Top 15 Nicest Places to Retire in the U.S.

Most Americans dream of a cushy retirement after a long career. After all, enjoying the good life is an appropriate reward for years of hard work. While some folks prefer to retire wherever they currently live, others love the idea of moving somewhere new for retirement.

People may move to be closer to family, for better weather, to join a large community of retirees, or for year-round availability of their hobbies or other recreational activities. For all these reasons and more, here are the top 15 nicest places to retire in the United States.

Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville is a bucolic town nestled into the Blue Ridge Mountains. These mountains provide abundant hiking opportunities, as do the nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Pisgah National Forest. The University of North Carolina-Asheville offers classes just for seniors at its Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Foodies will love Asheville, as it's currently enjoying a surge in bars and restaurants

Franklin, Tennessee

Located just 30 minutes from the capital city of Nashville, Franklin, Tennessee, combines American history with the country music scene. Civil War buffs will love visiting sites like the Battle of Franklin. Music lovers can soak up live music at the Pilgrimage Music Festival and many local venues. Downtown Franklin offers 15 blocks of restaurants, shops, and more, so there is always something to do in Franklin.

Savannah, Georgia

Savannah just drips with Southern charm. It has plenty of history, fantastic food, and great weather, once you get used to the humidity.

Boise, Idaho

If you love all four seasons, Boise is a great place to retire. This city offers the perks of a college town (Boise State University is located here) with the outdoor opportunities of a mountain location. Residents can go biking or fishing one day, then see the Boise Philharmonic the next.

Sun Valley, Idaho

Skiing might not be everyone's idea of retirement, but for some people, it's perfection. Bald Mountain and Dollar Mountain provide opportunities for experienced and novice skiers alike. In the summer, this area is great for mountain biking, swimming, fishing, and more.

Roseville, California

Northern California has a lot to offer retirees, and Roseville doesn't disappoint. Its sunny climate is perfect for golfing and growing grapes, so be prepared to visit some local wineries. For a change of pace, make the drive to Lake Tahoe just two hours away.

Paradise Valley, Arizona

Who wouldn't retire in paradise? This small town packs a lot into a small location. It's known for its cushy resorts, luxury golf courses, and many shops and restaurants. In addition to the constant sunshine, the small-town feel of Paradise Valley plus all the amenities of nearby Phoenix draw many retirees to Paradise Valley.

Green Valley, Arizona

Green Valley is a paradise in its own right. It's home to dozens of retirement communities, 13 recreation centers, and many retirees: more than 80% of the population is retired. It's also home to the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory, which is owned and operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe has all the attractions of a city in the midst of a vast natural setting. The city itself has shops, restaurants, museums, including the Georgia O'Keeffe museum, and a historic district that showcases its southwestern heritage. Outdoor lovers will enjoy the Santa Fe National Forest with its seemingly limitless trails for hiking and 20 lakes available for fishing.

Dallas, Texas

Everything's bigger in Texas, including its cities. Dallas and the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area make a great, big place to retire. With warm weather, all the perks of city living, and no state income tax, Dallas attracts many retirees.

Naples, Florida

Naples draws retirees from all over with its sunny shores and ample golf courses. Just under half of its residents are over age 65, so if you choose to retire here, you will be in good company.

Palm Beach, Florida

With miles of white-sanded beaches and pristine blue water, it's no wonder Palm Beach has a reputation as a luxury retirement spot. Plenty of wealthy retirees call Palm Beach, where the average home price is $1 million, home: over half of Palm Beach's residents are over 65. If your idea of relaxation includes sunshine, warm temperatures, and lounging on the beach, then Palm Beach may be the place for you.

Newton, Massachusetts: New Englanders, or anyone who loves New England's charm, will enjoy retirement in Newton. This Boston suburb provides the livable charm of a town with easy access to Boston and all its amenities: the symphony, the shops, and the world-class medical care.

New York, New York

While New York City might not be the first place you think of when it comes to retirement, it has plenty to offer retirees. There is truly no limit of things to do: shows, shopping, restaurants, museums--you name it, New York has it. It's easy to walk or take public transportation anywhere you want to go, and when you need a change of pace, you can head to one of three international airports to get out of town.

Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu is an idyllic retirement spot for anyone who doesn't mind the distant location. With gorgeous beaches and perfect weather year-round, Honolulu offers a retirement that's like going on a permanent vacation. Almost 20% of the population in this city is retirement-aged, so there are plenty of other older adults to hang out with at the beach, on a hike, or anywhere in the sun.

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