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Lake Chatuge-Clay County, North Carolina – miles of souyhern shoreline, hiking trails, bicycle trails. By Patricia Doherty. The benchmark S shed 2. Historic storefronts give Rogers a wonderfully retro Main Street. Eureka Springs, Arkansas This charming Victorian town of 2, in the heart of the Ozarks sits amid and above about 60 bubbling natural springs. We are a rural town located off the beaten path that enjoys rolling hills, winding roads and small town charm. You can also visit an old-time movie theater, take in the arts scene, and even kayak to a best southern small towns to retire.


The 30 Best Places to Retire in the South | GOBankingRates.South’s Best Retirement Towns


She also has a long history in cultural public relations in a unique state agency in her native West Virginia; and currently freelances writing speeches, annual reports, business profiles, and fund-raising campaigns. She also manages a robust pro bono career for her greater community.

Ready to trade rush hour and conference calls for a golf cart and the local coffee house? Whether retirement is just around the corner or somewhere down the line, check out these Southern towns. They’re perfect for it. Lucky you, with the Barter Theatre’s professional plays, plenty of bluegrass and other local music, and the Virginia Creeper Trail for pedaling. Take the Creeper Trail Bike Rental’s shuttle to the peak of Whitetop Mountain, and cruise down through gorgeous scenery.

You can also walk or jog this former railroad lumber route. The College for Older Adults brings residents Shakespeare, tai chi, sculpting, and more.

Rekindle your love for rock “n” roll in this town known for its music scene. Mama’s Boy is known for breakfast, while Weaver D’s is a soul food must especially if the words “Automatic for the People” mean anything to you. Also on the Athens menu: golfing, biking, and Georgia Bulldog everything. Football rules this rural Alabama town, where the Auburn University students mingle happily with locals—including the retirees who love all the golf, arts, and culture available on “The Plains” and enjoy the excitement and energy of those Tigers.

It’s easily worth the move here for Acre’s pimiento cheese and burgers alone. Nearby Chewacla State Park has a nice lake for water recreation, six renovated stone cabins that were built in the s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, and sites for RV and tent camping. The state capital, Montgomery, is about an hour away, which makes urban amenities—and the Alabama Shakespeare Festival—easily accessible.

In this cosmopolitan town with its own symphony, ballet, and choral society, you will find hints of the regional heritage too. The city’s events include an Oklahoma Indian Summer Festival. Besides a park-and-trail system, Bartlesville can offer you a state with over lakes, the Ouachita and Wichita Mountains, and lots of sun they promise days.

Enjoy mountain living your way. Watch hikers start or finish the Appalachian Trail at its southernmost point nearby; ramble through neighboring wineries and orchards; or tube down the Toccoa River.

Volunteer to build sets for the Blue Ridge Community Theater, or take a job as a host on a train car on the railroad. East Main Street downtown is loaded with locally owned shops and restaurants. The dining scene is something special, thanks in part to husband-and-wife team chef Danny Mellman and writer Michelle Moran, who have opened six restaurants in the area. Brevard is a gathering kind of place. Locals congregate in restaurants, bakeries, breweries, even the grocery store—and talk to one another.

The artistic director is native son and Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart. Surrounding Transylvania County has over waterfalls, with much of the land near Brevard protected as parks. You can take a hike, ride a bike, and paddle the historic French Broad River and enjoy an impressive arts scene— all of which are just a stone’s throw from happening Asheville.

Tampa’s smaller neighbor population just over 36, can claim some of the South’s prettiest beaches. Dunedin is just a causeway drive from Honeymoon Island State Park, a nature lover’s paradise. From the park, hop on a ferry to a rarity in Florida—an all-natural beach—at Caladesi Island State Park. Dunedin also has a quaint downtown with great local boutiques and eateries, and it hosts all kinds of festivals each year.

As a local, you’ll frequent the Fenway Hotel. Opened in , it’s an icon of the Jazz Age with Spanish Colonial architecture and a rooftop bar. For romantic dinners, you’ll turn to The Black Pearl, and for the beer scene, try Woodwright Brewing part brewery, part woodshop , Dunedin Brewery Florida’s oldest microbrewery , and 7venth Sun Brewery dog friendly and small batch. Big-city entertainment is less than 25 miles away in Tampa. However, you can pick and choose your time in the hustle and bustle because the population of Easton is just over 16, Find plenty of shops and restaurants in the pedestrian-friendly downtown, known for its beautiful Colonial and Victorian architecture.

Bike trails slow you to a see-everything pace—and might even include a ferry ride. And there’s a thriving arts community here not to mention pub crawls and golf. Sure, Washington, D. When the heritage is German, the landscape is rolling Texas Hill Country , vineyards are flush with grapes for wines, bluebonnets carpet the area in spring, plump peaches ripen by summer, and the atmosphere is Southwestern friendly, congratulations—you’ve just found a town that has it all.

And everybody loves Wildseed Farms, featuring fields of flowers with more brilliant colors than a rainbow. Maybe it’s the unbeatable turkey sandwich at Pearl Street Station. For one reason or another, you’ll feel at home here.

There’s a great biergarten run by German transplants. Lakefront lots offer plenty of homes with views, while wineries, local shops, and Eighteen Ninety Grille and Lounge known for shrimp and grits set you mingling with neighbors.

