Our thanks to Jennifer Karami of Redfin, for this contribution to our blog.
Everyone has a unique dream of retirement and choosing the right place for you is imperative. The best cities to retire in the USA are almost as diverse as each individual’s vision for their golden years. To help narrow it down, we named the best city to retire in every state Redfin operates. Rankings were determined by common factors that make a good retirement destination regardless of geographic location.
State and local (non-federal) income tax rate: Many people retire on a fixed income, so cities with low taxes were considered ideal in our ranking
Average daily temperature: Since many retirees prefer moderate-warm weather, we considered cities with a warm average daily temperature close to 75° to be desirable.
Percentage of 65+ households: It’s nice to have a community of people who are roughly the same age, and a higher 65+ population indicates the city is popular among retirees who already live there. The data is based on the percentage of households headed by someone age 65+.
Percentage of “accessible” homes for sale on Redfin: “Accessible listings” include features like ramps, parking spaces, and ADA-compliant bathrooms. We interpret accessibility as a measure of retiree-friendliness.
We didn’t consider home prices as they vary widely within and across states and “affordability” is subjective. Each category was weighted equally, and the city with the highest combined score across the above categories was chosen as the best place to retire in that state.
Of course, it’s up to you to decide which factors are most important for your retirement. Take a look at the results to see which city ranked highest in your state, explore the best cities to retire nationwide, and learn about what makes these cities particularly great places to retire.
The Best City to Retire in Each StateStateCityWalk ScoreAverage Daily Max Temperature (°F)Percentage of 65+ HouseholdsAccessibleListingsAverage State & Local Tax Income RateAlabamaGadsden1472°30%0%4%ArizonaTucson2580°30%83%3%ArkansasHot Springs1473°38%0%4.9%CaliforniaSan Luis Obispo3171°30%15%6.2%ColoradoGreeley2164°20%21%3.9%ConnecticutNew Haven2958°26%5%5.4%DelawareDover1663°25%13%4.4%FloridaDeltona2481°36%16%0.7%GeorgiaRome1472°27%11%4.4%IdahoCoeur d’Alene1955°27%4%5%IllinoisKankakee2860°25%5%3.4%IndianaIndianapolis1562°24%3%4.9%KentuckyLouisville1365°25%0%6.1%LouisianaNew Orleans2878°24%5%3.4%MarylandSalisbury2064°33%36%6%MassachusettsBoston4457°24%3%5.4%MichiganDetroit4358°26%1%4.4%MinnesotaDuluth1850°27%0%5.6%MissouriSt Louis2165°25%2%4.3%NebraskaLincoln3662°21%0%5%NevadaCarson City3159°30%4%0.6%New HampshireManchester2255°23%21%1.7%New JerseyAtlantic City3363°27%16%4.3%New MexicoSanta Fe2462°32%0%4.2%New YorkNew York6360°25%5%7.6%North CarolinaAsheville1162°31%3%4.8%OhioYoungstown2358°30%0%4.3%OklahomaTulsa1973°24%0%3.9%OregonEugene3157°27%42%7.1%PennsylvaniaLebanon2561°29%20%3.9%Rhode IslandProvidence3058°25%1%5.2%South CarolinaMyrtle Beach2173°27%8%4.7%TennesseeChattanooga969°32%88%2.4%TexasSherman1778°28%4%0.3%UtahSalt Lake City2758°19%21%5%VirginiaWinchester1463°27%18%5%WashingtonLongview2156°29%12%1%WisconsinJanesville2756°24%0%5%
Gadsden was founded in 1846 along the Coosa River as a steamboat station. Since then it has developed into a thriving town full of outdoor activities. Noccalula Falls is the main attraction in Gadsden. The waterfall spans more than ninety feet and the park contains an admirable botanical garden.
Activities: Imagination Place Children’s Museum, Gadsden Museum of Art, James D. Martin Wildlife Park
We ranked Tucson as the best city to retire in Arizona. Eighty-three percent of listings in Tucson are marked “accessible,” making it a great place to find a home or condo for retirement. Tucson is surrounded by five major mountain ranges, so you’ll see gorgeous views of these mountains in every direction. This area is known for its warm weather, jaw-dropping sunsets, and star-gazing. With plenty of golf courses in nearby Scottsdale, golf lovers will have no problem swinging those clubs all year long.
Activities: Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Pima Air and Space Museum, Mission San Xavier del Bac, Reid Park Zoo, Tucson Botanical Gardens
As the name suggests, this town in the Ouachita Mountains is known for its natural hot springs. You can soak away your aches and pains in thermal bathhouses from the 19th century. Hot Springs has a variety of other amenities such as nature walks, nearby casinos, or horse races at Oaklawn. With a large 65+ population, you will be in the company of many other retirees.
