while receiving the support that you need.


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