Best U.S. Cities to Retire In

Thinking about where to retire is one way to get through a long work day.

It turns out lots of people do it, judging by readers at Topretirements.com. The retirement site, which President John Brady describes as the place "where Baby Boomers go to find their best place to retire," reviews places to retire, including many over-55 communities. Topretirements has been publishing its list of the 100 most popular places to retire since 2007. The list looks at the places that most of its online community members are looking at, talking about and living in.

Factors people care about when considering a retirement spot include weather (some like it hot; others like winter sports), history, arts and culture, cost-of-living, healthcare services, outdoor recreation resources and proximity to colleges and universities.

We took the top 30 cities that are home to more than 100,000 people to give you a few places to dream about.

Based on popularity at Topretirements.com, here are 30 top cities to retire:

Venice, Fla.
Venice, Fla.
Shutterstock

Originally developed in 1925 by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers as a planned retirement community, Venice is named for its many canals and rivers.  While Venice is fairly small, with a population of about 55,000, it's part of a much larger metro area of about 720,000 people.

Tucson, Ariz.
Tucson, Ariz.
Photo: Shutterstock

Blessed with sunshine almost 300 days a year, Tucson also offers the stunning scenery of the Southwest. With about 233 performing arts dates a year, you'll be steeped in culture and entertainment. Above, the restored San Xavier del Bac Mission.

Charleston, S.C.
Charleston, S.C.
Photo: Shutterstock

Located on the coast of South Carolina, "The Holy City" is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in the U.S. and a top tourist attraction. Charleston has all of the culture, sports, food and activities you could hope for. Until the mid-1800s it was one of the 10 largest cities in North America. Today the metro area is home to about 761,000.

Las Cruces, N.M.
Las Cruces, N.M.
Photo: Las Cruces Convention and Visitors Bureau

Low cost of living, active cultural life with a major university, and its unusually beautiful location is how Las Cruces earned a "Best Place to Retire" by several organizations. The second largest city in New Mexico, (population 101,759) it's affordable, too. The late 2017 median home value was $145,900, according to Zillow.

Savannah, Ga.
Savannah, Ga.
Photo: Shutterstock

Savannah is known as one of the most beautiful cities in America. It is a popular tourist destination as well as an area popular with retirees. Each year almost 7 million tourists visit here.

St. Petersburg, Fla.
St. Petersburg, Fla.
Photo: Shutterstock

St. Petersburg has been a classic retirement and tourist destination since the 1920s, thanks to its winter warmth, great beaches, and ideal location on a peninsula in Tampa Bay.

Chattanooga, Tenn.
Chattanooga, Tenn.
Photo: Shutterstock

Chattanooga was the site of the famous critical civil war Battle of Chattanooga because of its strategic location on the Tennessee River. Called the "Scenic City," it is home to the University of Tennessee. It's an affordable retirement option. Read more about retiring in Chattanooga at TopRetirements.

Naples, Fla.
Naples, Fla.
Photo: Shutterstock

Naples represents the gold coast of southwest Florida. Its walkable downtown is as sophisticated as any in the world, but charming too. While upscale Naples itself has a population of only about 22,000, it's part of a larger metro area of 322,000, boosted in winter by the snowbirds.

Austin, Texas
Austin, Texas
Photo: Piercarlo Abate/Shutterstock.com

Austin is home to The University of Texas and has an array of cultural and other activities. The city has a cosmopolitan and high-tech quirky soul.

Ft. Myers, Fla.
Ft. Myers, Fla.
Photo: Shutterstock

Located on the banks of the Caloosahatchee River on southwest Florida's coast, its roots go back to 1886. It has the charming Thomas Edison Museum and a beautifully restored downtown along the river. New developments go off in every direction. The population for the metropolitan area is over 600,000.

Athens, Ga.
Athens, Ga.
Photo: Shutterstock

Athens is an immensely successful university town and popular as a retirement community. The University of Georgia has helped to create an unusually liberal community with a thriving artistic, musical, and intellectual scene.

Summerville, S.C.
Summerville, S.C.
Photo: Mark Cowell/Wikipedia

Summerville, "The Flower Town in the Pines", has a charming downtown with many restaurants and unusual shops. Tourists flock to the area to see its azaleas in season. The town of 45,000 is a suburb of Charleston, an area of nearly 700,000 people.

Port Charlotte, Fla.
Port Charlotte, Fla.
Photo: Shutterstock

Port Charlotte is a suburban community to the northeast of busy Ft. Myers. Thousands of snow birds and retirees come because it is warm in the winter and home prices and rents are low.