Activities: Arlington Hotel, Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort, Lake Catherine State Park, Garvan Woodland Botanical Gardens, Magic Springs Theme & Water Park
Data suggests the best city to retire in California is San Luis Obispo. SLO is located halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, where luscious greenery meets beautiful beaches. The area boasts over 280 wineries, giving you the opportunity to sip local wine while you relish the warm, sunny weather.
Activities: Palm Theater, Art Deco Fremont Theater, Bishop Peak, Sunset Drive-In
Greely has it all – parks, culture, and family-friendly activities, making it arguably the best city to retire in Colorado. Greely is near the Poudre River which has well-maintained walking trails and great spots to watch birds and wildlife among the cottonwood trees. Greely has won many awards and accolades, making it a certified great place to retire.
New Haven lies on the coast of the Long Island Sound and is home to the esteemed Yale University. This town has centuries-old architecture combined with a thriving arts and culture scene, making it a fun and unique place for academics of all ages. New Haven also has a high Walk Score ranking, so getting around to all of these places is a breeze.
Dover is the second-largest city in Delaware and is located on the St. Jones River in the Delaware River Coastal Plain. Dover is rich with historical sites and surrounded by parks and green landscapes. Dover is also a quick drive to some breathtaking beaches along the Atlantic Ocean.
Activities: Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, International Speedway, Air Mobility Command Museum, Biggs Museum of American Art, John Dickinson Plantation, Delaware Agricultural Museum
We named Deltona the best city to retire in Florida based on an extremely low (0.7 percent) income tax rate, plus year-round warm weather. Deltona is on the north side of the beautiful Lake Monroe, making it a superb destination for boating, fishing, or birdwatching. In addition to NASCAR, Deltona is home to lots of local creative talent – you can catch musicians, authors, and performers in the intimate Deltona Arts Center.
Activities: NASCAR, Blue Spring State Park, Deltona Veterans Memorial Museum, Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens, Black Bear Wilderness Area, Museum of Arts & Sciences, Daytona Boardwalk, Flea & Farmers Market
If you’re looking to get away from the big city but still be close enough to essentials, Rome is the place for you! Rome is a small town with an abundant sense of community. Rome has great parks and a variety of shopping boutiques, as well as tasty restaurants and bars. Rome also has an average daily temperature of 72 degrees, making every day spent outside enjoyable.
Activities: Oak Hill & The Martha Berry Museum, Rocky Mountain Recreation & Public Fishing Area, Ridge Ferry Park
Coeur d’Alene is known for its large and lively lake – a great place for boat activities, water sports, or relaxation on the beach. Coeur d’Alene has plenty of delicious restaurants and boutiques. Take the grandkids to nearby Silverwood, the Pacific Northwest’s largest theme park, for a day of family fun.
Activities: Tubbs Hill, Coeur d’Alene Casino, North Idaho Centennial Trail, Museum of North Idaho
The Kankakee River is 133 miles long and runs right through the town of Kankakee, Illinois. Fishing in this area is plentiful – with 13 riverfront parks and a five-acre stocked quarry, it’s the perfect place to catch a record number of fish! With a relatively high Walk Score ranking, exploring the area is a fun and easy task.
Activities: Harley Bradley House, Kankakee Valley Park District, Kankakee County Museum, French Heritage Museum
Indianapolis is known as the racing capital of the world due to its motor speedway. In addition to fast cars, Indianapolis also has miles of recreational trails to explore and a lively downtown with a flourishing culinary scene.
Activities: Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Indianapolis Zoo, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, White River State Park, Indiana State Museum, Soldiers and Sailors Monument
Louisville sits on the Ohio River along the Indiana border. If you like horse races, you’re in luck – Louisville hosts the world-famous Kentucky Derby every May at Churchill Downs. Louisville is Kentucky’s largest city and has many activities for all ages.
Activities: Churchhill Downs, Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, Lousiville Zoo, Louisville Mega Cavern, Muhammad Ali Center, Kentucky Derby Museum
New Orleans is known for its music, festivities, and amazing food. You’ll never get bored of the diverse and delicious restaurant selection (beignets, anyone?). If you’re a jazz fan, NOLA is the place for you – music fills the streets each night, creating a festive atmosphere. A low tax rate helped New Orleans land a top spot in our best cities to retire.