A trolley whisks you around town. In a state known for all things big, Granbury likes it small, cozy, and friendly. Pronounced “HAV-er-dee-grace,” it sits on the banks of the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay and offers maritime, decoy, and history museums. Marquis de Lafayette visited and is said to have inspired the name. Retirees come here for waterfront views, local festivals, and the Bulle Rock Golf Course, which was designed by Pete Dye—not to mention all the fresh seafood you’d expect from a town perched on the Chesapeake Bay.

Roughly twice the size of Manhattan, Hot Springs Village was built with retirees in mind: nine golf courses from beginner to scratch , 11 recreational lakes filled with crappie and bass, along with people canoeing and kayaking , 14 pickleball courts, 13 tennis courts, a plethora of pools, saunas, massage therapy opportunities, and a variety of classes.

Social clubs it has about in all offer like-minded residents bridge, classic cars, quilting, birding, Master Gardening, and plenty more. Enjoy miles of hiking and biking trails. Frequent Hot Springs about 20 minutes away for its live horse racing in the spring, historic bathhouses, and casino resort. We hear that Al Capone used to hang out in these parts, but that’s history. Besides, your new community is gated. You’re a little over an hour from New Orleans—and in a completely different world.

Retire to the beat of Cajun music—the Jolly Inn’s dance hall will get you started—and the taste of beignets, spicy gumbo, and crawfish boudin. The annual Rougarou Fest sums up the local culture in a weekend—so does the resplendent family-friendly Mardi Gras celebration. In the impressive Chauvin Sculpture Garden, you can mosey from art to swamp tours in an instant. Drive the coastal wetlands; go birding on nature trails; and fish, fish, fish in this town listed as a Louisiana Certified Retirement Community.

Does the local barista know your regular order? Lewisburg is everybody-knows-everybody friendly. With its own Carnegie Hall, professional theater, and plenty of good shopping and dining, this town balances its charming Allegheny Mountain culture with the sophistication of The Greenbrier resort just down the road.

Lewisburg is over years old, with impressive architecture, including the acre historic district. The Greenbrier River and the Greenbrier River Trail offer outdoor getaways, whether you’re paddling, walking, or running. This town of about 25, not only welcomes retirees but actively pursues them. Designated by the state as a Certified Retirement Community, Madison has a program that aims to engage seniors in their community and enhance their quality of life. The town is just a few minutes from outdoor recreation on the Ross Barnett Reservoir, and it’s about 15 miles north of the state capital, Jackson, where Madison residents can take advantage of museums, entertainment, dining, an international airport, and the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s facilities.

This one’s for you, outdoorsy boys and girls. The Great Smoky Mountains embrace you in this cozy little town that’s surrounded by the rich culture of Appalachia. If your retirement includes a motorcycle, The Dragon and Foothills Parkways await.

On the flip side, Maryville offers a drive-in movie, live theater, ballet, and artists inspired by the mountains. When you’re ready for urban amenities, Knoxville’s airport, restaurants, medical facilities, shopping, and beloved Tennessee Vols are about 30 minutes away. Who knows? Orange just might be your new color. Enjoy the Cajun influences here and the cultural offerings that come from being a college town—it’s home to Northwestern State University.

Can’t you just hear Truvy offering Shelby some iced tea? Set on the Trent and Neuse Rivers, this coastal Carolina charmer offers Georgian and Federal-style architecture and an interesting history, along with abundant outdoor recreation—from biking and hiking to golfing and kayaking.

They have all this plus music and theater. Just don’t ask for a Coke; Pepsi was born here. If you enjoy an active lifestyle and love a waterfront environment, put New Bern on your list of towns to check out. With over local artists and some independent shops, galleries, nightspots, and restaurants, you will stay busy here. You can walk off all of that gourmet fare on the pedestrian bridge over the bay and enjoy some exciting casino entertainment in Biloxi, Ocean Springs’ neighbor to the west.

A popular harbor for boats traveling the Chesapeake Bay, this town of just over 1, was founded in You’ll love all the beautiful Victorian mansions as well as the quaint, locally owned shops and scenic creeks—all of which create a perfect spot for relaxation. Locals set sail or take to paddleboards and other watercraft here. You can also visit an old-time movie theater, take in the arts scene, and even kayak to a winery.

John D. Rockefeller loved it here around years ago. You’ll be equally enchanted with the beach, the historic downtown, and Rockefeller’s former winter home—The Casements—which is now the city’s Cultural Center.

There’s no roar at all in blissfully serene Ormond Beach. And beautiful St. Augustine, with its restaurants and tourist attractions, is about an hour to the north. The LowerTown Arts District has a great variety of art galleries. Add bird-watching, fishing, hiking, and boating to the offerings, plus a thriving downtown with 19th-century buildings that house everything from dining to nightlife, and you have one fantastic retirement location.


– The Best Places for a Dreamy Retirement in the South

One tenant, /8892.txt L-A, highlights the textile, shoe and brick industries that once thrived here. Boating and fishing are popular on the Connecticut Best southern small towns to retire and other nearby waterways. Bitterroot College University of Montana is located in town, and the public library was built by Andrew Carnegie. It is also home to George L. More to love? In other words, the odds of a recession and higher unemployment rates within the next 12 months or so are uncomfortably high.