Top 10 Places in U.S. to Retire That Aren’t Florida

Retiring to Florida is a popular choice for many people, but it’s certainly not the only option. Plenty of other great places to retire in the U.S. offer beautiful scenery, affordable living, and a variety of activities to keep you busy during your golden years. We have compiled a list of the top 10 places in the U.S. to retire that aren’t Florida so you can explore different options and find the perfect place for you.

Here is the list of the top 10 places in the U.S. to retire:

Asheville, North Carolina

Downtown Asheville North Carolina NC Skyline Aerial
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Kevin Ruck

Tucked in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville, North Carolina, is one of our top choices for retirees looking for a fantastic mix of city and nature. Known for its incredible arts scene and beautiful historic architecture, including the Museum of Biltmore and the North Carolina Arboretum, Asheville has much to explore.

While the cost of living may be slightly above the national average, the stunning surroundings, local breweries, and welcoming communities make up for it. Outdoor enthusiasts will also be thrilled with the abundant hiking and biking trails.

Austin, Texas

Austin, TX - morning skyline panorama
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Yuriy Melnyk Photography

With its warm climate, affordable cost of living, and vibrant music scene, Austin has become a hotspot for retirees. That’s why it earned a spot on our list, too. Alongside the renowned South by Southwest festival, the city hosts many cultural events that bring it to life each year.

Retirees can enjoy various activities, from hiking and biking to exploring local farmers’ markets. The food scene is equally impressive, with plenty of excellent pubs, bars, and restaurants. Plus, with no state income tax, your retirement savings can go much further in Texas.

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA downtown skyline at dusk.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Sean Pavone

Santa Fe is an excellent retirement destination if you’re drawn to the arts and a slower pace of life. This southwestern gem offers stunning landscapes, a rich history, and ample outdoor recreation opportunities, such as hiking, skiing, and golfing.

Santa Fe’s top-notch art scene boasts over 200 galleries showcasing local artists’ work. Its mild climate and welcoming community make it the perfect place to retire and unwind. Moreover, the cost of living in New Mexico is lower than your typical Florida retirement, making it much more affordable.

Charleston, South Carolina

Historical downtown area of Charleston, South Carolina, USA
Image Credit: Shutterstock / f11photo

Charleston, South Carolina, is truly a gem. It’s packed with fascinating history and is adorned with charming cobblestone streets and beautiful colonial buildings. We adore Charleston and had to put it on our list because of its delightful mix of traditional and modern amenities.

There’s always something exciting to do in Charleston, whether it’s strolling through the picturesque Waterfront Park, exploring historic plantations, or indulging in some of the most delectable southern cuisine in the country. The mild climate and stunning beaches make it an ideal place to call home during your retirement.

Boulder, Colorado

Aerial picture of Boulder City in autumn, Colorado, USA
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Maciej Bledowski

Boulder, Colorado, is the perfect destination for those seeking an active retirement in a welcoming community. Nestled at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, this city offers endless opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and skiing. It consistently ranks as one of the happiest places to live in the U.S., and it’s not hard to see why.

Boulder offers a range of outdoor activities complemented by a strong focus on health and wellness. From numerous yoga studios to farm-to-table restaurants, the city promotes a healthy lifestyle. With a low crime rate and excellent healthcare facilities, retirees can feel safe and secure in Boulder.

Portland, Oregon

View of Portland, Oregon from Pittock Mansion.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Josemaria Toscano

Portland, Oregon, is an excellent choice for retirees who prefer a more laid-back lifestyle. It’s known for its progressive and environmentally friendly mindset. This city boasts a thriving arts scene with numerous galleries and events.

Outdoor enthusiasts will also be in paradise here, with plenty of hiking trails to explore in the nearby mountains and rivers. The food scene is equally impressive, with plenty of locally sourced and organic options. Lastly, we wanted to include that the coffee scene in Portland is hard to beat, making it a paradise for coffee lovers.

Ann Arbor, Michigan

University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Agnieszka Gaul

Nestled alongside the Huron River, Ann Arbor, Michigan, is a quaint and charming college town that offers endless opportunities for outdoor recreation. With kayaking, fishing, and birdwatching, it’s an excellent place to retire. The cute little downtown area is filled with restaurants, cafes, and shops to keep you entertained.

Furthermore, Ann Arbor boasts top-ranked healthcare facilities and a cost of living below the national average, making it an ideal choice for retirees looking to maintain their quality of life. No wonder it has consistently made it to the top 10 lists of best retirement locations.

Denver, Colorado

Colorado State Capitol Building in Denver
Image Credit: Shutterstock / f11photo

Denver, Colorado, is a dream retirement destination for those who love the great outdoors. Surrounded by the stunning Rocky Mountains and basking in over 300 days of sunshine each year, this city offers endless opportunities for hiking and other outdoor activities.

Not only does Denver offer natural beauty, but it also boasts world-class museums and galleries for culture enthusiasts to explore. While the cost of living may be slightly higher than the national average, the access to nature and abundance of amenities more than compensates. Ski lovers, in particular, will have a fantastic time in Denver, with slopes just a short drive away.

Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville, Tennessee downtown skyline at twilight
Image Credit: Shutterstock / f11photo

Nashville, Tennessee, is certainly not only about bachelorette parties and honky-tonk bars; it’s also an excellent place to retire. With its low cost of living, numerous parks and green spaces, and welcoming community, Nashville offers a relaxed and affordable lifestyle for retirees.

Music lovers will also feel at home here. Nashville is known as the “Music City” and hosts many free concerts and events annually. Plus, with its mild climate and southern charm, it’s easy to see why Nashville is becoming a popular retirement destination.

San Diego, California

Downtown San Diego skyline in California, USA at sunset
Image Credit: Shutterstock / f11photo

San Diego, California, is an incredible retirement hotspot for those seeking warm weather and a laid-back lifestyle. Here, you can spend your days basking in the sun or trying exciting water sports like surfing and kayaking on over 70 miles of stunning beaches.

In addition, this city offers a rich cultural scene with world-renowned museums, galleries, and theaters just waiting to be explored. And let’s not forget about the mouthwatering food and craft beer scene that will tickle your taste buds. Sure, the cost of living may be a bit higher, but the breathtaking ocean views and year-round pleasant weather make it all worthwhile.

Puerto Rico

Colorful houses line the hillside over looking the beach in San Juan, Puerto Rico
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Martin Wheeler III

Let’s talk about retiring in Puerto Rico. It may seem unconventional, but hear us out. If you’re seeking a beautiful island paradise with a lower cost of living, Puerto Rico is worth considering. Being an unincorporated territory of the USA, it’s easier for Americans to transition here than to move abroad.

With its stunning beaches, tropical climate, and rich cultural heritage, Puerto Rico offers retirees an exotic retirement destination that still feels like home. Moreover, the cost of living is significantly lower than in many other states in the U.S., making it an attractive option for those on a budget.

Oliver Schwede

Author: Oliver Schwede


Oliver Schwede has been backpacking his way around the world for the last two years. So far, he has visited 40 countries on his trip. When he isn't exploring new locations, he is writing about his adventures and destinations around the world.

Leave a Comment