Activities: New Orleans Museum of Art, National World War II Museum, Bourbon Street, Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral, French Quarter, Ghost Tours
If you love birdwatching, Salisbury is the place for you! Located on the Delmarva Peninsula, this area has miles of wetlands where you can see loons, herons, swans, and more. Salisbury is less than an hour drive from Assateague Island, a beach where you can watch Maryland’s wild ponies frolic in the sand.
Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States and rich with history! Boston played a big role in the American Revolution and has plenty of monuments and museums to visit. In addition to history, this city has a beautiful harbor and a great nightlife. With a Walk Score ranking of 44, the Boston area is effortless to navigate.
Detroit is located on the border of Canada and was once settled by French Explorers. As the birthplace of the automobile, this city is chock full of history and innovation. Once an industrial hub, Detroit is now a thriving art, culture, and sports city with many beautiful homes for sale.
Activities: Henry Ford Museum, Detroit Institute of Art, Belle Isle Park, Comerica BallPark, GM Renaissance Center, Motown Museum, Fox Theatre, Campus Martius Park, Greektown Casino, The Guardian Building, Detroit Historical Society
Duluth is a port city located on Lake Superior in the awe-inspiring Great Lakes region (the largest body of freshwater on earth!) With beautiful lakefront trails, parks, mountains, and more, Duluth is an excellent place for outdoor activities like kayaking, skiing, and horseback riding.
St. Louis is nestled along the Mississippi River and is home to the iconic Gateway Arch built in the 1960s in honor of Lewis and Clark. This city has so much to offer, from family-friendly activities to blues clubs to historical landmarks.
Activities: Missouri Botanical Garden, Gateway Arch, Saint Louis Zoo, Saint Louis Art Museum, Busch Stadium, National Blues Museum, River City Casino and Hotel, World Chess Hall of Fame.
Lincoln is home to the University of Nebraska and has a vibrant shopping and nightlife scene. They also have the most parkland in the United States, which allows for plenty of lively festivals and attractions in the summer.
Activities: Nebraska State Capitol, Pioneers Park Nature Center, Sunken Gardens, International Quilt Museum, University of Nebraska State Museum, Lincoln Children’s Zoo
We ranked Carson City as the best city to retire in Nevada because of their thriving retiree community (30 percent of residents are age 65+) and extremely low tax rates (0.6 percent), which make it easy to budget well into retirement. The Sierra Nevada mountains provide the community with a plethora of outdoor activities. Lake Tahoe is only 20 minutes away, and with an average of 300 sunny days a year, this region is a perfect destination for snowbirds.
Activities: Lake Tahoe, Nevada State Museum, Nevada State Railroad Museum, Sand Harbor, Spooner Lake, Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe
Manchester is a metropolitan city surrounded by rolling mountain ranges and luscious forests. If you like to ski, this is the right place for you – Manchester gets over 60 inches of snowfall on average per year!
Atlantic City is home to 1,000 feet of over-the-ocean fun. Their boardwalk provides activities for all ages. From people-watching to visiting delicious restaurants with ocean views, the opportunities for leisure are endless. Atlantic City also has dozens of casinos along the boardwalk accompanied by large hotels that showcase great nightlife.
American painter Georgia O’Keeffe was inspired by Santa Fe’s breathtaking landscape, and it’s easy to see why. Adorable stucco houses enhance the backdrop of the colorful Cristo mountains. Santa Fe has so much to offer when it comes to arts and culture. This area also has a ton of southwestern history just waiting to be explored!
Activities: Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Palace of the Governors, Museum of International Folk Art, Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, Santa Fe Opera, Santa Fe Botanical Garden, Santa Fe Farmers Market
New York City sits where the Hudson River meets the Atlantic Ocean. The Big Apple is home to the world’s major commercial, financial, and cultural centers. With an abundance of things to do and places to eat, the “city that never sleeps” will keep you on your toes well into retirement – literally. With one of the highest Walk Score rankings in the country, the New York area is perfect for those looking for an active, metropolitan lifestyle.
Activities: The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, Central Park, The Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square, 9/11 Memorial
According to our calculations, Asheville is the best city to retire in North Carolina. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is known for its historic architecture and thriving arts scene. Asheville has a vibrant food landscape, festivals year-round, and tons of outdoor activities to participate in. Asheville has a very pleasant retirement community, with 31 percent of the population in Salisbury being greater than age 65.
Youngstown is located halfway between Cleveland and Pittsburgh and has a growing downtown shopping and restaurant scene. In addition to revitalizing their downtown, the residents of Youngstown are extremely friendly and regularly gather to celebrate their community.
