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Where to Go: 25 Retirement Cities Worth a Visit

I started caring about places to retire long before I started thinking about retiring. Indeed, since I was in my 20s, I have viewed “Best Places to Retire” studies as inspiration for trips to U.S. cities that might otherwise have never sparked my interest. If a city is a great place to retire, then it must be a great place to live. And if it’s a great place to live, it must also be a great place to visit. That at least was my thinking. And it’s stood the test of time.

The latest such study, from Forbes, lists 25 best retirement cities. They are, in alphabetical order:

  • Abilene, TX
  • Auburn, AL
  • Austin, TX
  • Bellingham, WA
  • Blacksburg, VA
  • Bluffton, SC
  • Boise, ID
  • Bowling Green, KY
  • Brevard, NC
  • Cape Coral, FL
  • Charleston, SC
  • Clemson, SC
  • Fargo, ND
  • Fredericksburg, TX
  • Las Cruces, NM
  • Morgantown, WV
  • Ogden, UT
  • Oklahoma City, OK
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Port Saint Lucie, FL
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • San Angelo, TX
  • State College, PA
  • Tucson, AZ
  • Venice, FL

To arrive at the above list, Forbes considered more than 400 cities, and took into account both economic measures (cost of living, home prices, state taxes) and quality-of-life factors (climate, crime rate, walkability).) Here, for example, is the summary of Venice, FL:

Trivia: Known as “Shark’s Tooth Capital of the World.” Pros: Warm Gulf Coast climate, above average air quality, cost of living at national average, median home price $196,000, low crime. Con: Low walkability rating.

No doubt a few of the listed cities are already familiar to most of us. Pittsburgh, Tucson, Austin … been there, done that. But the majority of the highlighted destinations are likely to represent uncharted territory, obscure and altogether unknown cities worth including on a future trip.

And that, fellow travelers of all ages, is the point.

Reader Reality Check

Are you intrigued by any of the cities on the Forbes list?

This article originally appeared on

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