St. George, Utah
St. George, Utah
Photo: Shutterstock

Spectacular red rock bluffs overlook the town in southwestern Utah. It has a mild climate in winter, and terrific recreational opportunities. It is surrounded by national parks, and about 120 miles from Las Vegas. Above, Snow Canyon in St. George, Utah.

Palm Springs, Calif.
Palm Springs, Calif.
Photo: aceshot1/Shutterstock.com

In this oasis town east of Los Angeles in the Coachella Valley, you can be playing golf in the valley and see snow dusting the nearby mountains. The population of the valley drops to about 200,000 in the hot summers, rising to around 800,000 by January. Above, a statue of former Palm Springs Mayor Sonny Bono in downtown.

Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Photo: Shutterstock

One of the fastest-growing communities in the U.S., legalized gambling in this desert resort city has created an enormous economy and attracted many new residents, including retirees in active adult communities. The Las Vegas strip is justly famous for its glitz and many attractions.

San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Photo: f11photo/Shutterstock.com

San Antonio is famous for its Paseo del Rio, above, and The Alamo, a shrine and museum located in the heart of downtown.

Colorado Springs, Colo.
Colorado Springs, Colo.
Photo: Shutterstock

Colorado Springs is a popular retirement community thanks to its spectacular scenery, abundant sunshine, and conservative values. The city also offers bike trails, parks, and cultural activities. Learn more about retiring at Colorado Springs.

Clearwater, Fla.
Clearwater, Fla.
Photo: Shutterstock

Clearwater, part of the Tampa Bay metro area, has a rich cultural infrastructure-due in part because of the The Clearwater Public Art and Design Project. Nearby St. Petersburg and Tampa are also loaded with cultural venues.

Bend, Ore.
Bend, Ore.
Photo: Shutterstock

Bend offers scenic beauty, skiing, mountains, golf, fishing, and more. It makes just about every list of "best retirement communities." The area has a population of about 165,954.

Knoxville, Tenn.
Knoxville, Tenn.
Photo: Shutterstock

Knoxville is a vibrant college town with big-time sports and many cultural events.

Spokane, Wash.
Spokane, Wash.
Photo: Nick Fox/Shutterstock.com

The second largest city in Washington, and one of the largest in the Northwest, Spokane is the cultural, social, and economic hub of eastern Washington.

Greenville, S.C.
Greenville, S.C.
Photo: Cvandyke/Shutterstock.com

Greenville has an interesting downtown and several great neighborhoods. It is also home to a number of colleges and is a thriving community for the arts. The town itself has only about 67,000 people, but the metro area is home to well over a million people. Above, the Liberty Bridge, a landmark pedestrian bridge in downtown Greenville.

Tampa, Fla.
Tampa, Fla.
Photo: Mike Focus/Shutterstock.com

The city has a spectacular location on Tampa Bay and Hillsborough Bay, which in turn lead to the Gulf of Mexico, and has every type of cultural resource such as theaters, museums of all kinds, and a vibrant city life and recreation.

Henderson, Nev.
Henderson, Nev.
Photo: John Phelan/Wikipedia

Henderson, the second largest city in Nevada and just outside Las Vegas, is also one of America's fastest-growing communities. The city prides itself on its master-planned residential areas, transportation projects, and outstanding recreational opportunities.

Jacksonville, Fla.
Jacksonville, Fla.
Photo: Rob Wilson/Shutterstock.com

Jacksonville is the most populated city in Florida with 808,000 inhabitants. It is has a mild winter climate and much to offer in terms of culture and recreation.

Reno, Nev.
Reno, Nev.
Photo: NaughtyNut/Shutterstock.com

The "Biggest Little City in the World", is the fourth largest city in Nevada with a population of about 220,000. Situated where the Sierra Nevada meets the desert, it's a great area for people who like the outdoors. As a college town, it has a full supply of cultural and sporting venues. Above, vintage cars in the National Automobile Museum in Reno.

Eugene, Ore.
Eugene, Ore.
Joshua Rainey Photography/Shutterstock.com

Eugene enjoys a national reputation as one of the most livable cities in the country. As a retirement community it offers small-town charm and big-city sparkle. It has a thriving and eclectic arts scene along with unsurpassed natural beauty.

Gainesville, Fla.
Gainesville, Fla.
Photo: Arkorn/Shutterstock.com

This college town in north central Florida is home the Gators of the University of Florida. It is medium-sized (104,000), affordable, and has lots of southern charm.

Boise, Idaho
Boise, Idaho
Photo: Shutterstock

"The City of Trees" is a modern, prosperous, and livable city that offers many recreational activities, shopping, dining, a low crime rate and a great lifestyle. 

See the full list of America's most popular places to retire at TopRetirements.com.

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