Activities: Mill Creek Park, Fellows Riverside Gardens, The Butler Institute of American Art, Lanterman’s Mill, Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor
Tulsa, a city that was once considered the oil capital of the world, has transformed into a lively metro area with youthful, quirky energy. Tulsa has many attractions, including over 100 parks, and is known for its art deco-style architecture.
Activities: Philbrook Museum of Art, Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa Zoo, Oklahoma Aquarium, River Spirit Casino Resort, Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium, Tulsa Botanic Garden
Eugene is home to the University of Oregon, but it’s far more than a college town – in fact, we ranked it the best city to retire in Oregon. Eugene has vast outdoor areas with a host of walking, jogging, and hiking trails to explore. You can hunt at Fern Ridge, fish at Junction City, or visit the Rhododendron and Botanical gardens. Forty-two percent of listings in Eugene are accessible, making it a great place for retirees to find an independent living situation.
Activities: Skinner Butte Park, Alton Baker Park, Spencer Butte, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Museum of Natural and Cultural History, Mount Pisgah Arboretum, Fern Ridge Reservoir, Owen Rose Garden, Silvan Ridge Winery
Lebanon is a small pastoral town in Pennsylvania, surrounded by fields and characterized by a relaxed way of life. Lebanon has a rich heritage and a very welcoming community. This area has a variety of pleasant parks perfect for boating, fishing, hunting, and picnicking.
Activities: Bomberger’s Distillery, Memorial Lake State Park, Mount Hope Estate & Winery, Wolf Sanctuary of PA
Providence is the capital city of Rhode Island and home to prestigious Brown University. Providence has an exciting downtown urban landscape with trendy coffee shops and flourishing community gardens. People of all ages will enjoy the parks and museums Providence has to offer.
Myrtle Beach is located on South Carolina’s Atlantic coast. The vibrant city has more than 60 miles of beachfront and is known as the golf capital of the world. With over 100 golf courses, what more could you ask for?
Activities: Broadway at the Beach, Sky Wheel, Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, Myrtle Beach State Park, World Tour Golf Links
Chattanooga is set in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. With a prime location on the Tennessee River, Chattanooga has access to tons of recreational opportunities, such as hiking, biking, and fishing. Visit the Tennessee Riverpark downtown where you can explore the walking trails or fish from the piers. Chattanooga has an extremely high number of accessible home listings (88 percent), so there will be no worry when trying to find the perfect place.
We named Sherman the best city to retire in Texas. With a record-low tax rate (0.3 percent), retirees can stretch their dollar further while enjoying the year-round warm weather. Named after Sidney Sherman – a hero of the Texas revolution – this quaint town offers a relaxed way of life. Although Sherman is a small town, it is packed with plenty of enjoyable activities and a very inviting, friendly community of Texans.
Activities: Eisenhower Birthplace, Herman Baker Park, The Sherman Museum, Pecan Grove West Park
Salt Lake City is situated among Utah’s gorgeous Wasatch Mountains. Residents enjoy proximity to five National Parks including Arches, Canyonlands, and Yellowstone. Salt Lake City is also an hour’s drive to nine amazing ski resorts – a skiers dream! Salt Lake has a strong religious community, but people of all religions are made to feel welcome.
Located in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley, Winchester is a town chock full of historic gems. The area has a long and storied past, dating back to the 1700s when Shawnee Indians lived on the land. Kids will enjoy exploring the many museums and learning about the civil war and American history.
Activities: Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum, Patsy Cline Historic House, Old Town Winchester, George Washington’s Office, Shenandoah Valley Civil War Museum, The Kernstown Battlefield, Fort Loudoun Historic Site, Stonewall Jackson’s Headquarters, James Charles Winery & Vineyard
We found Longview to be the best city to retire in Washington state. Longview is a verdant area located near the Columbia River. Longview has a variety of recreational facilities, including Lake Sacajawea Park, which is known for its vibrant gardens and wonderful walking trails. The region has dozens of other parks with lots of dog-friendly areas and sports fields. Local and state taxes are low at just 1 percent, so your dollar will stretch much further than other areas in Washington.
Janesville is known as Wisconsin’s city of parks. They have thousands of acres of parkland as well as 53 new and improved parks. These parks have boat launches, golf courses, and nature trails, making Janesville the perfect place for outdoor recreation.
Whether you enjoy living in the hustle and bustle of the city or prefer to retire in a more laid-back town where you know everyone’s name, the States have plenty of options for retirees. We ran the numbers to determine our (subjective) list of the best cities to retire, but you don’t have to take our word for it. In fact, we’d love to hear what you think! Did your city make the list? Is there a city we missed? What makes your city a great place to retire? Let us know in the comments.